You can start your own kombucha without having a starter from a friend. And here is how you do it!
This is what you need:
filtered, boiling water
1 Cup organic white sugar
6 bags of plain black, organic, unflavored black tea
2 bottles of original, store bought kombucha
Large jar (about 2 quarts)
Dissolve sugar in water.
Add tea bags and steep for 2-3 hours or overnight.
Squeeze out teabags and discard.
Pour tea into a large jar.
Fill the jar the rest of the way (almost to the top) with filtered water.
Cover tightly with cheese cloth and rubber band. (note: you can use a piece of cotton but be sure it's clean but not by heavy detergents.)
Put in cool dark cabinet away from chemicals.
In 1-1 1/2 weeks, taste the kombucha. You want it to taste sweet with a little vinegar taste. If it's too sweet, put it back and taste again in 2 or 3 days. Repeat the tasting process until you get the flavor you desire.
When you do get the flavor you like, take out most of the kombucha, put it in a pitcher and save it in the refrigerator.
You should still have an ⅛ to a ¼ of the kombucha and a small, solid kombucha culture or Mother. (The kombucha is the liquid, the Mother is the solid.)
Repeat process above using the Mother and kombucha left in the jar.