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To put it simply, kombucha is a fermented tea. The procedure, to reduce things at the minimum, is to let a sweetened tea ferment with a starter - a liquid that is already fermenting - and a SCOBY (an acronym of Symbiotic Colture of Bacteria and Yeast).

This fermentation process is able to create essential acids that are capable of purifying the body and it is also a source of microorganisms called probiotics that act on our general wellbeing and in particular on our immune system and digestive system.

After this very sketchy introduction, it is normal to wonder what all these things mean. In fact, for some of us they could be completely new. Everyone of us will know what tea is, namely the leaves of Camellia sinensis, but not everyone has a clear definition of what fermentation really means.

We want to start this part devoted to the concept of “fermentation” by highlighting the very long relationship that binds us humans - and living beings in general - and the bacteria. We co-evolved with them and now different types of organisms, human cells, bacteria, yeasts, viruses and parasites live in symbiosis in and on our organism.

The idea of being completely surrounded, from the inside and from the outside, by bacteria could sound a little bit nasty.

In reality, we have this type of sensations because we are used to link the word “bacteria” with negative concepts like illness, dirtiness and mold.

This prejudice towards bacteria is not justified and more often than not they are our alleys. It is now widely accepted that our enteric nervous system, in our gut, is a real second brain, strictly connected with the one we have under our skull - could it be this the reason why we often choose things with our gut?

For this reason, consuming fermented foods and beverages could not be more positive for our body, to support the microorganisms we have in our gut and to help them to overcome the challenges that it faces daily, like stress, an unbalanced diet or a difficult period.

Fermented foods and beverages are, indeed, full of probiotics, namely good bacteria for the health of our gut.

One could think that it is difficult to integrate fermented products in one’s diet, but truly they are nearer to us than we think: yogurt, a lot of cheeses, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, kimchi, wine, beer, kombucha.

We are sure that everyone has already eaten one fermented product in his/her life. And we feel that the flavor and the benefits were tangible.

When fermentations are done well, they can help us to better absorb the nutrients, to synthesize vitamins, to digest proteins and to reset the internal homeostasis of our organisms.

Other than being beneficial for us, fermentation has always been a method to preserve seasonal products, especially before the arrival of refrigeration in our contemporary era. This process allowed different populations to have healthy foods even in those periods of the year when the soil could not give its fruits and vegetables.

In the past, moreover, the necessity to be sure that the water was safe to drink moved people to ferment fruits and leaves with it

Probably the first fermented beverages were born out of mistaked where water and other forgotten products transformed completely due to the presence of wild bacteria and yeasts. From that moment on, this fermentation process has been used to create medicinal potions, beverages, foods and for this reason it has been a nutritional, social and cultural evolution.

So, thanks to this process called fermentation, that we now know a little bit better, a simple sweetened tea is transformed into an healthy and bubbly beverage: our kombucha.

One of the first witnesses of kombucha consumption is dated back to 221 a.C. in China, during the Tsin dynasty. At the time and during the centuries it has been called “immortality tea”, because of its unique properties, other than because of the mystery of fermentation. From Asia it soon arrived in East Europe and Russia, where it has been used since centuries.

After all this information, one probably will be wondering why kombucha and not all the other ferments. To be honest, our advice is to consume as much fermented foods and beverages as possible, so kombucha is for sure one of them.

Another answer is that kombucha is versatile and widely diffused. It can be consumed in every moment of the day, it can be more or less acidic depending on the conditions of the fermentation, it can be flavored, one can be crazy with the flavors and it pairs well with all the good foods there are.

We have to admit that for someone, the love for this beverage remains a mystery: some people will not be able to love it, others don’t understand why they like it and a little bit of crazy people - that is growing - fell in love and decided to dedicate their life to it and make kombucha brewing their work.

Kombucha is so famous and well known because it can be consumed in all diets, from the vegetarian, the vegan and to the highly proteic one.

Be aware that it cannot be considered the remedy for everything, like no food, but it could be a fantastic alley for our wellbeing.

Kombucha is, in fact, an adaptogen that is able to rebalance our body, acting on all our organs. Kombucha helps us to digest well thanks to its probiotics and it contains vitamins of the B group and vitamin C, all in bioavailable forms.

Consuming kombucha can help us reduce the daily consumption of caffeine and sugar, being able to substitute some of the sweetened sodas or the coffee in different moments of the day when we need something to cheer us up or when we simply need a break.

What is left to do is to give you some advice on how to start to drink kombucha or, if you are already drinkers, how to introduce friends, relatives, colleagues to this ancient oriental tonic.

The first thing that we want to say is that there is no need to start talking with super scientific terms or to try to convince others only by talking of the benefits of kombucha. At the end of the day, drinking kombucha should be a pleasure and not everyone is able to drink something not pleasurable everyday only because it is “beneficial”.

Try to bring some kombucha at a party, maybe tell the others that it is a bubbly tea and leave the guests the freedom to try it. If this is not the right method, try to offer a glass of kombucha diluted with some water or some ice cubes. It is a wonderful drink to have at aperitif or during the nights spent with friends.

And if this is not enough, try to prepare some cocktails with kombucha. The benefits of the fermentation will be still there and your friends will have a first encounter with kombucha through a more familiar beverage. And then, but don’t say to anyone that we told you that, when they will be a little drunk, you could give them a plain kombucha and they will be sold!

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