WTF Even Is Kombucha?

By Brooke Harrison
30th Aug 2016

Wild Kombucha

First it was kale, and then it was quinoa. With all these superfoods popping up all over the joint, we are on our way to universal domination, surely? And, just a little insider tip you guys- it’s pronounced keen-wah, not kwin-o-ah, FYI (you can thank me later). 

I’m just one more coconut water away from that glowing Kylie Jenner skin and I’m pretty sure I can feel my liver thanking me by the sip. Whoops, yes, I may have had a few too many champas last night, but this oh-so-delicious, flavourless (let’s be honest) drink is helping to hide the evidence of my recurring late nights, so these gag inducing mouthfuls will be totally worth it in the end…. well, here’s to hoping.

In today’s society, it’s hard to keep up with all the fads and trends. I wouldn’t be complaining if I never have to eat another spoonful of kale powder again (who am I!?). I mean, these superfoods don’t seem to be turning me into any more of a superhuman than I intend to be and quite frankly, I’m getting fed up (and fed full) with all these acai berries and chia seeds. Oh, but sweet potato can totally stay. 

What we all really want from these so called ‘superfoods’ is, well, immortality obvs. I mean, I wouldn’t be self-inflicting the need to sit and pick seeds out of my teeth all day just for the fun of it. That’s why I jumped on the bandwagon of the one drink that has been undeniably on many a hipster radar for the past year or so and I’m gracefully filling my sink with coconut water in rejoice. Herein, I introduce to you wild kombucha- the fermented drink with floaties in it that you may have mistaken for beer from time to time only to be mildly disappointed. 

Well, disappoint not fellow health junkies, because this drink is claiming to be the tea of immortality, and with its (minimal) alcohol content, it’s drawing in a broad following. A naturally detoxifying and energising drink, this carbonated, vinegary probiotic beverage is literally ticking all of my boxes. Consumed for centuries in Asia, Russia and Eastern Europe, we’re a bit slow on the uptake, but apparently the bacteria (a.k.a. said floaties) and yeast turns the sugars into a range of organic acids which helps to do all sorts of things, like aid in digestion and sort out liver problems- hallelujah! 

What The Hell Is It?

But, like all things claiming to have super powers, I’ve been curious to know what the actual eff wild kombucha even is and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone. So to kill your curiosity, this is what I’ve learned. There’s a colony of bacteria that results from the fermentation of green and black tea, referred to as the ‘mother’ Scoby (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). Sounds cute right? And, like all good mums, this one does all the hard work for you and metabolizes the organic sugar and caffeine in the tea, so you don't have to, whilst giving you a drink packed with probiotics, amino acids and enzymes. Hoorah! 

Where To Try It

Because coconut water could never quite fit the bill, even the giants in hospitality are taking this one under their wing. Yep, you guessed it (contain your excitement guys!), a kombucha bar has been launched in celebration of the living drink, with thanks to Ballsy Brewing and their Wild Kombucha By Ballsy, so now you can get it on tap. 

So there you go, it really is like beer, sort of, but not really.  There’s even a range of after-hours events adopting the beverage including the likes of Lululemon’s Flow After Dark, because G&Ts are just so yesterday. Our very own celebrity chef Peter Gilmore has also joined the mass following, working with Ballsy Brewing to develop a honey based brew that is available exclusively in Bennelong and Quay restaurants. Talk about fancy.   

The Verdict

So there you have it. I might be over superfood fads, but luckily for me this one isn’t technically a superfood- this is a mainstream-drinking trend that my gut is happily adopting. I’m saying goodbye to green juices and hello to wild kombucha and, maybe, just maybe, I’ll be saying goodbye to the champas too- but let’s not get too carried away.  

For more healthy eating inspo, head here

Image credit: Ballsy Brewing

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