Have you tried kombucha yet? It's a fermented tea that has been around for centuries, but has become quite popular in recent years. And why shouldn't it be - it's both delicious and nutritious! However, there is a little bit of mystery surrounding this trendy beverage. What gives kombucha its characteristic taste? Is there anything else in there besides fermented tea? Just how is kombucha made? In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the kombucha brewing process and explain how this ancient drink is made.
It Starts with Sweet Tea All kombucha starts with a base of sweet tea. This can be any type of tea, but black and green teas are most commonly used. The tea is brewed using hot water and then sweetened with sugar. This combination of sweet tea is then left to cool before moving on to the next step.
Adding the SCOBY The next step is to add the SCOBY, or symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast, to the sweet tea. The SCOBY will eat the sugars in the tea and convert them into alcohol. This is what gives kombucha its slightly effervescent, alcoholic taste. Once the SCOBY is added, the mixture is then covered and left to ferment for anywhere from one to four weeks.
The Fermentation Process During fermentation, the SCOBY will continue to eat the sugars in the sweet tea and convert them into alcohol. However, the fermentation process also produces acetic acid and other compounds that give kombucha its characteristic sour taste. The longer it ferments, the more sour it will become.
Flavouring Once fermentation is complete, the kombucha can be flavoured with fruit, herbs, or other flavourings. This is also typically the point at which carbonation is added to the mixture. The flavoured kombucha is then bottled and left to carbonate for a few days before being refrigerated.
Storage and Shelf Life Kombucha will continue to ferment even after it has been bottled and refrigerated. For this reason, it is important to leave a little bit of headspace in each bottle. Kombucha can be stored in the fridge for up to two months, but it is best to consume it within the first few weeks for the best flavour.
Benefits of Kombucha So why do so many people go out of their way to drink this fermented tea? Kombucha is probably best known for being full of probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that can help improve gut health. However, it's also a good source of antioxidants, and has even been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. This makes it especially good for people with digestive issues like IBS or Crohn's disease. But that's not all! In addition, kombucha may boost your energy levels, improve your mood, and even help you lose weight. So if you're looking for a healthy beverage that does more than just quench your thirst, kombucha is a great option.
Cheers! There you have it! Now that you know a little more about how kombucha is made - not to mention its many benefits - you can appreciate this delicious drink even more. So go ahead and give it a try - your gut (and taste buds) will thank you! Looking for some healthy food to go with such a healthy beverage? Check out our menu at Sõl Kitchen here, and drop by for a bite today!