Kombucha is a naturally carbonated drink that is fermented and acts like a probiotic. Kombucha is the perfect drink for gut health, digestion, immunity and is said to help with acne, fatigue, hypertension, headaches, constipation, energy levels, metabolic disorders and allergies. The reason for these claims may be due to the fact that Kombucha is a fermented food high in good bacteria, therefore it helps with gut health. If your gut is in good health and working optimally you will have better emotional health and this plays a part in stress levels and overall organ function.
Kombucha has been around for thousands of years, originating from China. The first recorded use of kombucha comes from China in 221 BC. It was known as "The Tea of Immortality".
Depending on how Kombucha is made it can taste like a fizzy fruity vinegar or tart apples. I personally love the taste and would drink this all day if I had a big enough supply.
What is Kombucha made of?
Kombucha is made up of 4 ingredients - water, sugar, tea and a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast).
SCOBY - The scoby looks similar to a caramel colored rubber pancake and when combined with the tea and sugar produces a wide range of organic acids. Glucuronic acid, gluconic acid, lactic acid, acetic acid, butyric acid, malic acid and usnic acid; vitamins, particularly B vitamins and vitamin C; as well as amino acids, enzymes. There are also the benefits of the probiotic microorganisms that as explained earlier are excellent for gut health.
TEA - The tea used in kombucha can be oolong, green, black or white. The tea is needed for the fermentation process and also helps to add flavor.
SUGAR - Without sugar there would be no fermentation as the culture has no food to ferment. Simple table sugar is what the SCOBY prefers as it is the easiest type of sugar to digest. The SCOBY converts almost all of the sugar during the fermentation process and when finished the sugar content of the kombucha batch is very low. You can start off with approximately 1 cup of sugar and end up with approximately 2-3 grams of sugar per 235ml of kombucha. That is lower than most fruit juices and sodas.
You can make your own Kombucha at home, simple to prepare and it does not take much time. The process will need to be done in a very sterile environment due to the living bacteria used and contamination that can occur. A SCOBY can be re used and each batch of Kombucha makes a new SCOBY so people often sell them or give their SCOBY’s away. A quick google search may help you track one down or ask at your local health food store. If you would like to see how to make your own Kombucha from home watch this twelve-minute YouTube clip.
Store bought Kombucha can be very high in sugar if extra flavouring is added in so if you do purchase this drink be sure to check the sugar content first.
I found an amazing man in Sydney called Fernando who makes Kombucha from home and sells it. I call him the Kombucha King and am so grateful to have come across his website. The latest batch I was delivered by Fernando contained rose, lavender, hibiscus and elderflower flavoured Kombucha; all made with real flowers... so delicious. If you are in Sydney and are interested in trying some of Fernando's Kombucha click here to visit his website, alternatively his email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have you tried making your own Kombucha?