Which Kombucha is really healthy?
Just because it says kombucha on it, doesn't always mean it's real! Healthy, refreshing, full of probiotics, good for the intestines and the immune system ... These are just some of the keywords for the fermented tea drink.
You hear so much about this miracle drink! Is it true for all the ones you find in the supermarket or online stores? We've put together 7 simple facts for you. These will help you choose for the right purchase.
Checklist for real unpasteurized Kombucha
1. glass bottle
Kombucha should be bottled in a glass bottle, not a plastic bottle or metal can. This naturally very acidic beverage will continue to ferment continuously if left unrefrigerated. The organic acids could react negatively with the steel or plastic and contaminate the drink. Using glass bottles is also not also more sustainable for our environment.
Raw kombucha often develops some sediment or small mini tea fungi and yeasts at the bottom. This sediment is a good indication of unpasteurized and unfiltered production. The many valuable ingredients that can be produced during fermentation are still alive. Just shake the bottle gently and the sediment will be gone. So always reach for products labeled "Raw" and "unpasteurized".
3. correct ingredient order
As with most foods, good quality can be identified by the order and composition. For a high quality kombucha, it takes no more than these 4 ingredients: Water, a tea extract based on a black tea or green tea, a kombucha culture, and sugar. In addition, natural ingredients such as a fruit juice or herbs or other natural additives can be added. Also, the kombucha culture should not be listed at the end of the ingredient order.
4. organic ingredients and without additives
As with most foods and beverages, it is beneficial to support companies labeled with organic labels. You can also make sure that the kombucha is kept as simple as possible. Some manufacturers add various artificial additives or extracts to the tea drink after fermentation. These only serve to optimize the taste and are actually unnecessary.
5. natural fermentation and live cultures
Ingredients such as herbal tea ferment concentrate, apple cider vinegar and acidifiers can be found on some bottles. These offer an indication that no natural fermentation with a tea fungus ever took place. For a true kombucha, only the kombucha cultures should be listed. Also, the exact number or content of certain "probiotics" indicates industrial production. Probiotics were added after the fact in the form of supplements.
6. short shelf life and refrigerated storage
Naturally fermented and unpasteurized kombucha usually has a shelf life of no more than 9 months if kept refrigerated. If it is not refrigerated in the supermarket and has a shelf life much longer than that, it is not "Raw". It is either pasteurized or has not been traditionally fermented. Heads up: Kombucha can be labeled "Raw" even if it has not been traditionally fermented!
7. colour, smell and consistency
Last but not least, your good sense of smell and taste will help you figure out if it's a high quality drink. Most of the time, it smells slightly tart yet fruity.
Thanks for reading!