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What is Kombucha and How Can it Increase Your Health?

By: Kithumini Jayasiri

What is Kombucha? Kombucha is a fermented drink made using tea, sugar, bacteria, and yeast. It is often sought after for its amazing health benefits. Russian scientists believed that people were immune to cancer because they drank this ancient elixir.

It has detoxifying effects because it is so rich in enzymes and bacterial acids that help aid the process in the body. As a probiotic drink, it helps reduce symptoms of things like depression and anxiety. Kombucha is also extremely rich in antioxidants, so it helps boost energy levels and strengthen the immune system.

Sounds magical, right? So how do you make this sorcery??? For starters, you need a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast). It may look like a squishy pancake disc. You can buy a starter colony to use in brewing your own kombucha tea. This disc is put into sweetened tea. As the culture takes in the sugar, organic acids, including glucuronic, lactic, and acetic acids, as well as vitamins and amino acids are produced. Fermenting for longer results in increased alcohol concentrations. If you go to a store, some bottles are marked, saying that you must be 21 or older to buy them.

Some people love the taste of kombucha, while others absolutely despise it. The first sip can either be like walking on clouds and hearing baby birds chirp and sing…or it can be the ABSOLUTE MOST HORRIFIC thing you have experienced. It is fizzy and has a bit of a vinegar-like smell and taste to it. But it tastes better than it smells! For the most part, kombucha will not taste like juice.

There are various brands that sell this drink and similar ones. One is KeVita—recently,  tried a probiotic drink made by KeVita, thinking that it was kombucha, but it was not. KeVita and kombucha are both fermented, but usually, kombucha is fermented with tea, and KeVita is fermented using coconut water or reverse osmosis water. KeVita claims that its flavor is not tart or vinegary, but it had a strange taste to it…to me, it was slightly vinegary. If you're specifically looking for kombucha, be sure to read the labels carefully! Not all probiotics are considered kombucha.

Personally, my two favorite brands are GT’s Kombucha Enlightened Synergy line and Health-Ade. I have tried Mystic Mango and Guava Goddess from the Enlightened Synergy line. Both tasted tart and sweet. I cannot stand vinegar, but the flavors were bearable and even tasty! The bottle is absolutely gorgeous! And as people are curious by nature, they began to question what I was drinking. Some took a whiff of the smell and almost started gagging, while others enjoyed the taste and even said that it reminded them of alcohol…never having had alcohol, I cannot speak to that, but it tastes like what I would imagine alcohol would taste like. I think I prefer the guava one over the mango though because it has less of a vinegary, tart taste. It resembles a slightly tangy guava juice! My ABSOLUTE favorite flavor is Health-Ade’s pink lady apple. It smells a little vinegary, but its taste is absolutely scrumptiously delightedly divine! It is reminiscent of apple cider, especially with its slight effervescence. I am not a huge fan of sweetened drinks, but this kombucha was perfectly sweetened. The 10% juiciness was balanced with the vinegary taste.

Overall: Kombucha flavors can be hit or miss, but kombucha itself is extremely good for you and something you should definitely try! Even if you cannot stand vinegar (like me), do not let that stop you from trying this wonderful beverage! I found myself feeling a little more alive and energized after drinking some! Bottles can start to get on the pricier side at about $3-7 each, but the benefits may make it all worthwhile. It may seem A LITTLE freaky at first to think that you’re drinking bacteria, but there is nothing to fear! This bacteria is good for you! LET THE SCOBY DO ITS THANGGG! :)

3 comments

Jan 15, 2016

Where would I find such a drink? Whole foods? Health food store? Interesting article

Cherol
Jan 15, 2016

Where would I find such a drink? Whole foods? Health food store? Interesting article

Cherok
Mar 12, 2015

Yes! finally Kombucha is surfacing lol I tried making my own with a scoby I got from a friend and its abit tricky! I found id rather buy them haha! Its very healthy and good for you, deff try it out :)

Tanya

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