What is Kombucha
Kombucha is a fermented tea. It is made by combining black or green tea, sugar and a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast known as SCOBY.
The SCOBY ferments (i.e. breaks down) the sugar, changing the polyphenols in the tea and forming various acids & alcohols, giving Kombucha it’s sharp taste. This process also forms carbon dioxide gas, which gives Kombucha it’s bubbles. It is these organic compounds formed that is thought to give Kombucha it’s health benefits.
Choosing a Kombucha
The final nutrition composition of Kombucha and thus it’s health benefits depends on many factors. These include:
- initial concentrations of tea and sugar
- the bacteria and yeast used
- fermentation time and temperature
- oxygen and carbon dioxide levels
- final sugar levels
Many brands are creating their own unique brews of Kombucha, making it difficult to know whichone to opt for. When choosing a Kombucha, I like to look at:
- The bacteria used – look at thelabel and ingredients list and check if the brand states that they use a SCOBY and which bacteria they use.
- Brewing time – Kombuchas are brewed from 7-30+days. A longer brewing time results in a lower sugar content in the final Kombucha product and more organic compounds produced.
- The final sugar content – the lower the better
- How it tastes – some Kombuchas can have bitter, vinegary taste, so finding one you enjoy the taste of is important.
Why I Choose Nexba’s Kombucha
With these above factors in mind, I choose to drink Nexba’s Kombucha. Here’s why:
- The bacteria used – Nexba state on their packaging that they use a living SCOBY & list the bacteria used, Bacillus Coagulans. Bacillus Coagulans is deemed a “smart and robust probiotic” as it is encased in a protective outer shell, allowing a higher percentage to reach your gut unharmed and populate your colon. It can also survive higher temperatures than most other probiotics on the market, which means Nexba’s Kombucha doesn’t require refrigeration.
- Brewing time – Nexba brew their Kombucha for 40 days to ensure that all the sugar has been consumed during the fermentation period. Remember that most other Kombuchas are brewed between 7-30days.
- The final sugar content – due to the extended fermentation time of 40days, all of the sugar is consumed by the bacteria, resulting in Nexba’s Kombucha having 0grams of sugar per 100ml!!
- How it tastes – the delicious flavour of Nexba’s Kombucha is what actually drew me to fall in love with their Kombucha in the first place. It comes in three flavours, Elderflower & Lemon, Cinnamon & Lime and Mixed Berry; the berry is my favourite!
Take Home Message
There are many factors that influence your gut health. Eating a wide variety of nutritious foods, especially plant foods, is key. Kombucha is a great alternative to sugar-laden soft drinks, energy drinks and alcohol. While there is not enough evidence to use Kombucha to treat medical conditions, it is a fermented beverage and thus may provide some of the probiotic benefits for a healthy gut, similar to that of yoghurt, miso, tempeh, kefir and probiotic supplements!
When selecting a Kombucha, you should consider the bacteria used, sugar content and brewing time, as well as personal taste. Based on these criteria, Nexba is my Kombucha of choice!
Editor’s Note: This article was written as part of my work with Nexba. All opinions are my own.