Many of you have tried our kombucha which we’ve been offering for the last couple of months and it’s received a great response. Maybe you’ve noticed it in stores and wondered about it but have not yet tried it. So, what is kombucha?
Kombucha is fermented sweet tea. Fermented?? Why would you ferment tea and why would you drink it? Well, we eat many other fermented foods … beer, wine, yogurt, sourdough bread, cheese, olives, soy sauce, many vinegars, coffee, and chocolate are all fermented. These are some of our favorite foods! The fermentation process preserves food, makes it more flavorful and digestible, makes nutrients more bioavailable, breaks down certain toxic compounds, and produces others that are beneficial.
More specifically, kombucha has been observed to promote healthy bacteria in the gut, rebalance homeostasis in the body, support healthy liver function, boost metabolism, improve digestive function, boost energy, reduce blood pressure, reduce occurrence and size of kidney stones, destroy free radicals, aid healthy cell regeneration, and lower glucose levels. That’s not just folklore. Specific compounds in the kombucha have been proven to have certain effects in the body. But aside from all that, it just tastes great!
During the fermentation process, bacteria and yeast in a living culture consume the sugars in the tea and produce all the other magic we mentioned. Every starter is different and every batch of kombucha will taste different, even using the same starter, based on weather or what other microorganisms are in the air. Two identically prepared batches of kombucha may taste or look different. We can never perfectly control the kombucha brew, and that is part of the joy of fermentation: it is a living process.
So you may notice that the same flavor of kombucha will taste different from week to week and that is perfectly normal. Because kombucha is a living and not a dead food, there will be variation. We are always troubleshooting our brew to keep it in a good taste balance with a great fizz. That said, if you find your kombucha a little too much on the sweet end, simply leave it unrefrigerated for a few hours to give the microorganisms a chance to finish their sugar meal. Is it a little too vinegary for your taste? Add a touch of sugar or juice and refrigerate.
It’s also important to remember to always refrigerate your kombucha as the fermentation process may still be working on undigested sugars in the bottle which could lead to glass breakage as the carbon dioxide builds up.
So why purchase our kombucha instead of commercially brewed kombucha found in stores?
Kombucha found in stores is limited by the bottling and distribution process. The fermentation and culturing of the kombucha has to be suppressed by pasteurization to prevent continued carbonation or the bottles could explode during shipping or in the store. This kills all the probiotics, changes the beneficial acid content, and destroys other compounds created by the fermentation process. By pasteurizing, they are usually able to distribute a very consistent product. But since we sell directly to the consumer, we can preserve all the healthy benefits of this delicious beverage.
Do you have a favorite kombucha flavor? Let us know if you’d like to see us produce something other than our current ginger cranberry, apple cinnamon or blueberry flavors!