What is Kombucha?
Dubbed as immortal health elixir, kombucha is made by fermenting sweetened tea with symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY) for at least 7 days, resulting in a probiotic-rich elixir with at least 7 kinds of beneficial bacteria and yeasts. It is commonly used for detoxifying liver, aiding gut and digestion health, protecting joints, and boosting immune system. It also contains lots of B vitamins and enzymes, and antioxidants; therefore, taken regularly, kombucha will make you feel much more rejuvenated, stay slim and younger, too.
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 onto acetic acid, lactic acid, and live-probiotics. In finished kombucha, in short, all we get is residual sugar, and what's cool is, acetic acid, potassium, magnesium, and probiotic in kombucha are said to actually help regulate blood sugar and blood pressure, as well as detoxify 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 superior quality unbleached cane sugar. We never made ours with tea bags, which generally are of lower quality tea or tea dusts trapped in bleached paper bags. Our scoby is raised organically and carefully monitored to ensure high quality and balance of bacteria and yeast. Our flavors come from organic all-natural, made from scratch flavor concentrates. Better yet, we only use local ingredients, to minimize carbon footprints. Our kombucha is never pasteurized to preserve its live probiotic benefits. Our brew method is tailored to ensure no alcohol content.
STARTING A KOMBUCHA HABIT:
Start with half a glass with meals and then adjust the amount, frequency and timing as your body gets accustomed. As a variation, you can consume kombucha in smoothies, refreshing drinks, cocktails, mocktails, pressed juices with kombucha replacing any liquid needed in the recipes. You will surely enjoy kombucha in desserts, confections, and salad dressings. See sample of recipes here.
KEEP IT COOL:
To preserve the beneficial live microorganisms, never high-heat kombucha. Unfortunately, not all kombucha are created equal, some brewers pasteurize theirs, resulting in drinks with long shelf-life with only kombucha taste but without live probiotic benefits. 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
Note: active bowel movement can 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.
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, water kefir contains a greater number of bacteria strains than those found in kombucha.
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.
Read Next: What is Kefir?
Read Next: What is Water Kefir?
Read Next: What is Probiotic?