Kombucha is here to stay. In case you've been oblivious to the newest beverage craze, kombucha is an up-and-coming alternative health drink to replace sugar-laden soda pops. It may have started out as a niche drink for ferment-loving enthusiasts, but this fizzy tea drink has since reinvented to seamlessly satisfy mainstream tastes. The health benefits of fermented tea make it an attractive alternative to both alcoholic beverages and soda pop.
You may still be wondering what exactly this drink is, and more importantly how it tastes! Let me fill you in. Kombucha is a bubbly fermented tea drink, usually spiked with flavorings and add-ins. It has a sweet and tart base reminiscent of sparkling apple cider which pairs wonderfully with fruit juices, herbs, spices and different tea varieties.
Kombucha can be made from white, green, black or oolong tea which provide the necessary nutrients for the fermentation process to take place. This happens with the use of a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, known as a "SCOBY" for short.
This is where things get pretty hippie-dippie, but I promise it's worth sticking around for! This magical SCOBY looks like a big mushroom that floats in the kombucha and allows the fermentation process to do its thing. This is what gives the drink such impressive health benefits, and don't worry; the final fermented tea product is just the strained soda pop-esque liquid with no SCOBY solids in sight.
The health benefits of fermented tea drinks like kombucha are vast and somewhat understudied, so there are plenty of unsubstantiated claims floating around. However, there are some health-boosting qualities that we know for SURE it possesses. Kombucha contains probiotics, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and several organic acids with health boosting properties. If that sounds like a bunch of science mumbo jumbo to you, allow me to briefly break it down!
Probiotics are live bacteria leftover from the fermentation process that populates your gut microbiome. This is an extremely trendy topic in the wellness industry since we've recently learned just how big of a factor gut health can be for skin, energy, immunity, digestion, and even your mood.
The extra dose of vitamins and minerals certainly doesn't hurt either. The exact nutrient content of each kombucha will vary depending on the ingredients used as well as the preparation process. Generally, kombucha is a great source of several b vitamins, vitamin c, potassium, as well as a decent source of many other nutrients. These vitamins along with a handful of other organic substances give kombucha its well-known antioxidant benefits which may protect against cell damage and fight inflammation.
All of this sounds wonderful, but what's even more important for any beverage is obviously still the taste! After all, what good is a health boosting beverage if no one wants to drink it? Luckily for you, the world of fermented teas has expanded to include an amazing selection of flavors and packaging options. There are kombucha that take on the tastes of nostalgic soda pops flavors or put a healthy spin on spritzers, and still some that go in a fresh and fruity direction with exciting ingredient combinations.
There's a kombucha out there for everyone. It has all the bubbly deliciousness of soda pop minus the harmful ingredients. There's so much to love about this new trendy drink, and I strongly recommend you don't knock it till you try it.