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Bay Area Kombucha

Kombuchabotanicarawfod

The first time I had Kombucha I took it down like a little kid takes down cherry flavored Robitussin®. I was not a huge fan, to say the least. However, while exploring the Bay Area earlier this month (with my WLIR squad), I came across a tasty Kombucha that gave you all the benefits of Kombucha, without the normal distinct, strong, vinegary taste that most Kombuchas beverages have.

The company's name is Kombucha Botanica and their product line comes in 3 tasty flavors: Pomegranate, Elderflower, & Ginger Tulsi, (my personal favorite was pomegranate).

Even if you've previously hated Komubuch with a passion, (like our WLIR Editor Dhrumil) I definitely recommend giving Kombucha Botanica's unique blend a try... you just might be surprised!

Note: Although Kombucha Botanica is still a relatively small shop, they can be found in quite a few locations around the Bay Area. Click continue reading to check out a list of their locations.

Alameda

  • Alameda Naturals 

Berkeley Locations

  • Berkeley  Naturals (Gilman St.)
  • Berkeley  Bowl 

Carmel Locations

  • Cornucopia Health Foods

Cupertino

  • Whole Foods

Los Gatos 

  • Whole Foods

Marin County Locations

  • Good Earth Health Foods

Petaluma 

  • Whole Foods

Santa Cruz locations:

  • Staff Of Life
  • Food Bin
  • Aptos Naturals
  • New Leaf Markets
  • Deluxe Foods
  • Shopper’s Corner
  • River Café & Cheese Shop
  • Dharma’s Restaurant
  • Café La Vie

San Francisco

  • Far West Fungi - Ferry  Plaza
  • Whole Foods - Market St
  • Other Avenues Coop
  • Rainbow Grocery Coop

San Mateo

  • Whole Foods

San Rafael 

  • Whole Foods

Palo Alto Locations

  • Whole Foods - Palo Alto 
  • Country Sun Health Foods- Palo Alto 

It is also avaliable online @ DiamondOrganics.com

Comments

Adam Goodman

Hi Vinit and WLIR friends.

This is Adam, owner and brewer of Kombucha Botanica. Thanks so much for the kind review of Kombucha Botanica!

I've got a question for the WLIR community-

How do you view raw Kombucha as a raw food considering that two core ingredients are sugar and black tea? By the way, I use a blend of green and black tea in my recipe.

Vinit, I will be in touch soon with a file regarding a new website.

Thanks again!

-Adam
Founder & Chief Kombuchero
Kombucha Botanica
AltaVida LLC

Vinit

Adam,

Oh wow, your kombucha isn't raw? I honestly didn't know that. From drinking GT's, I assummed all kombucha was raw.

The taste of the kombucha is still wonderful, but I'm wondering how it would taste if the sugar was replaced with raw sweetener like agav nector or stevia and the black tea with another raw alternative.

Being a rawfoodist for the past 5 months now and its still a learning process everyday.

Adam Goodman

In response to the question of alternative sugars for kombucha brewing and kombucha's "raw" food status:

Granular sugar (preferably organic but white sugar works great!) is optimal for brewing kombucha in order to produce and maintain the most vital kombucha culture for sustainable production from generation to generation.

A home brewer may use alternative sweeteners like agave nectar, honey, maple syrup, etc. but this will ultimately yeild a sub-optimal kombucha product and a weak culture after a few generations. The fermentation process will evenutally not be thorough and the resultant kombucha beverage flat, sweet and disappointing. Not the healthy, enzyme and probiotic rich effervescent drink so many enjoy!

One thing to realize is that kombucha culture is a symbiotic colony of yeasts and bacteria that require sugar for energy. The micro-organisms do not appreciate fiber, minerals, enzymes and a low glycemic index like the human body. The complexity of healthy sweeteners do not deliver a straight shot of sucrose the kombucha culture requires to do its thing.

As for Kombucha being a "Raw" food- ALL KOMBUCHA IS CREATED FROM TEA (BLACK and/or GREEN) and SUGAR. Any commercial kombucha product that does not disclose this FACT is not being up front and honest about the core ingredients of Kombucha. Read labels and do your due diligence! These are not "raw" ingredients.

I view a "raw" kombucha product as one that has not been treated with heat of any kind in order to maintain the integrity of probitics, enzymes and organic acids. The use of the word "raw" refers to the kombucha, which is the core product, not the added herbs and/or juices used to make a flavored kombucha drink. All KOMBUCHA BOTANICA products are raw kombucha blended with five percent 100% organic herbs and/or juices to create various flavors.

One more note on labels, it is legal to label a product "Organic" if at least 95% of the product's ingredients are certified organic, regardless of the quality of the other 5% of the ingredients. So if you drink a strawberry or grape kombucha available at most health food stores across the USA, you can read the ingredients and see that it is blended with conventional strawberry or grape juice... Two of the most pesticide soaked of all conventional fruits!

I hope this information about kombucha and labels helps to make informed decisions for those who wish to eat 100% raw and organic. Or at least gain a little trivia about these topics.

If anyone has questions or comments on these topics let's keep this dialogue rolling.

Healthy regards,

Adam Goodman
Founder & Chief Kombuchero
Kombucha Botanica
AltaVida LLC
PO Box 562
Santa Cruz, CA 95061

Jenna

I tried this today, I was so excited to see it at my Whole Foods, and I really liked it! They other kombucha I tried smelled and tasted like rotting, it was so gross! This tastes more like a juice! Very good!

Nancy Goroff

Kombucha is also available on tap at a cool new store called Happy Girl Kitchen Company in Pacific Grove. (just blocks away from the Monterey Aquarium.)

The store and kitchen just opened last week and specializes in organic preserves using local produce.

You can even take workshops to learn how to preserve. Watch them make the preserves in the open kitchen as you drink your Kombucha or great Blue Bottle coffee.

Kieron

I make my own kombucha regularly. does anyone have information on how it corresponds to the glycemic index. I realize the sugar is integral to the process, and the black or green organic tea is too. However, sugar and caffeine are no-no's for Diabetics. I'm wondering if the symbiotic result not only changes the sugar and tea, but also changes the glycemic index. Does anyone know?

Denney

Kieron, I want to re-ask your question to Adam Goodman specifically then since no one has answered in the 6 weeks since it was asked.
Adam, could you tell us about the glycemic load of kombuchu and whether there need be any concern for those of us with sugar issues? I understand that when the water content of a food is high, glycemic load, rather than glycemic index is the more relevant concept. The high water content, I would guess, may makes kombuchu consumption healthful/acceptable even for those with pancreas and blood sugar issues. Could you please comment. Just what is the GL number?

Denney

Kieron, I want to re-ask your question to Adam Goodman specifically then since no one has answered in the 6 weeks since it was asked.
Adam, could you tell us about the glycemic load of kombuchu and whether there need be any concern for those of us with sugar issues? I understand that when the water content of a food is high, glycemic load, rather than glycemic index is the more relevant concept. The high water content, I would guess, may makes kombuchu consumption healthful/acceptable even for those with pancreas and blood sugar issues. Could you please comment. Just what is the GL number?

Diane

Did you just get a new bottle and label? I bought "Kombucha Botanica" Pomegranate at the WF Market last week, and it is FANTASTIC!!!! My bottle looks different than the one at the top of this website, though. To tell you the truth, I was drinking another brand that I liked (only liked 2 flavors of all the ones they had) but got tired of waiting for WF to get in my flavors. I hated all other brands - yuk. But I just tried yours and it is SO SO SO GOOD! I ran back to the store and bought 3 bottles more. THANK YOU!! I love that it's Raw!

dennis Casad

Why can't we get a straight answer about the glycemic index of kambucha? I suggest we stop drinking it if we don't know what it is
doing to our bodies .Dr. Casad

tina

From what I have been told by the folks who make Buddha's Brew kombucha in Austin, commercial kombucha is medium on the glycemic index.

If GI is a concern for you (as it was for me) I was told to make my own kombucha at home and brew a batch for 14+ days to decrease the GI value to low.

After much experimentation at home made kombucha, I have discovered that 16 days in 78 degree home is ideal in getting a good brew, with fizz and little to no sugar.

Tastes healthier, and I agree that it the commercial varities are NOT low gi.

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