Cold Brew Tea or Kombucha Tea - what is the difference?
“What is Cold Brew Tea” and “Is it like Kombucha tea” are two questions we get a lot, so this article is to clear up some of this confusion. We make Cold Brew Tea - a Botanical range based on our inherited Himalayan recipes - not Kombucha. But since the two often are lumped together we’re hoping this will help set the record straight. Although they are both tea-based beverages; the primary difference here is that Kombucha is fermented and Cold Brew Tea is not.
What is Kombucha
Kombucha is a tea drink made by fermenting sweetened tea, yeast and water. The sugar, water, tea and yeast are blended and then left for a week or more to create naturally occurring acids, friendly bacteria, a low level of alcohol and a slight carbonation. Like Cold Brew Tea, Kombucha is enjoyed chilled and often blended with fruits or botanicals. It’s worth pointing out that, for Kombucha, the reason for adding other flavours is because the natural taste of fermented tea can be quite sour and acidic.
What is Cold Brew Tea
Cold Brew Tea is slow brewed tea (for us it’s Green Tea) blended without the introduction of heat. It’s made by steeping the tea in room temperature water for several hours and then refrigerating overnight. The resulting flavour is smoother and less bitter than hot-brewed tea because Cold Brewing minimises the tannins that the tea releases. Tannins are enzymes that naturally occur in plants and are normally released by introducing heat - like when you hot brew tea - and are responsible for the bitter, dry mouth experience you can sometimes have with teas, coffee, wine etc.
Why is Cold Brew Tea good for you?
Cold Brew Tea has elevated amounts of Antioxidants, LTheanine & Vitamin C compared to hot brewed tea and helps to promote a healthy immune system. The absence of heat draws out gentler doses of caffeine, so you can benefit from the energy without spiking your adrenaline or elevating your heart rate as you do when you drink coffee.
Also, Cold Brewing significantly reduces the level of acidity in your final beverage. This makes it easier to drink throughout the day without causing gut irritation or nausea from acid reflux.
Health benefits of Kombucha
One of the main reasons Kombucha became popular is because of its reported probiotic properties. The fermentation process that creates these probiotic bacteria is supposed to be beneficial for the gut flora and overall digestive health. While most store-bought Kombucha will have less sugar than a soda, some aren’t actually very high in the original bacterial colony - which is what has the main health benefit - so it’s important to read up on how to understand the nutritional information on a Kombucha label. If you’re interested in more detail on why Kombucha can be beneficial check out this article by the folks at Real Kombucha.
From our perspective, we don’t see Cold Brew Tea and Kombucha as competing beverages. Someone who buys Kombucha, or makes their own, is most likely focused on improving their gut health. You drink Cold Brew Tea as a replacement for heavily caffeinated drinks (like coffee or hot brewed tea) to improve the quality of your sleep and because it’s high in antioxidants and L-Theanine. (More on L-Theanine in this post.)
If in doubt - drink both!