Kombucha has been gaining popularity in recent years.
Originally consumed in China more than 2,000 years ago, kombucha is a fermented and sweetened black or green tea drink. It has long been consumed for its detoxifying and energising properties.
As trade routes expanded, kombucha found its way from China into Russia and from there into other eastern European countries. It was introduced into Germany during the Second World War and in the 1950s it became popular in France and North Africa.
Studies by Swiss scientists in the 1960s found that kombucha delivered similar health benefits in the human gut as yogurt.
Kombucha is made by fermenting a sugared green or black tea base with a symbiotic culture of acetic acid bacteria and yeast (known as SCOBY). The fermentation process changes the polyphenol found in the tea (as well as other fruits and vegetable) into the organic compounds that are believed to provide health benefits.
While fermented, kombucha generally contains less than 0.5 percent alcohol. Food Standards Australia New Zealand classifies food and drinks below 0.5 percent as non-alcoholic.