Kombucha, the next saga in the coffee shop market’s quest to find a new drink that will turn fat into rock-solid muscle and cure every disease under the sun. Perhaps this is a little optimistic, but is Kombucha really here to stay? The Blend has unearthed the facts about the Japanese tea to find out if it’s worth chalking up on the menu.
What Is It?
Kombucha is a fermented, sweetened black or green tea, originating from Japan. The fermenting process makes use of a colony of yeast and bacteria to create a flavour similar to sparkling apple cider or champagne with an alcohol content of approximately 0.5 – 1% ABV.
The drink allegedly treats a wide range of serious diseases such as AIDS, cancer and diabetes, although there has not yet been any conclusive proof to back up these claims. Kombucha has also been linked to less bold claims such as boosting the immune system and the reversal of grey hair, but again, these are yet to have the backing of solid research.
As with many homemade, often unregulated drinks that make use of bacteria, Kombucha can have a detrimental effect on the drinkers health. The fermented tea has been linked with causing liver and kidney toxicity as well as skin infection.
There has been one recorded case of a person dying from drinking Kombucha to excess, although there has been speculation as to whether the Japanese tea was the sole cause of death.