With the advancement of today’s technology, everything is so fast-paced that it dramatically affects our way of living – and yes, even with our food. There are tons of fast food chains sprouting like mushrooms on every corner of the street. This is why issues in connection with our digestive and guts increase as the number of instant foods multiplies. In order to continuously strengthen your immune system and overall guts, adding fermented foods to your diet is highly recommended. Fermentation has been used even during ancient times. It is the process of converting carbohydrates, such as sugar and starch, into acids or alcohol through the help of bacteria and yeasts. This type of environment is highly suitable for good bacteria, such as probiotics, to proliferate. Some foods that undergo fermentation are cheese, yogurt, miso, kimchi, wine, sauerkraut, and kombucha. 

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You may or may not have heard of Kombucha Tea since it is not entirely a well-known drink. Nevertheless, it is currently gaining momentum as more and more people are becoming further intrigued by its alleged health care benefits. Is it just your typical tea, an alcoholic drink, a soda, or a wholly alternative drink? That being the case, Quan Cafe has provided you with a comprehensive list of things you should know about what is Kombucha Tea. 

What is Kombucha Tea?

Kombucha Tea is the result of the fermentation of sugared tea and a symbiotic culture of acetic acid bacteria and yeast – usually tea fungus. In a nutshell, what is Kombucha Tea composed of are tea, sugar, bacteria, and yeast that undergo fermentation? Because of the conversion of carbohydrates into acids and alcohol, it has that tangy and effervescent taste. However, spices and other fruits are often counted for that addition nutritional value and to enhance the taste of the said beverage. 

It is not clear when people started making Kombucha Tea. Though in some cases, it is believed that it originated in the Bohai Sea, a district in China. The drink spread throughout other parts of the world, such as Russia and the rest of Europe, as Chinese business people included Kombucha Tea in their listings. Currently, it is slowly creeping towards mainstream culture as people get to know more about this drink – especially in the United States and some parts of Asia. Although vegans have been familiar with Kombucha Tea even before because of its alleged health benefits and since there aren’t animal derivatives from its ingredients. Kombucha Tea has been the functional beverage’s fastest-growing product over the last decade. Functional beverages include sports drinks, alternative dairy drinks, and fortified juices. Due to its growing global industry, Kombucha’s market size is projected to reach $10.45 billion by 2027. 

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It takes time and perseverance to make Kombucha. When fermented with sugar, yeast, and a SCOBY, black or green tea (or a mix of both), it is transformed into Kombucha. SCOBY or Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast is a biofilm of microorganisms, with a strong similarity to that of a block of soap. The SCOBY consists of a variety of acetic acid-producing microorganisms. In the following brews, this will serve as a starting point for a new batch of the fermentation process. Throughout some time, some lactic acid bacteria will be noticed to exist. The more time spent brewing the Kombucha, the more vinegary the final product will taste.

Is Kombucha alcoholic?

Due to the fermentation process of Kombucha Tea, the sugar and starch are then converted into acids or alcohol, which gives off its natural tangy taste. In a typical production, Kombucha only contains less than 0.5% alcohol percentage, which means it is not enough to be considered a regulated drink. Though there are some cases in which commercial companies manufacture what is called “hard kombucha.” It doesn’t necessarily mean they added some booze to spike the kick. They just prolonged the entire fermentation process, resulting in higher acidity. Because of this, it will subsequently contain a relatively high alcohol content than usual. It peaks at most at over 5%. So is Kombucha alcoholic? Technically yes, since all Kombucha drinks contain ethanol. However, you have to note that the usual Kombucha tea is still considered a non-alcoholic drink due to its low levels of alcohol content. 

Some restaurants and bars even suggest Kombucha Tea as an alternative beverage for people who don’t enjoy typical alcoholic drinks like beer and wine. Although Kombucha Tea has an ultimate low alcohol percentage – to the point that it can be considered non-existent – you can still get the subtle zestiness and that pop of effervescence that individuals look forward to in an alcoholic drink. Having said that, it is still not recommended for pregnant women, lactating mothers, and children ages 4 and below.

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What is Kombucha tea good for?  

With the growing interest in the microbiome and how our diets might alter gut microbial ecosystems, drinks such as Kombucha that contain “probiotics” are adequate for your body. Consuming probiotic foods and beverages could help boost “good” bacteria and fight “bad” bacteria. Because of this, Kombucha is said to assist digestion and lower blood pressure while boosting immunity. Some research also claims that Kombucha supports the treatment of rheumatism, gout, and hemorrhoids. Further studies are needed as well as the treatment of anxiety and cancer in the liver. The existence of bioactive chemicals in Kombucha Tea that work in unison is claimed to be why it can provide health, as mentioned earlier.

Kombucha is a potential source of probiotics. One of its alleged health benefits is its capacity to balance beneficial bacteria in the stomach and alleviate certain gastrointestinal disorders. A “prominent lactobacillus community” can be found in Kombucha. A popular probiotic, Lactobacillus, may regulate the digestive system and help prevent infections and inflammation, making Kombucha beneficial. Drinking Kombucha may help alleviate irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive issues. 

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For those interested in losing weight, you’ll probably have checked into anything that might rev up your metabolism. Although it might be slightly incorrect to claim that Kombucha may promote weight loss, specific varieties of Kombucha might be able to speed up metabolism owing to the green tea’s epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). Catechins are substances found in green tea that has been included in EGCG. Catechins have the potential to increase metabolic rates in adults. 

Antioxidants are substances that may help protect your body against the damage caused by “free radicals.” This damage can occur naturally over time or as a consequence of specific lifestyle practices. Antioxidants can help protect your body from both types of damage.

It is probable that the polyphenols that green or black tea contains are responsible for the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Even though the precise way tea helps with these health problems is still mostly unknown, observational studies have shown that people who drink tea often are less likely to get heart disease and diabetes. It stands to reason that what is Kombucha good for, a fermented tea drink, could offer some of the same advantages that are known to be associated with drinking unfermented tea. But it’s important to remember that you have to drink a lot of tea every day to get the health benefits that have been shown to come from it.

Kombucha dangers and side effects

Despite its reputation as a healthy beverage, Kombucha Tea has been linked to cases of poisoning. On the other hand, consuming Kombucha from well-known brands carries no danger. These Kombucha dangers are more common in homebrews whose fermentation isn’t well monitored. Suppose you find Kombucha on supermarket shelves or anywhere else it is commercially produced. In that case, it’s probably harmless and won’t cause damage to healthy people. Nonetheless, too much of everything can pose some harm to your body. Indulging in too much Kombucha could be a concern, even for those who like the fermented beverage. Consuming too much Kombucha might cause gas and bloating since it is a carbonated beverage providing carbon dioxide to the digestive tract. 

Another usual concern when it comes to Kombucha is its correlation and safety for pregnant women. If you’re expecting, this drink may not be the best choice because of the alcohol and caffeine it contains. Kombucha is not recommended for pregnant women. Those with substantial renal, lung or hepatic illness should not drink Kombucha either. Try a little amount of Kombucha first if you’re not one of the at-risk populations described previously. You’ll have a pretty good idea of how your body will respond to the drink this way. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that drinking four ounces of Kombucha three times a day is safe. It is not known whether or not consuming more than this is safe. Because of its low pH, drinking Kombucha for the first time might cause some stomach upset, so it’s best to ease into the beverage gradually if you’ve never had it before.

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In addition, since kombucha is not pasteurized, some individuals should steer clear of drinking it altogether. These individuals include those who are at a greater risk for foodborne diseases, such as the following: women who are carrying a baby and individuals who have a compromised immune system.

Pregnant women who are thinking about consuming Kombucha should be informed that the beverage includes both alcohol and caffeine (although usually in small amounts). Be wary of Kombucha made at home, mainly if the person who made it is unfamiliar with the fermentation process. Inadequate sanitation of brewing equipment may lead to infection with hazardous bacteria, and fermenting in containers that are not appropriate, such as clay jars, can lead to toxic substances seeping into the beverage. Both of these issues can lead to a reduction in the quality of the drink.

Where to get your Kombucha fix in Vietnam? 

Despite the fact that Kombucha can be made in the comfort of your home, you can definitely grab this drink at your local supermarket. Although Kombucha is not yet entirely well-known in Vietnam, QuanCafe has, without a doubt, tried and tasted probably the best Kombucha that has ever been brewed in the country. It can be found at NeoCafe, a local coffee shop in Hanoi that offers a variety of foods and drinks. Aside from Kombucha, you can also try some of their best-sellers, such as the Vietnamese Specialty Coffee and Lemongrass Orange Cold Brew Coffee. 

In all honesty, Kombucha is considered to be an acquired taste. Similar to matcha, wasabi, and mint-flavored ice creams, what is Kombucha Tea known for is its tangy, unique flavor and bubbly sensation you’ll feel in your mouth. So what we really liked about NeoCafe’s version of Kombucha is how friendly it is for first-timers. It is not too zesty, unlike other commercial brands. It is also not too overwhelming, so it will surely not leave any negative impressions on you. 

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NeoCafe only uses high-quality ingredients brewed and fermented at the most accurate time possible to achieve Kombucha’s subtle yet refreshing taste. Not only that, but it also contains low sugar, which can substitute for other fizzy beverages. They are open daily from 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM. You can find them at 35B Nguyen Huu Huan, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi, Vietnam.

In the blink of an eye, the demand for Kombucha rises from different parts of the world. That first sip from first-timers determines whether or not they’ll drop the drink afterward. In horror, some of them made their stomachs turn as if they’d downed a glass of white wine vinegar. Meanwhile, some swear by its efficacy as an elixir of happiness. Some researchers claim that Kombucha may be an excellent addition to your health arsenal, despite personal preference. Kombucha is a fermented tea made from sugar and tea – typically black but occasionally green – that has become more popular in health food shops and local supermarkets. To sum up, the health advantages of fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, and raw (live) fermented pickles or sauerkraut are comparable to those of Kombucha.  

Are you up for a glass of this fizzy concoction? Look for a reputable brand that adheres to appropriate safety protocols. NeoCafe, a coffee shop in Hanoi, definitely tops our list for the best Kombucha served locally! Next, just choose your favorite flavor and begin drinking!

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