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Monthly Archives: October 2012

The Deal with Kombucha

Buzz about Kombucha tea has been echoing from all corners of the Internet for the past few weeks. Madonna and Lindsay Lohan have been spotted imbibing the fermented beverage, and “Kombucha” was a trending search term on Google last week.

Lindsay Lohan drinking Kombucha tea

Photo courtesy of comboutea.com

Despite its recent trendiness, Kombucha tea is nothing new. It originated in China over 2,000 years ago, when it was referred to as an “immortal health elixir.” Kombucha is a mass of yeast and bacteria (yum) which is added to tea and allowed to ferment for about 10 days. During the fermentation period, hundreds of compounds — including B vitamins, alcohol and lactic acid — are released.

Kombucha enthusiasts claim that this yeasty-tea bolsters the immune system, boosts energy, aids digestion, prevents cancer, clears skin, increases the shininess of hair, and more. However, there is no conclusive scientific evidence in favor of these claims. In fact, illness and even death have resulted from the consumption of home-brewed Kombucha due to unsanitary and imprecise fermentation conditions.

Personally, I don’t love the idea of a mass of bacteria and yeast in my tea. But I enjoy a nice beer and yogurt of all descriptions, so I think that I shouldn’t let the description scare me away. Since the dangers of drinking Kombucha are limited to home-brewed versions, and the tea (like anything worth buying) is available at shops all over Brooklyn, I think I’ll pick some up this weekend and give it a shot.

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Posted by on October 20, 2012 in Images, Tea for health, Tea news, Tea trends

 

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Tea in a Global City

London has the reputation of being the global bastion of tea-drinking – a well-deserved designation. Tea in the increasingly diverse city, however, can no longer be reduced to Twinings and PG Tips. Immigrants living in London have brought their tea customs with them, or have reinvented English tea to suit their cultural tastes and needs.

This diversification of tea in modern England is beautifully illustrated in the BBC film “For All the Tea in England,” by Kerry McLeod.

 
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Posted by on October 1, 2012 in Tea culture, Tea history, Video

 

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