Kombucha: What it is and what it’s good for

Posted by Kim on 2021 Jun 8th

Posted by Kim on 2021 Jun 8th

Your introduction to the friendly fermented drink

Kombucha has been around for thousands of years. Having originated in China in 200 B.C., the drink made its way west through Asia and Europe to eventually land in North America. Thanks to its start in grassroots circles in the United States in the 1980’s and early 90’s, kombucha has gone from an unknown drink to a popular choice over the past 10 years. In fact, Kombucha has become almost as readily available as a soft drink at a convenience store.

So, what’s all the fuss about? What makes this mysterious drink so special? What exactly is kombucha?

What is kombucha?

Kombucha is, quite simply, a fermented sweet tea.

The magic of kombucha comes when you add a SCOBY to cooled, sweetened steeped tea. SCOBY stands for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. This culture houses the acid-producing bacteria and sugar consuming yeast that turns your tea into kombucha. No SCOBY, no fermentation.

The most successful batches of home brewed kombucha begin with both a starter liquid (strong fermented kombucha from a previous batch) and a cellulose mat (both contain the SCOBY). This mat has been called many creative names including tea fungus, kombucha mushroom and kombucha mother, to name a few.

The kombucha cellulose mat sounds and looks weird. Couple this with the fact that many of us have never been exposed to kombucha brewing before, the brewing process might turn people off.

Some makers and kombucha enthusiasts give the impression that the process is complex and you need an acceptance to Hogwarts in order to understand the makings of kombucha. It’s no wonder that it seems intimidating.

We’re here to tell you there’s no need to be intimidated. Kombucha is your friend. Not only that, you can make it easily at home, no wizardry credentials required.

Kombucha may be mysterious, but it’s not difficult to make at home. But why make it at all? What are the benefits to brewing, fermenting, and drinking this ancient beverage? Read on.

What are the benefits of kombucha?

Over the years, the health claims surrounding kombucha have been vast and incredible. But, beware, many of these health claims are purely anecdotal and haven't been backed up by scientific studies.

As for what science has shown kombucha can offer, the news is good news.

The fermented drink contains vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other nutrients associated with a healthy diet. Kombucha is an especially rich source of Vitamin C and B-Vitamins, both known antioxidants. It has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, and has been shown to help regulate blood sugar levels.

Simply put, kombucha’s tea base and fermentation process offer the same benefits as other teas and fermented foods, namely improved digestion, boost to immunity, and it encourages the production of various gut bacteria.

The takeaway: Patience

At the end of the day, kombucha is a tasty drink with health benefits that’s easy to make at home. It’s no more difficult to ferment a batch of kombucha than it is to brew a pot of coffee or steep a pot of tea. The main difference is you have to wait a while (typically 7 to 10 days) for the fermentation to do it’s thing before you get kombucha, a tad more if you want a fizzy carbonated version.

We think the wait is worth it. The large batches you make of kombucha will last longer than any pot of coffee ever will and will cost you a fraction of what it would if you bought it at a store.

Are you ready to start brewing kombucha?

Interested in trying it for yourself? Check out the Heyday kombucha kits and discover the easiest way to get started brewing your own.

Pink Potion: A kombucha recipe that combines young leaf green tea with elderflowers for a low caffeine kombucha with a light refreshing fruity floral flavour. Pink Potion magically turns pink when it ferments.

Black Brew: A traditional kombucha recipe that uses premium high mountain tea leaves and ferments into a delightful kombucha with a caramel profile.

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