Helena Ricketts loves cooking from scratch and sharing her recipes with anyone who wants to try something new in the world of food.
What is Kombucha?
According to Google, the definition of kombucha is "a beverage produced by fermenting sweet tea with a culture of yeast and bacteria."
It is made from black or green tea, a natural sweetner, a bacteria culture from a previous batch that is usually referred to as a SCOBY and time.
In my mind that sounds absolutely terrifying yet interesting at the same time.
I have drug my feet on trying kombucha because food safety regulations that have developed over the past 100 or so years that are meant to prevent us from becoming sick. Anytime I hear the word "raw" or "fermented" without something like pasteurized closely behind it, alarm bells go off in my head. My mind tells me that raw equates to the possibility of becoming violently sick from an overabundance of contaminated, bad bacteria.
Sounds like my corporate food indoctrination runs deep, doesn't it?
Not so fast though.
After over three weeks of taking a strong antibiotic for a medical problem, I felt like I needed to do something to help my body recover. Dairy yogurt was out of the question for me because I completely stopped consuming dairy products months ago. I had been told the majority of my life by older, rural doctors to consume dairy yogurt with antibiotics to help with the possible issue of certain good bacteria being killed off leaving behind the possibility of the bacteria left behind causing issues. That had worked for me in the past but what will work when dairy yogurt is not an option?
I had heard about kombucha over the years but had never tried it, until now.
The Health Benefits of Kombucha?
There are so many claims out there regarding Kombucha.
- Cancer prevention
- Diabetes management and prevention
- Has antimicrobial properties
- Helps repair digestive issues
- Prevents heat disease
- Detoxifies the body
Those claims are just the tip of the iceberg to what some people say and believe that this drink can do for you. If you believe it then this is the miracle superfood that you have been looking for.
Until more scientific studies are done on kombucha the claims will have to stand unproven.
Label Information on GT's Synergy Organic Kombucha Trilogy
What's actually in the drink? The ingredient list is simple. GT's kombucha (kombucha culture, black tea, green tea, kiwi juice), raspberry juice, lemon juice, fresh pressed ginger juice and 100% pure love. That is taken directly from the ingredients list on the bottle.
There is also a note on the label that reads, "Kombucha is a fermented tea that has naturally occurring alcohol. Do not consume if you are avoiding alcohol due to pregnancy, allergies, sensitivities or religious beliefs."
According to the label, each bottle contains Probiotics Bacillus coagulans GBI-30 6086 (1 billion organisms), S. Boulardil (1 billion organisms), Polyphenois (10mg), Glucuronic Acid (10mg), L(+) Lactic Acid (25mg) and Acetic Acid (30mg).
It is gluten free, vegan and Non-GMO. There are two servings per 16 ounce bottle. Each serving is 25 calories and contains 10mg of sodium along with 6g of carbohydrates and 6g of sugar. Everything else nutrition wise is at zero.
The rest of the label gives the company's mission, contact information and a lot about the first ingredient being love along with a warning to pregnant or breast feeding mothers to talk to a physician before consuming their products.
First Impression of GT's Synergy Organic Kombucha Trilogy
I do a weekly grocery delivery through my Amazon Prime account and decided to look at their kombucha options and found GT's Synergy Organic Kombucha Trilogy to be the one that as far as I could tell would be the best one for me to try. I paid $3.49 each for two bottles knowing that I could have probably purchased it a little cheaper at a health food or grocery store if I could find it.
When it arrived, I was excited to try it.
The first thing that I noticed was the stuff floating in the bottom of the bottle. I expected that because of what I had read but I didn't expect there to be as much as there was. It is safe to drink the floaties but I'm just not sure if I want to. The first thing that popped in my mind was the worm at the bottom of a bottle of tequila and if you have ever had a bad experience with the worm, this can be a bit off putting.
The drink color for the one that I selected is a beautiful reddish orange color which is probably caused by the combination of raspberry and lime juice used to make the drink.
Cracking open the lid, there's a slight hiss which means that the drink does have some carbonation to it as a result of the fermentation. There is no carbonation added to kombucha.
I can only describe the flavor as vinegar fruit juice. It has a strong vinegar taste with a bit of a fruit undertone. In this particular flavor, the ginger comes into play as an after taste.
It is a bit bubbly from the carbonation and has a crispness to it.
All in all, I wouldn't say that the flavor and mouth feel is unpleasant but it is different than any other drink I have ever experienced.
Will I Continue to Drink It?
On a day to day basis the answer would have to be no. I will drink a serving or two for a few days in the future if I am every under an antibiotic treatment for anything again but won't be adding it to my regular food and drink consumption.
It's the taste and mouth feel. While neither are completely unpleasant, they are not pleasant either. Combine that with the cost and I really don't believe that this drink will be on my radar very often. It can be brewed at home to drastically reduce the cost for anyone that has the desire and the time to do it.
Kombucha is just simply not for me and that's OK. Many people find many benefits inside this vinegary drink and enjoy the taste. I just happen to not be one of them.
Is Kombucha Healthy?
Colorado State University Food Source Information "Kombucha"
Melanie from Wisconsin on August 21, 2020:
I know that Kombucha is not for everyone, however, I personally think you tried one of their worst flavors. That one in particular is very vinegary tasting, even I don't really care for it and I drink kombucha all the time (I even brew my own!). If you can find them, I highly suggest trying the following flavors as they're more "beginner friendly".
-Lavender Love (semi-sweet, lavender subdues the vinegar taste)
-Watermelon Wonder (this one is probably the sweetest tasting)
-Gingerade (the taste of ginger masks the vinegar taste)
The other thing I would suggest is trying what's called "Aqua Kefir". This is created by using kefir granules, fruit, and water so it doesn't result in such a vinegary flavor. It's a lot milder but it still has the same effect because it also contains the healthy gut bacteria that we need. I would say it's kind of like a sweet seltzer almost. My absolute favorite by GT's is the "Pear Ginger" flavor. I do not recommend trying the "Coconut Lime" flavor because it tastes like a shower gel I once had lol Everyone's different I guess but I just thought I'd throw that out there. GT's also has really tasty adaptogenic teas, "Cascara Spice" being my absolute favorite. These don't have that vinegar taste at all, in my opinion, it pretty much tastes like a good heavily spiced tea. They're delicious so I think this would also be a good option if you still don't enjoy kombucha.
Admittedly I tried Kombucha when it first came to my town and all we had was the original flavor, meaning just straight up plain kombucha. That was like 15 years ago I think. Anyway, I honestly thought it tasted like pee, not that I've drank pee but you get me. It was nasty. Years later I began to enjoy that tartness and my taste buds certainly changed along with my diet. But the flavored ones are really a nice treat. Give them a go! My mom hates kombucha but she loved the lavender flavor and that pear ginger aqua kefir. There's no way to explain how picky she is, but just trust me when I say if she likes it, it is pretty darn good :)
Lastly there are some pretty great recipes for making vegan yogurts at home if you're still looking for something dairy free. I make my own yogurt all the time and it's a cinch. Basically it's the same as making regular dairy yogurt you just use plant milk instead. I just scald my almond milk, wait for it to cool to the point where I can hold my finger in it without burning it, then I whisk in a solid few tablespoons of vegan yogurt. Let it culture over 1 or two days in a warm place and voila! Easy peezy.
All the best to you! Thanks for the article, it cracked me up and was interesting to get your take on the experience :)