Kombucha, the Beverage Friendly to our Health: discover with us Benefits and Preparation!

Kombucha is a fermented tea-based beverage originating in China that is rich in many beneficial properties for the body. Its thousand-year history is rooted in the East but is gradually conquering the West as well, so much so that today its consumption is particularly popular in the United States and is catching on in Europe as well.

Here is what Kombucha is, how it is prepared, and what its benefits are.

What is Kombucha

Kombucha is a fermented tea-based beverage with a sweet, tart, and slightly fizzy flavor that, for the low sugar content, provides many beneficial properties.

In fact, Kombucha is rich in good bacteria that strengthen our gut microbiota, and for this very reason it is considered a functional beverage for our body’s well-being.

The history of Kombucha

As is often indicated, Kombucha’s date of birth is supposed to date back to 221 B.C., the year the Qin dynasty took over the Chinese imperial throne. There is no hard evidence to confirm this, but fermented food consumption has always been widespread in China, and tea consumption seems to have originated here. Specifically, it seems that it was Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi who was the first to drink the famous “immortality” tea that would keep him young and healthy forever.

Other sources instead set the birth of Kombucha in Japan. In fact, it is said that Kombucha was used during the 10th century B.C. by Japanese Samurai who drank it before each battle as a potion to increase strength and cunning.

What is Scoby, the culture that gives rise to Kombucha

Kombucha is made by fermenting sweetened tea (any type of tea will do) through the action of a culture of yeast and bacteria that is called Scoby (sometimes mistakenly called Scooby), which stands for Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast.

Just as in the case of beer, the yeasts in the Scoby consume all the sugar that is added to the tea, producing carbon dioxide and alcohol, at a rate of less than 1 percent.

The benefits and properties of Kombucha

Kombucha is best known for its properties and human health benefits . In fact, consuming Kombucha allows the body to be strengthened all round, for example, improving the function of our immune system and promoting the proper action of the stomach and intestines and thus our digestion.

The main properties of Kombucha are as follows:

  • Is antioxidant, thanks to substances in the tea such as polyphenols;
  • Is rich in B vitamins ;
  • hasantifungal and antibacterial action (the good bacteria in the drink protect it from external pathogens);
  • also seems to be able to act on our mood, making it more stable;
  • Is a greatnon-alcoholic alternative to the classic aperitif!

A Kombucha recipe: how to make it easily at home

It is very simple to prepare Kombucha at home. The ingredients needed to prepare one liter of Kombucha are:

  • 1 liter of water;
  • About ten tea leaves, preferably black;
  • 80 g sugar;
  • 70 ml mature Kombucha;
  • 100 g Scoby;
  • Spices or herbs to taste;
  • 1 glass container;
  • 1 glass bottle;
  • 1 gauze (or breathable napkin);
  • 1 colander.

The process begins with bringing the water to a boil so as to eliminate any pathogens. Next, tea leaves are added and steeped for no longer than 5 minutes. Then the tea should be strained and sweetened to taste: at this point you should wait for the tea to cool and the temperature to drop below 30 degrees. You pour the tea into a glass container and add the ripe Kombucha and Scoby.

Finally, you cover the container with thin, breathable gauze. You have to let the mixture ferment at room temperature for a period of 7 to 15 days-the level of fermentation should be chosen according to your personal taste. Once fermentation is complete, it is filtered and decanted into a glass bottle that will be stored in the refrigerator.

If desired, Kombucha can also undergo a second fermentation; in fact, it will suffice to leave the bottles sealed this time and at room temperature for an additional 1-2 days (the time will depend on the ambient temperature). During these hours the bacteria and yeast will continue to consume the sugar and oxygen, and will concurrently produce carbon dioxide that will make the drink fizzy.

BUT CAUTION! Since, as we said, second fermentation leads to the production ofCO2 and thus to increased pressure in the bottle, remember to vent at least a couple of times a day by opening the cork.

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