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The beginner’s guide to kombucha

If you haven’t heard of the fermented tea drink that has health freaks in a flurry, you’re probably thinking “kombu-whatdidyoujustsay?”

Don’t worry, we’ve got the scoop. Fresh, fizzy and loaded with probiotics, kombucha has become a staple in health food stores, farmers markets and mainstream supermarkets across the globe. New Zealand is no exception, with homegrown companies shaking up the local kombucha scene.

So what’s all the fuss about?

KombutchaWhile kombucha is a relatively new health trend, it’s actually been around for thousands of years. In fact, we have ancient Chinese cultures to thank for the wonder drink. The first recorded use of kombucha dates back to 221 BC during the Tsin Dynasty. At the time the Chinese touted it as the ‘Tea of Immortality’ and used it to both maintain health and treat a myriad of diseases and illnesses.

Today, the health benefits more than speak for themselves.

Here’s what’s to love about kombucha:

  • Detox the body

Kombucha is packed full of enzymes and bacteria that help the body cleanse and detox. This bolsters your digestive system and helps to ease the burden on the pancreas, liver and the other purgative organs. As well as helping to flush out toxins, kombucha can also speed up your metabolism.

  • Good for the gut

Today’s modern Western diets are full of pro-inflammatory foods that can damage the cells in your gut tissue and wreak havoc on the digestive system. In the long run this can cause major health issues. Thanks to its high content of healthy bacteria, acid, probiotics and enzymes kombucha actively works to heal the gut. If you suffer from leaky gut syndrome or stomach ulcers it could be an all-natural alternative to medication.

Hand Holding Jar of Homemade Organic Kombucha at House Kitchen. Healthy Hipster Drink.

  • Boost the mood

Known to help the body fight depression, stabilise moods and improve concentration, vitamins B1, B6 and B12 are all found in kombucha. This means that a daily dose of kombucha could help improve your emotional wellbeing, heighten your productivity and even boost your energy levels.

  • Load up on B vitamins

From a physiological perspective B vitamins help fortify the body and keep it functioning at its best. From boosting red blood cell production to fighting free radicals, kombucha is a great way to arm your body with all the B vitamins it needs.

  • A rich source of antioxidants

From lowering the risk of heart disease to protecting the brain from dementia, antioxidants are incredibly powerful substances that actively protect the body’s cells from damage. Kombucha is loaded with these little warriors which means with every sip you’re working your way towards better health.

  • A healthy alternative to soft drink

If you’re addicted to an afternoon coke or can’t enjoy a meal without a glass of fizzy drink, kombucha could be a fantastic alternative. It’s sweet and fizzy but doesn’t have the same shockingly high sugar content as most soft drinks. This makes it a guilt free beverage that tastes great and nourished your body.

DIY kombucha

Priced at anywhere from $4 to $8 a bottle, Kombucha isn’t exactly cheap. And if you guzzle down a bottle a day it can quickly add to your weekly shopping budget. The good news is that kombucha is surprisingly easy to make. Yes, with just a few staples you can brew up kombucha in your own kitchen. SCOBY (short for Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria & Yeast) is the secret ingredient and will transform everyday tea into a power drink. Feeling adventurous? Right now we love this DIY recipe from Strictly Delicious.

It really is so easy to make this delicious and healthy drink. All it takes is the following steps:

  1. SCOBYBrew some tea.
  2. Add a SCOBY to the tea.
  3. Let it sit for 7-10 days.
  4. Take out the SCOBY.
  5. Bottle it up.
  6. Repeat.

You can buy a kit complete with SCOBY in some health food shops or online specialty shops such Get Cultured. There are also online femented communities which trade SCOBYs.

Even better is the fact that not only is kombucha easy to make but if you take care of your SCOBY and regularly feed them fresh tea you can brew endless batches. This means you can sip away to your hearts content or give away bottles to all your kombucha loving friends.

Have you tried DIY kombucha? We’d love to hear your experience with making your own!