Kombucha is an effervescent fermented drink, containing live cultures of bacteria and yeast. Kombucha drinks are typically made from a small disc-like culture called a SCOBY; this stands for a “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.”
The name Kombucha most likely comes from the Japanese word kombucha, which is tea made from kelp (“kombu” in Japanese).Tradional Kombucha drinks date back to Eastern Europe and Asia thousands of years ago.
The Controversy Behind Kombucha Drinks
There is some controversy attributed to Kombucha drinks, because some people claim that Kombucha drinks are good for health benefits. Scientific research has yet to find any evidence supporting the health benefits of Kombucha drinks. In fact, Kombucha drinks may be harmful to one’s health.
There have been serious side effects, allergic reactions and even “occasional” deaths linked to drinking Kombucha tea. If there was a warning label on Kombucha, it would read: “Drink Kombucha at your own risk.”
Popular Kombucha Drinks
Kombucha drinks can be found in different varieties.
- Home-Brewed Kombucha Tea – The most popular is home-brewed Kombucha sweetened tea. It is commonly created with black tea, green tea, white tea, and yerba mate. The sugar in the tea aids in the fermentation process, making tea ideal for making Kombucha.
- GT’s Kombucha Drinks – Owner GT Dave makes four varieties of Kombucha: Classic Kombucha, Classic Synergy, Enlightened Kombucha, and Enlightened Synergy. GT’s Enlightened and Synergy drinks are his interpretation of the ancient elixir and contain no alcohol. GT’s Classic and Classic Synergy line of Kombucha contain over .5% alcohol. Within the four varieties of Kombucha drinks, GT Dave has a wide array of fruit and berry flavors, as well as tea flavors.
- Kombucha Wonder Drink – Kombucha Wonder Drink claims the Kombucha name, and may taste very much like your typical Kombucha. There is only one minor detail that they do not boldly advertise on their bottles: Their Kombucha products are pasteurized. Kombucha Wonder Drink discloses this on their website under the Q&A section. Pasteurization kills any live cultures of bacterium, so you be the judge on if you classify Kombucha Wonder Drink as a legitimate Kombucha.They also point out that their Drink Products do not have alcohol in them.
- Kombucha Brooklyn – Kombucha Brooklyn makes a line of Kombucha drinks that are said to taste nothing like tea, and actually more like Belgian lambic because of its sour taste. Kombucha Brooklyn sells many kits that allow a person to brew your own Kombucha. Their bottled drinks are found throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the U.S.
Make Your Own Kombucha Drink
You can find many “homegrown” cultures out there to make your own Kombucha drink. The only problem is that you have no idea what bacterium is in the starter packs. One would just have to trust that the starter pack is contaminant free and is good quality. For more info on how to make your own Kombucha, check out this post on Nature’s Health Watch.
Oregon brand sells a Kombucha starter kit so a person can make their own Kombucha drink from a variety of different tea flavors.
Yogi brand makes a Green Tea Kombucha product for those that want to make their own.
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