It is possible that thousand of years ago someone, possible in China, made a batch of regular sugary tea. They set it aside forgetting to drink it. During the period of days that it was forgotten some rare airborne microorganisms took up residence in the tea. When the tea was tasted it was found to be very pleasant. After additional batches were made health benefits began to be noticed and its popularity quickly spread.
I would speculate that when discovered growing in a batch of sweet tea carbonation was trapped under the cellulose skin growing on the surface of the tea. This caused the skin to swell up resembling the rounded cap of a mushroom. Thus, perhaps, the origin of it being called a mushroom.
Other speculations is that the Kombucha Mushroom is related to a birch-tree mushroom called Chaga. However this is unlikely as Kombucha is certainly not a mushroom. To cause even more confusion there is supposedly a tea made in Japan from a type of seaweed. It is also called Kombucha.
Anyone who is interested in this remarkable tea can buy from their local bookstore the book entitled “Kombucha Rediscovered” by Klaus Kaufmann. It is informative but not totally accurate in some aspects. Some of the information given on this web site is from this book.
The above mentioned book on Kombucha can be obtained from Amazon.com.
History of Kombucha Tea
The history of the Kombucha Mushroom Tea (again… it is not really a mushroom) may have begun in China, or possible Manchuria. Its use was spread via the caravan routes of trade. The first recorded mention of the tea was in China in the year 221 BC where it was known as “the Tea of Immortality”.
The history of Kombucha Mushroom Tea indicates it has been known by many names in many cultures. This often leads to confusion as to it origin. The word Kombucha is its Japanese name. It may have been introduced to Japan by a Korean physician by the name of Kom around 415 AD. However Kom is not a family name known to exist in Korea. More likely the name of the physician was Kim.
The popularity of Kombucha Tea only seems to have waned when earlier conflicts between nations made sugar and tea scarce.
Some may wonder if the tea is so good for one’s health why the medical profession or drug industry is not recommending or marketing it. One reason is that it takes tens of millions of dollars to scientifically test a product. They are not willing to spend the money if they cannot see a dollar return on their investment. Kombucha Tea can easily be home-brewed. Kombucha reproduces weekly, for free in your home, making it a poor candidate for a profitable return.
Doctors often scoff at “home remedies”. They often resist investigating anything new because they are often overwhelmed with work. They simply cannot find the time to do their own research. Instead they are encouraged to recommend only the profitable drugs promoted by the powerful pharmaceutical industry.