We all have friends who seem to stay up on the newest health fad or even the newest health drink. They are the ones that participated in hot yoga first and have been drinking kombucha before anyone knew what either one was. Now to be honest hot yoga is not for me, I have this worry I will start to sweat and the people around me would smell yeast and hops. After all, I do love my beer. I have decided to give kombucha a shot to see if I notice any health differences. Of course, I was determined to do some research on what exactly this ancient drink is and how it is even created.
What is kombucha? – Kombucha is a lightly fermented drink that uses black and or green tea. This drink had been known throughout Russia and Asia for centuries.
How is kombucha made? – Kombucha is made from tea, sugar, clean/purified water, and a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). The sugar feeds on the yeast and bacteria to create a thick layer called a SCOBY layer. This mushroomy looking layer adds flavor, acidity and helps with the fermentation process. Fermentation can take up to 14 days. Kombucha does have a trace amount of alchohol .3%-5%.
I have found there are some great and easy to follow web pages on how to brew your own at home. he one I am most interested in is from The Kitchn.
CAUTION – if you decide to brew kombucha at home you need to be aware of mold growing on your SCOBY layer. This will appear black, green and even blue. If this does occur you will need to re-start the process making sure you sanitize well.
Claims of health benefits – Kombucha is packed with probiotics and many believe there are a number of health benefits:
- digestive health
- increased energy
- immune function – I am hoping this will help during the NC springtime when everything is in bloom
- stress reliever
- possible liver dextoxifier
- weight loss stimulant
Now mind you these claims have not been verified by the FDA so as with anything health related, please consult your doctor before starting kombucha.
My personal experience with kombucha – When I decided to start trying this ancient drink I knew it would have to be local if possible. Charlotte is becoming a large city so the search was on. And low and behold!!! I found Lenny Boy Brewing Co. Lenny Boy produces the only all organic kombucha in the southeast. Awesome!! They are only a few miles from my house so this makes for a perfect pairing. I decided to try the Lost Rose kombucha right out of the bottle. This was full of flavor and the lemongrass creates a tart and almost spicy note at the end. I can see drinking this on a hot summer night.
Hubs has been drinking the Mint Condition. He is really enjoying the flavor and the carbonation is perfect. He says the mint and spearmint are refreshing.
So, the verdict is still out about if I will notice any life changing effect because I just started drinking kombucha. Needless to say I am hopeful. I am willing to give this ancient drink a try and maybe I will even start brewing and fermenting my own soon.