Millennials just love to grab an old-tradition, re-create it into something 21st Century, slap some sass on it and make it into the “next best trend”, and pretend like they came up with it. Kombucha – is one of those.
In layman’s terms, kombucha is a variety of fermented sweetened tea drank for its supposed health benefits. In #healthspo terms, it’s a miracle drink dubbed the immortal health elixir making yogi’s and gym bunnies FIT AS in 3 sips or less thanks to a wide range of health benefits including aiding digestion, detoxifying the body and its immune boosting properties.
But how much about this mildly fizzy, slightly sour drink do you actually know, apart from it gracing everyone’s Insta from here to your Grandma?!
For me, not much… I knew I liked the taste – which was odd because I hated tea, and that it was supposedly good for me and that was enough to keep me stocked up. But luckily enough, that was all about to change, as I signed myself up to go to a masterclass with JARR Kombucha to learn all about this ancient fermentation creation and to actually make my own. So, i’m sad to say, this is my final post as a blogger – I’m leaving the blog world behind to become a famous Kombucher. *Lies and spoiler alert, I was shockingly terrible, even when it is the most simple thing to do!!
JARR Kombucha was created in 2015 by California bread Adam, alongside Brother and Sister duo Tom & Jess and friend Neil after their mutual love for the booch took over their lives. Surrounded by kombucha during their travels and at home in LA, the gang discussed how it hadn’t made it marks yet in the UK and set about changing that and bringing their booch over the water. Adam first learnt how to brew the delicious fermented tea drink from the author, expert and original kombucha Mumma, Hannah Crum and spent the next 6 months sourcing the best quality and local ingredients he could find, including organic cane sugar from Brazil and loose-leaf tea from single estates in Sri Lanka and Taiwan.
Wanting to change people’s minds about how they perceive fizzy drinks the JARR team set about taking this ancient 2,500-year-old traditional tea and smacking it full of modernity and creating an unapologetically punchy, healthy and delicious variation of kombucha.
“Kombucha is super simple to make” Adam comments when we arrive at the beautiful studio space at Ten Cable Street- “anyone can do it” he continues, the words that still haunt my dreams! Blending together tea, water, sugar and a SCOBY (a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) before leaving to ferment in a warm environment for a period of time is all you need to create this goodness in a bottle. Once fermented it turns into a delicious dose of goodness for your gut that is not only low in sugar but is also rich in naturally occurring, beneficial acids, antioxidants, vitamins and enzymes that taste amazing and has been shown to help digestion and increase energy!
Ready to get hands-on and stuck in – Adam provided us with everything we needed to create our own booch-babies – including industry glass jars strong enough to withstand the fermentation process.
But first a quick swig of their ginger booch, which has a slightly fiery undertone but still sweet and tangy before we got started.
To start, we steeped our tea bags in warm water before adding cane sugar and stirring. Next in went filtered water and our SCOBY’s taken from their original batch of JARR back at their brewery in Hackney. We were creating our own JARR offspring!! And this is where eager Amanda messes up, not leaving enough room for her SCOBY liquid, she was left with more sweetened tea with a touch of an acidic tongue than a kombucha base. It may be simple, but precision and exact measurements were needed in order to create the right balance between tea, food for the yeast and the bacteria, and something I did not do in the slightest, I took the more shove it all and hope for the best approach, oopsss. Adam said it would be fine – so we all crossed our fingers and took our babies home to be left in a warm spot for 2 weeks and hope for the best.
2 weeks have now passed, I stirred my baby per Adam’s instructions daily, gave her love and prayed to the booch gods, but she still tastes just as sweet and slightly acidic as she did weeks ago, and I’m not sure much kom-magic has happened.
Luckily I stocked up on JARR bottles before I left and will well and truly be leaving the JARRing to the experts. Oh well, guess I will have to stick to blogging.
*apologises for the poor quality of photos, this was taken on my old broken phone. Hurrray for upgrades and DSLRs.