WHAT IS KOMBUCHA?
Per Wikipedia, Kombucha (also tea mushroom, Manchurian mushroom, formal name: Medusomyces gisevii) is a variety of fermented, lightly effervescent sweetened black or green tea drinks that are commonly intended as functional beverages for their supposed health benefits. Kombucha is produced by fermenting tea using a "symbiotic 'colony' of bacteria and yeast" (SCOBY). Actual contributing microbial populations in SCOBY cultures vary, but the yeast component generally includes Saccharomycesand other species, and the bacterial component almost always includes Gluconacetobacter xylinus to oxidize yeast-produced alcohols to acetic and other acids.
SCOBY, the mother mushroom, refers to Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast, which contains colonies of live bacteria and yeast.
HOMEMADE KOMBUCHA BENEFITS:
Health results from stable coexistence, a condition called Symbiosis, not from a germ free environment. Infectious disease is the failure of symbiosis. The symptoms and the pathology that accompany infection are not produced by the microbe itself. They are the products of our own immune responses, as we attempt to reestablish the symbiosis that has been disrupted.
Very simple ingredients: tea, water, sugar and starter tea from previous batch!!
I'm allergic to all dairy products, so I can't eat anything that contains milk, including cheese and Yogurt. Kombucha then becomes a better choice for me to stay healthy! Like Cheese and Yogurt, Kombucha is the fermented tea in liquid form which is rich in probiotic.
You will find there are only few options when purchasing Kombucha at local grocery stores. But if you make it at home, the flavoring options are endless. We tested a few, Ginger Jasmine, Caramel Black tea, Rose, Oolong, etc. Then we add some fruits to make them even more flavorful. It's lot of fun!!
MYSTERIES OF KOMBUCHA
Green tea, by definition, refers to tea that is not fermented. Fermentation process destroys active antioxidants in Green tea, such as EGCG, EGC, etc thus change Green tea properties. If we want to get the most health benefits of green tea, it's better we steep green tea like we normally do.
But of course you can use green tea to make Kombucha. Just remember Kombucha made from green tea loses many health benefits of green tea due to its fermentation process. It still has health benefits tho.
The direct answer is yes. We did actually test it. Most of blogs you found online say flavored Kombucha can't be used as a starter. We did the test-used Gingerale Kombucha to make SCOBY and it worked. For more details, please read our previous blog How to make SCOBY from scratch.