Simply put, kombucha is a fermented tea with origins dating back (approximately) to 221 B.C.E. The process begins with high quality, loose leaf tea and clean, filtered water which is then brewed to perfection. At this point, you have the highly civilized beverage we all know and love. Add some sugar, and you become a proper southern hostess. Next, we ferment.
Fermentation is a living process where bacteria and yeast convert sugar to beneficial acids. After fueling our tea with organic cane sugar, we top it with a Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast. SCOBY for short. This living culture consumes the nutrients and sugar in our sweet tea and produces acetic and other beneficial acids. The result is an effervescent beverage that is both tart and slightly sweet. The art is finding the right balance between the two. Depending on how active the culture is, the process lasts about 2 weeks. We refer to this as the first ferment.
Now you might be thinking, “People drink this stuff?!” Well, yes. Many people enjoy drinking kombucha after the first ferment and it is quite delicious! However, this tart/sweet base is perfect for an unlimited number of flavor combinations. Fruit, vegetables, herbs, aromatics and spices can be added at this point for a second ferment which lasts another 2 to 3 days. The organisms within the tea break down the additional nutrients and sugar, producing our uniquely bold flavors.
The science on kombucha and gut health is a rapidly growing area of study, and we are excited to see the results. In the meantime, if you are looking for a natural, low sugar alternative to your diet soda habit, try kombucha!