Why is kombucha such a love or hate thing?
As drinks go, kombucha is an ancient but new on the market product.. There are those that love it, can’t get enough of it, and can’t be without it even for a day or two.
And then there is another group of people out there that think kombucha tastes like vinegar or something strange. We think that the second group just has to learn how to appreciate this magical drink.
There are some great kombucha brands out there now off course Kombucha by Laurent being the best :)But there are also many kombuchas out there which are not so tasty. So, as someone who has spent a couple drinking good kombucha, I can share with you some pointers what’s good and whats not, or what might have gone wrong on your first kombucha experience.
Bad booch: what went wrong?
Firstly, and probably most importantly, if you ferment your booch for too long you get a really acid brew. This is what causes that typical ‘booch face.A typical kombucha might have 10-12 grams of acids per litre. Compare that to a vinegar that might have 50g/L. Now there are many that like this potent brew.
Kombucha is, however, a pretty complex brew. And not so easy.
If you compare it to beer, which has a single yeast, and – brewed poorly – can give you a wide range of spurious off-flavours. Kombucha, by contrast, has a complex blend of usually 2-3 different yeasts and a couple of bacterias all competing for space. If not controlled tightly or brewed with inexperience, from time to time this can lead to smells and flavours of bad egg, nail varnish, medicine, bad breath, rotten cabbage to name but a few.
And we should know, as in our early brewing experiments we experienced them all.
However, brewed with care and attention, and not a little knowledge of the fine art of fermentation, these bad flavours can be replaced with a plethora of tropical fruits, rose, almond, apricot, vanilla, caramel and pineapple. It isn’t easy to achieve, and it has taken us a good long while to get it right, but it’s definitely something to aspire to.
Of course, it ultimately comes down to the tea, and that is very much a question of personal taste. Often the easier teas to brew with, such as Japanese green sencha teas. We use at kombucha by laurent organic oolong and organic sencha. Ultimately this is why we don’t post-flavour our kombuchas whereas many do. When you are able to produce exquisite flavours of caramel, apple and smoke or citrus, pineapple and herb.