It's time to talk about Kombucha——you either love it, or you can't stand it, and many of us don't really know what it is. Its rising popularity is due to the crazy amount of options, flavors, and health myths. From supporting your immune system, to providing antioxidants, kombucha stands as a refreshing drink full of interesting flavor notes and mysterious composition.
Looking into how kombucha is made can turn off many inclinations to trying it. It is one of those things that you want to ingest without putting too much thought into where it came from. Put simply, kombucha is fermented tea consisting of bacteria and antioxidants. It is fermented through a culture called a SCOBY, usually consisting of yeast and bacteria. The SCOBY is essentially a blob that forms in the kombucha culture, and can be used to produce more kombucha. The brew is mixed and left to ferment for at least a week. The overall taste produced depends on the fermenting time, leaving a sweet or vinegar taste.
The unique taste could be what brings people to indulge in the fermented delicacy, but a lot of people believe in its health benefits too. Similar to taking a shot of apple cider vinegar, kombucha can support gut health. It is also believed that the bacteria and antioxidants in the drink help fight harmful bacteria that enters the body. It is hard to judge the truth of actual health benefits, but kombucha does contain healthy probiotics. Studies online also include benefits to fight liver diseases. There are also many extreme claims that kombucha might even help fight cancer and other diseases.
Probiotics help with digestion and good bacteria helps fight bad ones. This much is true for kombucha, yet many questions still arise to its quality of goodness. None of the acclaimed benefits can be measured completely because there is such little research done on its effects on human health. Therefore, it should not be concluded that drinking kombucha daily will save you from life threatening diseases. I can only wonder if all the bacteria produced by the SCOBY colony can be good for our health. However, like everything else sold in grocery stores, it is a risk you can take if you're interested.
Different kombucha drinkers prefer different kombucha brands, and some people even brew it in their own kitchens. Flavor preference is subjective. If your pallet is drawn to fruity and exotic flavors, Bellingham local, Kombucha Town is a tasty option. If you enjoy a gingery taste and fancy flavor combinations, then I would try Synergy or Brew Dr. Kombucha. A safe option for kombucha first-timers is Humm, for it has safe flavors, yet is still unique.
Kombucha is not for everyone, and with only the speculation of health benefits, may not even be worth is for everyone to try. Yet, its acquired taste and good bacteria is thriving in today's age. If you are able to look past the way it's made and its interesting smell, kombucha actually makes for a refreshing summer drink.