What is Kombucha?
People often ask if the sugar used in fermentation process is bad for us. Sure, refined sugar is not desirable for our health, but in kombucha, most sugar has been consumed by SCOBY during fermentation process. Sucrose is turned into glucose and fructose then further to acetic acid, lactic acid, gluconic acids, and live probiotics. In a properly finished kombucha, all we get is residual sugar, acetic acid, potassium, magnesium, and probiotic in kombucha which are attributed to regulations of blood sugar and blood pressure, as well as detoxification of liver (see here and here).
WHAT MAKES OURS DIFFERENT THAN OTHER KOMBUCHA BRANDS:
Kombucha is a magical elixir, made with only four ingredients: tea, sugar, SCOBY, and time. Our kombucha is made with carefully selected tea leaves and premium unbleached cane sugar. We avoid tea bags, which generally are of lower quality tea, or basically tea dusts trapped in bleached paper bags. We raise our SCOBY organically and monitor them carefully to ensure the quality and proper balance of bacteria and yeast.
Our flavor concentrates are made with organic or non-pesticide all-natural and local ingredients (in an effort to minimize carbon footprints). Our kombucha is never pasteurized to preserve its live probiotic benefits. Our all-glass brew method is tailored to result in non-alcoholic kombucha.
STARTING A KOMBUCHA HABIT:
Start with half a glass with meals and then adjust the amount, frequency and timing as your body gets accustomed. Consuming kombucha first thing in the morning helps your digestion and stomach acid prepare themselves for a healthy physiology.
As variations, mix kombucha in smoothies, refreshing drinks, cocktails, mocktails, pressed juices with kombucha replacing any liquid needed in the recipes. Kombucha is delicious in desserts, confections, and salad dressing recipes. Check our 'the archives' in the homepage for some recipe ideas!
KEEP IT COOL:
To preserve the beneficial live microorganisms, never high-heat kombucha. Unfortunately, not all kombucha are created equal, some brewers partially pasteurize theirs, resulting in drinks with long shelf-life with only kombucha taste but without live probiotic benefits remaining. So always look and ask for a raw and all-natural one.
Carefully chilled, kombucha will last up to 6 months in a sealed bottles (although some swear that it lasts forever because of its acidity). Keep it refrigerated, however, otherwise it will keep fermenting and carbonating. After opening, finish your bottle in a week time.
Never shake kombucha bottle vigorously because of possible champagne-popping effect due to natural carbonation process.
WHEN NOT TO TAKE KOMBUCHA:
Just like any other things, stop consuming if you think you develop allergic reactions and prolonged adverse side-effects. Note, however, that 'healing crisis' (Herxheimer effect) might initially occur, where it usually gets worse before it gets better, and though it can be scary at first, this is the first wonderful step toward feeling better.
Example given, active bowel movement may initially occur and is actually desirable, as this indicates that your gut flora is balancing and body cleanse itself, so keep it up, you will feel better after couple of days of consumption.
When in doubt or if you have a severely compromised immune system, please consult your doctor.
Kombucha versus Water Kefir
Kombucha's closest rival in the market is Water Kefir. Tastes sweeter and not as tart, water kefir offers hydration like nothing else could compete. When you have to decide between the two, here are some pointers:
Kombucha can be an aid to digestion. In addition to the beneficial bacteria, it also contains some acids and enzymes to aid in the breaking down of food. Kombucha tea can contain caffeine, depending on the tea used.
Water kefir is more of a general probiotic beverage. While it does contain enzymes and acids, they don’t seem to have quite as strong an effect as those in kombucha. However, it is believed that water kefir contains a greater number of bacteria strains than those found in kombucha. Water kefir tends to be more fizzy, creating a natural-soda that you may find so refreshing.
Both beverages are beneficial in aiding natural systems of the body, and both are great for hydration. Depending on your needs, consuming one or both is a matter of individual taste. But why choose one when you can have both? Besides, the more probiotic strains, the healthier our gut will be, and the merrier we will be. Check our Probiotic Mic drink line that combines both kombucha and kefir in a bottle for maximum live probiotic benefits.