Kombucha is NOT made from a mushroom. Mushrooms do not make it, nor do they live in it, nor do they contribute to it's retirement.
What IS Kombucha? Hmm... very good question. Wiki says:
Kombucha is the Western name for sweetened tea or tisane that has been fermented using a macroscopic solid mass of microorganisms called a "kombucha colony," usually consisting principally of Acetobacter-species and yeast cultures.
That is, it's the result of the Kombucha SCOBY's 'work' on sugar and tea. SCOBY stands for Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast. Isn't that cute? MUCH better terminology than "mushroom". Ick.
Kombucha is supposed to be wildly healthy. Of course, there are no 'proven' studies done by university research departments, which is why I'm inclined to believe it's true.
So now, since mushrooms aren't involved, I want to make some. To make it, however, you need it. One of those paradoxes again. The SCOBY is what makes it happen, and you need to get a SCOBY before you can get Kombucha. I know no SCOBYS (scobies?). BUT - I found out how to find one! A cheaper, if slower, alternative to ebay.
I got one of these from the store. The plain version. And swimming in the bottom was a little translucent jelly-fish looking thing.
Others have nursed this little baby SCOBY into a hard-working mother SCOBY, and I am trying to do the same. I put the li'l critter in my 4 c. pyrex glass measuring cup, covered it with a flour-sack dishtowel, and made some room in a cupboard. The girls now ask about our "pet."
Eventually I will follow this step-by-step tutorial on Kombucha brewing. Wiki-how has instructions too.
And I will be sure to post about how Kombucha made me lose weight, feel better, sleep better, made me happy and taught me to fly.