New Leaf News

  • What IS Kombucha? (in two words)

    What IS Kombucha? (in two words)

    Fermented tea. What’s the big deal about that? The big deal can be found in both of those words. Fermentation is a miracle and is the process whereby yeast and bacteria convert sugars into healthy organic acids and probiotics. Tea has been used as medicine since ancient times. By using the best tea leaves (never use tea bags) you are already starting on a health journey. Fermenting those leaves takes you up to the next level. What do we need to create fermentation? The first thing is yeast but yeast is everywhere. Wild yeast is in the air, in your...

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  • Can Pregnant Women Drink Kombucha?

    Can Pregnant Women Drink Kombucha?

    A customer at the taproom asked me this direct question the other day. What is even more interesting, a medical doctor asked me the same thing earlier. Here is what I believe we can say on the matter. What Does Research Say? First, there has been less medical research published on kombucha in the English-speaking world than on other subjects, like halitosis. So, we “know” more about bad breath than we do kombucha.  In a way this makes sense. I mean, mankind has been suffering from bad breath since time began but all the research in the world doesn’t seem...

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  • Do We Pasteurise Our Kombucha?

    Do We Pasteurise Our Kombucha?

    No, no, no way. Pasteurisation is heating a food product up to a point all microorganisms are destroyed (usually to just below 100 degrees C). This is the nuclear option when it comes to food. Pasteurisation kills all the nice probiotics that you normally get from pure kombucha. Next to kicking puppies, pasteurisation is the most “anti-kombucha” thing you can do. Why Do Some Companies Pasteurise? Then why do companies, usually larger ones, do this? They pasteurise in order to lock in a preferred flavour profile and to prolong shelf life. Real kombucha is a living culture and remains active...

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  • Is Kombucha Alcoholic?

    Is Kombucha Alcoholic?

    The only way for me to answer this with confidence is to say: “Ours isn’t!” Alcohol is a natural byproduct of the fermentation process. When yeast consume sugar, they excrete minute amounts of gas (carbon dioxide) and ethanol. This is what gives beer its fizziness and alcohol content and explains why yeast has been so popular throughout human history: fizz and a buzz? Good times. But Mr. Brewer, I Want to Avoid Alcohol However, not everyone is looking to get bombed and many people, like myself, avoid alcohol altogether. How does kombucha fit into this? Kombucha is commonly non-alcoholic. By...

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  • How Old is Kombucha

    How Old is Kombucha

    Most people in the west have come to know kombucha and its wonders quite recently and assume it is “some new hipster thing.” While it is true kombucha is making a global resurgence, this tea-based beverage has actually been a staple drink in Asia since the Great Wall of China was built, 2,200 years ago. Where Does Kombucha Come From? Like many fermented things, to make kombucha you need a starter, popularly called a “scoby.” The scoby is just kombucha itself, so you need kombucha to make kombucha. Now we reach the chicken and egg question: where did the first...

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  • Is “Kombucha” Japanese?

    Is “Kombucha” Japanese?

    Iie, chigaimasu-yo! Kombucha belongs to everyone. While the word sounds Japanese, it isn’t. People get confused by this and come up with really fanciful stories of a legendary “Dr. Kombu” and his secret tea, or “cha” in Japanese. To make it even more weird, there is a tea in Japan made from seaweed. It is called “konbucha”, with an “n.” “Konbucha,” (also called “kobucha”), has absolutely nothing to do with our beloved kombucha but non-Japanese often confuse the two. In fact, one of the larger American kombucha makers has an anchor as its symbol because they believe kombucha has something...

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