The Kombucha culture first began to spread from person to person in North America sometime in the early 1990’s, or even earlier. People made it in their kitchens and swore by it. Since then kombucha has become enormously popular as a pleasant, tea-based fermented beverage with a unique sweet and sour taste. Kombucha’s reputation as a healthy drink with a bewildering array of health benefits, true or not, has spread like wildfire in concert with the world wide web itself.
Kombucha indeed has a rich history and a mystique born of centuries of popularity among peasants and royalty alike. Though the exact origins of kombucha remain debatable, the most common story centers around China over two thousand years ago, with kombucha spreading throughout Asia and Europe, and finally to North America (and possibly alongside the spread of sugar technology). Everywhere kombucha has been touted as a health tonic, probably because tea is considered healthy and the fact that it is fermented, and fermented foods are healthy in general. But kombucha must also have been thought of as healthy for the same reason it is today – it makes you feel refreshed and rejuvenated.
Information on kombucha is widely available on the internet and on manufacturers’ websites. This blog will attempt to provide an honest basis for what kombucha is and isn’t, and will attempt to provide a scientific rationale for what we know. You may read things here that are in some ways different from the prevailing story of kombucha. You will also find explanations for how the kombucha fermentation works, and why kombucha possesses some of the health benefits that are claimed.
We look forward to hearing your questions, comments and anything you would like to share with us. Cheers!
Tea Tibet, a recently launched cause-related project of Portland-based Kombucha Wonder Drink, won two industry awards at this years’ Natural Products Expo East. Winning both the Most Innovative Product and Best of the Press Awards, is a tremendous honor and achievement for this first of its kind, 100% non-profit tea company. Tea Tibet’s sole mission is to produce the very best tea for the benefit of the Tibetan people. All profits (100%) from Tea Tibet support Tibetan educational projects, schools and orphanages. http://www.teatibet.org/
Kombucha is an energizing beverage with benefits. Pronounced [kom-boo’-cha] it is a sparkling fermented tea that tastes slightly tart, slightly sweet – and is really good for you. The fermentation of premium brewed tea may be accomplished by using an age-old recipe of special yeasts, bacteria and sugar often referred to by the acronym SCOBY, a Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast.
One common misconception is that Kombucha is made with mushrooms. Not true. The traditional fermentation method does create a pancake-shaped, mushroom-like zoogleal mat – a common biofilm of aggregated microorganisms. But think SCOBY, not mushrooms.
The most important byproduct of this magical symbiotic interaction is the creation of essential organic acids which the human body may use to help aid digestion and build the immune system.
The formation of acetic acid, one of the essential acids created, generates a feeling of well-being (also known as a “Kombucha buzz”) and also attributes naturally-occurring anti-microbial and detoxification characteristics through the process known as acetylation.
The presence of gluconic and lactic acids, two other predominant acids created during fermentation, help to facilitate proper liver-function. Gluconic acid also stimulates the growth of intestinal microflora which is essential for good health and promotes immune system health.
And premium tea solids attribute disease-fighting antioxidants and the amino acid, L-theanine both of which naturally works with the body to stave off illness.
With the introduction of fabulous flavorings, such as natural fruit concentrates, the finished product is a unique, effervescent beverage that is energizing and wildly good – and good for you!