Other than being a really fun word to say it turns out this popular drink has a lot more to it than you might think.
On my recent trip to sunny San Diego I stopped by the sister shop of the Living Tea Brewing Co. to get a first hand lesson in what Kombucha is. A shop that I must confess I'm a tad bias to since my dearest friend Michelle, her boyfriend, Danny, and his dad, Bill, run it.
Having never been to an organic Kombucha tap room I had no idea what anything was. There isn't a lot of organic Kombucha shops poppin up around the Bay Area - I honestly know of none.
Anyways, not only did I get to try lots of yummy, fresh, ice cold, flavors of Kombucha (can you tell I'm a fan) I learned that this fizzy drink is actually pretty healthy for you.
Here is what I learned!
SO WHAT IS KOMBUCHA AKA "THE BUCH?"
It's may sound a little weird but it's fermented tea. However, it's this fermentation process that creates the probiotics. If you don't know what probiotics are allow me to sum it up for you. Probiotics are live microorganisms that help your digestive system and even your immune system, they are also known as healthy bacteria. BOOM...yay science!
Traditionally, Kombucha is made with sweet black tea but at the Living Tea Brewing Co you can find up to 12 different flavors. My favorite is the gut healthy blend of ginger and liver love with a shot of pear chai for some extra flavor.
WHY SHOULD I DRINK IT?
Most people drink it to help with digestion and energy levels. Kombucha, as we said, has a lot of probiotics and Vitamin B benefits. For example, say you had a delicious meal but now you are so full it's painful. You can drink a little bit of organic ginger Kombucha and it will help you digest your food quicker. It's also said that if over your lifetime you've had five courses of antibiotics your gut flora is probably all out of balance. So if you drink organic Kombucha it can really help you rebuild and balance out that gut flora.
KEEP THE BOUCH IT IN THE FRIDGE!
I say this because if you don't and you let Kombucha get to room temperature you run the risk of bottles poppin and not in a good way!
Kombucha is a living tea that all starts with this little guy called a scoby, which is a symbiotic colony of good bacteria and yeast. The scoby gets placed on top of the sweet tea and eats all the sugar in order to survive. By the time this part is done you are left with about two grams of sugar, maybe even less, per serving. Then when you add in the fruit juice the live enzymes that are leftover from the scoby feed off of the sugar in the juice. What happens when you allow Kombucha to reach room temperature those very enzymes and bacteria grow and multiply which can then cause your bottle to blow. Just picture a soda being shaken and exploding all over the place...same type of effect. However, if you keep it refrigerated the fermentation stops because it's too cold. So the bacteria and enzymes are still alive they just aren't able to multiply while in the fridge.
THERE'S A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN IN STORE AND ON TAP.
People are beginning to treat Kombucha like a healthy soda that you can buy in bottles at stores. Although yes you can absolutely treat Kombucha as a WAY healthier version of soda I would also be careful when purchasing in store. Manufactures are beginning to add more sugar into their mixtures along with other ingredients that only dilute the actual Kombucha in order to keep bottles from exploding on store shelves. All I can say is read your food labels and know what you're feeding your body before you purchase.
So what makes the buch different at the Living Tea Brewing Co? Their Kombucha is made with all organic ingredients, under goes a rigorous process just to be made, and is kept in temperature controlled kegs to ensure only the best Kombucha is served.
You won't be finding the Living Tea Brewing Co.'s Kombucha on store shelves but you can definitely find it at one of their two locations in San Diego. So if you happen to be taking a nice vacation this summer and enjoying the sunny weather of Southern California make sure to stop in grab yourself a glass and tell them I sent ya. Oh and make sure to follow them on Instagram!