Happy Culture Kombucha
Kombucha is by no means a new thing, but more and more we’re seeing it pop up with people doing interesting brews, pushing the boundaries and refining the craft. And like all good, real, medicinal foods steeped in history, this fermented drink keeps circling back into the mainstream.
We know that Kombucha has been around for centuries, probably a few millennia. There are a couple of different stories about how Kombucha came into being.
One story is that Dr. Kombu, a Korean doctor, brought it to the Japanese Emperor in 414 AD. Samurai were said to carry it with them as it gave them energy in battle. This explanation for Kombucha’s name has always seemed a little too convenient for me, but the evidence of links to ancient Asia is compelling.
Others write that a fermented, vinegary beverage filled the travel flasks of Genghis Khan and his armies. And 1/6 of all people in the world are likely descended from Genghis himself. So Genghis Khan has pretty much affected everyone on earth. Nice, Genghis. From Asia, it travelled via the Silk Road to Russia and, consequently, all of Europe. The most definite recorded history of kombucha began in Ukraine and Russia during the late 19th century.
So what is kombucha?
Kombucha is a variety of fermented, lightly effervescent, sweetened black or green tea drink that’s made for its health benefits. It’s created by fermenting a caffeinated tea and sugar mix using a “symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast”, or SCOBY. A SCOBY is the weird, gelatinous, flat jellyfish looking thing you see floating in the tea. Magically, every time you make a new batch of kombucha, a new SCOBY is produced so you can literally give one to your aunt for Christmas or throw them into the compost heap, at no cost to yourself.
We recently had the pleasure of trying the brand new, Happy Culture kombucha made by Mark and Manon. With the team hailing from a Cap Classique and Champagne background, they focused first on perfecting the bubbles, and you can really taste the difference. The bubbles are light and elegant, adding depth to each flavour. So when Mark mentioned that he spent months refining the bubbles to their best possible point, it’s easy to believe.
We love the play on Kombucha being filled with happy cultures – literally bacteria – that are good for your gut and digestion. The gut is the second brain and is responsible for so many of your body’s functions, including the strength of your immune system, and recently its been proven to have an effect over our mental health too. Hippocrates suspected as much all those years ago!
Happy Culture Kombucha products are handcrafted using a fermentation method that honours the ancient eastern traditions. Only natural raw ingredients, cold press juices and authentic techniques are used. The result of this is a tangy-sweet cultured tea, which is filled with beneficial properties to bring wellbeing. Because the SCOBY ‘eats’ the sugar in your tea, the final product is surprisingly low in sugar, low in caffeine and high in all of the good stuff.
Manon and Mark really care about the product they’ve created, and you can see it in the process, and the way they extol the benefits of this beautiful drink. Steps we love?
- They purify the liquid with a Himalayan Salt lamp
- 432 Hz music is played to create balance and harmony
- It’s run over Rose Quartz for love and healing
You don’t get more passionate than that.
Because kombucha is alive, its cultures and flavours are very much dependent on surrounding temperatures. To drink it at its fullest and most delicious flavour, always keep it refrigerated (but never frozen – too cold, and it loses flavour) and don’t leave it out of the fridge for longer than a few hours. When it gets too hot, the scobies ferment further, creating a more acidic taste. Plus, the cooler it is, the more refreshing and ready to take along to the beach it is. We also made a few Kombucha and whiskey cocktails last weekend – delicious! – but we’re pretty sure that’s not how you’re meant to use a detoxifying drink like Kombucha. We might add the recipe soon anyway.
Happy Culture’s live green tea kombucha is a wonderful balance of sweet, tartness and acidity. It has a fresh and clean taste, with hints of the additional flavours coming through with each sip. We really did notice the elegance, and their love for the perfect bubble added to this as we’ve made a few batches at home which just don’t compare.
We’ve been toying with the idea of a kombucha “How To” for ages now, and if you’d like that, let us know and we’ll hop to it! But for now, we’ve got something even more exciting on the cards. Follow Give a Fork and follow UCOOK on Instagram, comment on our Instagram post with your favourite flavour, tag a friend and we could be sending you your very own Happy Culture-filled cooler bag to set off the festive season on a healthier foot! We’ve got 10 to give away, and we’ll announce the winner next week.