"Why am I reading this article instead of studying for my test?", "Why are the squirrels at Brooklyn College so unnaturally vicious?",  "What is kombucha anyways?" If you are reading this article, more likely than not, these questions have crossed your mind at some point.  While I can neither pinpoint the origin of your procrastinating tendencies nor determine the planet of origin of these mutant super-squirrels, it is within my capabilities to inform you about the wondrous beverage known as kombucha and why you should make it a part of your everyday life.

tea, alcohol, wine
Carolina Gomez Grimaldi

What Is Kombucha?

Kombucha is a fermented drink with tea, sugar, bacteria, and yeast (it tastes way better than it sounds).  It originated in China thousands of years ago and is becoming a major part of American food culture.  This beverage is made by adding the bacterial/yeast colony (known as a SCOBY) to sugar and tea, and fermenting the drink for a period of time (don't worry, the alcohol levels are extremely low). The sugar and caffeine content is used up during the fermentation process, making it even more wholesome than it already is. 

Taylor Lashley

What Is A SCOBY?

SCOBY is an acronym for Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast, and it basically looks like a blob (for lack of a better term), as shown in the Instagram post below.  It is the culture of bacteria and yeast that turns the originally sweet tea into the fizzy amazingness that it is. For those who want to make kombucha from scratch, the SCOBY constantly reforms, meaning that you end up with double the SCOBY than you started off with.  Give one to a friend so that they can make their own kombucha, or if you're feeling especially salty and uncharitable,  just tell them to buy it online. 

What Does Kombucha Taste Like?

Kombucha literally tastes like fermented tea.  For those of you who have been unfortunate enough to not experience what fermented tea taste like, picture a vinegary carbonated beverage.  I like to think of it as an acquired taste (sounds fancier that way), but I personally loved it from the first time I tried it unlike many other people. The truth is, you won't know unless you buy a bottle and see for yourself, but I promise at least half of you won't be disappointed. 

What Are The Health Benefits?

Kombucha was once known as "The Immortal Health Elixir," and was named so for a reason (welcome to Health 101). One of kombucha's noteworthy benefits is it's detoxifying ability.  Research has shown that kombucha is high in Glucaric Acid, which helps prevent cancer.  It reduces the pancreatic load and the burden on the liver. Secondly, the glucosamines help to prevent and treat several forms of arthritis by preserving cartilage structures. The third and most advertised benefit is that kombucha is a probiotic beverage.  Probiotics help in digestion, mental clarity, emotional stability, and even eliminating symptoms of clinical depression/anxiety. While there are several more advantages, one of the final ones I am going to discuss is the richness in antioxidants. These antioxidants boost the immune system and energy levels, a perfect supplement to any college student's diet.

I encourage everyone to go to their nearest grocery store to buy a bottle of kombucha, or even start making it yourselves.  With so many flavors and brands available, it is not hard to incorporate this vinegary drink into your everyday regimen.  Get out there, embrace the kombucha craze, and take advantage of the many health benefits it has to offer you!