Kombucha is big business right now. Celebrities are drinking it, nutritionists are proclaiming it to be the next best thing, and everyone seems to want their slice of this gross, fermented pie. But what is kombucha tea, what are the health benefits everyone is raving about and is it really that special?
What is Kombucha Tea?
A type of fermented tea that has been consumed in China for thousand of years, kombucha is made from a combination of tea, sugar and bacteria, the latter of which comes from a specific type of bacteria often taken from old cultures much like the yeast used to make family recipes of sour dough bread.
It has been part of the Western health food scene for several decades now, but until fairly recently it was relatively niche and unheard of. Only in the last few years has it begun to take hold with western buyers, turned into a health drink set to rival the biggest on the market.
What is Green Tea Kombucha?
This fomented tea can be made with any type of tea. It is often made with black tea, which has a rich, strong color and makes for a stronger drink. But it can also be made with green tea, which is what green tea kombucha is. Some varieties of this drink are made with multiple types of tea, including white.
Kombucha Side Effects
As you can imagine for something that is fermented without alcohol (which acts as a sterilizing agent) kombucha tea is quite dangerous when made yourself. It is probably not as dangerous as it’s made out to be online and the truth is that you would need to make some pretty big mistakes when brewing it in order to suffer any serious health consequences. However, a risk is a risk and a side effect is a side effect—so it’s best to avoid any of the latter by negating all of the former.
You can do this by simply buying some kombucha tea from your local health food sore. Even major grocery stores are stocking it now as it’s become the must-have beverage in the heath food sector. It’s cheap, costing you just a few dollars for a bottle that will last a day or two, and when you buy from the store you are drastically reducing your risk of encountering any health issues.
Kombucha Tea Benefits
There are many claims made about kombucha tea, most of which are positive. First and foremost, it is a probiotic that also happens to be loaded with antioxidants. The former comes from the fermentation process while the latter comes from the tea. Kombucha tea begins by brewing a strong batch of black tea, so there are a lot of healthy antioxidants in there, most of which are still there after the fermentation process.
These probiotics will boost the healthy bacteria in your gut, helping to improve the natural rhythm of things. If you constantly have problems with your intestines, ranging from heavy flatulence or bouts of constipation, it may be the result of low gut bacteria and a hefty, regular dose of probiotics can fix that.
Regular consumption of probiotics can help with much more than that as well. It is believed that many of the problems we encounter in our lives begin in the gut and by having healthy bacteria there you can reduce the chances of such problems occurring.
Kombucha tea’s high antioxidant profile gives it powerful curative properties that can have all kind of health benefits, and research suggests that this mighty tea can also assist in regulating cholesterol levels, increasing the good and decreasing the bad.
One of the main reason this tea is popular right now is the supposed weight-loss properties, although these are often compared to green tea and what little research that exists suggest green tea is better suited for this task.
Kombucha Tea and Cancer
Finally, there are claims that kombucha can be used to prevent cancer, with others suggesting it can even help to cure it. The Big C always seem to get a mention where the latest superfood or beverage is concerned, but as is so often the case there is little research to back these claims up.
There is some promise here as kombucha contains polyphenols, which we know to have anti-cancer properties. These are present in all teas and may actually be more prominent in other varieties of the world’s favorite drink. But it still bodes well for this drink and for the many people who have taken to drinking it on a daily basis.
Reviews of Kombucha Tea
Now that we’ve discussed the health benefits of kombucha and the potential side effects, just where can you find the best version of this tea? We have tried many different versions of this fermented tea over the last few years and the best we have tasted are listed below.
GT’s Kombucha Tea
This brand hasn’t just jumped on the bandwagon. It has been active for over 20 years now and has been producing some of the finest kombucha in the United States ever since. Kombucha tea was the first product they added to their range back in the 1990s, but they have since expanded into other products, including ones made from apple cider vinegar and turmeric. It’s well worth checking all of them out.
If you can find these products in your local store, offline or online we would definitely recommend trying them for yourself. They might be a little more expensive than some cheaper brands, but you really do get what you pay for.
Yogi Kombucha Tea
Although this is a nice tea and a cheap way to get some of this fermented tea into you, it’s not quite the cold, ready-to-drink experience that you might expect. They sell their kombucha tea as a mixture of teas in a bag. They are organic, they include some flavorings to take the edge off and you get many of the healthy ingredients associated with kombucha as well.
It’s perfect for getting a boost of antioxidants without spending too much money, but if you really want to benefit from the goodness of kombucha tea, you should look for a ready-to-drink, fresh beverage instead, such as GT’s Kombucha Tea.
Yogi teas do a few other healthy teas that you might also want to consider. Although they are cheaper than many smaller, organic brands on the market, they still produce deliciously healthy teas and they also go to great lengths to ensure they use organic, vegan ingredients, and compostable, bio-degradable packaging where possible.