Our second Chaga based Kombucha - Chaga-Cola was created partially by chance & partially by necessity.
But let's go back to where it all started. About a year ago we premiered our Chaga X.
Chaga X is our eXtra strength Chaga Kombucha which is made from the first steeping of Chaga. One of the first blog entries describes the process in more details. But Chaga is so wonderful that you can steep it multiple times, of which the second & third steeping bring forth still significant results as far as beneficial substances are concerned.
So each time we made Chaga X, we had the left over Chaga powder, with which we used to make Chaga tea. But you can only drink so much Chaga tea. So when the temperatures warmed up this late Spring, we decided to to make a lighter version of Chaga Kombucha. The results were amazing. Especially that the flavor of this new creation reminded us slightly of a Cola taste. Also the color was very similar, too. Chaga has a natural sweetness in it, as it contains natural polysaccharides. On top it has some woodsy & vanilla notes - so all that combined creates that complex flavor. So even if it was not something that we planned on, we were very happy with the results & our Chaga-Cola was very well received by our customers. And the rest is history!
Just for comparison reasons, we took a picture of both Chaga X & Chaga-Cola, so that you can see the difference:
As you can see, our Chaga-Cola much lighter than Chaga X, but it is darker than most of the commercially made Chaga Kombucha. Also, just because it is lighter, that does not mean that it does not pack a punch.
The way we make it is exactly the same way as with Chaga X. So, we steep the left over Chaga powder for the second & third time:
Next, we combine the Chaga tea from both steepings & then we add sugar & our Chaga Scoby with some starter liquid.
After couple of days of fermentation, the new growth forms on the working Scobies:
When all is done & our Chaga-Cola is properly fermented, it's bottling time:
So, just to be clear - our Chaga-Cola is made only with Chaga powder (so no Camellia sinensis) & all the carbonation that you will find, both in this as well as in all our Kombucha is natural carbonation (no CO2 added)
After the second fermentation & some further conditioning, our Chaga-Cola is ready for consumption.
Below, you will find some more information why you should consider drinking not only Chaga tea, but also Chaga Kombucha. Fermentation also increases the potency of original substances & it creates additional stuff that is also beneficial, like organic acids, live enzymes, vitamins, yeasts & probiotics. The first one is from Feng Shui London (1*)
The next one comes from Staying Fit, Eating Right, and Nourishing The Soul (2*)
To learn even more - check out this great video by Dr Cass Ingram about Chaga:
Ingredients: Filtered & Revitalized Water, Live Kombucha Cultures, BIO Unrefined Brown Sugar & Chaga Powder
Starting this December (2018) we have been doing the Chaga water extraction (similar to tea) at temperatures not exceeding 65 C. The extraction process lasts about 3 hours. The reason for that is to pull a lot more substances from Chaga powder, without the excessive heat that could compromise the quality of those substances.
Because of this low temperature method (unlike simmering, that hovers around 100 C), our Chaga X is slightly lighter in color.
That is NOT because we now use less Chaga during this process.
Now our Chaga X is of even higher quality & it should contain even a wider range of beneficial compounds