2011/07/11

Kombucha vs Kombucha

I know what “kombucha” is. I also know it is well-known outside of Japan, but as a different drink. I believe the word itself comes originally from Japanese. “Kombu” means edible kelp, and “cha” does tea in Japanese. So, this is literally “kelp tea”.

We prepare Japanese-type Kombucha by pouring hot water over dried powdered kelp in a cup, like you do instant coffee. Also, this powdered kelp can be used as a seasoning for Japanese cooking.

Kombucha (Japan)
I am not sure how and when the word has come to refer to the drink for medicinal purposes in English, but if you ask for “kombucha” in Japan, you will definitely get “kelp tea.” If you like, ume (plum)-flavored kombucha is also available, which is more my taste. In either way, Japanese kombucha is good for your health, too!