We’re passionate about the benefits of kombucha, so we’ve started this blog to share ideas, thoughts, articles, recipes and much more!
Recycling and environmental factors aside, for years soft drink manufacturers have pushed plastic over glass.
They have steadfastly maintained that the type of food-grade plastic bottles they use - polyethylene terephthalate (PET) – are safe to drink from due to the absence of the hormone-disrupting chemical bisphenol-A (BPA).
But a new German study has found that thousands of other potentially harmful chemicals are still leeching from plastic products into food and beverages, including an endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC) known as di(2-ethylhexyl) fumarate, or DEHF; a plasticizer chemical that is used to make plastic bottles - including PET bottles - more flexible.
DEHF was clearly identified in the tested water as the most consistent and obvious culprit causing anti-estrogenic activity. Despite trace amounts of more than 24,000 other potentially damaging chemicals, DEHF stood out as the only possible EDC capable of inducing this particular observed activity.
The study found that 13 of the 18 bottled water products tested exhibited "significant" anti-estrogenic activity, while 16 of the 18 samples were found to inhibit the body's androgen receptors by an astounding 90 percent. Additionally, the other 24,520 chemical traces besides DEHF were also identified as exhibiting antagonistic activity, which means that they, too, are detrimental to the body's hormonal system.
Whether or not the risk of drinking water from plastic bottles is hazardous to health or not remains to be conclusively proven. However, considering kombucha tea’s high acidity and stringency we would caution against storing any strength of kombucha tea in - or drinking from - plastic bottles, PET or otherwise.
We're often asked how can kombucha tea be healthy when sugar is listed as a main ingredient?
Sugar is listed as the second ingredient after water, much like most high-calorie colas and sodas. However, GO! Kombucha – unlike other commercial kombucha tea brands who add flavourings and additional sugars prior to bottling - contains just four ingredients; the absolute basics for making fermented tea.
Of the other two, tea leaves and the kombucha culture can't technically be measured by their volume alongside the water and sugar as their role is to activate processes - of tea-making and fermentation respectively - with both physical ingredients being removed after each process is complete; hence why labeling laws require such ingredients to always be listed last.
Sugar can't be all bad because without it there would be no kombucha tea, at least not as we know it, and sugar is after all a feature in over one third of all tea preparations in the UK. Refined or semi-refined sugar is the only food source that the yeasts can digest easily and quickly and convert into the aundance of acids and enzymes that give komucha tea its zingy bite and strength - while maintaining just enough in the end brew to appease the sweet toothed.
Critically, around half the sugar originally added is broken down in this way, leaving around just 5g of sugar per 100ml as compared to artificially carbonated sodas that can contain up to three times that amount. And even when bottled the sugar continues to be digested in a process known as secondary fermentation, or bottle conditioning; the older the bottle, the likelihood is that the sugar is closer to 4g/100ml - or even less!
Furthermore, kombucha tea is alkalizing in the body whereas sugar-laden products tend to be acid-forming, and despite the bad rap sugar gets it is high-fructose corn syrup - which saturates the US food industry - that is the leading cause of America's' obesity epidemic. A 2010 Princeton University study found that rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained substantially more weight than those consuming an identical caloric intake of table sugar.
21 calories per 125ml
Where kombucha tea is concerned, what's important to note are the number of calories per 100ml. A 250ml bottle of GO! Kombucha contains less than 50 calories in total, or <21 calories per 125ml, making it one of the lowest-calorie on-the-go drinks availalble that has not been artificially sweetened.
Of course some will choose to demonize and avoid sugar entirely come what may, including kombucha tea despite its overwhelming plethora of good stuff. Yet drinking unsweetened kombucha tea regularly - that is, well-fermented tea with no additional fruit sugars or syrups added prior to bottling – can recalibrate our taste buds to crave sweet foods less - and even reject them altogether!
GO! Kombucha is currently being used as the base for a signature cocktail at London’s famous Langham Hotel.
‘Kombucha & Sloe’ - combining 125ml of GO! Kombucha China White with Hayman’s Sloe Gin, agave and citrus - is being served in the prestigious hotel's Palm Court restaurant as part of the Hayman’s Gin Palace tasting menu every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night till the end of November.
The cocktail has been inspired by one of the world’s most sought after “mixologists”, Alex Kratena (pictured), who created the recipe specifically around GO! Kombucha, which he regards as the best kombucha tea brand on the market.
multi-award-winning artesian cocktail bar
Alex has worked in various establishments around the globe on different continents from New York to Tokyo, including cyber trance clubs, Michelin star restaurants and 5-star deluxe hotels. He also develops new cocktails, products and marketing strategies for some of the most recognized brands in the industry, winning many awards along the way as he strives to be constantly inventive trying out different methods and unusual flavours to enhance and hone his cocktail-making skills.
Alex is currently developing a new recipe around GO! Kombucha China White which he will present at next month’s Athens Bar Show, the annual exhibition for bartenders and cocktail aficionados. Eventually it is hoped the recipe will appear on the menu of The Langham’s multi-award-winning Artesian cocktail bar, which only recently was voted “The World’s Best Bar” by Drinks International Magazine.
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