Learn how to make your own traditional kombucha

Carlington Booch, which will be one of the vendors at Boochfest, provides volunteer and work opportunities for people graduating from addiction treatment centres in Ottawa. They shared one of their recipes with CBC Radio's All in a Day.

Boochfest takes place at Lansdowne Park today from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Carlington Booch will showcase its three flavours, including ginger, root beer and traditional, at Boochfest. (Carlington Booch)

John Ruby overcame a difficult addiction to alcohol at a treatment centre in Ottawa but the greatest challenge he had to face, he says, was the isolation and lack of community after graduating from the program.

He hopes to lighten the challenge, he says, for others coming out of treatment centres through his new social enterprise selling kombucha — a fermented black or green tea drink with acclaimed health benefits. 

"Since the two months we have been at market, we have been able to hire our first guy who came though a treatment centre," said Ruby, who is now the co-owner of Carlington Booch, which will be one of the vendors at Boochfest — a festival being held today dedicated to the drink.

"When I got sober, I stayed sober by working with other people, my background was trades, [but] to stay sober, I worked with people, working in addictions, working with the mentally ill."

Ruby told CBC Radio's All in a Day that his enterprise also provides volunteer opportunities to people graduating from treatment centres in Ottawa.

Volunteers have the opportunity to package bottles, to sell the drinks at markets and learn about the kombucha process. 

"Communication and that sense of community is really important for people overcoming addictions," Ruby said. 

The three flavours designed by Carlington Booch include ginger, root beer and traditional. 

Ruby shared the traditional kombucha recipe with All in a Day host Alan Neal. 

Boochfest takes place at Lansdowne Park on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Carlington Booch will be one of the vendors at Boochfest, the first annual festival dedicated to the fermented tea drink. (Carlington Booch)

Naked Booch Kombucha


  • 6 black tea bags.
  • 2 green tea bags.
  • 1 cup of sugar.
  • 2 cups starter tea.
  • SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast).


  1. Steep tea in 14 cups of water.
  2. Let cool to room temp.
  3. Squeeze out tea bags and remove.
  4. Dissolve 1 cup sugar.
  5. Add 2 cups of starter tea.
  6. Add SCOBY.
  7. Cover loosely with cheesecloth. 
  8. Let sit five to seven days in low light, 21 C space. 

After five to seven days:

  1. Stir. Taste. It should be a balance of tangy, tart and sweet.
  2. Bottle in sealable containers. (Suggestion: 1 food grade plastic bottle). 
  3. When bottle is tight to squeeze, refrigerate. Cold puts yeast in dormant state and stops fermentation. 
  4. Drink cold and enjoy. 

CBC Radio's All in a Day