Appears in

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

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kombucha is sugar-sweetened black tea fermented by a community of microorganisms into a tart, effervescent beverage, sometimes compared to sparkling apple cider. The fermented beverage kombucha is not to be confused with konbucha, a Japanese tea made from powdered konbu seaweed. Kombucha is typically produced by a symbiotic community of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY), generally referred to as a “mother,” which takes the form of a rubbery disk that floats on the surface of the tea as it ferments. The community of organisms can also be transferred via the kombucha liquid itself, which can generate a new mother.