Kombucha

How To Convert A Kombucha Skeptic

It’s not going to come as a surprise, but at Remedy HQ we’re kind of addicted to kombucha. We freakin’ LOVE the stuff and think EVERYONE should drink it – it tastes great, it’s filled with goodness AND it has no sugar, what more could you ask for?! But even we have those mates that won’t even TRY kombucha. You know the ones; you offer them a can and they put up their nose like a toddler being served broccoli. Surely something that’s meant to be good for them can’t possibly taste nice!

In our experience, there are three types of kombucha skeptics: 

  1. The sugar-loving skeptic aka the die-hard soft drink lovers. Look. We get it. It can be hard to make the leap to imagine that something “fermented” is going to taste nice. You don’t go straight from downing handfuls of Skittles to only eating kale chips, nor do you go from drinking full-sugar Cola to homemade wheatgrass shots – baby steps are required.
  2. The burnt skeptic Their first experience was probably a very-funky, slightly-boozy home brew given to them by their hippy-dippy aunt who lives in the hills or – shock horror – another brand of kombucha, and now they’re scarred for life. While we’d probably love a taste, homebrews are not for the faint-hearted, and can really put a sour taste in people’s mouths (pun intended).
  3. The dad skeptic What’s with dads thinking “kamboocha is a girl’s drink!” (tell that to our founder Emmet) or “kambuthca is for those vegans!”. Dads can be REALLY stuck in their ways and don’t always like to venture into the unknown. They’re happy with a classic ginger beer and a bag of original chips, and that’s about it.


So, what do you do when you come across a kombucha skeptic? How do you convert them to being a fully-fledged booch lover?

  • Pour them a sip of one of Remedy’s fruity flavours – we recommend Mango Passion, Raspberry Lemonade and Peach as the perfect gateway booches for any kombucha skeptic.
  • Show them the plethora of celebs who freakin’ love the stuff. Whatever they’re into – we can assure you there’s Remedy lover in their ranks. Music? Justin Bieber. Movie stars? How’s Russell Brand? Sport? Oh, we don’t know... just a bunch of Olympic team members are drinkin’ Remedy. If it’s good enough for all of them, surely it’s good enough for anyone.
  • Slip in a bit of alcohol. That’s right, whip them up a drink during cocktail hour. They’ll never guess that super-tasty gin number they just had was mixed with kombucha.
  • Tell them it’s a soft drink. Sometimes it’s THAT simple. If they don’t know what it is, they can’t be weirded out. If they happen to like it, you can then introduce them to all the goodies they’ve just consumed (live cultures, organic acids and antioxidants).


Got any other good ideas to convert a kombucha skeptic? Let us know!


How To Brew Your Own Booch

Are you a full-blown stage five kombucha addict ready to take things to the next level? Or just have the fermenting bug (pun intended)? Either way, we're here to show you just how easy it is to make your own kombucha at home. It’s how Remedy started, after all! That’s right, our founders Sarah and Emmet started out making kombucha for themselves and their young family on their very own kitchen counter. Each batch of Remedy Kombucha is still brewed using a descendent of the live culture used in their very first batch!

INGREDIENTS
2 litres filtered water
1 cup organic raw sugar
10g organic black tea (5 teabags)
10g organic green tea (5 teabags)
750ml Remedy Kombucha (any flavour!) 

METHOD
STEP 1
Bring 2 litres filtered water to the boil.
Add black tea and steep for 3 minutes.
Add green tea and steep for a further 3 minutes. “Black tea has a beautiful, rich profile but green tea is full of polyphenols,” says Remedy Founder, Emmet Condon.
Strain the tea into a 3-litre wide open-mouthed jar and add sugar. Stir to dissolve. Cool to 30 degrees celsius.

STEP 2
If you have a mother culture (aka SCOBY) and feeder*:
Add kombucha feeder and place mother culture/ SCOBY on top of the liquid.
OR
If starting from scratch: add Remedy Kombucha to the tea brew.
Cover with muslin cloth and secure with an elastic band.
Leave in a warm room away from food contaminants and direct sunlight for 7-10 days.

STEP 3
Depending on the temperature of where you live, your kombucha will be ready in about 7-10 days. 
If you used an existing mother culture, your brew will have formed a "baby" mother culture.
OR
If you used Remedy to make the kombucha from scratch, your own mother culture will have grown along the surface of the jar.
Taste to decide if it's ready. The kombucha should taste slightly sour with no tea flavour remaining. If you prefer a more sour taste, leave it to ferment for a few more days.

STEP 4
Remove mother culture (this can be used to make your next brew).
Transfer your finished kombucha into sealed bottles to keep in the fridge. Enjoy!


Note: not all kombucha is created equal, and this recipe might not work if trying to substitute the kombucha for other brands. Want to know how you can tell if a store-bought kombucha is the real deal?

  • Pour some kombucha in a glass and let it sit in a warm place for a few days. If it’s real, a Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast should form (a SCOBY).
  • The beneficial bacteria and live cultures in kombucha can only be present in the drink if it is raw and unpasteurised.
  • Check the label to see how the product is made, real kombucha is brewed over time.
  • Strands or small pieces of our live kombucha SCOBY or ‘mother’ may appear in the bottle. While they may seem weird the first time you see them, rest assured these are signs of a natural, healthy kombucha that is unpasteurised and full of goodness. These strands are perfectly normal and safe to consume. In fact, it’s a good sign the kombucha is alive and kickin'!

If you're wondering what the *magic hour* is to consume your brew, any time is a good time!


Kombucha Myths Busted

The internet is awesome, obviously. But by gee whizz, it can get murky when you're trying to sort out fact from fiction.

Take kombucha, for instance. While the humble fermented tea has been around for thousands of years, it is still a relatively mysterious and unknown drink to many people. If you turn to the good ol' google machine to find out more and you can easily come away confused or misinformed.

Luckily, you've come to the right place. Team Remedy is here to cut through the fake news and dispel the myths about kombucha!

 

MYTH #1: KOMBUCHA NEEDS SUGAR
TRUTH: Only during fermentation!

Sure, you DO need sugar to ferment. We can’t argue with that. And we don’t – we use raw organic sugar to kick off our brew, but what’s extra great about Remedy is that we ferment out ALL the sugar. We all know that when it comes to sugar there can be too much of a good thing, so why have it in your drink when you don’t need to?

MYTH #2: ALL KOMBUCHAS ARE LOW IN SUGAR
TRUTH: Not the case! Make sure you read the label.

Sugar is an essential ingredient in making kombucha. Most of the sugar in kombucha should be consumed during fermenting, but that’s not always the case, and sometimes extra sugar is added after fermentation in the form of juices and other ingredients for flavour, so you should always check the sugar content on the nutrition label.

The amount of sugar left in the final product depends on the length of fermentation. At Remedy, we follow a small-batch, long-aged 30-day brewing process to brew out all of the sugar.

MYTH #3: REAL KOMBUCHAS HAVE TO BE KEPT IN THE FRIDGE
TRUTH: Only if it still contains sugar!

Hold up! Wait a minute! Only kombuchas still containing sugar need to be stored in the fridge. This is because the magic of fermentation happens in a warm environment. So if a kombucha stil has sugar present and it becomes warm, it can kickstart a re-fermentation – which risks a kombucha getting  a little boozy, loose-y goose-y and could quite literally explode everywhere.

No risk with Remedy as NONE of our drinks contain any sugar (so no chance of refermentation) and our cultures are ripped, super strong and fine out of the fridge. We make sure of it by testing throughout shelf life. We’re alive AND kicking!

MYTH #4: KOMBUCHA IS ALCOHOLIC
TRUTH: Kombucha is a non-alcoholic beverage!

Like many fermented foods and drinks, a trace amount of alcohol is produced during the natural process of making kombucha. At Remedy, we thoroughly test each and every batch to ensure that this does not go above 0.5%, which is the national standard in Australia and New Zealand for non-alcoholic drinks. Don’t believe us? Aussie comedian Dave Hughes – who hasn’t had an alcoholic drink for 25 years - put this to the test on live radio by drinking six bottles of Remedy in two hours and taking a breathalyser test, with the result showing 0.00.

MYTH #5: KOMBUCHA IS HIGH IN CAFFEINE
TRUTH: It’s actually super low!

While kombucha is made from tea, the potency of the caffeine is reduced as a natural part of the fermentation process. The end result will vary from kombucha to kombucha, depending on the tea used and the length of fermentation. In addition to brewing out all of the sugar, our long-aged brewing process reduces the caffeine levels. Each serve of Remedy has less than 10mg of caffeine. To put this into perspective, tea or coffee can contain more than 100mg of caffeine depending on the type of coffee and how strongly it is brewed, and a can of cola will contain around 35mg.

MYTH #6: KOMBUCHA ISN’T SAFE FOR KIDS
TRUTH: Remedy is safe for all ages!

We can’t speak for other brands, but we know that Remedy Kombucha is completely safe and suitable for children to enjoy. We know lots of kids who have grown up enjoying kombucha (including Remedy Founders Sarah and Emmet's own family) and many other types of naturally fermented food and drinks. As part of our strict food safety certifications, we conduct regular external testing of our products to ensure they meet the highest standards of food safety and compliance.

MYTH #7: YOU CAN ONLY DRINK A SMALL AMOUNT
TRUTH: Trust your gut on what feels good for you!

We wouldn’t sell our kombucha in big bottles if you could only drink a little bit!

Really, there’s no limit to how much Remedy you can drink in a day. While we don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all prescription for how much kombucha you should drink, we do recommend incorporating it into your daily diet to truly experience the benefits.

Most of the team at Remedy have a bottle or can with each meal as it’s a super easy way to including something fermented, natural, and raw into your daily diet.

MYTH #8: YOU’RE GONNA NEED A TOILET CLOSE
TRUTH: Don’t worry, Remedy IS safe to drink on a date!

While this myth does make us laugh, it’s not the case. If it were, we’d be going through some serious amounts of toilet paper in the Remedy office.


The History of Kombucha

Forget the fads. While some may have only taken notice of our tasty live-cultured drink when Remedy started popping up in your local supermarket, grocer, cafe, or gym in the last few years, kombucha as a beverage has been around for a loooooong time. We're not just talking pre-social media time when there was no way to snap a pic and show off your booch and acai bowl combo. We're talking BC time, peoples. For REAL old school.

So where did it all start? What's the story? Where does kombucha come from?  Well, here's the thing with those old pre-technology, pre-globalisation days. No one really knows. But there are a few theories that make sense.

Throughout its long and illustrious history, the mighty booch has also been known by some other ripper names, including: Olinka, Tschambucco, Kwassan, Champagne of Life, Kambotscha, Koucha kinoko, Manchurian Mushroom, Mo-Gu, Mother of Vinegar, Mushroom of Charity, Russian Jelly-fish, The Divine Tsche and Mushroom Tea... to name just a few.

Most people believe kombucha originated in China during the Qin Dynasty around 220BC for the Emperor Qinshi Huangdi, which is where the "cha" in the name comes from. As you may know, chá is the Chinese word for tea (yum cha, anyone?). In ancient China, kombucha was called “The Tea of Immortality”. Bold name, huh? Other Chinese names kombucha has been known by include “Sea Treasure”, “Stomach Treasure” (yes, really) and “Sea Mushroom”. Today in China, it goes by the names hongchajun, hongchagu or chameijun.

Believe it or not, the "Kombu" part of the name has nothing to do with kombis and hippies in the 60s who loved kombucha. Instead, the story that makes way more sense is that a Dr. Kombu from Korea introduced the drink to the Japanese Emperor Inyoko in 414 AD.  If you're ever travelling and after a booch fix, don't confuse it with “Seaweed Tea” which is called kombucha in Japan! The Japanese instead call it “kocha kinoko”, which means “red tea mushroom”.

Legend has it that Samurai warriors of ancient Japan carried it as an energy boost for battle. It's even been suggested that the mighty Genghis Khan and his armies were big on the booch.

Thanks to the infamous Silk Road, kombucha soon made its way to Europe, in particular Russia, where it was all the rage.  In Russian, a SCOBY is called čajnyj grib, which means “tea mushroom” and the drink itself is known as "grib" or “tea kvass”.

During World War II, tea and sugar - two important ingredients for kombucha - were rationed in Russia. As a result, the practice was lost in many homes but luckily enough preserved the tradition for it to flourish again in post-war Europe.

The drink soon made its way around the world, growing in particular popularity in the USA and more recently, the UK!

Speaking of travelling the world, every batch of our Remedy Kombucha that you enjoy today is a direct descendant from a live kombucha culture (aka SCOBY) brought to Australia (where Remedy was founded) from Germany by travellers more than 40 years ago!

Big props to our mates at Kombucha Kamp, an amazing resource and authority on all things kombucha, for much of the wisdom shared here.