If your finger is on the pulse of wellness trends around the world, you’ve probably noticed a rise in demand for one of the most popular health drinks on the market today: kombucha. Although relatively new to the Western market, the drink’s origins date back as early as 221 B.C. Originally referred to as “The Tea of Immortality”, it quickly gained popularity throughout China, Japan, Russia, and eventually Europe.
The basic ingredients of kombucha are tea (most commonly black, although green, white, and oolong are sometimes used as well), sugar, and a form of yeast and bacteria called a SCOBY, which stands for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. While in some languages, the drink is referred to as a mushroom tea, it is in fact mushroom-free; the SCOBY is technically a fungus, which explains the name.
Until now, the bubbly drink has been virtually impossible to find in the UAE, but Saba Kombucha, a Dubai-based company that now offers 100 percent raw and authentic kombucha, is changing that.
Saba Kombucha incorporates aromatic herbs from French farm l’Herbier du Diois to create specialty flavors such as hibiscus/basil, peppermint, and turmeric/ginger. All of these ingredients are mixed and set aside anywhere from one week to several months, and a fermentation process — similar to that of milk to yogurt — takes place. During this process, bacteria, acids, and trace amounts of alcohol form in the tea, producing the final product: a burst of bubbling, sometimes sweet, sometimes sour deliciousness. Kombucha is chock-full of various minerals, vitamins, and acids that provide a range of health benefits, including:
- Strengthened immune system
- Improved digestion
- Protection from harmful bacteria
- Enhanced energy
While the health benefits of kombucha are extensive, it’s important to note that some brands add sugar and use lower-quality ingredients to make the drink. Luckily for Dubai’s consumers, Saba Komboucha uses organic ingredients and agave nectar, steering clear of adding sugars or gas to the sought-after product. They also do not pasteurize their kombucha, which keeps good bacteria alive for optimal health benefits.
If you’re an avid kombucha drinker or are simply interested in the drink’s distinct taste and benefits, you can order some ginger/turmeric or hibiscus/basil kombucha from Kibson’s for AED 15.75 per bottle. Or, if you’re out and about, stop by one of Organic Cafe’s , Spinneys and Waitrose’s many locations and pick up a bottle… or two.