Whether or not they knew how or why doesn’t matter – fermentation was nature’s way of preserving long before refrigeration was invented.
Through generations many of us lost this art… well why would we need it when we have all mod cons? There are pockets of civilization that have kept these practices alive, Eastern Europe and the Far East still have menus that include either fermented foods (think miso, sauerkraut) or drinks (kefir, kvass, kombucha) on a regular basis, because of the tastes and traditions of the region.
However, with the scientific knowledge we now have about the importance of the gut microbiome not just for digestion, but in wider health and the scientific evidence that natural fermentation provides vast variations in strains of bacteria required to promote gut health, there really is no excuse not to include them in your diet. As always, nature provides us with exactly what we need…
So why kombucha…? Personally, I am ashamed to say, I am a picky eater. I know what I like and I like what I know! I have tried so hard to introduce a range of fermented foods into my diet over the years – knowing that if I could stomach them (pun very much intended) they would be highly likely to help with the chronic IBS that I had suffered for 10 years. But I just don’t like them! Not sure whether it is the tanginess, the slight fizz or sourness that accompanies most (cabbage shouldn’t be either in my book!) or the mental leap of eating something that doesn’t smell like I expect it to, or think it should…
But a fizzy drink… Well that’s not such a leap at all. Before discovering paleo, I confess I was a fizzy drink fiend! So it was a surprise that when my taste buds went through the readjustment period that is usual when cutting out sugar, I was still desperately craving fizz. Not very paleo, I know! So when I read about kombucha it seemed like the answer I had been searching for.
Roll on a few months and I had started brewing at home, just in a small glass jar. It really is remarkably straight forward once you can get your head around the basics. It completely curbed the fizz cravings and over the course of the next few months my IBS symptoms practically disappeared – This was the greatest relief of all.
If you’ve not heard of kombucha, its basically fermented tea – Tea, sugar and some ready brewed kombucha to get the process underway. The cultures present in the kombucha feed on the sugar and the tannins, polyphenols and nitrogen in the tea and converts all of these things into the vitamins, antioxidants and beneficial yeast and bacteria present in kombucha.
So if it worked for me, I was pretty sure it could work for others, and so Love Kombucha was born. Slowly at first, one jar became two, then three. Then we discarded the jars in favor on 25 litre brewing containers. Roll on 3 years and we have a micro brewery that can brew 8000 litres a month and a fork lift truck to load pallet orders out to our distributors. I say ‘our’, but it’s still just me, with my partner doing the accounts in his spare time.
We are now stocked in over 300 stores across the UK and are committed to being the lowest sugar kombucha in the UK. Never force carbonated or pasturised.
Check out at our fermented food & drink collection