Kombucha- What is it?
Some call it the Immortal Health Elixir and it is over 2,000 years old. So you may be wondering, Kombucha- What is it?
It is fermented tea, normally made with either black or green tea and sugar. There is a little carbonated and the can be made into many delicious flavors. When it is ready it may have a slight vinegar smell but should not taste vinegary.
Kombucha sounds like it is complicated but really kombucha is just a few simple ingredients.
Basic Kombucha is made with caffeinated black or green tea, sugar and a scoby.
What is a Scoby?
A scoby is a “symbiotic ‘colony’ of bacteria and yeast”. This is the most important part of making Kombucha. Without the Scoby you just have sweet tea but add in the Scoby for about 7 days and it feeds on the caffeine and sugar and turns your ordinary sweet tea into delicious fermented tea-Kombucha.
You can drink it just like this or second ferment it to add flavor and carbonation.
Buying a scoby
If you are wondering where in the world am I going to get this scoby thing. Don’t worry. See the links below for some scoby options and kombucha starter kits.
Benefits of Kombucha
After fermentation kombucha becomes carbonated and contains vinegar, b-vitamins, enzymes, probiotics.
Some possible good side effects:
Cleansing and Detoxification
Reduced Joint Pain
Some Possible negative side effects:
Some people have experienced stomach upset, infections and allergic reactions. It is from the acidity that this can cause problems for people with digestive problems like stomach ulcers, heartburn, or any sensitivity to very acidic foods.
Start with a small amount in moderation and gradually work your way up to drinking more to see if you have any negative reaction to it. To limit your risk, buy pre-made kombucha that’s been tested for bacterial contamination. Make sure to sterilize any equipment or bottles you are using when making Kombucha at home.
Those with very poor immune systems, pregnant women and young children would be wise to not drink Kombucha.
Anyone who is avoiding alcohol or caffeine might want to avoid drinking Kombucha also.
To drink or not to drink Kombucha?
After weighing the possible good side effects vs the possible bad side effects it is up to each one individually to decide if they want to try Kombucha. I like brewing my own and coming up with flavors I like. It is also much less expensive to brew at home but if one is concerned about quality control they they might want to buy it from their local health food store, Wegmans or Whole Foods.
My reasons for drinking Kombucha are that it taste good, has only about 35-60 calories per 16 oz and makes me feel good.
Next time your drinking a Kombucha and someone says to you “Hey, so Kombucha- What is it?” You will have the answer.