Here at Tea Party Girl we get to talk about all tea related beverages and Kombucha is no exception.
Kombucha is a fermented tea that is often drunk for medicinal purposes. There is limited scientific information supporting any health benefit and few studies are being conducted, although there are several centuries of anecdotal accounts supporting some of the health benefits attributed to the tea. Kombucha is available commercially and can be made at home by fermenting tea using a visible, solid mass of yeast and bacteria which forms the kombucha culture which is often referred to as the “mushroom” or the “mother”.
Kombucha is an active therapeutic pick-me-up made by fermenting tea and sugar with the kombucha culture. The effect can taste like something between sparkling apple cider and champagne, depending on what form of tea you apply. It’s not what you’d reckon fermented tea to taste like.
The first recorded use of kombucha comes from China in 221 BC during the Tsin Dynasty. It was known as “The Tea of Immortality”.
It has been used in Eastern Europe, Russia and Japan for numerous centuries. It’s from Japan in 415 AD that the name kombucha is said to have come. A Korean doctor called Kombu or Kambu treated the Emperor Inyko with the tea and it took his name, “Kombu” and “cha” meaning tea. Russia has a farseeing tradition of using a therapeutic beverage called “Tea Kvass” made from a “Japanese Mushroom”.
From Russia it dispersed to Prussia, Poland, Germany and Denmark but it seems to have died out during World War Two. After the war Dr Rudolph Skelnar created renewed interest in kombucha in Germany when he used it in his practice to handle cancer patients, metabolic disorders, high blood pressure and diabetes.
The Kombucha Culture
The Kombucha culture resembles a white rubbery pancake. It’s often called a ‘scoby’ which stands for ‘ symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts.The culture is placed in sweetened black or green tea and turns a bowl full of sweet tea into a bowl full of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and health-giving organic acids.
Three cultures or scobys
As the Kombucha culture digests the sugar it produces a array of organic acids like glucuronic acid, gluconic acid, lactic acid, acetic acid, butyric acid, malic acid and usnic acid; vitamins, particularly B vitamins and vitamin C; as well as amino acids, enzymes. Let’s not forget all the benefits of the probiotic microorganisms themselves. The Kombucha culture is a powerful biochemical tool in your house!
You might question if fermenting tea with yeasts would produce an alcoholic beverage. Well it’s a wonderful query! The yeasts do produce alcohol however the bacteria in the culture turn the alcohol to organic acids. only minute quantities of alcohol, more often than not 1% by volume remains in the kombucha brew.
With every brew you create the kombucha creates a new layer or scoby on the surface of the liquid. These canful be remaining to thicken the scoby or can be divided, giving you extra cultures that you may keep in some sweet tea in the fridge in case anything may pass to your active culture. Or you may want to pass on spare Kombucha cultures to other people or use a new scoby to start another pot of kombucha.
Kombucha and Health
Many wellness speculations are created for kombucha but there is a lesser amount of inquiry on the benefits of kombucha than there is on fermented milk products. It has unquestionably been conveyed to have like antibiotic, antiviral and anti fungal properties in lab tests. In rats it’s been displayed to protect against stress and improve liver function. There is a ton of existential evidence from people who have been taking kombucha over various years. various of the benefits reported encompass increases in energy levels, metabolic disorders, allergies, cancer, digestive problems, candidiasis, hypertension, HIV, chronic fatigue and arthritis. It ‘s also used externally for skin problems and as a hair wash among other things.
The Organic Acids Glucuronic acid
The body’s most significant detoxifier. If toxins go into your liver, the acid will bind to the toxins and help flush them out through the kidneys. Once bound by glucuronic acid toxins cannot elude. A product of the oxidation procedure of glucose, glucuronic acid is one of the more substantial constituents of Kombucha.
As a detoxifying agent it’s one of the few agents that can cope with pollution from the products of the petroleum industry, including all the plastics, herbicides, pesticides and resins. It captures the phenols in your liver and they are then destroyed with ease in the kidneys
Kombucha can be enormously useful for allergy patients. different by-product of glucuronic acid are the glucosamines, the structures connected with cartilage, collagen and the liquids which lubricate the joints. This is what makes the Kombucha so powerful against arthritis.
Lactic Acid Crucial for the digestive system. Assist blood circulation, helps prevent bowel decay and constipation. Aids in balancing acids and alkaline in the body and believed to help in the prevention of cancer by helping to regulate blood pH levels.
Acetic Acid A powerful preservative and it stops harmful bacteria.
Usnic Acid A natural antibiotic that can be effective against many viruses.
Oxalic Acid An effective preservative and helps the intercellular production of energy.
Malic acid Detoxifies the liver.
Gluconic Acid It is created by the bacteria and will break down to caprylic acid. It is beneficial to patients of candidiasis and other yeast infectionary issues such as thrush.
Butyric acid This is created from the yeast and helps to protect human cullular membranes. Combine this with Gluconic acid and it strengthens the walls of the gut to combal yeast infections like candida.
Types of Tea for Kombucha
Fresh tea leaves Kombucha requires tea for its fermentation (Camellia Sinensis). That’s real tea not herbal tea. It can be also be sensitive to strong aromatic oils. Earl Grey teas contain Bergamot oil and this can actually destroy the culture. There are several different kinds of tea that give different results from lighter tastes to stronger more cider like tastes.
Black tea is made from leaves that have been fully fermented. The leaves wilt on their own after being left out in the sun. Then the leaves are fired and creap a deep, rich flavor and a dark red colored brew.
The Oolong brew is a in-between combiniation of green and black tea. After you pick the leaf, it is lightly rolled and allowed to partially ferment until you nptice the edges to start turning brown. Oolong combines the taste and colour of black and green tea.
Green tea whithers then gets steamed or heated in order to prevent oxidation. It is then rolled and dried up. Green tea is known for it’s delicate taste and obvious green color. The Japanese tea Sencha brews an peculiarly fine kombucha.
White Tea is the rarest and most frail of tea. pulled forty-eight hours or less between the time the first buds become fully ripe and the time they open. White tea is not like the back and green brew. It isn’t steamed or rolled. Instea it is air-dried out in the sun. This preserves it antioxidant properties. White tea has about 3 times as many antioxidant polyphenols as green. White tea represents the least processed form of tea.
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What does Tea Party Girl think? Truth is I am not a Kombucha drinker. It is “not” my cup of tea 🙂 However, I have several friends in the tea industry that claim they make it at home with great success and they have “secret” recipes that I would love. (really? I am not so sure.)
What do YOU think of Kombucha? Have you tried it off the shelves or do you make it at home? Leave your comments and tell me what you think!