Have you heard of Kombucha tea? Perhaps you have heard of it by alternative names, such as Chinese tea, mushroom tea or red tea. For those of you that don’t know, Kombucha tea is an organic beverage that is fermented with a living culture of microorganisms. The actual ingredient in Kombucha is mushroom cake “mother”, black tea and sugar with boiling water.
During the brewing process, Kombucha looks similar to a science project that you would find on Star Trek. Essential nutrients are formed, such as active enzymes, viable pro-biotics, amino acids, antioxidants, and polyphenols.
If you caught the terms brewing and fermentation, you would probably guess that some by-product would be alcohol and you would be right. In fact, over the summer Kombucha manufactures had to pull their products out of all the retail stores due to a label conflict with actual amounts of alcohol. This is due to Kombucha tea being in a continuous state of fermentation (Note the amount of alcohol is minuscule 0.5 percent with a +/- 0.2 variation). Fermentation is the natural state of the Kombucha; this prevents the need of pasteurizing that is recommended by the FDA.
So why are people around the world drinking this 1700-year-old Chinese Tea? Kombucha was originally called the “Immortal Health Elixir” used by Chinese physicians to cure a variety of aliments. Germany later used Kombucha in World War II to treat cancer patients, metabolic disorders, high blood pressure and diabetes. The most noticeable benefits of drinking Kombucha tea are enhanced energy levels, weight loss, hair, skin, and cell rejuvenation.
Please understand Kombucha tea is not a miracle drink that is going to cure all. The best suggestion for drinking Kombucha tea is the unique thirst quenching taste. Many do swear by its abilities to cure hangovers.
Most notably to those who have become addicted to Kombucha, finding no substitution or release from the ongoing obsession drove avid drinkers to reading blogs to discover any hint of when their favorite drink would be back on shelves. Petitions were signed. Some people went to the extent of brewing their own Kombucha tea. (More failed attempts than successes from what I have heard).
Kombucha is back. The prohibition is over. Local grocery stores are stocking the shelves with your favorite brands of Kombucha. To prevent the variation of alcohol, the Kombucha tea has been bottled earlier in the process, subduing the strong vinegar taste most have been accustomed to. Recommended by retailers is to buy your Kombucha tea a week to a month prior to opening. This will allow the fermentation time to be equivalent to past shelf dates.
You can find more information on the Internet about Kombucha and how to make your own tea at home.
Most notable brands: Honest Kombucha and GT’s Kombucha