Kombucha Tea

Kombucha Tea

Kombucha tea is very popular among herbalists and health fanatics alike despite its reputation of displaying some serious side effects. Scientific evidence has not proven that there are health benefits from drinking the tea, but some people suffering from debilitating diseases swear by it. It is believed by some that Kombucha tea promotes longevity, boost the body’s immune system and detoxify the body.  Originating in East Asia, Kombucha tea has been available in Germany since the early 19th century Known also as tea fungus, Manchurian tea or Kargasok tea; it is made from a few simple components. It is popular in the United States especially with HIV positive individuals and can be made and cultured at home.


 Kombucha is formed by mixing sweetened back tea, a yeast culture and a Kombucha mushroom. This causes a fermenting process to begin that produces a new generation of bacterial culture on top of the old that can be skimmed off and given away or kept for future batches.  The first component in Kombucha tea is sweetened black tea, made by steeping black tea leaves and adding a generous amount of sugar for sweetening.  Several different yeast cultures are used, though the culture may include Candida stellata, and Torula species, among others. Several different types and variations of yeast and bacteria can be grown. Though it is referred to as a Kombucha mushroom, there is not any actual mushroom used. The name was derived from the mushroom like bacteria substance that forms on top of the tea mixed with yeast culture.  The fermenting produces alcoholic properties to the tea.

The black tea leaves are steeped in hot water and about one cup of sugar is stirred in and dissolved.  The sweetened tea is then left to cool to room temperature.  The Kombucha mushroom bacteria starter is added. This mixture is left to steep covered with a clean cloth and undisturbed for approximately one week.  A substance resembling a mushroom gathers on the surface, along with what looks like a baby mushroom. The baby mushroom can be skimmed off the top and given to others as a culture to begin their own Kombucha tea, or can be stored to use when the original mushroom substance turns dark brown and is no longer good to use.

Kombucha tea components, including dry tea leaves and liquid capsules have also been made available by different manufacturers in several countries.  The product is sold as a dietary supplement in the United States but has not been FDA tested or approved as safe for human consumption.


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This entry was posted in Cooking.