Kombucha has become the must have drink over the last few years, but what actually is it? Does it taste gross? And is it actually all that good for you? And most importantly, is it just glorified Yakult? On top of answering those questions, in this blog, I am going to talk you through the three main brands of Kombucha we stock at The Mart Farmshop, what makes them individual and why you should buy them.
First things first, Kombucha isn’t glorified Yakult. Kombucha is however a product that lives approximately in the same family as Yakult, with the same perceived health benefits. Yakult & Kombucha are what is called a Probiotic. This means that they are filled with healthy bacteria and should hopefully improve the health of your gut.
But what Actually is Kombucha? Well simply put it is a non-alcoholic fermented Tea. In its pure form Kombucha is tea, water, sugar & natural fermentation culture… also known as the Scoobi. Many Kombucha brands around the world add additional flavours to their tea to either enhance the flavour or supplement health benefits. For instance, Ginger or Turmeric is seen in many varieties to add a spiciness and aid digestion. Most Kombucha is ‘Raw’ this just means that the Scoobi is still alive, in the same way that Raw Cider Vinegar, Kimchee and Sauerkraut is.
Lots of Kombucha brands have started producing Kegs of Kombucha and sell it in bars and pubs as a non-alcoholic alternative to Beer. It is important to remember when drinking Kombucha that for the most part Kombucha is an artisan product, and generally going to cost between £2.50 & £4 per bottle, so not something you are going to guzzle multiple bottles of every day.
Does Kombucha Taste Gross? Like all things, taste is really individual. Some people absolutely adore Kombucha (myself included) some hate it. And like alcohol Kombucha has a sliding scale of intensity, I like to call it hardcore-ed-ness. At the lower end of hardcore-ed-ness Kombucha is lightly sparkling alternative to any soft drink or alcoholic beverage. At the intense end of hardcore-ed-ness Kombucha smells like really intense fermenting yeast… which I admit isn’t to most people’s liking.
Leftfield Kombucha is our most popular brand of Kombucha, they only produce four varieties of Kombucha, without any additional flavours. They probably sit around a 3 on the hardcore-ed-ness scale with only a light amount of fermentation smell. Our most popular variety from them is their No. 2 Sencha Green. Sencha tastes really zesty and fresh and is the tea itself comes from Shizuoka, in Honshu, Japan.
Clever Kombucha is our next most popular brand of Kombucha, though during the winter months it is more popular than Left Field, weird huh? They produce a number of varieties and these change throughout the year, their Original Oak variety is always available and is pretty good, it doesn’t have quite the same flavour intensity as Left Field but it is slightly higher on the hardcore-ed-ness scale sitting at about a 5 or 6. Where Clever come in to their own is with their flavoured products. Clever’s Sea Salt & Lime Kombucha is a summer taste explosion. The citrus intensity and saltiness is so refreshing and probably the best variety they’ve ever made. The best & worst part of Clever Kombucha is that they are always producing new flavours so if your favourite variety has disappeared it will probably be replaced soon by something equally delicious.
Wild Fizz Kombucha:
This Kombucha has some absolutely wonderful flavours, it sits relatively low on the hardcore-ed-ness scale in terms of fermented smell and taste but it has a super intense flavour profile, They produce a delicious Turmeric & Ginger Booch has the most intense flavour of any Kombucha I have tasted, it would be a perfect alternative to honey, raw cider vinegar in the morning or a ginger and turmeric tea. My favourite flavour is their Blood Orange & Grapefruit Boochhas a lovely intensity about it as well, heavily citrusy and a bit unusual for Kombucha to see Blood Orange & Grapefruit in the same concoction. It is our newest variety in store and seems to be getting a lot of repeat customers.
Hopefully my bias isn’t too overwhelming in this, you can probably tell I am a big fan of Kombucha and also citrus flavours. If you are new to Kombucha and you’d like some more information or advice on which variety to start we’d love to hear from you below. I’ve included all of the links to the social media platforms of the three brands I have talked about today. I am sure they’d love to hear from you or be happy to provide you with some more information about their products, what they taste like and where else you can get them if you aren’t local to Eat Lothian.
Left Field Kombucha:
Wild Fizz Kombucha: