Let's talk about Kombucha!
Aktualisiert: Feb 13
We'll start with few questions & the first one is: do you make your own Kombucha or are you buying commercial ones?
If you make your own, then you know all that you need to know about it. Well, almost! Can you really say the same about the one you buy? Do you REALLY know what you are actually buying?
The name (Kombucha) will be the same, the packaging will be pretty, the description will wow you with exotic flavors & with probiotic content. It might even taste great. But the question remains: do you really know everything that you should know about this Kombucha? Let that sink in for a moment.
Next, we'll present you with couple of pictures. Let's see if you get what is the one common factor linking them, that is besides the fact that they are all about Kombucha.
Above are some of the teas that we use for our Kombucha. Below is the unrefined Organic (BIO) brown sugar that we use for all of our products, including Kombucha.
Below is where the fermentation magic happens.
Above, is our Jun Chiyabari during bottling.
And inside our retail fridge!
And even when served as a flight!
So did you guess what all of those picture have in common? (Besides all being about Kombucha)
It is GLASS!
We do everything in glass. From storage through fermentation to bottling & enjoying. This is our motto & our philosophy.
The next question would be why we decided on glass?
Kombucha is a fermented drink. Fermentation in different forms has been around for few hundred years. The first & natural vessels were made of either stoneware or wood. Later came in glass. Stoneware & wood impart natural energy to anything that is fermented in them. Wood also adds extra layer of flavor.
Both are wonderful for fermentation. Glass is neutral, which is also good & glass is easy for sanitation. But glass limits the amount that you can brew in it, as glass jars come only in certain sizes. And they are comparatively small.
We use 10 Liter ones & we love them. Right at this point of time when we do small series of many "flavors", those jars work great for us. In the future we might consider switching to larger, wood barrels.
And speaking of wood barrels - we are very happy to see more & more brewers using those natural & quite often re-purposed wood barrels. But this is not always the case.
Majority of commercial brewers use stainless steel tanks. It makes it easy for them to brew few thousand liters of Kombucha at the same time. Stainless steel is not our thing. We find that it gives cold energy to Kombucha. Also, metal in any form was never used for fermentation before & those stainless steel tanks are primarily made for beer. Kombucha is different. During the Kombucha fermentation organic acids are formed. Here's a quote from "A Review on Kombucha Tea..." describing some of them (1*)
" Chemical analysis of kombucha showed the presence of various organic acids, such as acetic, gluconic, glucuronic, citric, L-lactic, malic, tartaric, malonic, oxalic, succinic, pyruvic, usnic; ...14 amino acids,...Jun 21, 2014"
We might be wrong, but we suspect that those acids can react with those stainless steel tanks & that there can be a danger of metal particles leaching into the booch.
Kombucha exploded in popularity just recently & there have not been enough studies done confirming that there is no leeching caused by organic acids in those tanks.
Also when you take into consideration that both vinegar & fermented vegetables are not traditionally fermented in stainless steel, then there must be a reason for that. Although nowadays they use special stainless steel tanks called acetators to "create" vinegar within hours. But this only hours & not days and it is a modern method, which is not how traditionally vinegar was produced.
Anyway, we've been tasting a lot of Kombucha around the world & we've been finding that quite a number of Kombucha, brewed in those tanks, to have a metallic after taste.
But that's us, most brewers see it differently & so will you as a customer. And we respect that.
And now let's talk about, what is in our opinion the worst brewing container for Kombucha - PLASTIC!
Why we consider it to be the worst?
It has been proven in over 800 world wide studies that there are no safe plastics & all of them, even the so called food grade ones leach some chemicals into the food or water that is stored in them. And that is regardless whether they are BPA-free or not. BPA-free plastics contain hundreds of other chemicals that are not safe. Plastics are also known as hormone disruptors. And this is just when they are in contact with regular foods. Now imagine what organic acids from Kombucha can pull out of them!
So when you purchase Kombucha brewed in plastic, you might be getting all those synthetic goodies right in that Kombucha.
Same goes for Kombucha stored in plastic bottles. Plastic bottles leach into plain water stored in them. But not only that. BBC news has recently done an article about water in plastic bottles & this is what they found out:
"Tests on major brands of bottled water have found that nearly all of them contained tiny particles of plastic." (2*)
So do you really know what you are getting with your Kombucha? If that matters to you maybe it'll be good idea to ask some questions before you buy your next bottle.
Back to our Kombucha.
After reading this post & seeing all the pictures you will have a better idea what you are getting from us. Nothing to hide here!
So thank you for reading & cheers!
The cover picture is that of our "Kombucha of the World" bottle collection in our Kombucha Cafe