Kombucha Tea: Fermented tea and health benefits

Kombucha has been gaining popularity in Kenya. Enthusiasts around the world have praised the fermented tea for some of its possible health benefits. CGTN's Nick Mudimba visited a kombucha maker based on the outskirts of Nairobi and brings us this report.

It's said you are what you eat. Many Kenyans have been turning to healthier diets and working out to stay in shape. Away from the world of sugary sodas and chemical preservatives, Andrew Wachira is making and selling an alternative beverage.

Andrew Wachira, Founder, Kombucha Kenya says: "Kombucha is tea that is fermented and is fermented by good bacteria, we also call them probiotics, and good bacteria will act on the sweetened tea and for seven days or so it will turn out into this drink we call Kombucha."

The drink is said to also contain antioxidants which can kill harmful bacteria and boost the immune system.

The ingredients Wachira uses to make kombucha include tea bags, sugar, culture or SCOBY an acronym that means Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast, a starter liquid of a small amount of kombucha that has been brewed from a previous batch.

He adds, "Steep the tea bags into hot water, steep it for a couple of minutes and thereafter you can add sugar, you can even add sugar while the tea is hot, the sugar can be more soluble in the tea and afterwards you now have to put it into the container that you are going to brew it … Once you put the sweetened tea into the fermentation bucket or the container all you need to do is to add more water so that it can take the temperature down to room temperature, after that we now add the starter liquid and the scoby, the starter liquid comes first you give it a good stir and thereafter you add the scoby and you place it on top of that brew and you cover it."

The tea which comes in many flavours is left to ferment for two or three weeks. Many of Wachira's clients come to him directly to pick up their supply.

With nutritionists warning of the health risks associated with sweetened fizzy drinks like sodas, demand is moving towards healthier beverages like Kombucha - and Wachira says it's the health benefits that keep his clients coming back for more.