By Betsy Thorpe
“I am really glad I discovered this unique drink because I’m not a big water drinker, and I’m inclined to think that it’s at least better for me than soda-pop. My initial interest was in its potential health benefits, but since there’s not a lot of science on that, it’s hard to know for sure if it’s benefits are real. I love this beverage so much that my main concern nowadays is that it is at least not detrimental to my health. I pray I’m not pickling my insides. I’d say I consume on average two to three 8 oz. glasses a day.”
“It’s fun to make, it’s always exciting to see how bubbly and carbonated my brew is, and comparing the 4 or 5 dollars a bottle that it costs at the health food store to the pennies a serving by brewing at home, that alone is motivation for home brewing. Home brewed Kombucha Tea is a bit peculiar looking with the “scoby” floating on the top so some people think I am a nut for drinking the stuff. But all I can say is that anybody who discovers this beverage and learns to love it like I do, will be eternally grateful for the discovery.”
Use of the popular vinegary drink now known as Kombucha Tea was first recorded around 250 BC during the Qin Dynasty in China. Called the Immortal Health Elixir, or the Remedy For Immortality the tea was brewed from fungi said to have mystical powers and properties. Qin Dynasty physicians believed the elixir balanced the Middle Qi where the spleen and stomach is located by aiding digestion, and centralizing the bodies energy in order to promote healing.
Throughout the centuries the use of the fermented yeast enzyme tea now known as Kombucha progressed across Asia and Europe. The brew and it’s ancient folk lore arrived in the United States during the 1960’s and were quickly adopted by the country’s young health conscience counter-culture, who enthusiastically embraced various alternatives to established medical beliefs and practices.
Kombucha Tea is a symbiotic colony of yeast and beneficial bacteria that grows in sugar-sweetened black tea. Using a mother, a colony of babies is created with each new batch. Left to ferment in a warm, environment, the colony grows until the elixir, rich in antioxidants, amino acids, and a large amount of of B-vitamins is ready to drink.
Today thousands of bottles of the fermented vinegary drink are sold in health food and whole food stores everyday and a growing number of colonies are harvested in the homes of Kombucha Tea’s most devoted and purest consumers.