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Kombucha, quite simply, is a fermented tea drink, though in reality it’s far more complex than it sounds. The drink 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”, if you fancy being fancy and showing off) to kickstart the fermentation. Some have compared its flavour profile to a dry apple cider.

The origin of the drink is something of a mystery, though it’s thought to have originated in China, as the first recorded use of kombucha was in China in 221 BC. At this time, it was known as ‘The Tea of Immortality’. However, China wasn’t the only place with immortal tea, as the drink has also been used in Eastern Europe, Russia and Japan for several centuries. In fact, the name kombucha is thought to have come from Japan in 415 AD, after a physician called Kombu treated Emperor Inyko with the tea, and it became known as Kombu-cha (meaning tea). Kombucha had a rough time of it after WWII, due to the shortage of tea and sugar, though it looks like we’re seeing a resurgence.

What’s more, although it’s fermented, it usually less than 0.5% ABV. Kombucha can be made from any tea that’s not herbal tea, usually black, white or green tea, and it’s the different tea which gives each expression a different flavour profile, much like grapes and wine.

You may have also heard of the numerous health benefits have been allegedly linked with kombucha, although we’re just here for the great taste.

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