Raw Kombucha vs. Kombucha with Juice
What Is Raw Kombucha?
Not all kombucha is made the same. At Brew Dr. Kombucha, we pride ourselves on our no-shortcuts approach. That means our kombucha is 100% raw, but what exactly does that mean?
Kombucha is a fermented drink made of tea, yeast, live bacteria cultures and sugar to feed the yeast and bacteria. Like wine or beer, the tea mixture ferments to produce an effervescent, slightly vinegary, slightly sweet beverage.
While this basic recipe has been traced back to ancient China, the ingredients and manufacturing process have evolved over the years. A single shift in how kombucha is made determines whether it is considered raw or not.
For a kombucha to be deemed “raw,” it must ferment at a certain temperature. Because of relatively recent food safety concerns, many kombucha manufacturers now pasteurize their brews to kill off any potential bad bacteria that may have contaminated the mixture, such as salmonella. Unfortunately, when kombucha is heated to the temperatures required to kill harmful bacteria, the healthy “good” bacteria (a.k.a. probiotics) is also killed in the process. Vitamins and minerals can also be destroyed.
Once kombucha is heated to these temperatures, it is no longer considered raw. Because manufacturers realize most people drink kombucha because of the natural probiotics that many studies consider healthy, they add probiotics after the pasteurization process. These probiotics are not naturally-occurring and their exact strains are not the same as what is produced with raw kombucha.
Related: Process of Making Brew Dr. Kombucha
We believe in sticking to the ancient ways of making kombucha. Sure, it takes more care and attention to detail to ensure bad bacteria is never introduced into our brewing practices, but it’s worth the effort.
Does It Matter How Kombucha Is Flavored?
Another common shortcut manufacturers take is to flavor their kombucha after the fermentation process. They add additional sweeteners and flavors to enhance their kombuchas.
These sweeteners often come in the form of cane sugar, fructose, juice concentrates and artificial sweeteners. Flavors are usually artificial or sugary fruit juices.
At Brew Dr., we think these extra calories and artificial ingredients go against everything kombucha is (supposed to) be about. Our brews taste amazing just the way they are, without the extra junk people are often trying to avoid.
You may notice we have many flavors of Brew Dr. Kombucha and are wondering how we pack so much variety into our brews without adding flavorings and sweeteners. Well, that’s why we’re so different and why so many people love our brews.
The Brew Dr. Kombucha Way
Beyond allowing our kombucha to develop its own probiotics by not heating it, we go the extra mile to make our kombucha taste great, too. It doesn’t start after the fermentation process. It begins on day one.
Kombucha is made with tea. At Brew Dr., we don’t use just any old tea. Our tea begins with our very own Townshend Tea Company tea, sustainably sourced from all over the world from tea growers we consider part of our family. We use a variety of black, green, white and oolong teas in our brews, giving each of our kombuchas distinct flavor profiles.
We then add real, organic fruits, herbs and spices to the brew before the fermentation stage. Ingredients like organic dried apricots, organic lemongrass and organic nutmeg basically marinate in our brews as they ferment. No flavorings, added sweeteners or fake anything. It’s organic, raw, non-GMO, kosher and gluten-free. It’s the way kombucha was meant to be enjoyed.
Check labels, read ingredients and taste the difference in Brew Dr. Kombucha.