This eco-friendly and organic brand is behind the kombucha revolution in Kochi’s cafes

They are handcrafting small batches of this organically-produced fermented tea.

Anoop Menon Published :  17th May 2019 05:00 AM   |   Published :   |  17th May 2019 05:00 AM


It bubbles like champagne. Yet isn’t alcoholic. It smells like diluted vinegar. But is basically prepared by utilising tea leaves. Small amounts of gelatinous yeast float in it! Nevertheless, major conglomerates like PepsiCo are ready to pay millions to take over companies making this bacteria juice (google ‘KeVita’ for more). Yes, we’re talking about kombucha—the functional beverage that’s trending worldwide. 

This naturally-carbonated drink—whose earliest documented references as a Chinese ‘immortality tea’ can be traced back to 2,200 years ago—also contains small amounts of live probiotics, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Now, Kochiites can find this pungent-yet-appetising brew, best consumed chilled, at forward-thinking eateries like Grill Lab, Mash, Cocoa Tree, 360 Degrees Pizzeria, and The Burger Junction. 

Bubbling up

Pic: Jose Joy

True Brew, is the Kochi-based artisanal brand that’s handcrafting small batches of this organically-produced fermented sparkling tea. “Kombucha is prepared via a fermentation process. A SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) is placed in a tea mixture and left to ferment in a temperature-controlled environment for a few weeks. Bottling it also assists carbonation. Following which, the beverage is placed in a refrigerated environment to slow down the fermentation,” begins M C Mathew, who operates the label. 

Though kombucha is often associated with better digestion, weight loss, and improved bone health, there is almost no scientific evidence available to prove the claims. Regardless, we thoroughly enjoy drinking the ginger-lemon-mint variant of this live beverage—especially upon pairing it with a pizza topped with gooey mozzarella and spicy beef.

As they are a small enterprise that uses organic and seasonal ingredients like watermelon-hibiscus, grapes, and pineapples, no two batches will taste the same. Mathew adds, “Our kombucha has less than 0.5 per cent alcohol. Simply put, its more interesting than water, less sweet than juice, and less potent than soda.”

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