What is kombucha?

Ah, the age-old question: what is kombucha? It’s one we’ve spent a lot of time asking ourselves – putting our very own Real Kombucha under the microscope and really trying to get on speaking terms with what has been variously called ‘the elixir of life’, mushroom tea, and ‘stomach treasure’.

We’ve got loads of information all over our website on what kombucha is (and what it isn’t), including articles on the health benefits of kombucha, what a scoby is, why we think kombucha is best unflavoured, and where you can buy kombucha in the UK. But for a simple answer to the question, what is kombucha, read on…

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 trace 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? 

We think it sits somewhere between a light cider (try our Smoke House flavour) and a fragrant sparkling wine (try our Royal Flush) 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.

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.

Why don’t you flavour Real Kombucha?  

While it’s true that most kombucha companies add flavouring to their drinks, it’s not something we choose to do. We’ve found that, with the right tea and the right brewing process, there’s simply no need to add anything to what is already a sophisticated and refreshing drink.

Fermenting different teas has shown that a variety of subtle flavours already exist in the brews, so we put 125 different teas through their paces to see which leaves really works. What we’ve ended up with is a collection of (currently) three distinct flavours that suit a range of occasions, none of which contain anything other than fermented tea. That means no added sugars, no weird medicinal tastes, and absolutely nothing unnatural. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Where can I buy kombucha in the UK? 

We’ve set up our very own UK kombucha map so that you can locate Real Kombucha (and plenty of others) quickly and easily. We know how urgently that booch thirst can strike…