Traditionally made using green or black tea leaves and a base known as SCOBY, kombucha has a gentle, natural fizziness and tart flavour.
From natural kombucha tea to tangy ginger kombucha, the slightly spicy fizz of this fermented beverage is taking the UK by storm.
The actual process of making non-alcoholic kombucha is surprisingly simple.
Tea leaves are ordinarily fermented for up to two weeks along with sugars and a ‘symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast’ or SCOBY.
This so-called SCOBY which kombucha producers rely on is what gives the kombucha drink its trademark bubbles and slight sourness, while a fast ferment keeps the alcohol content to a minimum, allowing most kombuchas to be sold as soft drinks.
Usually containing vitamin C and B vits plus a number of minerals, including magnesium and zinc, kombucha offers up less sugar than many juices and carbonated beverages.
It is also low in calories, with a 227ml serving containing around 30 kcals.
Kombucha is a naturally fizzy drink, made using either green or black tea leaves, sugar and a ‘symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts’, more commonly known in the kombucha world as a SCOBY!
Usually fermented for one to two weeks, kombucha sits for just long enough to create gentle bubbles, a slightly sharp, tangy flavour and an extremely low alcohol content, meaning that it can be safely classified as a soft drink.
Low in both calories and sugar, and containing a sprinkling of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, zinc and magnesium, kombucha is a popular alternative to diet carbonated drinks.
Kombucha is most commonly sold as a canned or bottled soft drink.
However kombucha ‘shots’ – convenient on-the-go one-gulp drinks containing concentrated amounts of kombucha – are also available.
With a wide array of flavours on Holland and Barrett shelves, every taste is catered for when it comes to kombucha.
From the always popular lemon and ginger kombucha drinks produced by almost every kombucha brand, to the sweet flavour of Remedy’s Cherry and Plum or Captain Kombucha’s refreshingly summery Watermelon and Mint.
Sugar-free kombucha drinks are also available - the sugar used in the fermentation process is actually consumed by live bacteria before bottling!
Inherently free from animal products, kombucha is simply made using tea, water, sugars plus that famous SCOBY; the bacteria and yeasts that aid the fermentation process.
However, although kombucha products will normally be suitable for vegetarians, those who follow a stricter vegan diet are advised to check for clear ‘vegan’ labelling before they dive in.
This is because some manufacturers may use flavourings unsuitable for the vegan diet.
Honey, in particular, is a popularly used natural sweetener found in some flavoured kombuchas.
Additionally, certain cane sugars can be non-vegan, using bone char to whiten the grains.
Natural, unflavoured kombucha has an extremely distinctive, complex flavour.
Sharp and tangy, with a gently sparkling fizz, this fermented drink is loved by many, while some may find it a touch too sour.
However, if your tastes tend towards the sweet toothed, enjoying kombucha is not totally out of the question for you.
With an ever-expanding range of flavours available, from fiery ginger to sweet berry, crisp apple and smooth, tropical mango, there is almost certainly a kombucha to suit your preferences.
Many of these flavoured kombuchas contain a natural sweetener – usually sugar or honey – to balance the trademark kombucha tang.