Kombucha is a fermented drink made from tea, sugar and a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. This is also called SCOBY, or “Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast”. During the fermentation process, the bacteria and yeasts convert the sugar into various acids and compounds, changing the taste and texture of the drink.
Kombucha has been drunk for centuries and originally comes from China. It is considered a probiotic drink because of the many health benefits it can provide. Many different flavors and variations of kombucha are available, depending on the tea used and any additives such as fruit or spices.
How is kombucha made?
Below you will find a step-by-step explanation of the process. If you have the ingredients at home, you can prepare this quite easily.
Make a sweet tea by brewing tea leaves (usually black or green tea) and adding sugar. The ratio of tea and sugar is usually 1:8 or 1:10.
- Let the tea cool to room temperature.
- Add the SCOBY to the cooled tea. The SCOBY is a rubbery disc made up of bacteria and yeast. It may look a little strange, but it is an important part of the fermentation process.
- Cover the bowl with a cloth and leave in a warm place. The fermentation process can take several days to several weeks, depending on the desired flavor and strength.
- After the fermentation period, you can separate the kombucha from the SCOBY. The SCOBY can be reused for a next batch of kombucha.
- Store the kombucha in a sealed bottle or jar in the refrigerator.
- The fermentation process converts the sugar into acids and compounds, which creates kombucha's characteristic taste and texture.
The resulting drink has a slightly sour taste and can be a bit fizzy. Any flavorings or additives such as fruit or spices can be added during the fermentation period or to the finished kombucha.
Health benefits of kombucha
While there is not yet scientific evidence for most of the potential health benefits of kombucha, it appears that drinking it may provide some potential health benefits. For example, it contains probiotics, which can help maintain healthy gut flora and digestion, as well as immune and general health. Kombucha also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which may help neutralize free radicals in the body, which can lead to cell damage and inflammation associated with chronic disease. Still, more research is needed to confirm specific health effects.
Trends in kombucha
Kombucha has gained popularity in recent years and there are several trends in the world of kombucha that are currently notable. Following are some of these trends:
- Diverse Flavors and Varieties: Kombucha is growing in popularity and there are more and more flavors and varieties available. In addition to the traditional flavors such as ginger, lemon and berries, there are also new flavors such as hibiscus, turmeric and cocoa.
- Organic and sustainable ingredients: There is a growing demand for organic and sustainable ingredients in kombucha. Many producers have started using organically grown teas and fruits, or started using local ingredients.
- Kombucha Cocktails: Kombucha is increasingly becoming an ingredient in cocktails, where it is used as an alternative to soda or other fizzy drinks.
- Homemade kombucha: More and more people are making their own kombucha at home because it is easy to make and you have full control over the ingredients and flavors.
All in all, it looks like kombucha has made an enduring place as a popular drink, with new flavors and variants continuing to emerge.
Got a craving for kombucha? Discover MANI's refreshing and healthy kombuchas, made from a blend of green tea, black tea and verveine, fermented for several days with blond cane sugar. After this first fermentation, the drink undergoes a second fermentation with fruit juices and/or spices, resulting in a delicious, slightly fizzy drink. Try it for yourself and check out our range of all four flavours.