What Is Kombucha Tea? | Part 2

Quick! what does SCOBY stand for? Ok, just checking that you read up on your terms from part 1 of our kombucha brewing instructions mini course :)

What Is Kombucha?

Today we will discuss What Is Kombucha and answer the questions What Is Kombucha Tea Good For and What Are Some Uses of Kombucha. We will also go into a little later in the course what kombucha is made of, but first let’s get into a little kombucha history.

What is the History of the Kombucha Mushroom Culture?

So how did this wonderful ugly looking jelly type pancake thing-a-magij come to be?

Kombucha Story Time – An old country doctor from the Alexandrov district near Moscow noticed his peasant patients had no cancer. The doctor, wondering about this, started looking around… and discovered this: That to save money on tea the muzhiks of that locality brewed not tea, but chaga, otherwise known as the birch-tree mushroom.

Actually, it’s not even a birch-tree mushroom, but a birch-tree cancer … a sort of ugly growth on old birch trees. (confused yet?).

It is dome-shaped, black on the outside and dark brown inside. It occurred to doctor Maslennikov that this tea made from the birch tree mushroom could be the magic remedy the Russian peasants, without realizing it, had been using to cure themselves of cancer for hundreds of years.

“So it started in Russia, great let’s move on”… well not so fast!

You see Chaga is not Kombucha! It is just to point out that peeps have been fermenting stuff and enjoying almost miraculous benefits for years, and in many different forms (think sour kraut, pickles, or even the ginger you get at your favorite sushi spot).

How Long Has Kombucha Been Around?


Often it is said, that the Kombucha fungus had already been used 2000 years ago in China. It is also said to have existed for a long time now in Japan and Korea. Particularly in China it was the Grandmother who kept a jar of it on hand at all times and was responsible for the preparation of the tea.

When a daughter in the family got married and moved out to live with her husband (remember there were nucleus families back then where everyone lived together till they got married, and even then they might have continued to live together… side note: don’t tell my mom about that or she’ll expect the same of me!).

The Kombucha culture was passed down to the granddaughter to provide health and longevity to her family. Sort of like a family heir loom. Ha can you imagine getting that instead of a diamond ring?! :)

What Is Kombucha Tea Good For

What Is Kombucha? Culture + Tea = Fermentation!


What is Kombucha Tea Made Of?

Below is a complete breakdown of what is found in Kombucha tea and a quick associated beneficial function of that ingredient. Kombucha Benefits will be discussed in depth in our course tomorrow.

Remember this is the finished product of the kombucha tea that has been fermented with a kombucha culture for about 10 days, and not just the kombucha culture itself.

We will do another class in the future to discuss what is a kombucha culture make of.

This is a truer representation, as usually it is the kombucha tea that is consumed by the individual and not the SCOBY (though some do ingest the SCOBY, it is rare and requires a special technique that we can also talk about later, as I know many people have asked me what is the kombucha mushroom good for).

  • LACTIC ACID: Found in Kombucha in its most potent form L-lactic(+). Lactic acid is essential for the digestive system.
  • ACETIC ACID: Its main function is to inhibit harmful bacteria. Acetic acid is used as a preservative because of this action. It is also what gives Kombucha that ‘kick’ to its smell and taste.
  • MALIC ACID: Is also used in the body’s detoxification process.
  • OXALIC ACID: Encourages the cellular production of energy and is a natural preservative.
  • GLUCONIC ACID: Is effective against many yeast infections such as Candida and thrush.
  • BUTYRIC ACID: Is produced by the yeasts and when working with gluconic acid, might help combat yeast infections such as Candida.
  • NUCLEIC ACID: Work with the body aiding healthy cell regeneration.
  • AMINO ACID: A group of acids which are the building blocks of protein. Your muscular system is made of proteins.
  • ENZYMES: Are proteins that act as catalysts, speeding the rate at which biochemical reactions proceed.

Kombucha also contains Vitamin Groups B and C, Beneficial Yeasts and LIVING Bacteria (you know like the stuff in yogurt).

What Is Kombucha Good For?

It is said that kombucha is good for many ailments and to support proper digestion functions. We have created a whole survey on actual drinkers of kombucha to ask them what is kombucha tea good for? To see those results check out our Kombucha Benefits.

Though our Kombuhcha Benefits page answers what are the top REAL benefits of drining kombucha tea, here are the actual components or characteristics of kombucha along with how it might be used to help your body.

  • Kombucha is a Probiotic.

This means that kombucha is good for restoring healthy bacteria in your body. In this case, kombucha is used to offset people who have taken anti-biotics in the past.

By introducing living probiotics into the body, many people have experienced an increase in digestive flora. This increase in flora helps with digestion and detox.

  • Kombucha Alkalizes The Body.

Although kombucha is externally acidic, it is considered a weak acid. This means that once ingested it will bind to minerals and the overall effect will be alkaline to the body.

This is very similar to lemons and apple cider vinegar. A balanced internal pH has been reported to increase our immune system. This means kombucha is good for increasing your immune system.

  • Kombucha (usually) Contains Tea.

Though it is not completely necessary, the majority of kombucha is made using the leaves of the camililias senensis plant (that’s fancy talk for tea leaves.. as opposed to other herbs).

There has been a tremendous amount of research on the benefits of tea (different types of tea have different charecteristics, ex: green, white, oolong, black, etc) – however all tea contains EGCG and other polyphenols and amino acids, vitamins, minerals, caffeine, and theanine.

This means, when consuming kombucha that has been brewed with tea, kombucha is good for weight loss, increased mood, energy, and high blood pressure.

  • Kombucha Converts Sugar Into Organic Acids.

As we discussed earlier, kombucha contains several different types of organic acids. A major one is gluconic and glucoronic acids which may have specifically detox the liver.

Many people who cleanse their liver report a noticeable difference in their skin, hair, eyes, and finger nails (they will grow like crazy!)

  • Kombucha is a much healthier and lower calorie and sugar alternative to soda.

This one is personally my favorite and usually the often over looked answer to why so many people experience such a drastic difference in mood, weight, appearance and digestion almost immediately. Kombucha is good for (no, strike that GREAT for), a replacement for your other beverages.

It shares many of the similar characteristics of your favorite soda; it’s astringent, it’s sour (has a little bite to it), it’s fizzy, it tastes great ! But unlike soda, it has very little calories and sugar once properly fermented.

People ask all the time how much, and it will vary by recipe and fermentation environments, but it is almost always 430% less sugar and calories as a soda.

Plus it is not just what it doesn’t have, it is what is found in kombucha too — don’t know.. well just scroll up and re-read today’s class silly!

  • Mona Lisa drinks a kombucha

    Even Mona Loves Kombucha

Okey dokey class. We are finished with today’s what is kombucha class. We are leaving off at a good place, b/c tomorrow we will go into the Real Benefits of drinking Kombucha as experience by our readers/brewers/kombuchaholics.

There is a top 10 List included. It will be awesome.

Till then -

  • Smile at a random person,
  • Make sure your hair is combed
  • and Share your newly gained kombucha knowledge with a friend. (you can do so with the fancy facebook buttons, and such).

And in that order, because no friend will listen to you about a subject they never heard before if your hair’s a mess. :)

Happy Brewin’

Dave :)

PS: Remember, by now you are probably going into some shock about how much fun it is to discover kombucha. I know I went crazy when I found out you can make kombucha at home for pennies… in fact that’s why I started this site and itty bitty (yet moderately awesome) kombucha company. It’s all about sharing the love! I hope you are enjoying these classes as much as I enjoy writing them (for reals!).

PPS: If you have not signed up for our Free Kombucha Mini Course and Kombucha Vids, you can do so now and not miss out on any of kombucha tips!



"Thank you so much Dave, for creating this course. My homemade kombucha now tastes even better than the store kind." - Cindy W.

About Kombucha Dave

Happy go lucky guy who most recently (past 6 years or so), has been enjoying his time teaching people how to make kombucha, traveling, and playing dodgeball. If you are asking yourself what is kombucha? Fear not, as it is one of the most common questions I receive on a daily basis... that and why are you always smiling? :) Connect with me on Google+ Find us on Google+

20 Responses to “What Is Kombucha Tea? | Part 2”

  1. richard says:

    really appreciate all the info, dave…looking forward to getting my scoby!

  2. Todd says:

    "Yeast.  Bacteria.  Delicious"??  You gotta be $#^%*$& me!

  3. Sharon Wells says:

    When people ask what is in the tea, and they do, I can provide intelligent answers. So far, I am  able to focus on the information in the class. Good read, love getting the next class.

  4. Sharon Wells says:

    Love the contents. Especially the fact that the tea does address answers to sugar content, 3as sugar is an important diet consideration. 

  5. Sharon Wells says:

    As posted above, sugar effects diet issues.

  6. Jeanie says:

    I first tried GT's Trilogy flavor two years ago.  Hated the first bottle.  Then a second bottle hooked me.  This week tried my first batch of kombucha at home and it is so good even without the fruit flavor!  Amazing stuff.  Please give it a try, Todd, but let it "grow" on you, do not give up everybody with the first taste!  Grandma J.

  7. jASON says:

    Great information, thanks. I like the humor as well, makes it easier to "digest" the information. But pleeeeease proof-read.. there are a lot of spelling errors.

  8. Patty Bane says:

    Really enjoying the lessons on kombucha!  Thanks for the information!

  9. Joy says:

    Thanks, kombucha super-cutie! ;-)

  10. Penny says:

    The lessons are very informative.  Still looking forward to brewing my first batch and with your help, I am sure my kombucha tea will be a great success.

  11. Jon says:

    What's this about Birch mushroom tea preventing human cancer? No wonder you never see Birch trees any more. You are grinding them all up to grow mushrooms! 8D  I am trying to grow a SCOBY from a bottle of Kombucha. The tea is all cloudy now but I don't know if that is good or not! Maybe I have Salmonella Soup or Botulism Broth!

  12. Katie Cloutier says:

    Thanks for the info Dave,
    I only bought one bottle at the store and I could not believe it was $4.00 a bottle.  I came to your website by accident I was looking for buying it cheaper than the stores.  Then I found your website and I'm glad I did.  I really apprciate your 7 day course.  I am looking forward to your next class and i'm watching your videos as well.  I'm already shared your website with a couple of friends thanks so much.

  13. CU2MRO says:

    Got turned onto Kombucha about a year ago. I prefer GT Dave's/ Synergy brands and Kombucha Wonder Drink both of which may be found at your local Whole Foods Store. I order GT's/Synergy Kombucha by the cases-typically 4 to 6 cases an order as this brand MUST be kept refridgerated. The other brand does NOT need to be refridgerated. Try GT Dave's Multi-Green sometime if you are new to Kombucha- excellent flavor. And note that you are literally drinking 'food' in a bottle- your appetite drops when drinking Kombucha. So if you wish to skip lunch then drink a kombucha around 11:30AM and you can make it to dinner with a carrot stick or two. I have some severe intestinal issues and since drinking GT Dave's/Synergy Raw Kombucha drinks they have helped me all but eliminate Nexium and Dexilant prescription drugs- only on rare occasion -like after dumping hot sauce on my eggs I might have to take a pill- but the kombucha also aids in supressing stomach acid; leastwise it does for me. GT Dave's/Synergy Raw Kombucha brands are sensitive to motion. DO NOT Shake, move around roughly and then open the bottle as it will fizz out!! When sitting dormant in your fridge you can safely peal the seal off and gently crack/twist to open and watch carefully….no fizzing? good to go….fizzing up…reseal and wait a bit….keep cracking and resealing until it calms down. Kombucha Wonder Drink does not fizz out- then again, it is not the better quality- in my opinion. You cannot do much better on kombucha than GT's/GT Dave's/Synergy Raw Kombucha drinks- they are the best I have found and I drink 2 cases a month!! Whole Foods also gives you a 10% discount when you order in bulk! Enjoy! And share with those you love!

  14. Veronica says:

    I recently just had my first taste of Kombucha Tea and loved it.  Then I wanted to find out all about it and found out the health benefits it provides and also found your site to be very informative.  Thanks for educating us about this drink that has been around for years.  

  15. David says:

    Thank you for putting together this mini course and for keeping it fun. I’m enjoying the reads. Good job!

  16. Daniel Oh says:

    Awesome site about Kombuchas! I’ve recently started drinking them and I noticed that they really help me get over a cold much quicker. I’ve also noticed that after knocking a few back I can def. feel the difference in my body….for the good of course.

    Thanks for all the info!


  17. Steve says:

    How much Kombucha should you drink per day? What is recommended?

    • Dave says:

      Hey Steve!

      It really depends on the individual. A good starting point is up to 16 ounces a day. If you experience detox effects like rash, too much pooping, etc.. you can try lowering or break the 16ounces throughout the day. for example 8oz in the morning and 80z at night. dave :)

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