• Phill Danze

Kombucha, the Soda Alternative

Kombucha is made by fermenting sugared tea using a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast; commonly called a "SCOBY" or "mother". Fruit, berries and spices (e.g. ginger) are added to part of the fermentation process to create the various flavours we see in store.

There are many reported health benefits of kombucha due to the live cultures (probiotics) it contains. The jury is out on the actual benefits of kombucha probiotics however because most of the sugar is used up in the fermentation process, it is the resulting low sugar benefits that I think make this a great soda alternative.

Low sugar means fewer calories, lower insulin spikes and no sugar rush/crash.

There are many makers of kombucha now due to its rise in popularity and it is now stocked in many supermarkets. Coca Cola has even acquired an Aussie kombucha maker (Mojo) as consumers move away from their traditional sugary drinks.

Below are the nutrition panels of Coke, and two kombucha drinks from different manufacturers respectively. The kombucha drink in the middle has 74% less sugar than coke. The kombucha drink on the far right has more than 90% less sugar than coke. Note though, that the kombucha on the right has used some sugar alternative sweeteners whereas the one in the middle, on checking, did not.

When choosing a kombucha, aways read the ingredients so you know you are getting a "real" kombucha. Some I have seen use a kombucha "extract" rather be a truly fermented kombucha. Same applies to sourdough bread, check the ingredients for "sourdough flavouring" or yeast; a true sourdough bread does not need (baker's) yeast added; sorry I went off track for a second.

You can even make your own kombucha if you fancy. I have a friend who always has a batch brewing with some amazing flavours.

So next time you feel like a sweet, fizzy drink, grab a kombucha.

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