We receive many emails from you, our customers. Among them are also many important questions, which we try to answer for you as best we can. Sometimes we think that a question is particularly relevant, and then we make it a FAQ - Frequently Asked Question. We post these on social media, and we collect them on this page.
FAQ1: does roots always have to be refrigerated?
Yes. Roots of Malmö produces unpasteurized kombucha. This means that all the bacteria and yeasts that make the fermentation process happen are still in the drink and alive. A large part of kombucha's positive effect is due to the bacteria. (However, not all of them. There are other substances in kombucha in addition to the bacteria that are positive.) Since we at Roots of Malmö choose to refrain from ALL types of additives (including preservatives) the only way to prevent the bacteria from continuing the fermentation process to cool the bottle. The colder it gets, the less the bacteria's activity level. If a bottle of Roots Kombucha is stored at room temperature, it slowly but surely builds up more and more carbonation. In the end, there is excess pressure in the bottle which leads to the bottle bubbling over when you open it. It is therefore important to always keep our bottles chilled. Note! The fermentation process in kombucha is a slow process and it takes several days before too much carbonation starts to build up. Having a bottle stand at room temperature for a few hours is no problem.
FAQ2: WHY DO ROOTS KOMBUCHA'S BOTTLES CONTAIN A SMALL JELLY BUMP?
The bump consists of the same bacteria that are used to ferment tea into kombucha. Before bottling, we filter out all solids from the kombucha culture. We do not pasteurize our kombucha. Therefore, we can carbonate through natural bottle fermentation (ie, the bottle is allowed to stand at room temperature for a few days after bottling). With this, the bacteria have time to find each other again and build up a new scoby (scoby = symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). Because kombucha bacteria live in symbiosis, they thrive on clumping together. This is done with the help of a strain of bacteria called Gluconacetobacter which produces cellulose which leads to the 'lump' in the bottle. That lump is thus a concentrate of beneficial bacteria. In other words: if you find a lump in your glass - CONGRATULATIONS! You just feel good about swallowing it.
FaQ3: WHY DOES THE TASTE OF ROOTS KOMBUCHA VARY?
We make our kombucha completely without additives, concentrates or preservatives. EVERYTHING in the manufacturing process takes place naturally - from fermentation to flavoring and carbonation. We think it is important that you who buy a bottle of Roots Kombucha get 100% kombucha, and not concentrate diluted with water or tea. We also think it goes without saying that you who buy a bottle with ginger flavor can trust that the flavor comes from real ginger, and only real ginger. This approach is important to us, but also a big challenge. We have to constantly monitor the process and relearn how the bacteria work for each new flavor we introduce, because the flavorings affect the bacteria in different ways. We've gotten pretty good at this, but can never prevent some variation. We hope our customers appreciate our product for its naturalness, and can forgive small variations in the final product!
FAQ4: WHY ARE YOU STOPPING MY FAVORITE FLAVOR?
We at Roots of Malmö spend a lot of time developing new flavors. Our interest goes much further than finding flavors that sell well. We are fascinated by exciting combinations and kombucha offers endless possibilities for new taste experiences. But we can't produce as many flavors as we like at the same time - simply because that would affect the quality. We are still a small brewery, and every flavor we work on requires careful checks and great focus on our part. In order to be able to start with a new taste, we must therefore end with another.
FAQ5: WHAT DOES THE WORD FERMENTATION MEAN?
When we describe kombucha as fermented tea, we are often asked what the word fermentation means? In the context of cooking, fermentation is when microorganisms change the properties of food, for example by breaking down carbohydrates. Microorganisms, that is both bacteria and fungi. In Swedish, fermentation is sometimes also called fermentation, but this is not entirely correct. Fermentation is when yeast turns carbohydrates into alcohol and carbonic acid. Acidification is when bacteria turn carbohydrates into organic acids and carbonic acid. Fermentation happens everywhere and people have learned to use fermentation to make food more sustainable, healthier, and tastier. Among other things, the following foods are fermented: sauerkraut, cheese, bread, beer, wine, yogurt, tea, coffee, crème fraiche, soy, kefir, kimchi, sour cream, tempeh ... and kombucha, of course. In scientific contexts, the word fermentation is used only for such decomposition processes that take place without access to oxygen.
FAQ6: WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU ONLY USE 'BOTANICAL' INGREDIENTS?
The uses of plants have always interested man. What good can a plant do? What do different plant parts taste like? These are questions that even we at Roots Kombucha find extremely interesting. We love flavoring with all sorts of plants and plant parts to create differences in taste and effect. Sometimes you have to dry, sometimes you have to freeze, and sometimes you have to cook, of course - but we still want to stick to real ingredients. Of course, dyes, stabilizers and artificial flavors are banned in our drink. But we also avoid concentrates and extracts, partly because the production of these often involves mixing in unappetizing chemicals, but also because plants contain so much more flavor nuances and active substances than can be extracted as extracts. We simply stick to whole plant parts - or as we usually call it: GENUINE BOTANICAL INGREDIENTS.
FAQ7: IS THERE CAFFEINE IN KOMBUCHA?
Yes, there is caffeine in kombucha. However, the caffeine content is very low. About ¾ of the caffeine found in black tea is broken down during the fermentation process. The final caffeine content is between 10-20 mg per bottle, much lower than in, for example, green tea and lower than most people can detect, even those who are particularly sensitive to caffeine. In addition, kombucha contains polyphenols and l-theonine, both of which counteract the effects of caffeine.
FAQ8: WHY DO YOU USE BROWN BOTTLES?
Unlike clear glass, brown glass filters out ultraviolet light. UV light is harmful to the microorganisms and with brown bottles we can protect our unpasteurized kombucha better against the negative effects of UV light.
FAQ9: CAN I START A KOMBUCHA CULTURE FROM A BOTTLE OF KOMBUCHA?
Yes! You can start a kombucha culture from a bottle of real kombucha. What do we mean by "authentic"? Yes:
• Unpasteurized: Kombucha must not have been heated to kill microbes.
• Unfiltered: Kombucha must not have been microfiltered to remove yeast and bacteria.
• Whole-brewed: All liquid must have gone through the entire brewing/fermentation process. Beware of kombucha varieties that consist of concentrate that has been diluted with water.
We at Roots know that it works well to start a kombucha culture with our kombucha. We've been helping people start brewing their own kombucha from our product for years. If you want more detailed instructions, check out the video and instructions on our website! If you want to geek out on why it works to brew fine quality kombucha from a culture grown from a real kombucha you bought in the store - read our blog post!
FAQ10: Can I drink kombucha if I Am pregnant?
There are guidelines in Sweden that pregnant women should avoid raw or unpasteurized products, but the fact that kombucha is unpasteurized (raw) is immaterial for pregnant women. Avoiding unpasteurized dairy products is because they may contain listeria bacteria. Due to kombucha's low pH (below 4), the risk of these potential risk bacteria (listeria, salmonella, clostridium, E. coli.....) is basically zero.
Genuine kombucha always contains some alcohol which is a residual product of the fermentation process. The same applies to many other fermented products. Swedish authorities consider alcohol amounts below 1.2 percent as alcohol-free. Our kombucha contains less than one percent alcohol.
Kombucha, based on tea, also has caffeine. A bottle of Roots kombucha contains approximately 25 mg, which is about the same amount of caffeine as in a regular cup of green tea, and about a quarter as much as in a cup of coffee.
It is up to everyone what they feel comfortable drinking while pregnant - we don't want to give a straight 'yes'; or 'no'; answer but prefer to present the facts.
Be aware! The above information (about alcohol content, pH, or caffeine) applies precisely to our kombucha. With other brands, and with home brewers, it can of course be different.