Recently, I asked my friend Melissa Torio to write a post about Kombucha. If you’ve ever wondered, What the heck is kombucha? Then this post is for you!
Melissa is a grad of the Academy of Culinary Nutrition (where I got my certification) and she’s a pro at all things kombucha. She even hosts workshops to show how to make it.
Have a read below to learn more and sign-up for one of her classes to make your own!
What is kombucha?
Kombucha (“kuhm·boo·chuh”) is fermented tea. It is a fizzy, probiotic, living and functional drink that has many health benefits. Kombucha has been around for hundreds of years and is known by different names around the world.
How is it made?
Kombucha is made with black or green tea, water, sugar, a SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast) and starter kombucha. The SCOBY is placed in a jar with some sweet tea and left to ferment at room temperature for a week or two. The bacteria and yeast consume the sugar transforming the sweet tea into a fizzy, tart drink called kombucha.
After this first fermentation, the kombucha can be bottled plain or flavoured with some fruits or herbs in a second fermentation. It is then refrigerated to slow down the fermentation process.
Why is kombucha good for us?
Kombucha contains enzymes, acids, vitamins and probiotics that help with digestion and detoxification. It supports gut health and provides immune support. It is an adaptogenic tonic, meant to be taken in small amounts to help the body get back into balance.
What do I need to look for when buying kombucha?
There are so many commercial kombucha brands nowadays. You want to watch out for any added sugar or stevia. Kombucha should be in the refrigerated section. Pick raw and unpasteurized. Probiotics or live organisms provide health benefits.
Some brands pasteurize their product to control the level of residual alcohol and just add back probiotics. (Totally defeats the purpose, right?) It is important to get to know the company and brand and ask questions about how their product is made. I suggest to check out small local companies. Some local stores or cafes even offer kombucha on tap.
Want to learn how to make kombucha at home?
Save money and learn how to make your own kombucha at home. Check out the Kombucha Brewing Guide I wrote for the Academy of Culinary Nutrition. Or even better, come and attend one of my in-person kombucha workshops in the Toronto area. Check out the upcoming schedule of classes here.
Melissa Torio is a Certified Culinary Nutrition Expert and Certified Instructor of the Academy of Culinary Nutrition. She is an avid kombucha homebrewer and fermentation enthusiast. She aims to help people live healthier and more sustainable lives. She creates healthy recipes and teaches healthy cooking classes and kombucha workshops in the Toronto area. Connect with her at melissatorio.com.