Called “star berries” by the Native Americans, it was believed to have magical powers, and was sent down by the Great Spirit from the heavens at a time of immense starvation.
While kombucha won’t give you magical powers, the Blueberry Burst from local business Cultur’d MNL will have you thinking it was sent from the heavens, anyway. It’s made with kombucha yeast and bacteria cultures, a great quality blend of black assam and pu-erh teas, and raw cane sugar.
The addition of fermented whole berries gives it its vibrant purple color, and its sweet-tart taste. The blueberries also float to the top and sink to the bottom, reminding you of the well-loved pearls in milk teas.
The fruit bits in kombucha are edible. They are essentially preserved within the fermented drink, and will be softer, and develop a slightly more acidic taste, similar to that of the drink.
A good rule of thumb for kombucha is to pair “like with like.” Kombucha works well with other fermented and pickled foods, like pickles, sauerkraut, pickled onions, kimchi, or the local atchara. Tart and sour notes complement kombucha very well. Spicy food could also work, as the refreshing, zesty flavor of the drink soothes the palate pretty well. Fruity kombucha is also brilliant with salads and sandwiches, in fact, you can use kombucha in place of vinegar to make your vinaigrettes.
Take note to never pair kombucha with highly acidic foods. Don’t consume it after coffee. Instead, you can drink it in place of coffee for your early morning beverage.
Thought to have originated in China, kombucha is a drink that has been consumed for hundreds of years. It’s fermented and lightly effervescent, and usually made with sweetened green or black tea. The tea is fermented using a “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast” or SCOBY. The SCOBY forms a gelatinous, mushroom-like disc, known as a “mother.” The mother is also why kombucha is also sometimes called “mushroom tea.”
Kombucha is now known as a super drink, popular in health and wellness circles for its probiotic functions, which provide your gut with healthy bacteria, which, in turn, aids in digestion, reduces inflammation, and aids weight loss. It also has many antioxidants, as well as properties that improve cholesterol levels, and help reduce heart risk.
Because kombucha is a living drink, it technically does not expire, but the taste will alter. Cultur’d MNL kombucha has the dispatch date on their bottles, and are best drunk within 1 month from dispatch. Store it in the refrigerator, and keep it cold; it will last 6 months. If kept at room temperature, it will keep fermenting, and the flavor and alcohol will mature. Keeping it refrigerated is the best way to slow down the fermentation process.