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This is how it happens; you’re doing your weekly Publix grocery shopping. First stop is the Deli to pick up a Chicken Tender Sub (duh!) and some sliced meat. Your next stop is the Bakery department for some fresh baked bread and cookies for the little ones. Ok, maybe a couple for yourself too — who are you kidding?! Then, you head to the Produce Department; all you need is apples and orange juice, and then you spot it right next to the juice… Kom-Bu-Whaaat?!

It took us a few times also, so, say it with us…KOM-BU-CHA. It’s one of our favorite new items and is loved for many different reasons. We carry as many as four different brands on our shelves with many different flavor offerings. Whatever you prefer, the choice is yours! So now that we all know how to pronounce it, why don’t we actually tell you all about it so you can decide if kombucha is the new drink for you!

01_Kombucha_Image 1Kombucha begins as a plain black or green tea, typically sweetened with white table sugar. Simple enough, right? Next added is SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast). OK…now, you’re saying “WHAAAT?!” again. Let us explain a little more. A SCOBY is a white or tan film that forms and becomes a gelatinous mat of cellulose on the top of the brew. This mixture then sits for a week to ten days to ferment at room temperature. This is where the magic (and science) happens. It’s at this point when the yeast eats the sugar in the sweetened tea and creates a small amount of alcohol (less than 0.5%). The bacteria then dissolves the yeast and releases carbon dioxide and acetic acid.

The result is low sugar, low alcohol (less than 0.5%), high fizziness and a ton of flavor. All in the name of SCIENCE! Cool, right? Don’t you wish you paid more attention in middle school now?

All this awesome, science-y stuff has to include some type of benefits, right? It certainly does! Kombucha is known for its probiotic attributes, which help support a healthy immune system. Along with the benefits from kombucha, you also get the same great benefits that you would get from black or green tea!

We spoke with one of our produce gurus, Kathy Arnold, who gave us more insight into kombucha and its history in Publix. Kathy shared, “Ten years ago, we began to see interesting and unique items coming out of the natural channel, but did not see anything in conventional grocery stores in our area.” She continued, “Using our crystal ball, we made the decision to be innovative and created room in our juice section for alternative products.” We asked Kathy about the kombucha expansion and she shared, “We began bringing in exciting brands that have unique stories, are passionate about their products and have very organic ways to share their product with the public, which our consumers can relate to.”

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Now, that you know a little more about kombucha, give it a try and let us know what you think in the comments below!

Matthew L.

Written by

Matthew L. started with Publix in 2009. After working his way up to a Publix Manager, Matthew decided to make a change from retail and pursue his passion for writing. Matthew enjoys hearing stories from the people he's writing about and loves the Publix culture. Outside of work, Matthew enjoys spending time with his wife and their dog, Edmund. They love to explore all that Central Florida has to offer.

4 Comments on “Kom-Bu-Whaaat?! Kombucha: What is it?


    I like your writing style Matthew L. Fun to read and informative! Every time I read the Whaat! Part it made me laugh because it reminds me of @kathyleeandhoda saying “Whaat!”

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