Kombucha has been around for thousands of years, brewed on kitchen benches in homes all over the world. But it’s only in the recent years that it’s started popping up in our supermarkets, grocers and cafes. So while it’s got a long history, there’s also a lot of mystery around this sweet and sour bubbly beverage that’s gained a growing loyal following. And with that mystery, comes a whole lot of myths and misconceptions.
MYTH 1: All kombucha is low in sugar
TRUTH: Make sure you check the label
Sugar is an essential ingredient in making kombucha. Most of the sugar in kombucha should be consumed during fermenting, but that’s not always the case, according to Emmet Condon, co-founder of Remedy Kombucha. The amount of sugar left in the final product depends on the length of fermentation.
“At Remedy, we follow a small-batch, long-aged 30-day brewing process to remove all sugar, which is why we are the only kombucha to have an official tick of approval from Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar Recommends program,” says Emmet.
MYTH 2: You should only drink a small amount
TRUTH: Trust your gut
Emmet doesn’t believe in a one-size-fits-all prescription for how much kombucha you should drink.
“We recommend incorporating it into your daily diet to truly experience the benefits, but how much is up to you,” he says.
“Most of the team at Remedy have a glass with each meal. It helps with digestion and is a super easy way to get into the habit of including something fermented, natural and unpasteurised into your daily diet for overall health and wellbeing.”
MYTH 3: Kombucha is alcoholic
TRUTH: It is a non-alcoholic beverage
Like many fermented foods and drinks, a trace amount of alcohol is produced during the natural process of making kombucha.
“At Remedy, we thoroughly test each and every batch to ensure that this does not go above 0.5%, which is considered the standard for non-alcoholic drinks,” he says.
Aussie comedian Dave Hughes – who hasn’t had an alcoholic drink for 25 years – put this to the test on live radio by drinking six bottles of Remedy in two hours and taking a breathalyser test, with the result showing 0.00.
MYTH 4: Kombucha is a cure-all
TRUTH: It’s one part of a healthy diet
“You’ll never hear us claiming that kombucha ‘cures’ anything, but we believe it can help improve gut health and overall wellbeing,” says Emmet.
“When kombucha is made the traditional way, and is kept raw and unpasteurised like Remedy, it means it is full of live cultures, organic acids and antioxidants, which all have proven health benefits,” he says.
MYTH 5: Kombucha is high in caffeine
TRUTH: It’s super low
While kombucha is made from tea, the potency of the caffeine is reduced as a natural part of the fermentation process.
“The end result will vary from kombucha to kombucha, depending on the tea used and the length of fermentation. In addition to brewing out all of the sugar, our long-aged brewing process reduces the caffeine levels,” says Emmet.
Each serve of Remedy has less than 10mg of caffeine. To put this into perspective, tea or coffee can contain more than 100mg of caffeine per serve.
MYTH 6: Raw kombucha must always be kept refrigerated
TRUTH: It depends on the product
The reason most raw aka unpasteurised kombucha must be kept refrigerated is due to remaining sugar content. If raw kombucha still contains sugar, there is a risk that it may “referment” when left out of the fridge. Refermentation can cause the brew to become more alcoholic and or cause a buildup of pressure that can lead to the bottle exploding.
“Remedy is unique because we brew out all of the sugar during our long-aged fermentation process. This means there is no risk of refermentation,” says Emmet.
Emmet explains Remedy has conducted testing to prove the live cultures themselves do not need constant refrigeration to stay alive.
“I can’t speak for other brands, but our testing has proven that the live cultures in Remedy Kombucha are super healthy, strong and right at home in our kombucha,” says Emmet.
“They create all the energy they need to survive throughout shelf life during fermentation. Without sugar left in the brew, they are perfectly safe and happy, whether they are kept in or out of the fridge,” he says.
MYTH 7: There is a risk that good bacteria can turn bad
TRUTH: Trust quality
Many people hear the word “bacteria” and assume it’s a bad thing or has the potential to turn bad, but Emmet explains this isn’t the case when it comes to Remedy.
“There is never any risk of the good bacteria in our Remedy Kombucha turning bad,” says Emmet.
“Our live culture thrives in our low pH fermented tea environment and it inhibits the growth of bad bacteria.”