Unfortunately there are greedy individuals and companies looking to prey on consumers by exploiting the popularity of Kombucha. They attempt to sell forms of Kombucha that simply do not work and are marketed as a more convenient option over personally home brewing Kombucha. Some of these products are expensive and those selling them are relying on people’s ignorance about Kombucha to make sales.
Only in the recent years has Kombucha Tea started to be bottled commercially and by most, including myself, it is considered to be a great beverage. However, the commercially bottled tea often sells upwards to $4.00 per bottle! This is 8 times the cost of what it would cost for you to easily home brew this remarkable beverage; as has traditionally been done for thousands of years.
Commercially bottled unpasteurized Kombucha is often more carbonated and that is not a health benefit. Further still, if bottled and stored too long before being sold the raw tea often tastes too sour or acidic because the living probiotic bacteria and yeast of Kombucha continue the fermentation of the tea even in the bottle. The longer it is left to ferment the sourer or acidic it becomes. Some commercial brewers of Kombucha will sell a pasteurized tea to overcome this problem but once pasteurized probiotic benefits to drinking the tea are destroyed. There is no law that says they must label their Kombucha as being pasteurized.
One example of Kombucha fraud product are the tablets, or capsules, as sold on some Kombucha web sites, by Internet vendors of health products, and in brick & mortar health food store chains. Just in the sense of logic, the only way to realize the health benefits is to drink the actual tea; tablets/capsules simply do not have the same effect, if any, that the tea does. In fact, there is no actual evidence that properly links these supposed beneficial “convenience products” and any kind of health benefit what-so-ever.
Many Kombucha web sites market what are known as “continuous brewing systems”. The problem with these, besides the fact that they are overly expensive, is that Kombucha is brewed much like beer or wine. Continuous brewing systems are not used to ferment these kinds of beverages. Brewing continuously contributes to the over-fermentation of the tea resulting in the tea becoming too acidic or sour to the taste. The profit incentive is the main reason continuous brewing systems are being sold and even if you wanted to continuously brew Kombucha it is not necessary that you purchase any such expensive brewing system to do so.
Another terrible offense is the sale of supposed Kombucha extracts with claims of health benefits… just more Kombucha fraud! Theses so-called extracts are really just regular Kombucha Tea that has gone sour and vinegary, sold for high prices in tiny amounts. This is another Kombucha fraud rip-off. The same can be said for tea bags being sold that are labeled with the name Kombucha. You simply cannot dry up the metabolic acids and living probiotic bacteria and yeasts then put them in a bag and expect them render any more of a health benefit than eating cardboard. I recently had one tea manufacture call me wanting to buy Kombucha so that he could spray it on his tea leaves so that he could sell his tea as being Kombucha Tea.
Traditionally delicious home brewed tea is fermented using what is called a Kombucha mushroom; it is not a mushroom but only popularly called that. Many of the marketers on the Internet who sell Kombucha mushrooms attempt to increase their sales by advertising that their particular strain of mushrooms are better than a competitor because they are larger, organic, or supposedly the original strain of Kombucha. This is nothing more than sales hype. Smaller mushrooms ferment a new batch of prepared tea in the exact same way as larger mushrooms do; by introducing Kombucha bacteria and yeast into the tea causing the tea to ferment.
Different strains of Kombucha have never been categorized and no studies have ever been conducted to prove any one strain, if different strains exist, is more potent than another. Such a study to be valid would have to involve tracking thousands of individuals drinking different Kombucha strains over scores of years to determine any overall health differences between groups. Such a study would cost over 100 million.
Some marketeers are selling dehydrated mushrooms or powder. I cannot count the number of customers who have called me complaining that after buying a dehydrated mushroom, or kombucha powder, that they were unable to successfully ferment the tea.
Understand the different scams that marketers try to pull, and you will not find yourself being a victim of Kombucha fraud, or disappointed if and when you decide to start home brewing and drinking this amazing health elixir called Kombucha Tea.
Of course, I would like you to obtain your cultures from me. I provide personal customer support to help you successfully home brew. If you are planning to purchase from another source be sure that they do offer this type of personal support as most likely you will have questions. Be aware that there is now massive amounts of misinformation about Kombucha on the Internet placed up by novice brewers who fall asleep in their H.S. biology class. It is no longer the best place to get your questions correctly answered.
Following is a list of “some” companies marketing bogus Kombucha products on the Internet. Do you really want to do business with firms that wish to rip you off by committing Kombucha fraud?
In the case of GetKombucha.com, the owner (a twit by the name of David Lindenbaum) was caught stealing my copyrighted customer’s testimonials, he had been publishing them on his web site as his customer’s testimonials, and now he brags about being a trusted source even as he continues, in my opinion, to rip his customers off by selling bogus products! He even had the gall to threaten me with legal or punitive action if I did not remove this information from my web site.
If you know of other firms marketing phony Kombucha products, or taking advantage of customers seeking to drink this remarkable beverage send me an email message and I will include them in the above list of companies to avoid.