Kombucha, a live fermented tea drink, touted by health aficionados in their droves and drunk for decades in Asia, is a drink many Brits know nothing about. However, now is the time to start paying attention to this gut-friendly liquid – it is listed as one of 2018’s hottest health food trends.
Okay, so what is kombucha?
This fermented drink is made from sweetened tea and a probiotic culture called a “scoby” (a.k.a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts). To develop the unique flavour, the bacteria and yeast is mixed, which then coverts the sugar into ethanol and acetic acid. Acetic acid is distinctively sour, giving kombucha its signature tangy taste. The longer the booch is left to ferment, the fizzier it becomes. When it’s ready to go, flavourings such as fruit or spices can be added to deliver a spin on a classic.
Why should I drink kombucha?
Fermented foods/drinks – as you’ll already know – are great for the gut. Through fermentation, a number of probiotic bacteria are produced naturally; probiotics balance the gut microbiome and improve digestion. Just think of Actimel, only nice.
Fermented produce is so important for those suffering with digestive ailments. Treatable ailments, such as IBS, can benefit hugely from kombucha, as many issues arise from unbalanced gut flora. As water is not always the answer, kombucha is a lovely way to beat the side effects of bloating with a new and exciting drink.
What’s the best kombucha for IBS?
This beautiful booch is free of any fruit syrups or purees, meaning it is super low in sugar but still high in flavour. Made with organic leaf teas, specially chosen for their sumptuous aromas and contrasting character and taste notes, this is a fermented drink which tastes like the real deal.
Unlike many kombucha brands in the UK, there are various flavours to choose from in the GO! Kombucha range. For instance, there’s Yunnan Gold, a hoppy ale-like flavoured tea, Darjeeling Black, an Indian leaf fruity drink, and Green Sencha, which has a subtle tang, much like a Chardonnay.
However, amongst all of the flavours, my favourite has to be China White. This is intensely fragrant, and delivers just the right amount of fizz that, when poured, it could be mistaken for a prosecco or champagne drink.
While GO! Kombucha could be mistaken for prosecco, Left Field Kombucha is just like a craft beer. Dark, rich, frothy, this kombucha range has a hoppy, earthy taste which is so good it’s served on draft, alongside other craft beers, in a pub in Edinburgh.
Packed full of punchy flavour, Left Field is a great option if you need a gluten-free beer but don’t want the calories (or the hangover). My favourite amongst the range was Darjeeling Flush – this fruity, light drink is great for a post-lunch probiotic pick-me-up. I also really like having this as a healthy option when a soft drink craving comes around.
Have you tried kombucha before? Let me know how it has helped you battle digestive ailments in the comments below.
Now, let’s get to guzzling!