Kombucha, pronounced kom-BOO-cha, is a fermented drink made with tea, sugar, bacteria and yeast. It originated in Manchuria and later spread to Russia. The tea first received attention in the United States during the 1990s and has gained popularity with the health conscious crowd in the last few years. Fans of the drink believe its consumption results in numerous health benefits, improved digestion and immunity are the most commonly cited. However, these claims have yet to be fully vetted by the scientific community. The Mayo Clinic suggests caution with homemade brews. Illness may result from non-sterile brewing conditions or production in ceramic pots; acids in the tea may leach lead from the ceramic glaze.
In the last month I have tried two kinds of kombucha, GT’s Organic Raw Kombucha and Barefootbucha. I purchased both at Whole Foods. The GT’s original flavor was nasty. I had to choke it down. It tasted like stinky gym sock soda. The Barefootbucha ginger flavor was a different story. It reminded me of ginger beer, a less sweet version of ginger ale.
I like kombucha because it is a healthy alternative to soda. A serving has roughly 30 calories and, to my knowledge, no artificial sweeteners. I am looking forward to to trying another Barefootbucha flavor and would be open to trying another brand.