Kombucha starts out as a sugary tea, which is then fermented with the help of a scoby. SCOBY is actually an acronym for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. It's very close cousins to the mother used to make vinegar. The scoby bacteria and yeast eat most of the sugar in the tea, transforming the tea into a refreshingly fizzy, slightly sour fermented (but mostly non-alcoholic) beverage that is relatively low in calories and sugar.
Let's talk about that scoby; It floats, it's rubbery and a bit slippery, brown stringy bits hang from it, and it transforms sugary tea into something fizzy and sour. There are a lot of theories about why the bacteria and yeast form this jelly-like layer of cellulose at the top of the kombucha. The most plausible is that it protects the fermenting tea from the air and helps maintain an environment inside the jar that shields it from unfriendly bacteria.
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