It’s a drink with roots from the past in Asia.
Now, “kombucha” is seeing a modern revival and is slated to become a multi-billion-dollar industry.
So why has it become so popular?
CGTN’s Frances Kuo went to find out what’s behind the Kombucha craze.
“Kombucha” may not roll off the tongue, but it’s a name on a lot of people’s lips.
“When we have a keg, we drink it almost every day,” said kombucha drinker Diane Brody.
Kombucha is a concoction of fermented tea, sugar, bacteria and yeast. The result is a slightly acidic flavor with some fizz.
It’s also said to have all sorts of health benefits – some even call it the “elixir of life.”
Christine Bourgeois has been hooked for a year and sees it as a nice alternative to classic drinks.
“I drink a lot of water,” said Bourgeois. “But sometimes water, you have so much water and you’re just like ‘more water!'”
“It’s a fad, but it’s not a bad fad,” said Charmaine Jones, a D.C.-based registered dietitian nutritionist with “Food Jonezi.”
She said Kombucha boosts your immune system and improves digestion.
“It’s not a substitute for drinking water,” said Jones. “However, it could be a healthier alternative to eating pickles, or eating kefir or eating yogurt.”
But she warns against drinking more than 340 grams a day and advises choosing brands with lower sugar content.
“If you overconsume, you may experience GI distress, a little nausea, you may feel dizzy and have on and off headaches throughout the day,” explained Jones.
Kombucha typically averages between $2 and $4 a bottle. That adds up, if you drink it often. And that is leading some to learn to make it themselves.
“Craft Kombucha,” a D.C.-based kombucha brewery, recently held a sold-out class. Maynigo is the company’s founder and CEO.
“I have been making kombucha for 15 years,” said Maynigo. “I’ve been obsessed with it ever since I discovered it at a farmer’s market.”
She then started making it and now her business, branded with her dog, Guinness, is booming.
“It was a scary space to try to get people on board, but I think the tides are changing,” said Maynigo.
For kombucha cravers like Tanya, it’s a fad that will never lose its fizzle.