Our new arrival this week is a fermented tea drink hailing from Asia – that’s right, it’s kombucha! We’re specifically looking at Real Kombucha’s Dry Dragon, made with fermented pan-fried green tea leaves.
But first, a little about the somewhat mysterious drink. It turns out tea isn’t just for your morning cuppa. Kombucha is made by brewing loose leaf tea in water, adding sugar, and then adding a mother culture (known as a ‘scoby’, which stands for ‘symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast’) to kickstart the all-important fermentation. Even though, like many boozy treats, kombucha is fermented, it generally only weighs in at less than 0.5% ABV. So it’s hardly surprising that, with current low and no-alcohol trends, the drink is seeing something of a resurgence.
Now, this here is a tipple with some history, as the first recorded use of kombucha was in China in 221 BC when it was also known as ‘The Tea of Immortality’. That would appear to be the beginning of kombucha’s many health claims, which still continue today. We won’t be dwelling on that though, we’re here to talk about the deliciousness of the drink.
So, this week we’re enjoying Real Kombucha’s Dry Dragon, one of the three expressions from the brand. Real Kombucha was founded in early 2016 by non-drinker David Begg. He desired a sophisticated non-alcoholic drink to pair with food, much like you would a wine. A friend introduced him to a certain fermented tea, and Begg immediately began brewing it himself. After almost two years of development and over 150 teas later, Real Kombucha was finally ready.
Dry Dragon is brewed with pan-fried Dragonwell tea leaves from Zhejiang Province in China. Unlike the grassier Japanese green teas, Dragonwell boasts more of a nutty and straw-like flavour. Dry Dragon has been compared to a sparkling citrus-forward wine, which means it’s a brilliant pairing with light salads and particularly with fresh Asian dishes. Or, to be enjoyed simply as a refreshing tipple, if that’s what you fancy. Alternatively, kombucha is now becoming a pretty popular cocktail component, so it may even be the next addition to your home bar to experiment with.
To taste, Dry Dragon starts off with vibrant and delicate citrus, with notes of bittersweet grapefruit juice and sweeter citrus peels balanced by dry and grassy tea. The finish is refreshingly acidic, followed by a full and nutty finish.
If we’ve got you hooked on the ‘booch hype, why not take a gander at Annie’s wonderful blog post which goes into some nitty gritty detail, while even chatting to Begg himself!