Go on then, let me in on the secret…what the hell is this stuff?
Kombucha is a fermented drink made from green or black tea, cane sugar and a probiotic live fungus culture called SCOBY (which stands for ‘Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast’). This colony grows on top of the beverage as it ferments, making Kombucha very much alive! These probiotic yeasts and bacterias, along with natural B vitamins, organic acids and antioxidants, have given kombucha a long historical reputation for working wonders for the mind and body.
What are Kombucha’s origins?
The history of kombucha is shrouded in mystery, and anyone who claims to know its exact origins is probably telling you porkies. Saying that, the general consensus is that this ancient tonic is over 2000 years old, with its roots in the Chinese Qin Dynasty (circa 200BC). The word ‘Cha’ means tea in Chinese, and the medicinal properties of Kombucha were so highly regarded that the drink gained the name ‘The Tea of Immortality’.
Others claim Kombucha originates from either Russia or Japan, although most experts believe its popularity spread to other parts of the East later down the line via the Silk Route. A fascinating legend tells of the fearsome Japanese Samurai warriors drinking kombucha to boost their Chi energy before going into battle (approximately 400AD). In Russia, Kombucha drinking can be traced back to 1900, where presumably it entered Europe: the first recorded mention of the drink on the continent was in Germany in 1913. After disappearing for a while during the first half of the 20th century, Kombucha exploded in popularity again during the 2000s in the USA, and is now (finally) making its star-spangled debut as the number one alternative to fizzy soft drinks in the UK!
Why am I suddenly hearing so much about it?
Kombucha is currently enjoying a resurgence and has become one of the world’s fastest-growing markets, reflecting the enormous popularity of fermented and organic food and drink in 2016. Kombucha’s rise to fame is probably part of a wider sea-change in attitude towards what we put into our bodies, with more and more people consciously choosing a more holistic, nutritious lifestyle.
What does it taste like?
Kombucha can be infused with almost any flavour you can think of: here at Equinox, we make original, Wild Berry, Ginger and Raspberry & Elderflower, with more exciting blends in the pipeline. All our kombucha is unpasteurised (this is a crucial element in keeping the SCOBY alive) and delicious, if we may say so ourselves!
Other Kombuchas could taste yucky or yummy depending on a lot of different factors. Being a ‘living tea’, each batch might taste different. Some tend to have an overpowering tangy vinegar taste (owing to the fermentation process), and if you’ve chosen to make your own bucha at home you might encounter problems getting rid of this at first. The internet is packed full of advice for first time ‘bucha brewers, but if you’d prefer to buy a bottle from the UK market leaders first to see what all the fuss is about, click here to visit our online store.