The mysterious and fizzy kombucha has made its way to the shelves of some of the best health food stores in the country. Restaurants are starting to carry it, whole food markets can’t keep it in stock and pantries are beginning to be filled with this buzz-worthy fizz.
So what exactly is kombucha?
Kombucha is a fermented tea that has been transformed by healthy bacteria similar to yogurt, kimchee and even pickles. The tea undergoes a process of fermentation known as zymology. This scientific term is just a fancy way of saying the tea is fizzy, fermented and ready to drink.
The action of microorganisms within the tea causes fermentation. The tea is transformed into a fabulous drink that is in high demand.
Why is kombucha so good?
Aside from the taste, kombucha is in high demand because of its health claims. Some kombucha enthusiasts go as far to say that the fizzy tea is a cure-all for everything from colds and flus to acne and weight loss.
Kombucha acts as a detoxifier in the body, helping to shed toxins and unwanted free radicals within the blood and overall body system. People who drink the tea have expressed that they feel increased energy throughout the day. Others swear that their digestive system operates more efficiently when they consume the tea.
The fizzy bubbles in the drink are pleasing to the palate and many drinkers claim to crave the taste and feeling that they get when they consume the tea. The FDA has yet to confirm or deny the company claims and health benefits, but is evaluating the research claims that the tea can be used for weight loss.
Kombucha can be consumed by itself or included with other ingredients. Here are a couple of recipes that include kombucha:
Cholesterol Buster with Ginger and Lime
Allow to brew and ferment for 6 days and decant into bottles. Decant into bottles that are already flavoured with ginger and lime juice. When the desired fizz is reached, move the tea into the refrigerator. Whole ginger root can be used and the flavour infused directly into the tea.
Agave Nectar Kombucha Tea
The tea should be prepared as normal but checked within 2-3 days. It should be watched in order to prevent it from souring. When the perfect flavour is reached, refrigerate the bottle of tea. A secondary fermentation is often recommended with agave to enhance the infused flavours and fizz.