Kombucha is a powerful, living probiotic drink that can give you a healthy buzz and leave you feeling full of vitality and life. But does that buzz come only from the healthy stuff? Or does kombucha actually contain alcohol?
Let’s take a closer look at exactly what’s in kombucha. And, while we’re at it, let’s answer once and for all: is there booz-a in ‘bucha?
Kombucha is made by fermenting tea and sugar with live bacteria and yeast (aka a SCOBY – a Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeasts).
We reckon the fermentation process is kinda magical. It digests the sugar and creates organic acids, vitamins (in particular, vitamins B and C), amino acids and enzymes.
Fermentation also encourages the growth of super-powerful probiotic microorganisms that boost your gut health and help balance your good and bad gut bacteria.
The result is a health-giving elixir with a sweet-yet-sour flavour.
The simple answer? Sometimes, but not always.
The fermentation process that creates all those amazing vitamins and amino acids can also turn the sugar into alcohol if left too long.
That’s why it’s so important to know when to stop the fermentation process.
Most commercial kombuchas you find at the shops are carefully monitored and controlled, so they end up with little or no alcohol.
But when you brew it at home, just about anything can happen.
Most commercial kombuchas have an alcohol content of less than 0.5 per cent - about the same amount you’d find in a slice of sourdough.
At Nexba, we work hard to create the kind of drinks we’d be happy to put in our own bodies. So when it comes to kombucha, that means sans alcohol. Unless, of course, you choose to add some in. But that choice, we leave completely up to you (with just a hint of cocktail inspiration here).
How do we do it? Our Nexba nerds worked out that fermenting kombucha for longer (40 days instead of the standard 7 - 30 days) resulted in no sugar.
And because Nexba Kombucha is sugar-free when it goes into the bottle, the fermentation process stops there, which means no alcohol.
That longer fermentation period also makes it totally free from caffeine, too (win-win).