The pandemic has led to many of us getting back to our roots and reconnecting with the natural world and a more ‘traditional’ way of living. There’s been a surge of interest in cooking from scratch and getting out in nature – things we’ve always advocated here at River Cottage. We have witnessed the reality of a pandemic and with this, we have become more and more aware of the importance of good mental and physical health, including good gut health. So we are very pleased to announce that we have released a brand new range of River Cottage Kombucha in partnership with Equinox at such a significant moment. Nature and the environment play a huge part in the new Kombucha collection from River Cottage. Each flavour is inspired by the landscape the ingredients were grown in – Hedge, Meadow, Orchard and Garden, all of which can be found here on the farm.
The kombucha range and partnership with Equinox came about after Dan, their Managing Director and Hugh met at a Sustainable Soils Alliance charity evening. Dan and Hugh struck up a friendship built on their shared passion for Kombucha and Hugh invited the Equinox team to taste the River Cottage home-brewed version.
Hugh is a big fan of kombucha and has been making his own at home for several years now and swears that he has felt the benefits;
‘The River Cottage range of kombuchas reflects my enthusiasm for this lovely fermented drink, and of course I wanted to use natural flavours both from the garden and the wild. The pandemic has given many of us time to reconnect with nature and to think about ways to improve health and make positive choices with our food and drink. I hope our kombuchas can play a small part in helping people to do just that.” Hugh
You can’t drink kombucha without noticing its acidic twang and it is the acids - acetic, glucuronic and gluconic - that make kombucha so vital to gut health. Gluconic acid, which was proven in a study way back in 1994 to support the growth of bifidobacteria, a ‘good bacteria’ that helps supports a healthy gut and for this reason, they’re often added to probiotic supplements. The more support we give these good guys with gluconic acid from the mighty kombucha, the happier our gut!
But let’s not forget what is important – the taste. And we’re pleased to say these drinks are delicious. Throughout lockdown there were several ‘Zoom tastings’ with Hugh and the Equinox team where Hugh’s foraging and flavour acumen was merged with their brewing and drink development experience. During this process the four initial flavours were crafted, honed and adapted until they matured into the recipes that we are launching this month. And we think the end result is pretty great and hope you do too!
But what is kombucha?
Kombucha is an “ancient fermented tea beverage” that has a natural effervescence. Once fermented and cultured, the beverage contains a host of beneficial bacteria, yeasts, organic acids, antioxidants and B vitamins imparted to it by its mother culture, often referred to as a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast).
The true origin of Kombucha has been unfortunately lost over time. However, there are still some stories as to where it may have come from and they all come from East Asia with a focus on Japan. One such story is that it was invented during the Qin Dynasty (220 BC) for the Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi. The Chinese are famed for their quest for all manner of longevity elixirs and there could be some truth in this. Samurai, the warriors of ancient Japan, were also said to carry Kombucha in their wine skins as it gave them improved Chi Flow.
Today Kombucha is revered by many seeking a lower sugar natural alternative to their traditional drink choices as well as those looking to live a healthier lifestyle.
FInd out more and buy online HERE