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The fans of Yerba Mate have been growing rainforests with Guayaki’s Tiny Foot print Coffee which is fair trade coffee, by planting a tree for each pound of beans that they sell.

This green practice makes this the world’s first coffee that offsets the negative effects of carbon. The roasting and shipping of one pound of coffee adds about 4 pounds of the equivalent carbon dioxide (CO2e) in the atmosphere.

However, the planting of trees which grow fast in the Ecuadorian cloud forest removes 54 pounds of CO2e. According to Tiny Footprint Coffee, that for every pound of coffee sold, there is 50 pounds of negative carbon goodness.

However, the trees that are planted have to suck up CO2 for 20 years in order to reach that figure of 54 pounds. Also there is much more to consider about the coffee’s carbon footprint than simply the roasting and shipping.

For instance, in your home the process of brewing the beverage and the grinding of coffee beans creates somewhere between 0.04 and 0.7 pounds of CO2e, depending on what you add to the coffee and how you heat your water. Because each pound of coffee is good for approximately fifty cups of coffee there is somewhere between 2.3 and 35 additional pounds of emission of CO2e for each pound of coffee that you purchase.

Although Tiny Footprint Coffee is 90% fair trade certified and all organic, the other 10% of coffees that are fair trade and are non certified that come from family farms that are small and aren’t eligible for certification of fair trade since they aren’t a part of a large growing cooperative.

However, they do grow sustainable, premium, and beautiful coffees that people pay above fair trade price to get. Also those numbers don’t include the widely varying farming practices that can affect the carbon footprint of growing a cup of coffee. People always buy organic coffees that are sustainably grown but aren’t limited to only reach certified fair trade coffees.

As far as the claims of the carbon negative, the CO2e calculations made by Tiny Footprint should be taken with a grain of salt. In addition, they are hard to compare with other coffee companies that are planting trees.

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Kombucha is a microbiological food. It helps regenerate the bowel flora and is excellent for wellbeing.

Kombucha is a popular health promoting beverage and natural folk remedy made by fermenting tea. Kombucha is a colony or culture of yeast and other microorganisms embedded in a pure cellulose “pancake.” When the “pancake” is grown in a blend of tea and sugar, it transforms the liquid into a refreshingly lightly sparkling, sweet and sour drink with a fruity fragrance full of health giving acids and nutrients. The Kombucha culture feeds on the sugar and, in exchange, produces other valuable substances which change into the drink: glucuronic acid, glucon acid, lactic acid, vitamins, amino acids, antibiotic substances.

Kombucha tea has about 0.5% to 1% alcohol as do some fruit juices such as apple juice. Harold Tietze in his book KOMBUCHA, THE MIRACLE FUNGUS observes that Muslims and Buddhists drink it without concern. “Recovered alcoholics do not have to fear the small amounts of alcohol.” The Salvation Army is using Kombucha to help alcoholics.

Kombucha tea isn’t something you can buy in a bottle or a bag. You need to brew up a batch of kombucha starter culture and grow your own.

The health benefits of kombucha tea are many, and the taste is distinctively tart. The final product is lightly carbonated too. If you’re interested in trying some, be prepared to do a little work and to wait for the finished product.

Kombucha Tea Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 4 – 6 Tea bags (at least 2 are black)
  • 4 litres ( 140 fl oz) Pure water, rain or spring
  • 300 grams (10 oz) White Sugar
  • 1 Kombucha tea fungus
  • 400 ml (1 3/4 cup//14 fl oz) Kombucha tea (mother tea), from your last brew or obtained with the mushroom / fungus – If you don’t have enough mother liquid

Instruction:
Boil the water in a stainless steel pot, add sugar, turn off heat and stir sugar until dissolved. Add teabags and let soak for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove tea bags and allow to cool. Strain (not necessary) and pour into fermenting jar. Add the fungus and mother tea to the jar. Cover and leave for one week in a place free from contaminants such as mould, cooking fats etc.

Recipes for Kombucha Tea with Pawpaw (Papaya)

Ingredients:

  • 100 grams (3.5 oz) Paw paw leaves and flowers
  • 4 litres (140 fl oz) Pure water, rain or spring
  • 300 grams (10 oz) White sugar
  • 2 Green tea bags
  • 4 Black tea bags
  • 1 Kombucha tea mushroom
  • 400 ml (1 3/4cup / 14 fl oz) Kombucha tea (mother tea), from your last brew or obtained with the fungus. If you don’t have enough mother liquid

Instruction:
Cut, clean and chop the stalks off the papaya leaves and flowers. Place in pot, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 1/2 hour. Let cool, strain and bring to the boil again, add sugar, turn off heat and stir sugar until dissolved. Add teabags and let soak for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove tea bags and allow to cool. Strain (not necessary) and pour into fermenting jar. Add the fungus and mother tea to the jar. Cover and leave for one week in a place free from contaminants such as mould, cooking fats etc.

Ingredients:
The following quantities are for one litre.

  • 5 tablespoons = 1/3 cup
  • 3-5 tablespoons of white sugar.
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons black tea (organic).
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons green tea (organic).
  • 1 teaspoon elderflower tea (optional).
  • 1 tablespoon papaya leaf tea (optional).
  • 1 litre water (Grander water).
  • 100 mls of Kombucha tea, (as an acidic starter).
  • 1 piece of Kombucha plant. (about 4 inches in diameter.)

Instruction:
Add the sugar to a glass bowl, dangle the tea bags over the side, then pour on boiling water. Use the tea bags to stir the liquid and dissolve the sugar. Leave the tea bags to steep until the tea has cooled. If you are using loose tea then steep the tea in a teapot, then mix with the sugar and boiled water in a bowl. Some herbs such as papaya leaf will need simmering in boiling water for 2 hours. Strain the herbs through muslin cloth.
When the tea has cooled to below 25C, mix in the Kombucha tea, then float the Kombucha plant on the surface. Cover the bowl with a tea towel held in place with an elastic band and leave it where it won’t be disturbed for 2 – 4 weeks at 20-25C. The longer you ferment the kombucha the less sweet and the more acidic it will become. The Kombucha tea is ready when a new mushroom has covered the surface and all of the sugar has been digested. When the kombucha is ready, scoop the tea out the bowl with a small jug and transfer to bottles. Discard the sediment. Refrigerate the kombucha before drinking. Store unused kombucha mushrooms covered with kombucha tea in a jar in the refrigerator.

Honey Kombucha Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1. Two cups of starter tea
  • 2. 3 quarts of water
  • 3. 1 cup of Liquid Honey
  • 4. 1/2 cup of sugar

Instruction:
Boil water for 5 to 10 minutes and remove from heat. Using a cooking thermometer monitor the temperature. When the temperature has fallen below 150 degrees F. add the cup of honey (or 1.5 cups to speed fermentation) and stir until the honey is dissolved. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature. Once the tea reaches room temperature you can pour off the mixture (leaving the sediment on the bottom behind).

Kombucha Banana Strawberry Smoothie Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 10 ounces orange juice
  • 4 ounces Kombucha tea.
  • One piece of fresh Kombucha colony (sized to palate)
  • 5-6 large fresh strawberries
  • 1-2 large banana

Blend all ingredients at high speed in your blender until smooth.

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