REAL Kombucha FAQs
It’s possible that the question you have is one that someone else has already asked. Have a look through our list below. Is there a question that hasn’t been covered? Send us a message.
WHAT IS KOMBUCHA?
Kombucha is fermented tea. It is a combined yeast and bacterial fermentation that results in a drink that is slightly tart (that’s the flavour of the beneficial acids and vinegars), has a very small amount of alcohol (around 0.5%, as you will find in most non-alcoholic beers, which is left over from the yeast fermentation) and only a small amount of remaining sugars (which means it’s not going to sit heavily on your waistline).
WHAT DOES KOMBUCHA TASTE LIKE?
Our Royal Flush is brewed from a First Flush Darjeeling tea. It is richly fragrant and creates a brew that is fresh and floral. We add nothing, but the tea alone develops notes of rhubarb, white peach and a touch of blackcurrant. The fruit and spice flavours round out the acids to make it soft and delicate.
Our Dry Dragon is light and citrusy with notes of sweet lemons and grapefruit, but with a delicate leafy undertone. Brewed from a Dragonwell Chinese green tea, it is dry and fresh – a perfect light summer spritz to be drunk at any time of day.
WHAT IS A SCOBY?
A scoby is the heart of the kombucha brewing process (the acronym stands for Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast). It is the bacteria/yeast culture that you add to your tea to kick off the fermentation. Anyone who has been near a kombucha brew house will recognise the scoby as the endlessly fascinating layer that grows on top of the liquid.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY AN OLD MOTHER?
At REAL Kombucha we are enormously respectful of age. In our brewhouse, by far the most important creatures are our Old Mothers: Gaia, Molly, Leda and Natalia. These tanks of pure culture are the heart of what we do and we tend to them with enormous care: feeding them, keeping them warm and even talking to them from time to time. The cultures in each have been split and passed down probably for hundreds of years from family to family and country to country before they ever arrived here with us. So it’s only right that we treat them with the respect that their age deserves.
HOW IS KOMBUCHA BREWED?
Making kombucha is actually very easy: you simply add your scoby culture to a pot of warm sweetened tea and leave it for a couple of weeks to ferment. It’s actually quite similar to brewing beer or wine. The trick to making great kombucha though is to really carefully and tightly manage every stage of the process to get an extraordinary flavour.
HOW LONG DOES A BOTTLE OF REAL KOMBUCHA LAST?
On receipt of your drinks, store them in a cool place (ideally 20ºc or lower). Transfer them to refrigeration a day or so before consuming, so that you can enjoy them at the ideal temperatures. Consume by the best before date that you’ll find printed on your bottle.
WHAT IS DIFFERENT ABOUT REAL KOMBUCHA?
REAL Kombucha is a very special brew. In order to create the wide range of exquisite flavours we only use tea, sugar and our proprietary kombucha culture. We add nothing else. We never adulterate with flavourings or juices. To achieve our great flavours we have to use the highest quality and most characterful teas, and we have to control our process with a level of knowledge and precision known only in the best wine making or beer brewing processes. Many others will produce a fairly rough kombucha base and flavour the liquid to mask it. We think this is sacrilege when, with a little care and attention, you can create such refined and wonderful ferments just from tea itself.
WHAT INGREDIENTS DO YOU USE IN REAL KOMBUCHA?
It really is just tea, sugar and our specially grown kombucha culture. And much of the sugar is consumed in the brewing process so you are left with a full flavoured drink that is as healthy as it is refreshing.
CAN I GET THE REAL KOMBUCHA RECIPE?
Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as that. At the heart of a REAL Kombucha brew is our Old Mother cultures that we have sourced, mixed and evolved over time to give the best combination of flavours. Then it is the particular teas we source from specific tea gardens around the world which give us the beautiful floral aromas. And finally it is a whole combination of tiny factors in our proprietary brewing process that tweak and extract the flavour to get it just right. It is not easy to replicate.
DOES KOMBUCHA CONTAIN ALCOHOL
Kombucha contains a trace of alcohol as a byproduct of the fermentation process, but the amount is so small that it is does not build up in your bloodstream, and is therefore officially considered non-alcoholic. We are talking around 0.5%, which is the same as you would find in many non-alcoholic beers. This is why you’ll find us alongside the non-alcoholic beers and wines in supermarkets.
DOES KOMBUCHA CONTAIN CAFFEINE?
At REAL, we brew with a strength of tea that is far below the level you’d have in a standard cuppa. We also believe that some of the caffeine is dissipated in the fermentation process. However, as it is a tea-based product, allergies and sensitivities should be taken into consideration at your discretion. If you’d like to read about this in more depth, we’ve written about it on our blog, which you can read here.
WHERE CAN I BUY REAL KOMBUCHA?
We sell it in a variety of spots around the UK, and we’re really proud to be working with some of Britain’s most prestigious and well-respected restaurants, hotels and bars. Best to take a look at our kombucha map to find your nearest bottle of booch.
I WANT TO BECOME A REAL KOMBUCHA STOCKIST. HOW CAN I GET IN TOUCH WITH YOU?
We work with a number of national distributors, and it’s highly likely that you can order us already. Drop us an email here and we would be very happy to set up a conversation.