So What is Kombucha...............
Kombucha is a 'living' drink made from fermenting tea. The basic ingredients are tea, sugar and a kombucha culture. In the right conditions the kombucha works with the sugar and tea to create a slightly sparkling drink that is brimming with all kinds of goodness and tastes delicious. The flavour can differ depending on the kind of tea used and any herbal infusions added.
Now for the science bit:...........
"Kombucha contains multiple species of yeast and bacteria along with the organic acids, active enzymes, amino acids, and polyphenols produced by these microbes. The precise quantities of a sample can only be determined by laboratory analysis. Finished kombucha may contain any of the following components:
- Acetic acid, which is mildly antibacterial
- Butyric acid
- Gluconic acid
- Lactic acid
- Malic acid
- Oxalic acid
- Usnic acid
Normally kombucha contains less than 0.5% alcohol, which classifies kombucha as a non-alcoholic beverage. Older, more acidic, kombucha might contain 1.0% or 1.5% alcohol, depending on more anaerobic brewing time and higher proportions of sugar and yeast.".....................Wikipedia
Different Types Of Kombucha.........
All tea essentially comes from the same plant the Camellia Sinensis. The variations that are present in tea come from outside influences like, when the leaves were picked, the climate the tea was grown in, soil type and how the leaves where fermented and prepared.
Using different types of teas when brewing Kombucha can lead to a variety of different flavour of Kombucha. There are so many different types of teas to choose from the possibilities are endless. Please make sure that you are using real tea however when brewing Kombucha not herbal tea.
The vitamins and minerals present in the tea are essential to maintaining the health of your Kombucha culture.
Kombucha can be made with any kind of tea in theory in practice some teas contain too much oil to make them any good for Kombucha brewing.
We recommend avoiding teas like Earl Grey that use essential oils to add flavour. This can upset or even kill the kombucha culture.
Smoked teas like Lasang Suchong are best avoided too as they make a very odd tasting kombucha. Herbal teas should not be used on their own unless they are a blend of real tea and herbs. You can add herbal tea bags to real tea to add a flavour to the kombucha. But make sure they don't contain essential oils or artificial flavourings or sweetners.
We have found the best teas to use to make Kombucha are:
Green tea, this tea is characteristically light in flavour and green in colour. The flavour differs depending on the type of green tea that you choose. We prefer Gunpowder Supreme as it has a strong but delicate flavour.
Green tea has many health benefits that are added to the Kombucha when it is brewed. It has been claimed (research is still ongoing) that Green tea may prevent some cancers,arthristis as well as protecting the heart and the liver. Green tea has been shown to inhibit enzymes that are part of the development of Alzheimers and also to contain the antioxidant ECGC. This antioxidant is responsible for helping to fight breast cancer and can help breast cancer survival rates. The antioxidants present in green tea can help with weight loss and dieting and it has been claimed that it boosts the bodies metabolism, thus helping further with weight loss.
Black tea, this has a strong flavour and dark amber colour. Strong apply flavours slightly fruity and similar to cider can be found in Kombucha made from Black Tea. Depending on the type of black tea used flavours can also be woody or earthy.
Black tea is the most commonly consumed tea in the western world. It has been estimated that 70% of the tea consumed in the west is black. It has been indicated in recent studies that black tea helps boost the bodies' immune system, decreases the production of stress hormones, reduces the risk of stroke, helps protect against heart disease and is rich in polyphenols, an antioxidant that helps the body fight against free radicals that can cause cell damage.
White tea, this is the most expensive type of tea but it produce the lightest most flowery Kombucha. White tea is also the king of all teas when looking at the health benefits. As white tea undergoes less processing than any other kind of tea it contains ten times the antioxidant power of vitamin E and incredibly high concentrations of polyphenols and catechins. This powerful combination helps to fight the signs of ageing caused by free radicals in your system. White tea is also claimed to have the ability to lower cholesterol and inhibit the development of cancer cells as well as being able to help increase bone intensity, aid the immune system and help lower blood pressure.
Personally we find that mixing white and green tea makes a fantastic and incredibly healthy tasting Kombucha.