*To make SCOBY:
To make your own SCOBY, bring 4 cups water to boiling. In a large heatproof glass bowl or pitcher combine the boiling water and 1/2 cup sugar; stir to dissolve. Add 4 black tea bags; let stand 1 hour. Remove and discard tea bags. Stir in 3 cups water. Transfer to a clean 2- to 3-quart jar. Stir in 1 cup purchased plain kombucha. Cover jar with paper towels and secure with a rubber band. Let stand in a dark place where the temperature is between 70°F to 75°F for 3 weeks. Remove SCOBY with clean hands; discard liquid. You can also purchase a SCOBY online (use a reliable source, such as Williams-Sonoma [williams-sonoma.com]).
**To store SCOBY:
Place SCOBY in a clean jar in enough homemade or purchased kombucha to cover. Cover jar and store in the refrigerator up to 1 month.
Prepare as directed through Step 1. Remove SCOBY. Add 1 ounce fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced, to the jar. Cover and chill 1 to 2 weeks. Remove and discard ginger. Continue with Step 2.
Prepare as directed through Step 1. Remove SCOBY. Add 1 orange, peeled and thinly sliced, to the jar. Cover and chill 1 to 2 days. Remove and discard orange slices. Continue with Step 2.
Kombucha is not meant to treat or cure any medical conditions. Consult a doctor before use if you are pregnant, nursing, or have any health conditions or concerns.