Last night I journeyed to a new reality. One where I forage for wild hedgerow fruits, brew homemade kombucha and knit my own toilet paper. Well I made up the last bit but the rest of it is all true. This new reality was in Suffolk at FOLK cafe in Fornham St Martin, near Bury St Edmunds, where Louise Avery of LA Brewery hosted a kombucha workshop.
For those poor unfortunates who don’t know what kombucha is (me about a month ago) let me explain. Kombucha is fermented tea that tastes so unlike most other soft drinks that it is often compared to alcohol for the complexity and depth of its flavour. Hence my interest! Oh and it’s incredibly good for you.
From Shoreditch to Suffolk via the Hebrides
I don’t know if Louise Avery does actually knit her own toilet paper but she’s that bloody resourceful that I bet she could! 8 years ago she escaped a city job and moved to the Hebrides with no plan other than to make some kombucha. Skip to the present, via much blood, sweat and tears and her company LA Brewery has a whopping great factory in Suffolk and supplies Wholefoods, Planet Organic and loads more. Louise is a very inspiring lady!
So, what exactly is all the fuss about? Well, like me, Louise wanted to find good quality, full bodied alcohol alternatives that weren’t just carbonated sugar syrup. Kombucha is sour and sweet at the same time, either fizzy or still, can be fruity or herby, it makes excellent mocktails and is great for gut health.
How to make kombucha
You can buy LA Brewery Kombucha here or make your own and experiment with strength and flavour. As a keen home brewer, I took the hard option. Here’s how we made it.