Stroll down the grocery store drink aisle anywhere in the country now and you will find a kombucha section. The labels are funky and the unique flavors sound refreshing. But what exactly are you drinking when you choose one of these supposed "wonder drinks" off the shelf?
What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is a fermented tea that is full of probiotics and antioxidants. Fans of kombucha believe drinking kombucha helps kill the bad bacteria and introduce the good bacteria. Other benefits of kombucha promote general wellness along with helping fight off illness. We like that!
Kombucha is made by fermenting a blend of green and black tea with a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. The acronym for that magical culture is SCOBY. While there are low-sugar kombuchas, some sugar is always needed to start the fermentation process. The amount of sugar is reduced the longer it ferments.
Kombucha Starter Kit
The sweetened tea and SCOBY mixture typically ferments for about eight days. Then the brewer gets creative with adding all those delicious flavors that catch our eyes on the shelf. Blood orange, lemon ginger, apple cinnamon, peach, ginger...kombucha flavors are endless!
After the flavor is added, it's left to ferment for another three to five days. The fermentation process creates pressure within the bottle, much like champagne, and causes the kombucha to become fizzy or slightly effervescent.
Health Benefits of Kombucha
Kombucha is rich in organic acids and probiotics. These good bacterial probiotics encourage gut health, a strong immune system, and may help control blood sugar levels. Other health wins may include better brain function and clear skin. Yogurt with live cultures is the most common way we all get these sought-after probiotics. But why not give kombucha a try? The flavors are just as varied and it's easy to throw in our daily bag of stuff!
Kombucha is lower in calories than many sweet fizzy drinks so you may find yourself with some unexpected weight loss without even trying. If you're a soda drinker, the health benefits to a kombucha switch are endless. And you still get that carbonation and lower sugar content.
Many of the best kombucha brands are available on Amazon in addition to convenience stores and supermarkets. Here's just a few to try!
Brew Dr. Kombucha Clear Mind
Like drinking a meditation session, you'll get rosemary, peppermint, sage, and green tea to help clear your mind. There's no juice or flavorings added to the teas from the Brew Dr. brand. This is more of a pure fermented tea with herbs giving the flavor and antioxidant boost.
Health-Ade Kombucha Ginger-Lemon
This small-batch brand is the equivalent of discovering a super small microbrewery after getting lost on a road trip. Super fresh juices are added to the ferment along with bright ginger and lemon. This high-quality brew is top-notch.
Wild Tonic Blackberry Mint Traditional Jun Kombucha
The Jun style of kombucha means its brewed using honey instead of sugar or fruit juices. The softer honey sweetness blends with botanical flavors like this blackberry mint elixir.
GT's Organic & Raw Synergy Gingerade Kombucha
This brew has one of the highest levels of probiotics at nine billion CFU's (colony forming units). The ginger flavor is spicy, making this a nice drink to sip on. Don't be freaked out by the sediment. Gently shake side to side before drinking.
Revive Sparkling Kombucha Cherry Hibiscus
Hibiscus is always refreshing. Pair it with cherry and you'll feel transported to Fiji with just a sip and a whiff. Enjoy this kombucha with some fresh fruit and grilled pineapple chicken skewers for the start of a Polynesian theme party.
Humm Kombucha Hopped Grapefruit
Grapefruit is great for nausea and waking up the senses. This kombucha has an almost shandy taste to it and is a great non-alcoholic substitute for a grapefruit shandy.
Rowdy Mermaid Alpine Lavender
Rowdy Mermaid comes in a can instead of a bottle. Take this kombucha can on the boat or the beach to enjoy the clever name fully. Lavender and elderflower give it a pretty flavor on top of the teas.
Kevita Blueberry Basil Kombucha
This organic kombucha is also vegan and kosher. It's also delicious! Stevia is the sweetener used with blueberry juice and basil extracts. Fruity but not overpowering in sweetness, organic ingredients give this kombucha and extra boost of "feel good".
Better Booch Morning Glory Kombucha
Better Booch named its Morning Glory blend after the energy boosting L-Theanine that is found in this black tea based kombucha. Replace your coffee with this kombucha and see if it does the trick.
Suja Organic Pineapple Passion Fruit Kombucha
Who can resist passionfruit? Not me. Pineapple and passionfruit organic fruit juices are combined with a touch of turmeric. Turmeric has been hot lately as an all-purpose wellness booster.
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