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Making Kombucha for the First Time: a Quick Overview with Pictures.

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Drexel chapter.

If you have come to this article, you probably are either interested in making Kombucha yourself or are just looking for more creepy photos on the internet of SCOBY. Either way — you’ll get a dash of both! 

Featured in most of my pictures: SCOBY! It’s the tan colored bacteria patty thing… YUM. 

I will most likely focus on SCOBY for a lot of this article, because it totally creeps me out and fascinates me all at the same time. 


(Healtlhline describes it as the following: “A SCOBY, which stands for “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast,” is an ingredient used in the fermentation and production of kombucha.”) 


Kombucha oftentimes is a black or green tea base with sugar and a SCOBY. The SCOBY is a culture of bacteria and yeast that ferments the black tea. The sugar that you add to the tea gives the SCOBY something to use as “fuel”. 

When you “harvest” the tea (when you pour out the tea that has been with the SCOBY long enough to ferment), you then can start your next batch of kombucha with the original SCOBY (plus a new baby SCOBY that was grown from the bacteria/fermentation process). The bacteria “patties” literally peel apart. You had one patty, the tea fermented for a week or two… then you have two patties.




[There is a whole “language” around kombucha that I started to hear people talk about. After you have harvested your tea, you then have to “feed the mother”. (This is where you put in more black tea and sugar.) The original SCOBY in your tea is the “mother” (because it will multiply itself — as bacteria does). You can keep the mother in one jar after the fermentation, then put the baby in a new jar for a new batch. You now have two batches. Now both of them can be mothers. Then they grow babies. You can disperse after the next round of fermentation … then disperse again. FOUR jars now, then THEY make babies. It’s exponential, my friend.]


Once you harvested the tea, you can add flavoring. The flavoring WILL kill the option of a SCOBY growing in your tea. (This is why the bottles from the store don’t have a little patty at the top! Could you imagine?! EW!)





My friend and I got the first SCOBY from a friend’s cousin in Frederick, MD. The MD cousin gave us one SCOBY plus about 3 1/2 of her tea (no flavoring). The picture shows some black tea and sugar we added in at the beginning right after we got the original SCOBY and tea.

This is my friend adding freshly brewed (and cooled to room temperature) black tea and sugar to our mother & base tea. 

My friend showing the mother patty and the baby it grew. This picture was taken after she just separated the patties. 

Here is our first attempt at flavoring. (We are using the GTS glass bottle to hold our flavored brew.) The 7-Eleven drink as kombucha flavoring was not amazing… but it wasn’t bad. *glowing remarks*

We went to the Indian store before the next harvest and found this awesome mango pulp. We tried this instead of our 7-Eleven drink. It was delightful. This is what I will most likely use the next time I try to make Kombucha.

To strain out the remnants of “THE MOTHER”, we put our kombucha into a french press. It worked! And it was yummy. Happy day!

To see our quick notes through the process: 




Harvested and refed using same formula 


1st kombucha bottle (harvested — clear bottle) has 7-11 mango juice 

2nd kombucha bottle (harvested — brown bottle) has mango pulp in it 


TESTED 1st kombucha — strained in a coffee filter. A bit over fermented. Added more sugar. Added mango pulp 


Added a 8g more sugar to kombucha new brew (total of 40g)




Harvested and refed using same formula 



Morning: added ¼ mango juice to harvested kombucha 


Tasted harvested kombucha — needecd more mango (more sweet)

Tasted newest batch of fermenting tea– tasted very good (only 2 days of brewing) 

Will bottle tomorrow with mango pulp and let ferment in second little bottles + will make 3rd scoby! Will brew with 3 bags (or more water) (maybe latest brew of tea was too strong)



Tried about ¼ cup of harvested with 5 (ish) people. Was good. Needed more mango juice




Mother made a baby scoby 

Kept 300 ml of old tea 

Added 500 ml of water with 4 black tea bags and 32 grams of sugar

Harvested 500 ml of made kombucha 

Added ¼ of juice 




1 week and 1 day ago

Original mother scoby + starter tea

4 black tea bags and 32 grams of sugar

Hi there! I am a passionate person who always has WAY TOO many things I want to do in life. My current passion, though, is my new business where I am working on consumer solutions for mental health education. justbebooks.com I love chatting and collaborating with cool people, so please reach out!
Her Campus Drexel contributor.