I recently posted a Facebook status expressing my joy that Whole Foods market was carrying Kombucha again. I heard that due to the tiny, tiny, alcohol content they suspended the sale for a while. Does this mean that I may have developed a bit of an addiction to the fizzy tea and I shed a little tear when it left the shelves? Maybe! Anyway, I received a lot of questions about the drink on Facebook and so I thought I would do a little research above and beyond the fact that I like the taste.
What is Kombucha?
So, if you trust the GT’s Kombucha bottle (the leader in the commercial selling of Kombucha), this is their definition: KOMBUCHA (pronounced Kom-BOO-cha) is a handmade Chinese tea that is delicately cultured for 30 days. During this time, essential nutrients form like active enzymes, viable probiotics, amino acids, antioxidants and polyphenols.
GT’s marketing is prime. Not only do they list sparkly “buzz” words like “antioxidants and polyphenols,” but their packaging and flavor selections are colorful and impressive.
Let me be clear, I tell myself I don’t drink it because of GT’s wellness claims or the fact that every beautiful actress supposedly drinks it, but that may influence me just a little. I really love the strange taste. It is pungent and sour, yet refreshing.
IT IS ALSO FILLING! You do not want to eat anything when you have a bottle in your hands so this helps with snacking, especially if you have a desk job and you are a “haze grazer” (a term I made up that describes someone who just constantly snacks like they are in a purple haze). Certain flavors have only two grams of sugar per serving and only 40 calories. If you are watching your sugar don’t go for the fruity options because they have twice the sugar.
If you decide to give it a try, here are a couple other things to keep in mind:
Kombucha has all kinds of floaties!
These floaties are the “good for you” colonies of bacteria and yeast. Please note, GT’s Original flavor has huge globules that I can’t even handle. The No. 9, Red Synergy and No. 3 flavors are good, low sugar and don’t have huge floaties.
Kombucha EXPLODES “like Mentos in a coke bottle”
Open carefully. Don’t shake it furiously to distribute the sediment at the bottom. Gently tip it back and forth and then wait. There is also the issue of it leaking even if tipped at all! Yes, despite all of these obstacles, I still drink it (maybe for the challenge) and it is impossible to keep in stock at Whole Foods.
Have you ever tried Kombucha? Brewed it at home like Moonshine? Do you like the taste? I’d love to hear and remember to always keep counting.
A couple of points:
– your “Floaties” pix on your blog shows a metal spigot to draw off the kombucha. There is a danger, however slight, that the kombucha will react to the metallic parts exposed to kombucha and add unwanted metals to the brew. See the following for plastic spigots: http://www.happyherbalist.com/212gallonglasswithspigot.aspx
– I use a plastic siphon to take off about a gallon at a time from my 2 gallon brew jar. That way I don’t have to worry about leaky spigots or contact with metal.
– You can mix in fruit and other flavor additions once you draw off the kombucha. My fav is a bunch of lemons, limes and raw ginger plus a teaspoon of pomegranate or cranberry Crystal Lite. And I grind up the fruit with my blender to make sure all the goodness comes out of it.
Keeping a jar or 2 of kombucha brewing at all times is easy. I keep ours on top of our fridge which makes it easy to siphon off the latest finished batch. And, of course, I immediately replace it with fresh sugared tea.
I love the stuff and in the past 6 months since I have been doing this, I have lost 15 lbs (50 more to go) – so it must be doing something good for me. I do know that after a couple of swigs of my kombucha that my appetite almost disappears.
Love that you said the taste is strange, because probably it’s how most people feel but don’t actually say it. We’re so used to industrialized drinks that any new flavour doesn’t necessarily is “delicious” at first sight. But I believe it’s just a matter of time to people get more used to kombucha 🙂
Hi Beth. I totally agree. I feel the same way about green juice. C