Honeybush Bärbucha Kombucha
An absolutely delicious kombucha, which also happens to be caffeine-free.
We have made it before, and we fell in love with it.
It is made with Honeybush tea, which is a naturally sweet tea indigenous to South Africa, and which has a honey-like aroma and taste.
We obviously had a tea ceremony to get ourselves acquainted with this new "tea".
Honeybush tea comes from the Cyclopia plant, a shrub that grows only in the coastal and mountainous areas of the Western and Eastern Cape regions of South Africa. There are more than 20 species of the plant but only a few are used commercially to make tea.
Its yellow flowers smell like honey, hence its name. It's closely related to rooibos or red bush tea and has a similar, but sweeter taste. The two are often blended to make rooibos honeybush tea.
Honeybush tea has been used for centuries in South Africa but has only become more widely available internationally since the late 1990s. (WebbMD)
Besides tasting yummy, Honeybush has some extra health benefits.
"In South Africa, honeybush tea has been traditionally used to treat coughs and symptoms of menopause, as well as aid digestion. However, there have been few human studies on the benefits of honeybush tea so far. Early research shows its potential for the treatment of several major diseases." (also WebbMD)
Diabetes management, heart disease, cough treatment, skin health are just some of them as listed in the above mentioned article. Plus "the antioxidants such as xanthones and flavanones in Honeybush tea can help prevent damage to your cells that can lead to serious diseases such as cancer.
Honeybush tea doesn't have many nutrients, but it contains trace amounts of the following minerals:
All these, and a great flavor. We couldn't ask for more.
In order to make Honeybush Kombucha, we make the Honeybush tea first.
For that, we gently simmer the Honeybush for about half an hour. After it's done, we strain the solids, and we add our unrefined Organic sugar.
This becomes the base for our Honeybush Kombucha.
Next comes one of our Scobies with some starter liquid and about a week of fermentation time.
When that's done, we are welcome to a sight like that.
And without the Scoby.
After straining yeast and Scoby pieces (we don't filter our Kombucha), it is time for retail bottles.
So, sometimes we use our bottling machine, and sometimes the bottles are filled by hand.
And when the batch is bottled.
And the final step before refrigeration - the second fermentation process (F2). This step is needed to build up the natural carbonation inside the bottles.
What is also worth mentioning is the fact that "the flavor of Honeybush is wonderfully diverse. It takes on different characteristics depending on the species, provenance, harvesting, handling and processing". And that's a true quote from The Langkloof Honeybush Company from which we indirectly received the current Honeybush tea.
Below is also a beautiful photo of this sweet smelling bush.
Here's another quote from their website. This one describes harvesting and processing:
"Honeybush is harvested by hand with secateurs before transporting to the processing facility. Primary tea processing involves fresh honeybush being sorted, chopped, oxidized and dried.
The dried product is then sieved and graded according to cut-width. Oxidation is done in large tanks with carefully controlled temperature and moisture levels. It is during the oxidation process that the tea develops its distinctive sweet, fynbos, honey-like aroma."
Ingredients: Filtered and Revitalized Water, Live Kombucha Cultures, Unrefined Brown Sugar