Photography by Paul Lowe


  • 3 to 5 cups water
  • 1 cup of canna sugar
  • Thin cheese cloth or light cloth
  • 9 to 15 grams tea, such as Indian Black, English Breakfast or Yerba Mate
  • 1 SCOBY*
  • Juice blend of ginger, orange and beets
  • 1 cinnamon stick per gallon, if desired
  • 1 vanilla bean per gallon

Bring 2 to 3 cups of water to a boil. Add sugar and continue to stir until dissolved; remove from heat. In another pot, bring 4 to 5 cups of water to the temperature suited for steeping your choice of tea (Black teas: 212 F; yerba: 170 F). Add tea to the sachet, immerse in water, cover and steep 3 to 5 minutes.

Pull the tea and combine hot tea water and sugar water in the jar. Measure the total liquid amount and keep it one cup short to accommodate the starter culture.

Let sugar-tea mix cool below 80 F (if liquid temperature is higher, it will damage the culture). Add culture and place SCOBY on top of the liquid. Place cheese cloth or light cloth over the brew and secure it with a rubber band.

Store in a clean, dark place for 5 to 7 days. On day 7, start tasting it daily until you’ve reached your preferred flavor. Add juice blend and fill carbonation bottles.

Seal and allow to ferment 3 to 7 days based on carbonation preference (too much carbonation will cause your bottle to spray like a party when you open it).

*SCOBY and bottles can be found on Amazon.