Kombucha, a fermented tea drink, has become pretty popular within the last few years. People love it for its supposed health benefits, including my roommates, who've been buying lots of kombucha. One of the key elements in Kombucha is a scoby. But what is a scoby? It's kinda creepy looking, and when my roommate's friend saw something weird looking in her kombucha, I told her it was probably the scoby, since I had been researching it. Read on to find out more about what makes kombucha what it is, and how else it can be used.

What Is a Scoby?

Aside from the fact that it's weird looking, a scoby is an acronym that stands for Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast.  This means a scoby is a home for the bacteria and yeast. It's a rubbery structure that holds these elements, and it also helps the kombucha prevent other bacteria and air from entering, since it sits on top of it.

#SpoonTip: Other names for scoby include kombucha mothers and kombucha mushrooms.

A scoby actually happens naturally while making kombucha. It can also renew itself, and new layers can grow on top of old ones. If you want to grow your own new scoby, you need tea, sugar, and pre-made kombucha

Health Benefits of Kombucha

Isabella Neuberg

Kombucha has been said to have health benefits such as helping with digestion and preventing stomach ulcers, helping with your immune system, and may even reduce your liklihood of developing heart disease. It's worth mentioning that there's some debate about whether or not kombucha's health benefits are accurate since many of the studies that have been conducted have been done on animals and not necessarily on humans. Some people are realizing the drink may not live up to their expectations, but the best way to form your own opinion is to try it for yourself.

Other Uses

While kombucha is probably the most common use for a scoby, it can also be used in other ways. Different uses for leftover scoby include dog treats, scoby jerky, and sun-dried scoby. The uses even extend beyond food, and include compost and water filtration. Seeing how the scoby normally appears, the idea of eating it definitely freaks me out, but I'm still curious enough to try it.

Although there's no denying the odd appearance a scoby has, it is an essential factor in the making of kombucha. If you have some leftover from your tea, you can find other ways to use scoby in order not to waste it. Maybe it isn't so scary after all.