Behind The Brew: Kombucha

kombucha

Do you drink Kombucha? I remember the first time Kat tried it. A friend brought a bottle over after her trip to the local health-food store. Kat smelled the fizzy, tangy drink and was quite skeptical. She asked her friend what it was, and when she learned it was a type of fermented tea, the confused look on Kat’s face made me laugh so hard I was rattling in my saucer. After a few sips she declared the tart, slightly sweet bubbly beverage surprisingly good.

Before we get into the specifics of the brew, let’s talk about pronunciation. It’s kom-boocha, which is a little different than how it looks. Kombucha is made by combining tea, sugar, and a special culture of bacteria and yeast referred to as a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). Dearies, the scoby isn’t a pretty thing. It looks similar to a slimy pancake. But this odd rubbery thing is quite magical. After a couple of weeks of fermentation, you get a tangy, sour, and slightly sweet beverage. A type of tea unlike any other. The teas can also be flavored with many different things from berries to ginger and herbs.

kombucha2

Kombucha has been sipped since the Tsin dynasty in China, in 212BC! It has popped up in various cultures up through history. It has been a prominent beverage in Russian and Ukrainian cultures. They call the scoby a ‘tea mushroom’ and the kombucha is called kvass.

Store bought kombucha is often flavored. Every time Kat sees a new flavor in the grocery store she just can’t resist picking it up. So far her favorites are lemon, ginger, and hibiscus. Ginger is her current obsession, she loves how it gives the sour beverage an extra zing. Most of the bottles Kat has brought home are made with a black or green tea base, and the other ingredients for flavoring are added after fermentation. Kat enjoys this effervescent sour drink whenever she needs a bit of refreshment. It is quite thirst quenching!So, be honest with me. Do you enjoy Kombucha? Even if you haven’t had it, I’m sure you’ve seen it in the store. It is fairly easy to find these days. This fizzy, tangy drink is a bit of an acquired taste but if you haven’t tried it, you must have it at least once!

Did you know that you can even brew kombucha yourself? It requires a scoby of your very own, which I must admit dearies, looks like a Halloween science experiment. But the results are delicious! You start off with a mixture of tea and sweetener, let the brew ferment with the scoby for a few weeks, and you are gifted with a tangy, pungent tea. You’ll get so much of it that you can share with your friends! This website gives a good tutorial on how to make your own Kombucha. You’ll have to get a scoby either from a friend, a kombucha supply store, or you can even grown one on your own, if you are brave enough!

What are some of your favorite kombucha flavors? Do you brew your own? I’d love to hear what you think about this unique tea.

Disclaimer: the external links on this post are simply used as an example. Please do not hold Tippy responsible for any changes or future content of these external links.

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