Japanese Kombucha

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FOOD: Japanese kombucha

We all know (and love…?) kombucha as a sweet-and-sour fermented tea, claiming to possess magical health benefits including the ability to ward off cancer. But ask for kombucha in Japan, and you’ll get a rich, salty tea bearing little resemblance to the divisive drink making waves in the west. Despite having roots in Japan, where ‘kombucha’ directly translates as ‘kelp tea’, the drink has been reinvented over many years, making its way west via China, who first brewed the so called ‘tea of immortality’ during the Tsin Dynasty.

So whilst in Japan be sure to look out for western kombucha’s kelp-based ancestor, and if it’s the familiar fermented version you’re after, look out for ‘kocha kinoko’ or ‘black mushroom tea’ – yum.

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