Kombucha is a fermented and sweetened tea that contains vitamins, amino acids and other nutrients. It’s been around for 2,000 years, at least, and various legends have attached themselves to it. Maybe it was invented in 220 BCE for a Chinese Emperor. Maybe it kept Genghis Khan’s soldiers fit for battle. Maybe Dr. Kombu, a Korean, gave it to a Japanese emperor. Maybe Alexander Solzhenitsyn, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, drank it to stay alive when exiled in Siberia. Maybe it was a regular part of President Ronald Reagan’s food regimen. Then again, maybe not. What we do know is that kombucha has been “in” and it’s been “out” over the years. We are experiencing one of its “in” times, and that’s a good thing.
Though fermented, Kombucha is classified as non-alcoholic (alcohol content is less than 0.5%). The tea goes through a double fermentation. A pancake-shaped “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast” (SCOBY) is placed in the sweetened tea mixture and left to ferment at room temperature for one-to-three weeks. It is then bottled and left for one-to-two weeks to contain the released CO2 and encourage carbonation—the step that gives Kombucha its famous fizz. The bottled kombucha is then refrigerated to slow down the fermentation and carbonation processes. The result is a powerful detoxifying and alkalizing tonic that has been shown to aid healthy liver function, balance blood sugar and improve digestion.
Kate Field began brewing kombucha as a hobby. She had a long interest in healthy eating, working in Washington, DC, to educate underserved communities on proper nutrition and food preparation at the time. Previously, she was a Healthy Food Initiative Coordinator, developing curriculum and recipes after apprenticing at Stony Creek Farm, where she sowed and reaped, milked and butchered in between educating guests about the benefits of local, organic and natural foods. So it was no surprise when she decided to share the benefits of kombucha and the satisfaction received by brewing it at home.
Her first step: creating a home brewing kit with the highest quality tools, 100% organic ingredients and step-by-step instructions—everything that a new brewer needs to get started as soon as the package arrives on the doorstep. The kit contains cultures grown using triple-filtered water, organic sugar, organic tea and organic kombucha starter to ensure that your final culture contains the highest grade of beneficial acids and bacteria.
Second step: launching her website The Kombucha Shop, which is now one of the largest and most reliable kombucha brewing companies today. In addition to the brewing kits, the site has the individual items for purchase, such as the glass jars, pH test strips and adhesive temperature gauges.
The kit includes the Original Kombucha Tea Blend of organic Ceylon and Oolong teas specially formulated to deliver the classic kombucha with citrusy notes and smoky, earthy tones. On the website are the Sencha, Mint and Raspberry tea blends for when you want to get creative, as well as freeze-dried flavorings, such as blueberry, pineapple, ginger and lavender. A Post-Brewing Guide has advice on bottling your brew, concocting limitless flavors and caring for your kombucha culture. And if you get stuck at any step in the process, there is an expert support team ready to answer any questions.