A New Tea on the Block
Are you ready for the champagne of teas with health benefits fit for an emperor? Kombucha tea combines a bubbly taste sensation with a living colony of active micro-organisms. The sparkling beverage offers a variety of underlying flavors and aromas dependent on the tea from which it is brewed. Fans claim the medicinal properties are so exceptional that the effects automatically tune into the health needs of the drinker. The sour bubbly sensation is the new favorite for those seeking a cure-all health potion in a glass. Move over kefir, a rival is here.
The making of the tea is an ancient art. Supposedly there are records of the use of this fermented tea dating back thousands of years to the Tsin Dynasty of China in 221 BC. It spread throughout the Orient to Russia and to the Western world. It is known by a multitude of names, and many of the names indicate a reference to fungi or mushrooms. The English title is believed to be derived from the Japanese name for the beverage. The mushroom or fungal association may be related to the live bacteria and yeast combination giving the tea its kick.
The tea is made by adding a live yeast culture and sugar to brewed tea. The natural action of fermentation produces the characteristic carbonation, akin to hard cider, and fills the brew with a slew of vitamins, beneficial acids and enzymes, and the highly regarded probiotics. Black tea is the traditional starting brew, but other tea varieties can be used producing different tastes. The length of fermentation affects flavor. The culture is saved and used as a starter, and each batch goes into the next. The tea becomes a living and growing beverage accruing its magical properties with each fermentation of the liquid base.
Treatment with the tea is said to boost the immune system and enhance libido. There are reports of it curing everything from diabetes to AIDS. However, there are not many scientific reports offering conclusive therapeutic benefi