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Kombucha

PCC Taste | April 2013

kombucha

An effervescent beverage with a distinct, sweet-sour flavor, kombucha has been deemed a magical elixir by most who drink it.

While the exact origins of kombucha are unclear, it's believed to have originated in ancient China where it was referred to as the "Tea of Immortality" by the Chinese Qin Dynasty around 221 B.C. Eventually the drink made its way to Germany via Russia and spread throughout Europe. Kombucha gained a fringe following in the United States in the 1960s and more recently has enjoyed an enormous surge in popularity as numerous companies provide flavored versions of the fizzy, vinegar-like tonic.

Often mistaken as a mushroom, kombucha is created when tea, usually green or black, is fermented with a live culture of yeast and bacteria to create a raw beverage. The organic acids that form, combined with antioxidants (from the tea) and probiotics (from the bacteria), are seemingly beneficial and may aid digestion and/or help detoxify the body. The benefits of kombucha have yet to be scientifically proven or tested by health officials, but claims of its super powers are wide and varied. Modest statements (kombucha is energizing) to more elaborate ones (it can cure cancer) have been made, but the overall belief is that kombucha is good for your health and vitality.

While the strong, sharp flavor of kombucha isn't for everyone, most kombucha drinks available have been infused with roots, botanicals or juices to create a less bitter, more sweet or savory flavor. PCC carries a variety of kombucha drinks from a number of different producers, in flavors that range from strawberry to chai.

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