JMU has proven again it's title of having some of the 'best Campus food' in the nation! JMU has now partnered with local kombucha company, Blue Ridge Bucha, to provide JMU students with flavorful local kombucha. For a kombucha fanatic like me, I was so excited to have daily access to this bubbly beverage filled with probiotics!

JMU Spoon had the privilege to talk with Blue Ridge Bucha and even try a few samples of their amazing kombucha and here is what we learned.

What is Kombucha? 

Alexa Kelly

For those of you unfamiliar with kombucha, it is a cold fermented tea that uses symbiotic cultures of bacteria and yeast. Now before you decide not to try it because of the thought of yeast and bacteria, there is no need to worry. Blue Ridge Bucha explained that this process has been tried and true for over 2,000 years! The fermentation is what makes this beverage bubbly and packed with probiotics, amino acids, and active enzymes to improve gut health. 

Blue Ridge Bucha's Story 

Blue Ridge Bucha got its start over 14 years ago, where a couple, Ethan and Kate, started brewing their non-alcoholic, vegan, gluten-free and non-GMO kombucha in their home. They began perfecting their process. And in the summer of 2010, they began a share-based program where they sustainably shared their creations. Their business boomed and they now have grown to sustainably sell their Certified Organic kombucha all over the D.C., VA, and MD.  

Blue Ridge Bucha's Sustainability 

Blue Ridge Bucha's mission to maintain sustainability has continued as their business has grown. Blue Ridge Bucha explained to JMU Spoon their mission to maintain sustainability by reducing any waste.

"All of our bottles are refillable on draft to limit waste and encourage customers to reuse instead of throwing away."

This has been so successful that Blue Ridge Bucha and its consumers have saved more than 675,000 bottles to date, and is expected to rise even more. But this is not the only way that they have been maintaining their mission.

"Other than our refillable bottle model, we are actively looking for ways to further reduce our footprint such as using Certified Organic and fair trade ingredients, selecting reclaimed wood for our tap handles, and composting all of our organic brewery waste. We also only distribute our product locally in VA, DC, and MD and work with a local delivery company that focuses on keeping their carbon footprint low." 

What does it taste like? 

Blue Ridge Bucha says that because of its carbonation it is, "often compare[d] to an unsweetened soda or carbonated juice." I actually started drinking kombucha as a beverage replacer for my late night sugar cravings for soda. 

Blue Ridge Bucha uses organic herbs, spices, and fruit extracts in their kombucha, the flavor of each beverage is different. In their Black Raspberry kombucha (YUM!), they use organic blackberries and raspberries to infuse a very fruity flavor. 

Blue Ridge Bucha's Flavors

Kacie Saar

Blue Ridge Bucha has 5 flavors year-round that contain simple and flavorful ingredients: Ginger, Bluegrass Bucha, Elderflower Sunrise, Black Raspberry, and Jasmine Grape.  They also have at least one seasonal flavor on draft, which is currently Wild Pear.

At our last Spoon meeting, the members of our team got the privilege to try all these yummy flavors. Some of our members had never tried kombucha and were surprised about how delicious it really tasted (after hearing about the whole yeast fermentation). Some favorites were the Wild Pear, Jasmine Grape, and Black Raspberry. Our 'pro' kombucha drinkers also loved the Ginger and Bluegrass Bucha flavor. 

Where to Buy Blue Ridge Bucha

Kacie Saar

On their website there is a list of local sellers in the Harrisonburg area. These include the Midtowne Market, Pale Fire Brewing Company, and Brother's Craft Brewing. However, if you don't want to leave campus you can pick up your favorite Blue Ridge Bucha kombucha at SSC's Bistro 1908! 

For more information about Blue Ridge Bucha, check out their website, FB, and IG