What is kombucha?

What is kombucha?

Picture this, you’re at a supermarket and you come across the soft drink aisle. ”Kombucha..?” You’ve heard about this supposedly healthy drink, but you don’t really know what it is, and at this point, you’re too afraid to ask (these new-fangled words and health foods can be scary!). Luckily, you don’t have to ask - here’s our quick breakdown of what Kombucha actually is, where it came from and why exactly people enjoy drinking it.

What is kombucha?

Kombucha is a fermented tea which is often sweetened or flavoured, and is best known for its unique sweet vinegary taste. In its most basic form, kombucha contains only three primary ingredients - yeast, sugar and black tea, which when combined and left to ferment creates a thick film on top of the liquid called scoby.

Despite its bizarre look, scoby is key to what makes kombucha, well, kombucha. The drink gets its natural fiziness, as well as many of its supposed medical and health benefits from this good-bacteria filled film.

Where did kombucha come from? 

Even though it seems that every supermarket and servo stocks our favourite fizzy drink nowadays, Kombucha is actually very old - ancient in fact! Originating in China over 2000 years ago, Kombucha was revered for its healing and detoxifying properties, slowly moving its way to Russia and Eastern Europe as trade routes expanded.

Kombucha became a really popular beverage in France and North Africa during the second world war after scientists reported that the tea shared similar health benefits with yoghurt - not to mention the fact that it was cheap and easy to make. After a popularity boom in Italy post World War Two, Kombucha only continued to spread.

And the rest, as they say, is history!

Why do people drink kombucha?

Other than its unique and delicious flavour, there are many reasons people are obsessed with this fizzy soft drink-alternative. Like we mentioned above, Kombucha has plenty of good bacteria floating around, which helps improve gut health and keep your bowels in tip-top shape. Kombucha also contains antioxidants, which is said to help with inflammation and reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers.

This fizzy tea is also great for people looking for healthy alternatives to classic soft drinks because it’s usually available in a huge range of flavours and contains a natural fiziness which is similar to soda. It’s also perfect for people who are looking to lower their sugar intake or for those who can’t consume that much sugar (eg. people with diabetes) as kombucha is usually naturally low in sugar. As a result, Kombucha is a great alternative for people with diabetes, those who practice a keto diet or people who are interested in weight loss.

Kombucha is now also available as a full strength alcoholic beverage! Brands (including ours!) are riding the Kombucha wave and creating full strength alcoholic variants of the classic fizzy drink, making it an ideal alternative to the much more carby and sugary beers and ciders. Here at HALO our alcoholic kombucha is naturally fermented using a proprietary two-stage fermentation process - which is just a very fancy and sciency way of saying that our kombucha is brewed to be alcoholic, rather than mixed with alcohol like many of the hard kombuchas out there.

To summarise, Kombucha is a type of fermented tea that comes in a huge variety of flavours and is often drunk due to its range of health benefits. It’s also a great low sugar, low carb and low calorie alternative to sodas and juices, as well as ciders and beers if it’s an alcoholic kombucha like ours.