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Five Interesting Facts About Kombucha Tea

by Pixabay
by Pixabay

If you are reading this, it is a pretty safe bet that you are already interested in Kombucha and are likely to be curious to learn a little bit more about it. Here are a few interesting facts about Kombucha tea, some of which may surprise you.

1) Where Did Kombucha Originate?

As the story goes, a Korean physician named Kombu once used it to successfully treat the gastric disturbances of an ailing Japanese emperor. The happy ruler was so grateful that he added the name of Kombu to this naturally aged Chinese tea, or ‘cha’, which was known from then on as Kombucha.

Eventually, foreign traders visiting China discovered the brew, which they promptly introduced to the European market, and its popularity began spreading across the entire continent.

2) The Russian Connection

After World War II had come to an end, scientists in Russia began conducting studies that focused upon residents living in the Soviet regions of Beresniki and Ssalikamsk.

The reason for the study was because, to their amazement, no cases of cancer had ever been reported within their populace; despite the fact that both of those places happened to be located in the most polluted areas in the entire country. What was particularly strange was that most of the residents also had the reputation of being chronic smokers and heavy drinkers.

After all of their studies were finally concluded, the researchers were only able to find one element that was not common in other parts of Russia.

As it turned out, almost all of the local population in both locales habitually drank a tangy fermented tea beverage that they referred to as ‘Tea Kvass’ that roughly translates to ‘Mushroom Wine’, which is also a name that has been used to describe Kombucha.

3) Beer and Kombucha are Old Friends

One of the facts about Kombucha tea that might not come as such a big surprise is that, since both beverages are fermented, Kombucha and beer have a lot in common.

But what you may not realize is that Kombucha can also contain alcohol, although nowhere nearly as much as beer. While a Dutch lager may contain around 5%, most Kombucha comes it at modest .05%; about the same as ‘near beer’. Kombucha is also the true ‘light’ brew, which generally contains only about 30 calories per serving.

Nonetheless, even though the content of Kombucha is extremely low, the fact that it contained any alcohol at all prompted the management of Whole Foods to remove all Kombucha from its shelves in 2010.

4) Kombucha is Hot!

We aren’t referring to temperature here, we are talking sales performance. Kombucha has become so popular recently that many stores that carry it find that it virtually flies off their shelves.

Businesses that make and sell Kombucha are currently seeing an annual sales growth of around 30 to 35%, with a yearly average gross sales of well over $450 million dollars.

5) The True Fabric of Kombucha

We have saved the most interesting fact about Kombucha tea until last, and it is absolutely true.

The biofilm that is produced by the culture used in making Kombucha can actually be converted into a type of fabric that is known as microbial cellulose, which has a leather-like texture and can amazingly be used to manufacture apparel such as shirts, coats and shoes.

But at the end of the day, one of the best facts about a properly fermented Kombucha tea is that it is a delightfully effervescent and refreshing beverage that offers you a quick, refreshing recharge of probiotics. Just as importantly, it also provides a healthful option to sugary soft drinks, sports beverages and artificial sweeteners.

This article was originally published on @tomgatch