Article & Graphic by Éva Raposa
Have you tried kombucha yet?
It’s got a unique background to pair perfectly with its unique flavor. The flavor is like a cross between a juice and a sparkling water, and the feel is like an energy elixir. So good…!
The brand of kombucha we keep stocked for you is called GT’s (started by GT Dave), and the story behind is actually quite interesting. Dave started the business at only 15 years old after it seemed that his mom had healed an aggressive form of cancer; during that time, the single consistent change she’d made was drinking this very beverage!
That was in 1995, and Dave wanted to share, so he started brewing it to share with locals. Since then the business has obviously grown, but Dave is still very involved and brews the kombucha using “babies” of the Himalayan Mother SCOBY that was gifted to Dave’s dad and had come from a Buddhist nun!!
What exactly is kombucha? (And how is it made?)
Kombucha is a fermented beverage made from the alchemy of a SCOBY (more below), tea, sugar, filtered water, and some time to let them all combine. Over the course of 1-4 weeks, the beverage continues fermenting, and during that time the mix of ingredients creates a powerful probiotic-filled beverage.
What’s a SCOBY?
SCOBY stands for Symbiotic Colony Of Bacterial Yeast. It's not so scary as it sounds, we promise! The flat mushroom looking disc is simply the WAY this beverage is fermented and the naturally occurring probiotic benefits are created. Think of the similar process in creating cheese, kraut, and probiotics of any kind. You're essentially populating the "good" bacteria as an aid for your digestive system, especially when the kombucha was created in a safe environment as it is at GT Dave's!
And a SCOBY "baby" or "Mother"?!
Every time a batch of kombucha is brewed, the original SCOBY actually creates a brand new one that is smaller than the original. The original SCOBY is called the "Mother" and the new, smaller one is called the "baby"!
What about the sugar?
The sugar is transformed by the SCOBY as part of the fermentation process.
Is kombucha an alcoholic beverage?
Officially, yes, because a very small percentage of alcohol is created as part of the fermentation process. But the amount is even less than half of ONE percent alcohol. So you wouldn't drink kombucha to get a buzz any more than you'd drink vanilla extract based in alcohol!
What are the health benefits of Kombucha?
While everyone reacts differently to each individual food, beverage, and all that nature provides for us, there have been quite a few reported benefits of enjoying kombucha.
Even simply enjoying a delicious beverage that feels like a "party drink" but yet doesn't contain high fructose corn syrup, caffeine, table sugar, alcohol, or any of the other junkier standard ingredients... well... it's pretty nice!
(Like eating cake with no calories! ha!)
That said, you don't have to look far to find individuals who swear by kombucha having transformed their health. (Including here on island!) The biggest test is always going to be YOU. How do you feel when you drink kombucha? We're excited to offer this to you because it's in alignment with our mission to share health-inducing products to islanders.
Flavors at VG
Our flavors can vary from week to week, but some of the ones we often carry are Cosmic Cranberry, Trilogy, the Original, Guava Goddess, Gingerade. Come take a peek to see what you find this week! :-)
Serving Hints & Tips
- Serve your kombucha in a wine glass so it feels like an indulgence!
- If you'd like to enjoy some red wine -- but just a touch -- you might pair kombucha with equal parts red wine. HINT: The Trilogy and Cosmic Cranberry flavors keep the color a nice, bright pink. (With sangria, you have even more reason to enjoy it in a wine glass, it seems!)
- For a "Kombucha Float", scoop some ice cream into a glass, then pour kombucha over it. (Pssst, we carry Coconut Bliss and can confirm that this combination is absolutely divine. Try the vanilla ice cream with Cosmic Cranberry or Mystic Mango!)
- For SANGRIA, fill a pitcher with equal parts kombucha and red wine, then slice up some fruits like orange, grapefruit, and grapes. (So good!)
- You could also just enjoy it straight out of the bottle. That's already plenty of healthy indulgence!