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Common kombucha queries
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 (left over from the yeast fermentation – not enough to get anyone tiddly) 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?
The taste of kombucha generally tastes somewhere between a light cider (try our Smokehouse flavour) and a fragrant sparkling wine (try our Iron Goddess) but with richer, slightly acidic undertones. The great thing about kombucha is that while each bottle will taste pretty similar to the last one, it’s a live product, so there’s always the possibility of something different coming through. Every bottle is an adventure.
What on earth 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.
Questions about Real Kombucha
How long does a bottle of Real Kombucha last?
We suggest a best before date of four months from bottling, but that is only to ensure you get the absolutely best flavour from the brew. As Kombucha is quite acidic it will never go ‘off’ to the point that it will be harmful to you, but as Real Kombucha is a natural, living brew, the probiotic bacterias will continue to feed over time and after a few months you may find that your bottle is beginning to taste a bit more vinegary. To slow down this process it is always better to keep Real Kombucha in a cool place.
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 go into 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 is 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.
Where can I find Real Kombucha?
We sell it in a variety of spots around London (and certain special places around the rest of the UK). Best to take a look at our kombucha map to find your nearest bottle of booch.
Can I order Real Kombucha online?
We don’t currently sell Real Kombucha online as shipping high quality kombucha by overnight shippers can really damage the quality of the product. We sell to a wide range of shops, bars and restaurants in a way that best protects the quality of the drink. However, if we ever find a way to ship it successfully overnight, you could be the first to know. Sign up to our newsletter for the latest news, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
I want to stock Real Kombucha in my establishment. Who should I talk to?
Give us a call on … or drop us an email here and we would be very happy to chat. Alternatively, we are distributed through these distributors.