Brewing Kombucha – the Superhero of Teas

A fermented super-tea brimming with probiotics, vitamins and minerals. 

Originating in ancient Northeast China around 220 B.C., Kombucha has risen from obscurity to being celebrated by stars such as Lady Gaga and Madonna. So, what’s all the hype about this ancient fermented drink? Let’s take a closer look at the health benefits, the ingredients and how to make your own home brew. 

What is Kombucha?

Kombucha is a sweetened tea that is fermented using tea, sugar and a kombucha culture. This culture is called a SCOBY and stands for Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast. It tastes like a fizzy juice with a balance of sweet and tart flavours.

What are the benefits of drinking kombucha?

During the fermentation process, the SCOBY breaks down and consumes the sugar and in turn, produces a range of organic acids, vitamins B and C, enzymes and amino acids along with billions of probiotic microorganisms. The real benefits come from this fermentation process, which include: 

  • Provides a natural source of antioxidants, which protect the body from potential damage from free radicals.
  • Supports the immune system by detoxifying the liver and improving the efficiency of the digestive system. 
  • Produces probiotics and enzymes, which support the healthy bacteria in the gut and efficient digestion. It’s important to fuel probiotics with prebiotics. Learn more about prebiotics here.
  • Contains detoxifiers that help in breaking down and eliminating heavy metals and other toxins from the body.
  • Fermented foods help to make serotonin in the gut, giving you those ‘feel-good’ chemicals in the brain, improving mood and mental health.
  • Provides an extra boost of beneficial nutrients to supplement a healthy diet (you can’t live on kombucha alone!).

Is Kombucha an adaptogen? 

Yes! Adaptogens are amazing as they stimulate the immune system and normalizes metabolism. This brings the body back into balance where it will naturally heal itself and maintain well-functioning systems. This provides unique benefits to meet the individual’s needs. 

Is kombucha suitable for low sugar diets?

Sugar is used in the kombucha recipe in order to feed the bacteria and yeast in the SCOBY. Most of the sugar is consumed during the fermentation process. The amount of sugar remaining in the tea depends on how long it is left to ferment. The longer the fermentation process, the more sugar consumed. However, the tradeoff is the sweetness. The longer it ferments the more tart it will become.

Why is kombucha fizzy?

The natural carbonation in kombucha comes from the fermentation process that occurs between the SCOBY and sugar. When the fermented tea is bottled and the lid closed tightly, it continues to ferment, creating a natural carbonation. This highlights the “living’ energy in this super-tea.  

Can I make Kombucha?

Definitely! If you’re a fan of kombucha and want to drink it regularly, making your own is worthwhile and cheaper than buying it in the shop. Once you’re set up and get the hang of it, brewing your own Kombucha is easy, rewarding and cost effective.

You can choose what type of tea to use –  green tea, black tea, herbal tea or even rooibos tea.  Get the perfect sweet-tart balance by letting it ferment the right amount of time.  And feel good when you share your own home brew with family and friends. 

Kombucha is a tasty way to get your daily fix of probiotics. Start a new healthy habit this year by making your own. Feel good about supporting Fairtrade and organic tea producers with the delicious flavour varieties by Clipper. This simple recipe will help you get started. Another option is to get a Kombucha starter kit.