Kombucha is the new good tea

Kombucha is the new good tea

Fermented tea made with lots of yeast and bacteria has many health benefits

Flavoured kombucha, such as ginger and watermelon, are faster-moving than plain ones.

To make kombucha, all you need is tea, sugar, water and lots of SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). Sounds simple? It is, but the fermentation process is important to make a good batch of kombucha. 

During the process, the SCOBY reacts to the sugar in the tea and converts it into alcohol. This, in return, turns to acetic acid that produces the fizzy, tangy and unflavoured drink. 

A regular drink in China, Mongolia and Japan for over 2,000 years, the fermented tea is slowly picking up in India.

Bengaluru-based Payal Shah has been making kombucha at home for 10 years now. She runs ‘Kobo Fermentary’ where she sells kombucha along with other fermented products. She also conducts workshops on how to make it at home.

She explains, “What makes the drink complex is its microbiological properties. Its various health benefits are one of the reasons why it’s a great drink to have.”

While one can make plain kombucha, many add flavours to it with juice and other beverages. Eventually, it’ll have a lightly effervescent and tarty taste to it, almost like toddy.

“There’s a misconception that it’s alcoholic, which it isn’t. When fermented properly, it doesn’t become alcoholic. In fact, the yeast and the bacteria react the same way as it does in sourdough bread or idli batter. You cannot get drunk on it.”

When business analyst Mandy Vasudevan heard about the benefits of the drink, she decided to make it at home. “We eat out a lot which eventually affects our gut. The probiotics that kombucha has provides your gut with healthy bacteria which helps in digestion, inflammation and weight loss. I’ve seen a lot of change in my body since I started having it.” 

Her healthy drink gained attention among her friends, which led Mandy to soon start ‘Bootleg Booch’. She has experimented with over a hundred flavours and currently sells ginger and turmeric, passion fruit and pink lady apple.

Kombucha in Bengaluru

- Fab Cafe

- Fresh Pressery

- Foodhall

- Bootleg Booch

- Kobo Fermentary

Is it alcoholic?

Kombucha has a low alcohol percentage -- as less as 2 per cent. The longer you keep it, the more fermented it gets and hence turns alcoholic. But you cannot get drunk on kombucha.

What is kombucha?

It’s fermented tea, made by adding SCOBY to tea and sugar. You let it ferment for about seven to 10 days. It goes through several stages before it can be bottled. It can be refrigerated for up to a month. You have to use either black tea or green loose tea to make the drink.

Health benefits

- A potential source of probiotics.

- Contains antioxidants and is good for your gut health.

- Can help reduce the risk of heart diseases.

- Low sugar version of the drink is good for type 2 diabetes patients.

Who all can have it?

Anyone who enjoys the flavour can consume it. If you aren’t used to having probiotics, it’s advised to start with 100 ml a day.

However, pregnant or nursing women should consult the doctor before consuming it.