Kombucha is a fermented beverage of black tea or green tea. It is lightly carbonated, usually sweet, and contains a colony of bacteria and yeast. Though the exact origins of this super elixir are unknown, it is said to have originated in the Far East around 220 BCE. There are many health benefits to consuming Kombucha, but like anything else, more studies need to be conducted to confirm these claims. Some of these benefits include:
- Assisting in digestion
- Proper functioning of the cardiovascular system
- Providing an boost in energy
- Promoting a healthy state of mind
- Protecting cellular damage
- Helping to manage diabetes
- Detoxifying the liver
Exactly what is contained in Kombucha involves some science. You have the tea of your choice and a sweetener. You will also need something called SCOBY, which stands for Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast. This SCOBY is also referred to as the "Mother" or "Kombucha Culture". When the SCOBY comes in contact with the nutrients in the tea and the sugar that acts as food, the initial fermentation process is underway. After the second fermentation, the Kombucha becomes an effervescent concoction of vinegar, vitamins, enzymes, probiotics and various acids. Everything needed to help you stay healthy!
Now, you're probably wondering what SCOBY is made of. Well, it’s basically a culture of specialized cells. The bacteria portion consists of the following:
The yeast component includes Saccharomyces and a few other species. A lot to digest, and definitely beyond the scope of this humble post. However, know that this culture works together with the tea and sugar to create Kombucha. It's a "symbiotic" relationship and it’s all good!
Now that you have an idea of what Kombucha is and some understanding of what it’s made of, it’s time to make your very own Kombucha! Hey, why not? The beverages sold in the stores are not cheap and it’s actually super easy to make. It just involves a little nurturing and patience. I’ll take you through the first phase next time!