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Kombucha

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There are many countries in the world, every of which has its own national drink, some even have more than one. Here you will find the most unusual of national drinks.

1. Brazil National Drink
Yerba Mate or hierba mate or erva mate, in Portuguese (Ilex paraguariensis), or sometimes called simply mate, is a species of holly (family Aquifoliaceae) native to subtropical South America in northern Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and southern Brazil and Bolivia. It is used as a herbal tea.

Mate drinking
As with other brewed herbs, yerba mate leaves are dried, chopped, and ground into a powdery mixture. Unlike other brews, however, mate is traditionally sipped from a dried and carefully carved, hollow calabash, through a special metal straw (traditionally silver) called a bombilla. Bombilla usually means “light bulb” in Spanish, but locally it is “little pump” or “straw”.

Preparing the Mate
The method of preparing the mate infusion varies considerably from region to region, and it is hotly debated which method yields the finest outcome. However, nearly all methods have some common elements: the gourd is packed with an abundant amount of yerba, and very hot water (typically from 70–80 degrees Celsius [160–180 degrees Fahrenheit] and never boiling) is added.

2. Nicaragua National Drinks
Here are many national drinks that you will enjoy when you go to Nicaragua.
Some of them are: Fresh tropical fruit juice, Chicha de maíz and de jengibre (in order to make this drink you have to boil corn and then grind it with food coloring), Tiste (this is another unusual drink that you will have the opportunity to taste. It is made from corn and cocoa drink.
Another original drink is cacao. This is actually one of the favorite drinks in the world.

Here goes, a sampling of some of the more unusual national drinks.

3. Sosro Tehbotol National Drink
This is basically sweetened jasmine tea from Indonesia. It has a crisp, clean taste, flowery. It’s an iced tea, but doesn’t need lemon.

4. De Sarro & Torchia BibiCaffe National Drink
This is a carbonated, concentrated coffee. Espresso, caramel, vanilla with bubbles. Not too sweet, a bit of a kick, almost chocolaty. Cute small bottle. One of the best drinks.

5. Almdudler National Drink
Almdudler is the national soft drink of Austria. Tastes like a light lemonade with a sour apple flavor. The bottle design is pretty sharp, with two Almdudler-holics in funky hats looking straight from a Tin-Tin comic.

6. Fentiman’s: Five interesting flavors
Fentimans is a British maker of botanically brewed, slightly fermented beverages. These are microbrewed, hand crafted soda for grownups.

7. China Cola National Drink
A real novelty, this is a cola where the flavor is created by a careful mix of Chinese herbs. Seems like a lot of effort for what’s basically a coke.

8. Sprecher’s Orange Dream National Drink
From Wisconsin, this microbrewed orange soda comes in a hefty bottle with a cow mascot. It’s an orange cream with vanilla and honey.

9. Kombucha Wonder Drink
This Kombucha Wonder Drink is described as “A Sparkling Himalayan Tonic” and a “blend of jasmine tea with essence of Niagara grape”. It’s a kind of sweet and sour, like a musky grape juice. Kombucha is some kind of funky mushroom.

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Kombucha is a microbiological food. It helps regenerate the bowel flora and is excellent for wellbeing.

Kombucha is a popular health promoting beverage and natural folk remedy made by fermenting tea. Kombucha is a colony or culture of yeast and other microorganisms embedded in a pure cellulose “pancake.” When the “pancake” is grown in a blend of tea and sugar, it transforms the liquid into a refreshingly lightly sparkling, sweet and sour drink with a fruity fragrance full of health giving acids and nutrients. The Kombucha culture feeds on the sugar and, in exchange, produces other valuable substances which change into the drink: glucuronic acid, glucon acid, lactic acid, vitamins, amino acids, antibiotic substances.

Kombucha tea has about 0.5% to 1% alcohol as do some fruit juices such as apple juice. Harold Tietze in his book KOMBUCHA, THE MIRACLE FUNGUS observes that Muslims and Buddhists drink it without concern. “Recovered alcoholics do not have to fear the small amounts of alcohol.” The Salvation Army is using Kombucha to help alcoholics.

Kombucha tea isn’t something you can buy in a bottle or a bag. You need to brew up a batch of kombucha starter culture and grow your own.

The health benefits of kombucha tea are many, and the taste is distinctively tart. The final product is lightly carbonated too. If you’re interested in trying some, be prepared to do a little work and to wait for the finished product.

Kombucha Tea Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 4 – 6 Tea bags (at least 2 are black)
  • 4 litres ( 140 fl oz) Pure water, rain or spring
  • 300 grams (10 oz) White Sugar
  • 1 Kombucha tea fungus
  • 400 ml (1 3/4 cup//14 fl oz) Kombucha tea (mother tea), from your last brew or obtained with the mushroom / fungus – If you don’t have enough mother liquid

Instruction:
Boil the water in a stainless steel pot, add sugar, turn off heat and stir sugar until dissolved. Add teabags and let soak for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove tea bags and allow to cool. Strain (not necessary) and pour into fermenting jar. Add the fungus and mother tea to the jar. Cover and leave for one week in a place free from contaminants such as mould, cooking fats etc.

Recipes for Kombucha Tea with Pawpaw (Papaya)

Ingredients:

  • 100 grams (3.5 oz) Paw paw leaves and flowers
  • 4 litres (140 fl oz) Pure water, rain or spring
  • 300 grams (10 oz) White sugar
  • 2 Green tea bags
  • 4 Black tea bags
  • 1 Kombucha tea mushroom
  • 400 ml (1 3/4cup / 14 fl oz) Kombucha tea (mother tea), from your last brew or obtained with the fungus. If you don’t have enough mother liquid

Instruction:
Cut, clean and chop the stalks off the papaya leaves and flowers. Place in pot, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 1/2 hour. Let cool, strain and bring to the boil again, add sugar, turn off heat and stir sugar until dissolved. Add teabags and let soak for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove tea bags and allow to cool. Strain (not necessary) and pour into fermenting jar. Add the fungus and mother tea to the jar. Cover and leave for one week in a place free from contaminants such as mould, cooking fats etc.

Ingredients:
The following quantities are for one litre.

  • 5 tablespoons = 1/3 cup
  • 3-5 tablespoons of white sugar.
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons black tea (organic).
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons green tea (organic).
  • 1 teaspoon elderflower tea (optional).
  • 1 tablespoon papaya leaf tea (optional).
  • 1 litre water (Grander water).
  • 100 mls of Kombucha tea, (as an acidic starter).
  • 1 piece of Kombucha plant. (about 4 inches in diameter.)

Instruction:
Add the sugar to a glass bowl, dangle the tea bags over the side, then pour on boiling water. Use the tea bags to stir the liquid and dissolve the sugar. Leave the tea bags to steep until the tea has cooled. If you are using loose tea then steep the tea in a teapot, then mix with the sugar and boiled water in a bowl. Some herbs such as papaya leaf will need simmering in boiling water for 2 hours. Strain the herbs through muslin cloth.
When the tea has cooled to below 25C, mix in the Kombucha tea, then float the Kombucha plant on the surface. Cover the bowl with a tea towel held in place with an elastic band and leave it where it won’t be disturbed for 2 – 4 weeks at 20-25C. The longer you ferment the kombucha the less sweet and the more acidic it will become. The Kombucha tea is ready when a new mushroom has covered the surface and all of the sugar has been digested. When the kombucha is ready, scoop the tea out the bowl with a small jug and transfer to bottles. Discard the sediment. Refrigerate the kombucha before drinking. Store unused kombucha mushrooms covered with kombucha tea in a jar in the refrigerator.

Honey Kombucha Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1. Two cups of starter tea
  • 2. 3 quarts of water
  • 3. 1 cup of Liquid Honey
  • 4. 1/2 cup of sugar

Instruction:
Boil water for 5 to 10 minutes and remove from heat. Using a cooking thermometer monitor the temperature. When the temperature has fallen below 150 degrees F. add the cup of honey (or 1.5 cups to speed fermentation) and stir until the honey is dissolved. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature. Once the tea reaches room temperature you can pour off the mixture (leaving the sediment on the bottom behind).

Kombucha Banana Strawberry Smoothie Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 10 ounces orange juice
  • 4 ounces Kombucha tea.
  • One piece of fresh Kombucha colony (sized to palate)
  • 5-6 large fresh strawberries
  • 1-2 large banana

Blend all ingredients at high speed in your blender until smooth.

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