• By The Financial District


Kombucha - the world's favorite mushroom drink - may not have all the scientific evidence it needs to back up the many health benefits that get attributed to this tangy, fizzy fermented drink.

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But there's no denying, nothing feels quite as fortifying as drinking living microorganisms that come from a mushroom - especially if you've made it all yourself. And that's not even factoring in the alcohol content that homemade stuff can include, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) reported.

Disclaimer: Brewing kombucha means careful precision and a willingness to drink the liquid that comes from something that looks like a living breast implant. And if you want to pull it off you need to be sure you're following the hygiene procedure meticulously. But it's worth it.

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Here's what to expect: First you'll need a tea mushroom culture starter, a weird, pancake-like blob commonly referred to as a "scoby" (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast).

You can often find it at your local organic food store. If not, you'll be able to order it online. The nerds in your nearest kombucha scene may even be willing to donate or trade extra scobys they've made. Once you have your scoby, you have to ferment it together with sugared tea. Then it is left in a dark cool place with a cloth or coffee filter on top. You secure the cover with a tight rubber band and leave the liquid alone to ferment for around 7 days. In the process, alcohol and acetic acid are formed, as well as various B vitamins and enzymes.

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"Anyone making their own kombucha must pay particular attention to hygiene," points out kombucha enthusiast and nutrition expert Silke Noll.

Kombucha enthusiasts swear that the tea improves intestinal function, activates the immune system, speeds up the metabolism, and purifies the blood. "However, the touted effects have not been scientifically proven," says Silke Noll.

If you don't want to go through all the trouble of homebrewing, you can also buy kombucha in stores, where it is sold as a ready-to-drink beverage. Depending on the production process, it can contain up to 2 percent alcohol and up to 10 percent sugar.


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