Kombucha is experiencing a meteoric rise in the beverage world. Once a niche product hidden away on the shelves of health food stores, it’s now gone mainstream! We’re seeing it in supermarkets, convenience stores, bars and cafes, in a whole host of flavours. So what exactly is kombucha, and is it really that good for you? Where did it come from, and why are we only just discovering it now?
We had a chat with our friends at Mighty Brew to lift the lid on all things kombucha!
What is kombucha?
NTD: We’re seeing kombucha everywhere these days, what exactly is it?
MB: Originating in China more than 2,000 years ago, kombucha is a sparkling fermented tea, made from a blend of water, tea, sugar and a special live culture called a ‘SCOBY’, or a ‘symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast’. The ‘SCOBY’ starts the fermentation process in the blend, converting the sugar, caffeine tannin and the remaining ingredients of the tea. The result is a lightly sparkling fermented tea, naturally rich in live cultures and packed with a multitude of nature’s goodness.
Is it alcoholic?
NTD: Kombucha is a fermented drink, and alcohol is a naturally occurring by-product of any fermentation process. However, kombucha does only contain trace elements of alcohol, less than 0.5%. So Kombucha is classed as a non-alcoholic drink?
MB: It’s the perfect refreshment when you’re looking for an alternative to sugary soft drinks, a flavourful non-alcoholic beverage to pair with food, to drink on its own, or an imaginative mixer for a whole host of cocktails and mocktails.
What does it taste like?
NTD: You can find so many different flavours of kombucha, but what does an ‘original’ kombucha taste like?
MB: The taste of kombucha varies depending on the choice of fermented tea used to make it. The result is a drink that is slightly astringent in taste, thanks to the beneficial acids and vinegars, and low amount of remaining sugars.
Mighty Brew Kombucha is made with organic Sencha green tea leaves giving it a fragrant, fresh, crisp taste similar to a light sparkling apple juice, cider or champagne. You can choose our original Sencha Kombucha or try one of our premium brewed botanical kombuchas, such as Sencha, Jasmine, Lemongrass or Hemp.
How is it made?
NTD: Kombucha dates back thousands of years, so is there a traditional way in which to make kombucha?
MB: Yes, the process of preparing Mighty Brew Kombucha follows time-honoured traditions and involves a double fermentation process. A SCOBY (a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) from our Mother Culture is placed in a tea mixture and sweetened with raw cane sugar. The brew is left to ferment at room temperature (first fermentation). The sugar is consumed by the culture, converting it into health-giving energies. We then infuse the brew with natural botanicals and leave it to ferment (second fermentation). At the optimum moment, our raw, unpasteurised Mighty Brew Kombucha is then bottled. This is artisan brewing at its best and we invest both love and dedication to the entire process – reaping exceptional taste as a result!
NTD: There seems to have been an explosion in kombucha’s popularity, why do you think it’s become popular now?
MB: People are becoming increasingly aware of taking closer attention to what they eat and any potential health benefits. Kombucha is a great way to assist the proper functioning of the body. Along with being a fun, flavourful and energising non-alcoholic, low-sugar beverage for all the family.
What are the health benefits?
NTD: there are many health benefits claimed for kombucha. in your opinion what are the main ones?
MB: When it comes to health benefits, ideally you want to pick a raw, unpasteurised kombucha like Mighty Brew which follows the double-fermentation process and is made with the finest and freshest fully Certified Soil Association and Vegan Certified ingredients. Being free from all flavours, colours, preservatives, sweeteners and GMOs. Raw, unpasteurised kombucha is naturally rich in live cultures and packed with a multitude of nature’s goodness including minerals, vitamins, organic acids and nutrients indispensable for the proper functioning of the body.
One of the most common reasons people drink Kombucha is for the probiotics the drink contains. If your kombucha is raw and unpasteurised, it’s full of the probiotics from the live bacteria and yeast. You naturally have bacteria in your digestive tract but with our modern diet, this microflora might not be at its best. Adding probiotics into your diet, can promote healthier bacteria to grow and translate into better digestion.