You’ve probably seen this fizzy tea at your local health food store, or heard the craze about its health benefits, but kombucha isn’t just a trendy health fad. The exact origin of Kombucha is unknown, but its been around for centuries + is used around the world as a health drink + this stuff actually tastes pretty great!
So — what exactly is it? Kombucha is brewed by combining black or green tea , sugar, fruit juice + a scooby [a symbiotic colony of yeast + bacteria] ++ allowing the mix to ferment. As the bacteria + yeast grow, a mushroom shaped cap forms — giving kombucha the nickname *mushroom tea*. The tea has a distinct sweet + tart flavor that can take a bit of getting used to. If you haven’t tried kombucha yet, be forewarned that it will not taste like regular fruit juice ; ).
Describing kombucha as strange is putting things lightly, we know, but you probably consume fermented foods often + without even thinking about it! Cheese, yogurt, + sourdough bread — all go through fermentation to give them their unique flavors + benefits.
It may sound *less than appealing*, but the fermentation process is used to develop the nutrients in kombucha — like antioxidants, B vitamins + probiotics that have people swooning over this *holistic* health drink. Kombucha doesn’t have much scientific back up just yet, but check out some of the most commonly claimed health benefits…
1] B VITAMINS
Many claim that kombucha is a great source of B vitamins — which can be beneficial for anything from slowing skin aging to strengthening your immune system, + much more.
2] MENTAL BOOST
The tea contains caffeine which some say offers a mental + energy boost, but the fermentation process also creates a small amount of alcohol which could help contribute to the feel-good vibes. Kombucha also contains a small amount of L-theanine [like matcha] which acts as a further mood booster.
3] PROBIOTICS FOR A HEALTHY GUT
Kombucha contains vinegar — which has long been used as a home remedy that aids in digestion, is good for the bacteria that lives inside your GI Tract. Just like our favorite apple cider vinegar, kombucha contains a “mother” [that cloudy stuff in the bottle] which is full of probiotics — the good-for-you bacteria also found in yogurt.
Kombucha is said to contain antioxidants which can help protect our bodies from toxins + keep it free from disease.
You can brew kombucha yourself in about 2-3 weeks by combining sugar, tea + a scoby. If you’re buying kombucha at the store, try and look for raw + unpasteurized varieties that are low in sugar. Pasteurizing the tea kills off the good-for-you-bacteria living inside, but when consuming raw products — it’s important to go look for high-quality.
Though the health benefits of kombucha have yet to be proven, it’s still one our go-to summertime drinks. Our favorite way to sip? GT’s Kombucha or our Sparkling Ginger Orange Tea! Give it a try + let us know what you think!
We’d love to hear your favorite kombucha flavors — leave us a comment + share your fav.
+ Teresa [@tasandoval], OSU CHAARG