Kombucha - The Magic Drink
Mood after taking a sip of Kombucha
Kombucha, the drink that just keeps on giving and keeps your tongue twisted - "kämˈbo͞oCHə", "CAM BOO CHA", "Kam- ". You know what, I know what you mean
What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is a fermented drink that is made with 4 main ingredients (tea, sugar, bacteria, and yeast).
Kombucha isn’t this new drink, it’s actually been around for centuries believed to help improve digestion and one’s immune system.
It's a fermented drink?
Fermentation is a process that involves the conversion of sugar to an alcohol with the use of yeast or a bacterium.
Common examples include yogurt, sauerkraut, and beer. It is an applied science called Zymology.
This magic potion MUST be new!?!
Actually, A Korean doctor named Kombu had introduced this tea in Japan in the 400's (BC). Over time due to trades and travel, it became more popular and seen as a drink that would bring upon good health and longevity.
During WWII in Europe there was a shortage of this tea because sugar was limited. It’s popular again as to where we see it in health food stores, grocery stores, and even being made at home.
HOLD UP! I can make it at home?
You get Kombucha, you get Kombucha, everyone gets Kombucha!!!!
Yes, you can make Kombucha at home. It’s like a simple slime experiment, but you have to be patient. Well, what do you need?
You mix them all together in a jar and then let them ferment (sit around) for about 7-14 days. The fermentation time depends on the temperature and your taste buds. The longer you leave it to ferment, the more acidic (sour) it tastes.
What about the Kombucha drinks in the grocery stores?
No two Kombucha tea’s taste the same, they are like snowflakes in the grocery stores. There are different brands, with different tastes, and potentially added flavours.
Remember that piece I did on scientific evidence, well when it comes to Kombucha tea there aren’t enough studies done on people to really say that it has any magical powers and will cure us of any diseases.
It has some potential, but we need more clinical studies to come to a clear, concise, conclusion (try to say that 10x fast).
Investing in kombucha tea studies would be pretty cool, especially considering how inexpensive it is to make it at home.
I'm drinking bacteria, isn't that kind of dangerous?
Making your own homemade Kombucha tea may cause bacteria and mold growth, which can lead to a food-borne illness.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) suggest that commercial fermented teas are safe for consumption (keep in mind that their study included a small sample size, product type and microorganism)
In terms of homemade Kombucha drinks, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that people limit their consumption to 4 oz per day or ½ cup.
About fermentation, what other foods are fermented?
Bacterial Pathogens in Fermented Tea (Kombucha) - Canada 2020. Canadian Food Inspection Agency website. https://www.inspection.gc.ca/food-safety-for-industry/food-chemistry-and-microbiology/food-safety-testing-bulletin-and-reports/bacterial-pathogens-in-fermented-tea/eng/1577143157877/1577143158283
Coelho, R. M. D., Almeida, A. L. d., Amaral, Rafael Queiroz Gurgel do, Mota, R. N. d., & Sousa, Paulo Henrique M. de. (2020). Kombucha: Review.International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science, 22doi:10.1016/j.ijgfs.2020.100272
Nummer BA. Kombucha brewing under the Food and Drug Administration model Food Code: risk analysis and processing guidance. J Environ Health. 2013;76(4):8-11.
Unexplained severe illness possibly associated with consumption of kombucha tea — Iowa 1995. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00039742.htm
Villarreal‐Soto, S. A., Beaufort, S., Bouajila, J., Souchard, J., & Taillandier, P. (2018). Understanding kombucha tea fermentation: A review. Journal of Food Science, 83(3), 580-588. doi:10.1111/1750-3841.14068
Vīna I, Semjonovs P, Linde R, Deniņa I. Current evidence on physiological activity and expected health effects of kombucha fermented beverage. J Med Food. 2014;17(2):179-188.
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