Today is National Booch Day. We’re talking about the popular fermented tea called Kombucha — jam-packed full of microorganisms.
It’s a $485 million dollar industry that claims health benefits such as good digestion and fighting inflammation.
It starts with a tea blend, unique to any brewer, and sugar. Then you just let it ferment. It’s an ancient bubbly brew that has trace amounts of alcohol but can be found at just about any grocery store.
“It’s kinda bubbly. I think the local band Mooncats said it best in their song,
‘Yah Yah Bucha.’ They called it a “Funny little fizzy ancient accident,” said TJacob Smude, Deli Manager at the Bisman Food Co-Op.
Some people even make it at home. One local woman says she’s made several batches and says it’s easy to make. Just make sure everything is sanitized.
“I try to keep everything clean, I clean my hands, wash my hands, sanitize the jars. Make sure that it’s hot, hot water. Also, run some vinegar through the bottles and everything to get rid of the soap residue,” said Booch Brewer Keshia Hoffer.
Hoffer says the only way to create this drink is with a SCOBY. (short for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast), is a syntrophic mixed culture of yeast and bacteria used in the production of kombucha.
Also known as “The Mother,” it is the life force behind the Kombucha Brew. Without it, she says, we’d have no booch.
It is a cellulose disc formed by the bacteria during fermentation. It grows every week during home brewing and can look different each week; sometimes it’s thick and smooth, sometimes it’s thin and transparent, and sometimes it’s splotchy or has bubble pockets of yeast.
There are many ways to make kombucha from home, so Hoffer says to do your research to find a recipe that works for you.
Beverage company KeVita founded the first-ever National Booch Day on January 15, 2019, to celebrate kombucha and all the love around this effervescent bubbly drink. To celebrate, KeVita is offering a free kombucha.
This bubbly beverage, even though it’s popular now, has been around for years. The legend dates back to 221-206 BC. It’s believed that the drink, the “Tea of Immortality,” was created by an alchemist for the Chinese Emperor Qin She Huang to prolong his life.
Locally, however, there are many ways to enjoy this effervescent tea. There are over 30 varieties at the Bisman Food Co-op and they have the only self-serve booch tap in Bismarck.