Thursday, June 10, 2021

Stealth Naked Kombucha is the best kombucha

As a kid, I always loved Coca-Cola. I had the right to drink a can for the Sunday lunch (while my parents were enjoying a bottle of wine)! During the summer vacation by the sea, I would have a can every day. So, naturally, 29 years ago, when I was a student at a university near Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, I always had a big bottle of Coca-Cola in the fridge. This seemed the American thing to do as a French student adapting to life in the USA!

I've written before that tea saved my life by helping me stop my addiction to Coke. I've stopped drinking soft drinks, but I still enjoy drinking sparkling water, and sometimes I like to add some apple juice to my sparkling water. In the summer, this is a very refreshing mix.

But I have found an even better alternative: Stealth Naked Kombucha! It's made in Rhode Islands by Ron Chapdelaine, with teas from Taiwan selected by me! Ron was vey kind to send me several bottles of kombucha made from my traditional Oriental Beauty from Hsin Chu, high mountain Oolong and a mix of Hong Yu and red tea from the East Coast.

At first, when I tasted the kombucha, I thought this is amazingly similar in aroma to my mix of apple juice and sparkling water or cider. The fruity aromas feel completely natural and they linger nicely in the aftertaste. It feels clean, pure, full of sparkling energy and freshness. However, one thing bothered me. It tasted very sweet, not acidic or funky as one expects it from kombucha. So, I gave Ron my feedback and his answer amazed me even more.

 "The sweetness you experienced is not candy like sweetness found in soft drinks (there is only 2g of sugar in that kombucha which is nothing) but sweetness solely from the bacteria derived by the transformation (fermentation). You see, Beneficial bacteria is difficult because there are hundreds of different kinds of bacteria. Some bacteria like acetic acid (main ingredient in vinegar) is a weak acid with a very insulting foul taste but the more difficult bacteria to get have wonderful natural world class sweetness without ever the negative effects of candy like sugar found in soft drinks (sucrose).  These difficult bacteria that have a natural sweet flavor are also stronger acids which means they have the better ability to bind to the toxic metals in our bodies and transport them out through the liver.

The sweetness you referred to is natural sweetness from the bacteria not table sugar sweetness. If you concentrate where the sweetness falls on the palate you will notice it kicks you in the back of the tongue while your taste buds for table sugar is at the very tip of the tongue. Forget about kombucha, a good tea in of itself should be sweet and this also shows up after the transformation but doesn't mean the tea sweetness is bad for reason you know and reasons I just I mentioned.

Making good kombucha is all about a perfect balance and this balance that very few get is very rare. 99% of kombucha is not properly balanced and this is why they all add flavorings - to make up for and disguise their mistakes and negligence.

Believe it or not, I'm the only person in the world doing a true naked kombucha."

Ron adds the following that makes complete sense: 

"Kombucha is only as good as the tea and water you use because both provide the kombucha culture the nutrients it desperately needs to grow, reproduce and eliminate (in the for of co2). The bubbles you noticed is all natural carbonation which is another byproduct of fermentation. An imbalanced kombucha has no natural bubbles because the transformation never really evolved. Most kombucha have artificially injected carbonation - shake that stuff and it is like a hand grenade. One thing is certain, it would never survive a rough trip around the whole world. You may notice my kombucha had natural bubbles but they were under complete control. Again, the balance...

The sediment on the bottom should be released by a light swirl as the sediment includes many beneficial nutrients. The kombucha I sent you would have been even better if let to settle three weeks giving everything the time to all come together as one again but it was fine to consume it now. The elixir would have also cleared up nicely. My kombucha ages like a fine wine or fine tea and this is why I age it after bottling (curing days found in the documentation to the right on the label). I like to cure/age for 3 months but usually 1-2 is fine. The OB kombucha would have been more well-rounded if cured at room temperature a few more weeks  but that batch of OB kombucha is all I had and I wanted to get it out to you."

My bottles arrived at the end of January 2021. They were so delicious that I tasted/drank them quite quickly, but I kept one bottle half empty in my fridge until today. It has aged 4 months after being opened and half emptied. This is not the aging that Ron recommends. He says that it's best to finish a bottle within a few days. However, thanks to the sediments, I thought that it would regenerate itself. And it did!! After 4 months, the kombucha was still sparkling, sweet and maybe even more fruity! Actually, it also reminds me of apple cider, especially the kombucha made from high mountain Oolong!

This experiment of aging half a bottle for 4 months is the kind of tough test that I apply to select my teas. If the leaves still produce a nice cup of tea when they over brew, then they will taste even better when my customers brew them with attention. This test has confirmed the extreme high quality of the Stealth Naked Kombucha! I'm glad that my teas helped Ron improve his kombucha even further! 

So, if you live in the US and enjoy a fresh sparkling drink in the summer, I really recommend you try this amazing Kombucha made by a passionate guy who's insisting on the same outstanding quality as me! 

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