The Kombucha Craze
Perhaps you’ve noticed - the mysterious mushroom tea trend is still going strong.
Kombucha is a fermented tea that’s packed with vitamins, antioxidants and probiotics, making it both delicious and good for you. It’s a living drink made by fermenting sweetened tea using a kombucha culture, or SCOBY, which stands for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. As the SCOBY “digests” the sugar in the tea, it generates a variety of probiotics, enzymes and amino acids, turning the initial tea into a nutrient-packed, tangy, effervescent health drink that’s also deliciously addictive.
Ancient healing tonic
The drink may be the new super-juice on the block, but this fermented tea has been around for more than 2,000 years. Kombucha can be traced back to ancient China where it was worshipped as a remedy for immortality. According to lore, the tea was introduced to Japan by a Korean physician named Dr. Kombu who gave the bacteria-laden liquid to a Japanese emperor as a digestive and healing tonic.
Store bought kombucha can be pricey but with a little patience and care you can make your own at home. Only four ingredients are required to make kombucha: water, tea, sugar and a kombucha culture (SCOBY). Selecting the right ingredients is key to creating a healthy environment for your SCOBY to grow, and for a quality final product. The “mother” culture that homebrewers use to make kombucha produce “daughter” or “kombucha babies” that are shared with friends or sold online — much like bread bakers pass along their coveted sour dough starters.
The water you use must be free from chlorine as well as all contaminants. The type of tea used is also important, as it will affect your SCOBY’s health as well as the taste of the final product. Choose an organic tea to avoid contaminants. Black and oolong teas are recommended, although for a milder tasting kombucha, you can use green tea as well. Always avoid teas containing oils or added flavors. Sugar is essential to the fermentation process; do not omit it or try to use another ingredient in its place. Don’t be tempted to use too little sugar in your mix or your SCOBY might starve!
If you’d like to try your hand at making homemade kombucha I recommend you follow the excellent instructions from Wellness Mama here: https://wellnessmama.com/2673/kombucha-recipe/
For more advice on how fermented foods like kombucha can help with your digestive issues and general health check out the Foodwise Digestive Health Plan at: https://www.foodwise.life/program/digestive-health