What is Kombucha?


Sipping Kombucha in Portland.

The very first sip of kombucha is often met with surprise. It's fizzy, sweet, tart, and sometimes even fruity, but the truth is there's little to compare the flavor of kombucha to.

Not so long ago, kombucha was that strange drink you occasionally heard about from that one friend of yours. But, the times, they are a changing. Kombucha's popularity has soared since those days.

Now, you'll find kombucha in almost every grocery store, dozens of major kombucha brands, and if you're a client of Belmont, you probably have kombucha on tap in your Portland office.

So, you might be wondering just what the heck kombucha is in the first place? 

Defining Kombucha

kom·bu·cha (pronounced kahm-boo-chah)

In its simplest form, kombucha is made with four things: Tea, cane sugar, a culture of bacteria, and water.

By fermenting the tea and cane sugar with the bacteria, you get a unique flavor and, as many claim, incredible health benefits. (More on that later.)

"Wait. Stop. Did you say bacteria in my drink?"

Yes, but don't be alarmed. Think of the live culture in yogurt. That's what we're talking about here. It's the good bacteria, not the bad.

What does kombucha taste like?

Kombucha tastes subtly acidic, sweet-tart, and is fizzy like beer. Each brand has their unique flavors and filtering approaches and fall along a spectrum of sweet to sour. Some Portland kombucha brews are more sweet and light, some are vinegary and bold. 

Kombucha brewers don't stop there--you'll find many tweak flavors by adding fruit, fruit juices, or herbs to the brewing process. Strawberry Basil kombucha anyone? Or how about Hibiscus Blood Orange?

Is it just another fad?

No. It's true that kombucha's popularity has fluctuated. But, the drink itself has been around for over 2000 years! Originating in China and spreading from there, mainly as a health drink.

So, is it for your health or for taste?

Many kombucha fans simply enjoy the taste.

For some, it's a great alternative to soda since it has considerable less sugar, is full of flavor, and is carbonated. Yet others are drinking it as a health tonic of sorts. 

When it comes to health, the main claim is kombucha contains probiotics due to the fermentation process, much like yogurt. 

Probiotics have gotten quite a lot of buzz lately. But, what role do they play? According to Harvard professor Dr. Allan Walker, "Probiotics work in a supporting role to keep your entire gut running smoothly and effectively." On top of that, probiotics seem have a positive impact on your entire immune system.

Now, it's important to note that research on probiotics and other fermented foods does not equal research on kombucha specifically. Some health claims on kombucha are exaggerated, while others are more sound. We'll wait for further research before making any miracle cure claims on a drink.

At the end of the day, kombucha offers a great excuse to enjoy a tasty beverage that is made with tea, has much less sugar and calories than soda, is incredibly refreshing, and adds fermented food to your diet. 

Cheers to that!

I want kombucha in my Portland office!

Office kombucha done Belmont style.

Office kombucha done Belmont style.

If you're wanting kombucha in your Portland office, there's no easier way than with Belmont. Get kombucha kegs delivered or get full kombucha office service. With full kombucha service, everything is included from start to finish and topped off with free deliveries of every kombucha keg. Check out the details here.

Questions about Portland kombucha makers, such as Brew Dr Kombucha, Happy Mountain Kombucha, or Oregonic Tonic? Drop a line below and we'll be happy to answer them!