Kombucha - What's It All About?
If you’re an active member of the drinks community, you’re likely to have heard the word Kombucha come up a lot during recent years - but do you know what it is, and why this latest drink trend has come about? Let’s find out.
What Is Kombucha?
Kombucha is a fermented tea drink, commonly known for its supposed health benefits. It’s traditionally made using green, black or white tea, with the addition of a sweetener (usually white sugar) however other sweeteners like syrup, honey and maple are also known to have been used. This mixture is then fermented with the help of a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). Kombucha is ready to drink anywhere between 3-30 days after this process.
What Does Kombucha Taste Like?
Kombucha is a naturally fizzy drink due to the CO2 created during the fermentation process. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what Kombucha tastes like, as it tends to have a sweet, sour and vinegar flavour all in one. Some companies also like to add flavourings of their own to their Kombucha, such as blueberry, strawberry or apple, to give it a more sweeter taste.
Is Kombucha Alcoholic?
One of the most commonly asked Kombucha related questions is whether it contains alcohol - the simple answer? Yes. During the fermentation process, the bacteria and yeasts convert the sugar into ethanol, which in itself is alcoholic. This is only a tiny percentage of the drink though, which means that Kombucha isn’t classed as an alcoholic beverage. For example, a standard beer is 5% alcohol and a glass of wine 12% alcohol, but a typical Kombucha drink contains around 0.5%. This makes it qualify as a soft drink which is great for the Kombucha market now the non-alcoholic revolution has started!
What Are The Health Benefits Of Kombucha?
Kombucha is currently among the top-selling fermented drinks, with the Kombucha market value estimated to reach $1.8 billion by 2020! Reports suggest that this is due to its many proclaimed health benefits, which include:
- Gut health
- Weight Loss
- Liver Health
- Reduced risk of heart disease
- Management of type 2 diabetes
- Helping to protect against cancer
We know, they all sounds great, right? Unfortunately though none of the above, or any other claimed health benefits of Kombucha, have actually been scientifically proven - but this still doesn’t stop consumers!
Can You Make Kombucha At Home?
It is possible to make Kombucha at home, but it’s very important that it’s done right! If you don’t make or store your homemade Kombucha properly it can quickly become contaminated with mold or fungi which can make you ill.
Always remember to use sterile equipment and containers, along with a healthy SCOBY that doesn’t have signs of mold. Experts advise against making Kombucha at home due to the risk of illness, but many Kombucha superfans like to do so as it saves them money.
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