Benefits of BOOCH
Six months ago, in November 2016, I didn’t really know what kombucha was. I’d heard of it, maybe even tasted it in the States one time, I wasn’t sure. I was travelling to Uganda for work and my wife asked me to pick up a “SCOBY" - the "symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast" that appears as a rubbery disk, and ferments and transforms sweet tea into kombucha - from my brother’s girlfriend, who had herself acquired one from a friend visiting from Brooklyn and was brewing kombucha at home. I had no idea what I was carrying and really just glad I didn’t have to explain myself at the airport.
I returned to Nairobi and had a bit of time on my hands the following week...
Small Batch Brew,
Get Some Booch
Kombucha is fermented tea.
It’s first recorded use was in 221 BC in China, during the Tsin Dynasty and it was known as the Tea of Immortality. In 415 AD legend has it that the Korean physician Kombu used it to treat the Japanese Emperor, where it took the name Kombu-cha, cha meaning tea. From Japan it spread to Russia and Eastern Europe and in the last 100 years it has taken off in Western Europe and the US.
The tea is fermented via a SCOBY - a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast - we start off with very sweet tea but very little of that sugar ends up in the finished product. The sugar fuels the fermentation as the SCOBY digests the it, and produces a range of organic acids like glucuronic acid, gluconic acid, lactic acid, acetic acid, butyric acid, malic acid and usnic acid; vitamins, particularly B vitamins and vitamin C; as well as amino acids, enzymes. And of course there are all the benefits of the probiotic microorganisms themselves. The final stage of the creation process is an anaerobic ferment which allows the brew to become effervescent and flavoured.
Because BOOCH uses fresh organic fruit and ginger to flavor our brew the result is a delicious and refreshing health tonic.
To get the health benefits of kombucha you need a live, unpasteurized, brew. BOOCH is made in small batches, no more than 5 liters at a time, in a controlled, clean environment. It is not processed in any way after the second fermentation - no pasteurization, no externally added carbonation, preservatives, or flavorings.
Besides being made in Kenya all BOOCH ingredients are Kenyan and as close to Organic as we can find. First off the Oolong Tea comes from a selection of high quality tea farms across Kenya - Oolong comes from the same plant as black or green tea but is processed slightly differently - and fermented in Nairobi by a Chinese legend called Arkman. You can buy this tea in Nakumatt and it is delicious on it’s own. Then we sweeten it with cane sugar from western Kenya, which fuels the fermentation to kombucha. For the flavouring we use fresh Kenyan ginger, strawberries, raspberries and even Kenyan blueberries from farms in Naivasha and Nanyuki
It is! You can also make / buy unflavoured, uncarbonated kombucha. The first ferment (aerobic, in presence of culture) is where the main health benefits all come from. The second ferment is anaerobic (sealed, no oxygen) and so the fermentation continues but now creates carbonation. So the carbonation you are tasting is natural as opposed to most commercial fizzy drinks which have CO2 added. Natural carbonation is softer, and many people prefer it. Carbonation in general is said to extenuate and carry flavours around the mouth and to the nose.
When you're thirsty!
The level of caffeine is less than green tea and alcohol content is ~1%. It can be a substitute for coffee in the morning, beer in the evening or soft drinks during the day. I find it a good alternative to alcohol if you’re looking for something to drink that has a bit of a kick. It’s also a good chaser if you are drinking alcohol as it’s detoxifying effects will help you get ahead of your hangover!
Around 1 month if its refrigerated. But I generally advise people to buy what they will consume in a week. It won’t become bad for you, it will just get more vinegary, as it is raw and the fermentation process will continue until zero sugars remain.
Kombucha has a lot of fanatical supporters in modern health circles. And while it may be true that kombucha can cure certain ailments, the best way to think about kombucha is as a preventative tonic that will balance your micro-biome and digestive system over time. This can lead to improved digestion, better immune system and it can even change your cravings, many people report having less urges for sugar or alcohol.
Also, as a detoxifer it makes a great alternative, mixer or chaser to alcohol on a big night out to get ahead of tomorrow’s hangover!
For every 1 human cell in our body there are 9 bacteria cells. The majority of the matter we are composed of is a vast ecosystem of bacteria. Most of this bacteria helps our bodies function, while “bad bacteria” can make us sick. One of the problems with our modern world is an over-reliance on antibiotics which effectively nuke all bacteria they come into contact with, eviscerating our good bacteria as well as the bad, and our micro-biome, which is essential to our functioning, has to rebuild itself from scratch. On the other hand, if we can support a healthy ecosystem of good bacteria those bacteria fight the bad bacteria on our behalf. So being conscious of your micro-biome and taking efforts to support it can be a much approach to life and preventative approach to disease. Also, fermented foods - cheese, yoghurt, wine, chocolate, sauerkraut, kimchee - are delicious!
But you’re welcome to if you find it too strong. Some people like to mix it with soda water, some with alcohol.
Yes it does. Refrigeration slows down / stops the fermentation process which will continue at room temperature until all sugar in the liquid is consumed. So it will get more acidic / vinegary and the carbonation will also continue to increase. Since the seal on these bottles is not super strong they won’t explode but liquid will start to ooze out through the caps. If you buy commercial kombucha (same as commercial beer or soda) the CO2 has been added as a gas and is finite so the pressure won’t increase by leaving it out in the sun, but any naturally fermented product in a sealed container will do this.