So, what is Kombucha?
Like Shakespeare’s famous rose, kombucha does in fact have many names—dozens to be precise—but sweet is probably not the best way to describe the smell (and taste) of this unique beverage. That being said, the many and growing number of claimed health benefits from this drink, regardless of its name, are very ‘sweet’ indeed.
Kombucha tea has a very mysterious air about it, likely because it has been such a hidden secret for hundreds of years.
But it’s definitely gaining a foothold in today’s culture, now even turning up in restaurants and bars!
Probably one of the most widespread misnomers about kombucha tea is that it’s made from mushrooms. While there are definitely no mushrooms in this drink, it’s easy to see why people might come to this conclusion—the resulting “blob,” called a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) that forms on the top of the brewed beverage, looks similar to a mushroom cap.
Kombucha tea is actually fermented by combining bacteria and yeast with sugar and black or green tea. Once the mixture is ferment for a few weeks, the result is a powerful health elixir full of countless nutrients, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, probiotics and organic acids. It’s hard to believe that to make kombucha you only need five ingredients!
- starter tea or vinegar
- kombucha SCOBY (also referred to as a starter culture, a mother)
That’s it! Simple enough, right? The differences in the resulting quality and type of kombucha you end up with come from a variety of things that I go into great detail about in my book, but, for now, if you have all five of these ingredients, you are on your way to making kombucha.