What is Kombucha?

Kombucha Sections


Kombucha Introduction

The term of "kombucha" means simultaneously the ferment and also the lacto-fermented drink that this ferment provides.

 

The ferment has the shape of a disk, and this is what it was named "kombucha disk": it actually looks like a "mother of vinegar", a gelatinous membrane that results from the fermentation of bacteria existing in the vinegar.

 

Commonly known as a "fungus" or "fungi", the kombucha is not a real one. It is rather a living organism made up of a rich set of bacteria and yeasts held in symbiosis.

 

When mixed with cold sweet tea, the kombucha produces a lacto-fermented beverage promoting good health, that is called "kombucha drink". This is the reason why the fungus was nicknamed "mushroom tea".

 

The beverage comprises an amount of active yeast giving it a life which continues even after it is filled into bottles.

kombucha
Kombucha

There is an impressive number of names for the kombucha and for the beverage obtained from its fermentation. Among the most known we can find the followings:

  • Flower of Russia
  • Russian mother
  • Russian tea vinegar
  • Fungus of Japan
  • Japan sponge
  • Magic Fungus
  • Long life fungus
  • Life champagne
  • Teepilz
  • Gift of Life
  • Indian mushroom
  • Etc.
kombucha fungus
Kombucha

Number of kilocalories per 100 milliliters of kombucha: 12 kcal.

Source: "The probiotic miracle", Claire Pinson, IDEO editions 2012


History of Kombucha

The history of the use of kombucha mushroom dates back some two thousand years ago. It is difficult to say exactly where it appeared for the first time. The fungus would be native to Asia and would arrived in Europe via Mongolia and Russia.

 

Acclaimed folk remedy in the Russian countryside, the production and the consumption of the beverage obtained from kombucha was considered a sacred ritual, providing both well-being, good health and contributing to a balanced diet.

kombucha
Kombucha

In the twenties, scientists have begun to take an interest in its properties, but their studies were suspended when the World War II broke out. Because of the war, the kombucha beverage almost disappeared in Europe, due to the lack of sugar and tea, which are essential for its preparation. Thereafter, kombucha has become popular again, and in the sixties and seventies we found it in Germany and Austria, introduced here from the Eastern Europe. This is also mainly in Germany in the seventies that were performed testing and medical researches on the effects of the kombucha.

 

Due to the success experienced by this beverage in the treatment of "modern”-called diseases, kombucha has been named, among others, "elixir of life", "miracle fungus" and even "magical fungus".


Benefits of Kombucha

Before consuming beverages obtained from kombucha and especially in case of health problems, we strongly recommend our users to see a doctor, as only a doctor is certified to prescribe a treatment. The consumption of beverages obtained from kombucha can in no way replace the treatment, or if so, the user does this at his own risk and peril.

 

Although kombucha is called, among others, "the fungus with a thousand virtues" or "miracle mushroom", it shouldn’t be considered as being a "miracle product". In the same way that there is no single cause of illness, it is unlikely that a miracle panacea exists.

 

According to the experts, the restoration of the intestinal flora is an important step in curing a disease. It is agreed that the kombucha promotes the internal rebalancing of the body and also the digestion: in our modern societies, abundant in industrial food, a microbiological adjuvant to digestion such as the kombucha can have very encouraging results.

 

In addition to the renewal of the intestinal flora, among the main qualities that are attributed to kombucha is strengthening the immune system, which in turn facilitates the healing of many diseases.

 

In addition to this, the kombucha is known as a real detoxifier, by its purifying action on the blood and also by its cleaning action on the kidneys.


Results of Kombucha Consumption

...a little wink to see the results of the kombucha consumption on the body:

 

Picture at left: 

Without kombucha

Picture at right: 

With kombucha

Source: Harald W. Tietz, Kombucha. The miraculous mushroom, Paris, Editions Amrita, 1998, p. 14


Kombucha in Cosmetics

As amazing as it may seem, the kombucha discs can be used in external applications, as an ointment.

Thanks to your kombucha culture, as soon as you have a new disc that grew up on the surface, you can reduce it in cream, by using a kitchen mixer: the cream thus obtained is to apply on the face, for a duration of 20 minutes. Take advantage of this time to lie down and relax.

After 20 minutes, simply rinse the cream with hot water.

Thanks to its high concentration of active yeasts, the resulting cream is also an excellent moisturizer!

kombucha in cosmetics
Kombucha

Equipment needed to prepare Kombucha

Here’s what you need in order to prepare the kombucha-based beverage:

  • kombucha disk;
  • non sparkling bottled water (tap water is also appropriate, provided that it is filtered);
  • sugar;
  • tea (leaf tea or bags).
kombucha
Kombucha

Regarding the kitchen tools, you will need the followings:

  • a glass jar (preferably);
  • a fine or medium mesh plastic strainer (if you use leaf tea);
  • a muslin and
  • an elastic.

You will find the basic recipe for the preparation of kombucha tea in our recipes section.


Hygiene compliance Kombucha

Hygiene compliance is essential while preparing kefir (water kefir, milk kefir) and kombucha beverages; therefore, it is very important to always pay attention to hygiene when it comes to kombucha.

 

If you notice any unusual smells and/or colors, blisters or if mold appears on your kombucha strains, you must not drink the beverage that you obtained. A more or less strong vinegar smell, depending on the fermentation time, is quite normal. 

 

Always use kitchen tools easy to maintain (glass jar, fine mesh plastic strainer).

kombucha fungus
Kombucha Fungus

In order to wash the kitchen tools, there is no need to sterilize them; by cons, always use hot water and dish detergent preferably made of natural products, and take care not to burn yourself when doing this.

 

For the jar, you can use glass jars for vegetables for e.g., that you can easily find on the market. You must carefully clean the jar before use, as described here.

 

Mesh plastic strainers and plastic little spoons being affordable, the best is to buy them new and used them only for your probiotic cultures.

 

Once utensils cleaned as described, you have to let them cool completely, as kombucha strainers can’t withstand high temperatures. Only after that you can start a new culture.


Kombucha Tips and Tricks

In order to successfully make kombucha beverages, here are some helpful tips:

  • avoid putting the kombucha strain in contact with the metal, as the acids of the infusion react with it;
  • kombucha strains are not to be eaten: they serve only to seed your drink;
  • always respect the recommended dosage: a kombucha disk, about 70 grams of sugar per 1 liter of water and 5 grams of tea;
  • sweet tea should be pre-cooled before seeding the kombucha;
  • use bottled still water or filtered tap water using Brita-type pitchers or devices;
  • the fermentation lasts about one week (six to nine days, depending on the outdoor temperature). If allowed to ferment longer, the beverage could be quicky very acid;
  • the beverage should taste not too acidic and be slightly sweet;
  • hygiene compliance is essential: the container must be thoroughly washed after each culture. Kombucha strainer must be rinsed after each culture in cold water, and immediately put back in sweet, cooled tea;
  • if filaments occur during the preparation of the beverage, when rinsing the kombucha such waste can be filtered through a plastic strainer;
  • once the beverage obtained, filter it and put it in bottles, taking care to leave a little space for the air;
  • the drink is to be kept in the refrigerator, otherwise the fermentation continuous and it will have a sour taste;
  • please pay attention to the gas excess that can cause the explosion of the container, especially if it is about sealed, glass bottles; you must leave the gas excess occasionally escape.

How to store Kombucha Grains?

The best thing to do in your absence is to put the kombucha in the refrigerator in about 250 ml of its own liquid, and make sure to leave some space so it can have enough air to breathe. It then falls into "hibernation" and can be kept like that for about three months.

 

Otherwise, if you leave it in the open air at a temperature of about 18° C / 64 F (so not very high), the fermentation process continues, as long as the kombucha has enough sugar and oxygen.

 

This is why the best way to keep the kombucha in your absence is the refrigerator.


Frequently Asked Questions about Kombucha

Kombucha disk
Kombucha disk

How to prepare kombucha drink?

The basic recipe for preparing the kombucha drink is available in the Recipes section of the site or simply by clicking here.

A detailed user guide will be attached to your order.


What to use for kombucha, sugar or honey?

It is the use of sugar that is recommended for the preparation of kombucha drink (white crystal sugar, cane sugar, rapadura sugar, etc.).The beverage requires sugar in order to ferment and stay alive. On the other hand, during the fermentation process, the sugar is converted into lactic acid and alcohol and at the end it is completely transformed.

Regarding the honey, this is a bactericide and therefore it could introduce composition changes in the beverage obtained and also it leads to the progressive loss of the "fungus".

It will happend the same if you use sweeteners: kombucha strain is exhausted and dies slowly.


Can kombucha be eaten?

Kombucha strain is not to be eaten: it must only be used in order to sow your drink.


How long does it take in order for the kombucha drink to be ready?

On average, it takes about 8 to 10 days for the kombucha drink to be ready.

While testing the beverage, it must be neither too sweet nor too acidic:

- if the taste is still a little too sweet, let the kombucha ferment one or two more days;

- if, on the contrary, you find the taste too acidic, let the next beverage ferment one day less.


Kombucha: Did it work?

When you start a new beverage, the "fungus" tends to sink to the bottom of the container that hosts it.

During the  fermentation, when it turns the tea, it produces carbon dioxide (CO2) under it, which makes it need some time to collect enough gas and bubbles to go back to the surface.

After a few days of preparation, a vinegar odor appears and a thin, transparent membrane forms above the "mushroom". All of this is perfectly normal and means that a new kombucha is on its way.

new kombucha, baby kombucha
Here, a new kombucha membrane has formed on the surface

My kombucha is damaged

By manipulating your kombucha, it sometimes happens that it is torn and that it is no longer as beautiful as a whole "mushroom". This problem is rather aesthetic, because this does not prevent it from constantly producing an additional layer on the surface of the jar that receives it.

The new membrane that forms over the damaged portion of the kombucha will simply be thinner, but after a few generations it will regain its normal thickness.

Sometimes, gas accumulates under the mushroom and pushes the new layer, still thin, above the surface of the liquid: in this case, simply lift the membrane so that the gas can escape. Thus, the membrane will again be in contact with the liquid and will have a more uniform growth.


What to do with the kombucha while in holidays?

The best thing to do during your absence is to put the kombucha in the refrigerator, in about 250 ml of its own liquid, provided you to leave a little air in the container so it can breathe. It then falls into "hibernation" and can be kept like that for about three months.

Otherwise, if you leave it in the open air, at a temperature of about 18 ° C (so not a very high one), the fermentation process continues, provided that the kombucha has enough sugar and oxygen.

For this reason, the best way to keep it during your absence is to put it in the refrigerator.


Kombucha Health Impacts

We can not generalize the effects of drinking kombucha beverages and say that the health impacts are the same for everyone. Each human body is different, and for this reason the effects of consuming this beverage may vary from person to person.

In general, the drink obtained by the fermentation of kombucha helps the body to heal itself.

Kombucha is also a refreshing, sparkling, pleasant-tasting, preservative-free drink that usually provides a sense of well-being.

We invite everyone to make their own experience of kombucha!

...a little wink to see the results of the kombucha consumption on the body:

 

Picture at left:                                 Picture at right:

Without kombucha                          With kombucha

Source:

Harald W. Tietz, Kombucha. The miraculous mushroom, Paris, Editions Amrita, 1998, p. 14


Consumption of kombucha by children

When producing the kombucha drink, the sugar that is added to the tea ferments during the process and it produces alcohol. The amount of alcohol depends at the same time on the temperature and also on the amount of sugar present in the fermentation jar.

With a minimum of 50 grams of sugar, the kombucha drink draws about 0.1% alcohol after 14 days, and about 0.3% after 21 days. If larger amounts of sugar are used (for e.g. 200 grams) the drink will reach 2% alcohol after 14 days, but its taste will be very sour and almost undrinkable. An ideal amount of sugar and a fermentation time of six to ten days produces a very low percentage of alcohol (Source: "Kombucha, The Miraculous Fungus", Harald W. Tietze, Amrita Editions, 2010). The drink can therefore be safely consumed by children and adolescents.


For comparison cider, obtained by the fermentation of apple juice, contains between 2% and 8% alcohol (source: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cidre).


How much kombucha can be drink?

What is the "best" way to drink kombucha beverage? Everyone should discover their own answer to this question, since each body is different and we do not react in the same way.

Many things can be similar, but everything will not be the same; this must be taken into account when determining the amount of kombucha drink we consume.

Nature does not like excesses. This applies to the kombucha beverage also, because consumed in large quantities it can cause temporary discomfort to some people (headaches or stomach aches, nausea, dizziness, diarrhea, constipation, pimples, redness, flatulence, etc.). This is why it is better to start with very small amounts and gradually increase the doses, week by week. If you start with two tablespoons taken three times a day you can normally prevent this kind of inconvenience.

The kombucha drink is not to consume permanently. An interruption of one to two weeks is welcome, so that the body can not get used to it and the expected effects of this drink continue to occur.


Green tea or black tea for kombucha?

Depending on the country, people prefer to consume black tea or green tea.

In Western Europe countries, people prefer generally the black tea, flavored or not with other plants (such as bergamot, etc.), fermented or semi-fermented, whose taste is stronger than the green tea's one, and whose stimulating effects are close to coffee's one.

In some countries of Asia and especially in Japan, it is the green tea that prevails; besides in this country, people usually also eat the green tea leaves, they are not consumed only in infusion.


Bacteriological analysis for the kombucha

Please notice that the bacteriological analysis results are only available in French. Thank you for your understanding.

Download
Résultat d'analyses kombucha 2017.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 162.4 KB

Where you can buy Kombucha?

You can buy water kefir right here below or you can buy it on our online shop with other kefir or kombucha products in combinations at promotion.

 

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