Kombucha

What to expect the first time you drink kombucha

You’re not alone if you think it sounds weird

Words by Melissa Shedden


If you haven't plunged into the puckery depths of kombucha, you probably will soon, especially if you’re feeling bleurgh about your health. Or just darn thirsty.

As part of my own perpetual quest to find a wellness tonic for everything that ails me, I now look back with rose-tinted glasses on my first time, like it was yesterday (and much more affectionately than my first squirmy kiss with Kelvin White on the school basketball court, but that’s a whole other story.) I fondly remember my virgin sip of this cloudy liquid as the taste equivalent of tiny fairies tap dancing on my tongue.

It was otherworldly. Like nothing I’d experienced before. At first, I wasn’t sure. But it quickly grew on me. You know why? Kombucha tastes like health. But not a hold-your-nose-close-your-eyes-and-down-it health taste, because heck I’ve tried plenty of those as a health journalist over the years.


Kombucha: an acquired taste

That was more than a decade ago when kombucha caused your face to go Jim Carrey and by that I mean physically respond to the initial teeth-thrumming taste. Now it’s best described as exhilaratingly tangy and tart fruity flavour infusion (which explains why there’s so many tasty flavours to choose from). Sipping on one feels like a power nap in drink form – all sorts of refreshing.

You see, the collective understanding that not all bacteria are evil and that many are in fact, good and necessary to human health, have since made live cultured products as alluring as that fresh-out-of-the-oven Subway cookie scent. Yep, these days you can barely order a latte without bumping into something cultured, or otherwise funky – in a good way.


Kombucha's origins – like almost everything about the drink – are a little Harold Holt-esque – a combination of myth and mystery. It’s been around for about 2000 years and made its way to us from China through Russia and Eastern Europe – but the middle class hipsters made it famous in the last decade when it got brewed commercially. We salute you beard-oiled friends.

 

Kombucha for beginners

The carbonated drink with live micro-organisms is made when tea, raw organic sugar and water are left to ferment with SCOBY, an acronym, that stands for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. (Google warning: If you've never looked at a picture of SCOBY, the slimy beige blob is reminiscent of a jellyfish from the depths of unchartered waters. You know you want hit search, stat.)

Sounds funky, but the outcome is good, so let’s press on. The fermentation process makes the drink naturally fizzy as well, and then different flavours are added. Remedy, made famous by the ‘I Quit Sugar recommends’ tick, makes the real deal no sugar stuff straight out of Melbourne. (Side note: During their 30-day long aged brewing process, all of the key starter ingredient sugar is converted into organic acids leaving no sugar.) Think passionfruit and mango, raspberry lemonade, ginger and lemon and their newest creation, wild berry, a great gateaway booch that I wish I had when I first began my dalliance with the drink. 

 

Great expectations

So what should you expect the first time you pop the top and suck one down?

My advice? Start with Remedy Kombucha Wild Berry – the jammy mouthfeel of a warm summer’s day. Give it a good sniff, then pretend you’re at a bougie restaurant and somehow you’ve ended up being anointed by the sommelier as the wine tester and consider it for a moment. Take that opening sip. Let it linger. Smack it between your lips and swoosh it to the back of your throat. Trust me, your expression will change more times than a cat meme – and rapidly – and I guarantee you’ll go back for more.

As for the health benefits, Remedy Kombucha is teeming with live cultures, organic acids and antioxidants (AKA the really good stuff). If you’re thirsty and looking for a smug feeling alternative to soft drinks, booze and juice this summer - go wild on Remedy Kombucha.

 

 

Article first published on Body & Soul. 


How to ferment at home like a pro

Whatttta year!#@?! While it's been a toughy, one positive to come out of the big 'C' is that we've all been gathering around our kitchen counters more than ever fermenting up a storm (HELLO sourdough).

To celebrate all this culinary bravado, we've collaborated with our mates at I Quit Suar to share our all-time Ferment Faves! 

From kombucha makin' to pickling a Remedy rainbow of veg, each recipe is an ABSOLUTE party-in-your-mouth cracker. 

The best bit is that whether you're a fully-fledged ferment genius or an absolute NEWBIE, it doesn't matter! You'll enjoy these utterly calming to make recipes all the same in this 2020 craze. PLUS ferments are theeee BEST homemade gift ever, so be sure to drop off a jar full of goodness to all your nearest and dearest to try (Chrissy gift-giving sorted).

Ferment Fave Recipes:

Kombucha sourdough

Sweet & spicy fermented hot sauce

Kombucha pickled veg

How to brew your own kombucha

Fun Fact: The first batch of the Remedy Kombucha you know and love was created on our Founders kitchen bench in a small jar in Melbourne almost 15 years ago! From little jars, big things can grow! 

What Even Are Organic Acids?

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What the heck are organic acids?

Shakin' up the fizzy drinks industry for good is what we do best at Remedy! The way we do this is by brewing drinks the ol' school way, following age-old fermenting traditions with all the naturally occurring benefits of live cultures and organic acids in our brews. But, what the heck are organic acids?

Don't fret. Many people don't know what organic acids are or have even heard of them before.

What are organic acids?

When brewin' Remedy, it’s not just magic that leads to a delicious drink with no sugar naturally, but fermentation science! You see, the live culture is what consumes all the sugar, but in the process it doesn’t just disappear, it gets converted into healthy organic acids, also known as short-chain fatty acids, the very same kind produced by our own gut bacteria to aid important body processes.

Organic acids can potentially help to:

  • Provide an energy source for the good bacteria in your gut
  • Regulate appetite
  • Stabilise blood sugar levels
  • Regulate cholesterol
  • Prevent overgrowth of bad bugs in your gut.  

What organic acids will you find in a Remedy Kombucha?

In every 330ml of Remedy Kombucha, you will enjoy 0.7g of naturally occurring organic acid.

How can you tell if your kombucha is chock-full of organic acids?

First of all, taste. The organic acid is what gives Remedy bevvies that subtle tang and good-for-you-but-still-so-damn-tasty flavour. Watch out for any kombucha or other drink that claims to be fermented without some tang - that's how you know they're brewin' the old school way, and you're gettin' the goodness of organic acids.

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What are Tea Polyphenols and Why Should I Care?

What are tea polyphenols and why should I care?

Everyone knows that a cup of green tea is good for you, right? (Just ask your gran). Well, the reason for this is all of the healthy antioxidants that are naturally occurring in tea, both green and black. Tea antioxidants, otherwise known as polyphenols, help your body fight illness.

In kombucha makin’, the first and very important step at Remedy is to brew a VERY big pot of tea. That’s where these mighty tea polyphenols come in! They’re the REAL lesser-known powerhouse of a good kombucha.

Polyphenols known as antioxidants are naturally found in tea. In science-speak, antioxidants have been found to scavenge for free radicals in the body and prevent them from causing cell damage. Now you’re listening.

How many tea polyphenols does a Remedy Kombucha contain?

In every 330mls of Remedy Kombucha, you will enjoy 83mg of tea polyphenols!


Are all teas polyphenols equal?

No. Some tea blends have less or more polyphenols depending on quality, and this can even be impacted by what season the tea was harvested!

Polyphenols also vary on the tea type (i.e green, black, oolong, jasmine or hibiscus). Sarah and Emmet (our founders) personally select the highest quality organic tea for our brew. We use a mixture of certified organic green tea for its high polyphenol properties and certified organic black tea for its rich superior taste.

Most importantly, we test every batch of raw tea at Remedy to ensure it meets our high (chock-full) standards of the good polyphenol stuff. We then test each batch for the level of antioxidants at the end of the natural fermentation brew to make sure it meets our top notch standards for goodness. You betcha.


How can you tell if your kombucha is chock-full of tea polyphenols?

First up, when you pour your brew into a glass, you’ll notice it will have a brownish background colour. All tea has this background colour, so watch out if it’s crystal clear. Unfortunately, not everyone is up for making it right, so you may find there’s not much of the right stuff in there at all!