The Kombucha revolution and its great health benefits
by Verónica Díez Lantarón on Mar 29, 2023
Surely you have heard of the kombucha countless occasions, yes bubbly and healthy drinks are your favorite. It is undeniable that today it is a trending drink that has been gaining more and more followers. Its popularity has risen like foam, and it is not surprising, its health benefits are many; improves digestion, contains natural probiotics, antioxidants and vitamins...
The rise of healthy eating has managed to position this drink as a true source of health, but it is not just talk, there is a scientific basis refuted by nutritionists. Its consumption has been growing exponentially and today, it is not strange for us to hear on Spanish terraces: "give me a kombucha".
But do you know the drivers of its great popularity in Spain? Mercè and Jordi are the creators of MUN Ferments , the first Spanish company to produce highly healthy artisan kombuchas. They differ from those of the rest of the market because they contain the smallest percentage of residual sugar in the European market. Their search for the perfect healthy and sustainable fermented drink has led them to create delicious natural kombuchas. Today we talk to them so they can tell us a little more about their beautiful project.
What is MUN kombucha and how did the idea of creating the project come about? Who are you behind?
Mūn Ferments is a small company but with a very big goal: to improve the health of those who consume our products. Our passion for life, and more specifically for fermented foods, led us to the path of making the most delicious and healthy kombucha on the market.
Behind Mūn Kombucha we are an engineer, Jordi, and a journalist, Mercè. Jordi was diagnosed with Gilbert's syndrome at the age of 13, a disease that affects between 5 and 10% of the population and that compromises liver detoxification . It is not serious, but it can cause discomfort such as constant headaches, muscle aches and fatigue. In the quest to feel well and to improve the health of his entire family -our youngest son is multi-allergic-, we first discovered fermented foods, and later kombucha. The backpack was so big that Jordi got rid of it, as he literally tells, that together we decided to start and put into operation the first brewery dedicated to the production of kombucha with natural and ecological ingredients and bottled in glass. Mūn Ferments was born.
The goal, from the beginning, has been to make the healthiest product possible. It is the reason why we pack in glass and use only quality, natural and certified organic ingredients. Our bet was also that it was a truly sustainable Kombucha. And, thanks to our exclusive fermentation process, we have managed to make it the only unpasteurized one that does not need to be kept in the fridge due to the very low residual sugar it contains.
You have been promoters of kombucha nationwide for more than 7 years. Why did you decide to bet on a disruptive and healthy soft drink?
We were the first to massively market kombucha, to make its benefits known and to put it on everyone's lips. There was no brand betting on it fully.
When we wanted to start consuming it at home, in specialized stores, no one had kombucha. It had to be ordered. Once we managed to try a commercial one, and since we were in the world of fermented products -yogurt, kefir, water kefir, sourdough bread, gluten-free sourdough bread, kimchi, sauerkraut... we thought how difficult it wouldn't be to make it; ) The results we obtained were so good that we decided to make a radical change in our lives and started a real adventure: a kombucha workshop to make the kind that we would have liked to find when we bet on its consumption.
Could you tell us a little more about your brand philosophy?
When we started, we were very clear that the objective was to make a super healthy Kombucha, but also to respect the environment as much as possible. 7 years after that zero day we can say that sustainability is one of our signs of identity. Out of respect for the product, we are committed to packaging it in glass, recyclable and reusable, as well as inert, not interfering with the liquid it contains.
In our plant we use clean energy, we have installed systems for the minimum consumption and the reuse of cold and heat, we optimize the process to the maximum so that energy consumption is as low as possible.
Our exclusive fermentation is very long in time, over 30 days. With this, we make the kombucha with the least residual sugar of all those marketed in Europe. This means that, despite not being pasteurized to keep its properties intact, it does not need refrigeration for transport or for its conservation. In this way, the emission of CO2 into the atmosphere is up to 180 times lower than other brands of fermented tea.
Oh, and we were the first to bet on serving it in barrels so that stores can refill bottles (reusing them) or so that it can be served in bars and restaurants like someone who drinks a beer.
For those less knowledgeable on the subject, how is kombucha produced and what ingredients are it made of?
The simple definition of kombucha is that it is fermented tea. Usually green tea or black tea that is sweetened with sugar is used. A colony of yeasts and bacteria is added to the initial infusion, which is known as SCOBY mother or fungus, which work symbiotically, that is, together; to turn it into a drink rich in organic acids, probiotics, vitamins and enzymes.
In the first fermentation is that, water, tea, sugar and the starter (SCOBY). Second, they are added in juice format cold press or infusion, fruits, vegetables, herbs, tubers... depending on each variety.
Unlike the other kombuchas on the market, yours is not kept cold, which is a very curious fact. What is it due to? Are the microorganisms still alive?
Microorganisms are not preserved by cold. The cold is necessary to control that the kombucha, once packaged, stops fermenting if it contains too much sugar.
Kombutxa contains so little residual sugar, between 0.1 and 1.8 grams per 100 milliliters (up to 18 times less than other brands in the case of our variety with less sugar) that it does not need cold to control possible overfermentation.
Your kombuchas have the lowest residual sugar on the European market and you have managed to make them adapt to all palates. What do you think makes them so different?
People who take care of themselves, starting from the inside, know how to choose. Our challenge has been to make a kombucha with almost no sugar tasty, that the more people like it the better. Little by little, we all take better care of ourselves, we watch our diet, we are aware that we are what we eat. We can see that many people appreciate being able to have a healthy soft drink with hardly any sugar, which, basically, is what Kombutxa is. Bubbles? Yes. Incredible flavor that brings you health every time you take it? Also.
The great variety of flavors that you offer attracts our attention. If we have to stay with one that is really curious, it is seawater from Formentera, a risky proposal. What benefits does it offer? Why from Formentera?
We are big fans of the sea, in fact our workshop is only a couple of streets from the beach and we are truly privileged. But not only because we live near the sea, we are unconditional of the marine environment. Seawater offers an infinite list of benefits for our body, it contains all the elements of the periodic table and, since the beginning of the world, it has been used to heal.
elaborate the Kombutxa Isotonic It was a challenge because, yes or yes, we wanted to incorporate seawater into one of our varieties. And when we met the people of Agua de Mar from Ibiza and Formentera, we saw it very clearly. It had to be the one that they collect on the seabed, far from the coast, during very specific times of the year and with extreme care in the entire process.
To get it to the market, we made a crowdfunding and people responded en masse to create a drink designed for consumption by athletes, for post-exercise recovery. Later, many consumers have become addicted (hehehe) and consume it at any time. We have to say that it is also magnificent to accompany appetizers: some cockles, some olives and an Isotonic are the glory.
The sweet contrast (our Kombutxas barely contain sugar but have a sweet aftertaste) with the salty seawater is incredible. We add a little apple juice, lemon grass infusion and a spark of stevia. The result is incredibly addictive.
For those who still do not dare to take the step, what benefits is it important for us to know that kombucha brings to the body?
The benefits of kombucha can be summarized in 3: it is detoxifying, digestive and probiotic. It greatly facilitates digestion, contributes to boosting liver function and is full of life: natural probiotics.
If we are clear about something, it is that it is a trending drink, does its consumption increase seasonally or is it consumed in the same way throughout the year?
At first, the consumption of Kombutxa was concentrated in the hottest months. Little by little, and as people have been getting to know it, trying it out and becoming fond of it, it has spread throughout the year.
You have a very wide catalog of flavors, which are the most successful among your most loyal customers?
The classics are the top sellers. we start with ginger (with ginger and apple) and Hibiscus (infused with hibiscus and pomegranate) and they are the ones that continue to succeed. However, the ranking is not so clear: P For tastes, the colors, which is usually said. There are many Natural fans, Paleobirras crazy, Isotonic fans, Verbena crazy, Flowers lovers and Green followers...
For newbies who want to start with this drink, which ones would you recommend?
We always recommend starting with Natural , because it does not contain additives in the second fermentation and it is the easiest and sweetest of the 9 we make. From here on, let's experiment, which is why there is so much to choose from!
In addition to kombucha, you offer the first ''no beer on the market''. What is paleo beer ?
Paleobirra is a real diversion. One night -it had been a couple of years since we had been making Kombutxa all day-, we realized that we did miss beer a little. What if we make a kombucha that tastes like beer? And we got fully into experimenting and testing with hops and more hops. we put paleobirra because it does not contain any cereal, of course it does not contain gluten and, like all our Kombutxas, it does not have alcohol.
It tastes, smells, and looks like a beer, but it's not a beer. Hence, we say that it is a 'non-beer'.
Paleo Birra the first ''non-beer on the market''. With all the flavor of beer and without alcohol content.
Surely right now our readers are feeling like trying one of your Kombutchas. Where can they get them?
We sell them through our website kombutxa.com/shop and in more than 8,000 physical establishments: organic stores and supermarkets, herbalists, gourmet shops, bars, restaurants, sports and yoga centers... Wow, if you don't have it in your circle of trust, contact us to sell it!