Updated: Dec 15, 2020
"Seriously.... WHAT IS FLOATING IN IT?"
Kombucha is a tangy, fizzy and refreshing fermented tea
It is kind of like a healthy pop, since it is carbonated and can have all sorts of different flavours.
WHERE CAN I FIND KOMBUCHA?
Trendiness has brought kombucha to most grocery stores, Walmart's and Costcos. Just remember to look for the bottle to say "raw" or "unpasteurized", otherwise there will be not probiotic benefit. To find unique flavours, unfiltered and small batched brews check your local health food stores and organic grocers.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO CONSUME KOMBUCHA?
I consume a bottle of kombucha whenever a fancy flavour crosses my path, or I visit a friend who brews it at home. Other times I find myself scouting it out when I am feeling bogged down, in need of a boost of energy, feel kind of toxic or if I feel like I have come in contact with some nasty germs, or someone sick. I have also found great success in tackling an upset stomach, gas cramping and monthly cramping with a couple bottles of kombucha followed by lots of fresh water.
BENEFITS OF KOMBUCHA:
As long as kombucha is consumed raw and unpasteurized there will be bacteria, enzymes and antioxidants that will benefit our body. The systems that may be benefitted are digestive, immune, hormone, circulatory and nervous systems. Still not sure about the importance of a balanced microbiome? Links below!
In Ayurveda (Indian Medicine) it is believed that we can squash cravings by satisfying all 6 tastes at and around meal times. The 6 tastes are sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent. Kombucha is both sour, astringent and depending on the flavour process can be somewhat sweet. That means kombucha can be effective in curbing cravings, weight-loss and boosting metabolism in-between meals.
Camellia sinensis is the tea plant. Did you know that green, black, oolong and white tea are all derived from the same plant? They are harvested at different times and dried / processed depending on the desired outcome. Tea is stimulating, boosts detoxification, aids digestion and contains various nutrients that benefit the body overall. Kombucha is fermented tea!
HOW DO WE GET OUR BENEFITS?
I personally love the taste of kombucha, my Brother and many of my friends do as well. It is easy for me to sit down and finish a whole bottle of kombucha with a smile. Last year, I even brewed it at home so we were drinking litres of it!
On the other hand, my Dad and a few of the people I work with really don't like the taste. In this case I would recommend shopping around for a brand that you may like. There are many different brewing techniques that use different types of tea and then are flavoured with different herbs and fruits. Still, if the taste is not your thing (perhaps treat it like an acquired taste), introduce a few mouthfuls at different times of the day and around different kinds of food, to find what works best for you. We can still gain the probiotic benefits with little amounts consumed on a regular basis.
HISTORY OF KOMBUCHA
Kombucha is brewed like alcohol, but with a combination of yeast and bacteria. Since the culture used in the brewing process looks so nasty we gave it a cute name. It's called a 'SCOBY', which is an acronym that stands for Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria & Yeast. It looks like a funky mushroom top or lump of mucus. Google an image of it, I skipped adding a picture here in fear of losing some readers! The SCOBY is responsible for consuming sugar and carbonating the final beverage. At the beginning of the brewing process there is sweetened tea, and by the end all the sugar has been converted into lactic acid, creating carbonation and a bubbly, tangy pop-like beverage.
Have you ever looked in the bottom of the glass or bottle of kombucha and wondered what the sediment floating around was? My Brother recently called me and asked me if he was supposed to "drink the gunk at the bottom of the bottle" and my response was 'YES!" Those particles floating around are remnants from the SCOBY and the most concentrated source of bacteria and enzyme in the beverage. Depending on the filtration processes, different amounts of the SCOBY particles will remain. If you don't like the idea of drinking it then shake or stir it into the tea so you don't notice it.