Kombucha tea is derived from the Kombucha mushroom, the combination of a handful of different bacteria and yeast forms. The tea has been purported as a cure all in the past and is often served carbonated watermelon kombucha.
Over the years, Kombucha Tea has been granted a great deal of credit for helping with various health problems. From skin problems and digestion issues to hair loss and high blood pressure or cholesterol, Kombucha Tea has been prescribed as a remedy.
The actual authentication of these claims, like many herbal and natural remedies has not been done, but the results have been sworn to by Kombucha Tea enthusiasts for years.
Getting Kombucha tea is much harder than you’d expect, considering the properties it is imbued with. Neither Kombucha tea, nor the Kombucha mushroom is readily available in tea shops and finding prepared, ready to brew tea is nearly impossible. Rather, you must actually find the Kombucha mushroom culture itself to grow the main ingredient, the Kombucha mushroom. There are plenty of shops online that can set you up with the necessary tools and ingredients, but make sure to only buy from reputable sources.
The cultures will often come with the necessary ingredients and give you basic instructions as to what you need to do to make your tea. There is a careful fermentation stage that you must follow and a bottling process that ensures the safety and taste of your tea. Don’t skip any steps, or you’ll be sorely disappointed in the end result. The taste of your Kombucha tea is at stake.
Considering its source, Kombucha mushroom tea has a surprisingly sweet and pleasing taste. Many have compared it to apple cider, carbonated and fizzy. Like any fermented beverage, the taste can be improperly prepared by not waiting long enough, adding to much of one ingredient, or fermenting for too long. It is easy to end up with tea that is either too sweet or too vinegar tasting.
The origins of Kombucha mushroom tea trace originally back to Russia, going back a few hundred years. Tea itself was long considered too expensive and rare to have in that region and when the trade routes and technology of the time allowed for easy transfer of goods, things like Kombucha tea were more easily made and sold.
The word itself, Kombucha, is Japanese in origin, referring to kelp derived tea. Often powdered or shredded, kelp derived tea is not very much like the Kombucha mushroom tea we know today. In fact, the original Kombucha tea was not fermented at all and did not contain tea leaves or any other parts. It was not sweet but salty and was often served as a weak soup to the ill. The original Kombucha tea, by name, was nothing like Kombucha mushroom tea, and it’s a conundrum as to how the name came to be applied to the mushroom tea derived in Russia.