You may have heard of kombucha. Perhaps you’ve even tried it. We’ve been serving it at Kudos Coffee now for some time. For those who aren’t sure what it is, here’s a little explainer.
What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is the word used for fermented tea. Before you turn your nose up in absolute disgust, it’s worth remembering that wine is the word used for fermented grapes; that cheese is a word used for fermented milk; that chocolate is a byproduct of fermenting cacao beans…
In short, we eat and drink fermented food all the time. In fact, it’s thought that adding fermented food to your diet can be a positive thing. If you’d like to find out why, here’s a podcast interview with Sandor Katz, often recognised as an expert in fermentation, discussing what’s known about fermentation and the overall health benefits.
Kombucha is thought to have originated in China more than 2,000 years ago. According to Chinese folk tales, an ancient emperor insisted that his people drank it as he felt it had health-improving properties. He called it ‘the elixir of life’. While this is absolute myth, it’s true that the drink has remained popular in certain parts of East Asia, and is a relatively common drink in Russia. (For more information, check out this article: Where does kombucha come from?)
There are many different Kombucha brands. Why does Kudos serve 'Real Kombucha'?
One of the founders of REAL Kombucha lives in Whitchurch, so that certainly helps! But there are other reasons that make REAL an interesting choice.
While there are many brands in the UK now brewing kombucha, REAL is one of only a few that don’t add flavours to their drinks. So, while you might find ginger kombucha, passionfruit kombucha and other flavours at a lot of coffee shops, at REAL they rely solely on the quality of the teas. That really appealed to us.
This means that there is less sugar in their kombuchas, and therefore less calories. They are 100% natural. The quality of the teas and the team’s understanding of the fermentation process mean that you’ll naturally taste notes of rhubarb, white peach (Royal Flush), grapefruits, lemons and green apples (Dry Dragon). Amazingly, these flavours are not added. It’s all part of nature’s magic. It’s quite extraordinary.
SO, WHAT DOES IT TASTE LIKE?
It’s worth noting that most people don’t even taste the tea. So, if you’re not a tea fan, don’t let that stop you.
Many first-timers believe they’re drinking an alcoholic drink. In fact, the founders started brewing it for that reason, having given up alcohol without finding a decent alternative. If you’re aiming to cut back on the booze and you want something that has a complex, interesting, adult flavour, this might be the drink for you.
(Note: kombucha, like most fermented foods, contains a trace of alcohol – no more than about 0.5% – making it officially a non-alcoholic drink by UK law. Our bodies can naturally metabolise that level of alcohol, meaning you could never get drunk on kombucha. For more information on this, check out this article.)
Kudos Coffee has two styles available in two different sizes – 275ml bottles (the perfect single serve) and 750ml bottles (ideal for sharing with friends and family).
Royal Flush is often served as a non-alcoholic alternative to a Prosecco or Champagne. The tea is richly fragrant and creates a brew that is fresh and floral. Adding nothing, the tea alone develops notes of rhubarb, white peach and a touch of blackcurrant. It pairs wonderfully with white fish, white meat, cream sauces… anywhere you might use a sparkling or full-bodied white wine.
Dry Dragon is light and citrusy with notes of sweet lemons and grapefruit, but with a delicate leafy undertone. Dry and fresh, it is a perfect light summer spritz to be drunk at any time of day. Pair in place of a dry white wine: it works well with shellfish, particularly oysters, green vegetables such as broccoli or asparagus, green salads and fruit.
Pop into Kudos Coffee any time you like to give it a try. We’re offering the 275s and 750s as takeaway items today. Ideal for garden BBQs and picnics, or simply as something to sup on over your laptop once the shop re-opens.