I'm sure many of you know all about the health benefits of kombucha. So this is mainly for those of you who are unfamiliar with what kombucha is. The short answer is, kombucha is a fermented tea that originated in China. One of the many things it is known for is its detoxification benefits. It contains bacterial acids and enzymes our body uses to detox our system. Glucosamine can also be found in kombucha which helps with joint care. And probably one of the most commonly known facts about kombucha is that it is chock-full of probiotics- a term being heard more and more these days. The probiotics in kombucha aid in a healthy digestive system which not only helps us feel better physically, but also mentally. Some people have noticed benefits in their overall mental clarity, moods, anxiety, and depression when consumed on a regular basis. Kombucha has a natural effervescence to it which can be quite refreshing.
The basic ingredients used in making kombucha are tea, water, sugar, and a SCOBY. You might be thinking to yourself, "What is a SCOBY?". Basically a SCOBY is the starter culture you will need in order to make kombucha. SCOBY stands for Symbiotic Culture of friendly Bacteria and Yeast. You can obtain a SCOBY buy purchasing one from a reputable source, you can grow one from a bottle of raw kombucha, or perhaps you know someone who makes their own kombucha and that would also be a great source. Even though there is sugar in kombucha, it is needed to feed the SCOBY during the fermentation process so by the time the kombucha is ready for consumption, a large portion of the sugar is gone.
I have personally never made kombucha but I know people who do and they claim it is not that difficult. And I suppose if I didn't have access to several great brands of kombucha, I would probably do the same. Fortunately, the Growlerie is right around the corner. So I go there weekly and fill up a couple of growlers with some of my favorite flavors. This is less costly than purchasing individual bottles at your local store as they tend to run between $3-$4 for about 14oz. Plus with the growlers, you are reusing your own glass bottles. I usually stick to locally made kombucha and always select raw and organic brands. If you purchase kombucha that is not raw, you will not receive the full nutritional benefits from it as it has been through the pasteurization process. Locally, the best places to buy kombucha in individual bottles is either New Seasons or Whole Foods.
Some of my favorite brands and flavors are Humm Kombucha which is made in Bend, OR. The Blueberry Mint and Chai are my favorite flavors from Humm. Another favorite is Brew Dr. which is brewed in Portland, OR. My favorite flavors are Spiced Apple Kava and Just Ginger. And lastly, another top choice is Happy Mountain which is also brewed and bottled in Portland, OR. You can't go wrong with their Coconut Oolong! I realize that for some of you, these local favorites of mine may not be available to you in your area. If that is the case, GT's Kombucha can be found nationwide and is raw and organic. They have a ton of flavors to choose from and I enjoy many of them. But to rattle off a few, there Gingerberry, Chai, Gingerade, and Strawberry are some that I really enjoy. Just read your labels carefully when selecting your kombucha as some tend to have more sugar than others.