Books About Kombucha

July 8, 2011

Kombucha Rediscovered! by Klaus Kaufmann, 1996

The first three chapters of this book are basically devoted to the health benefits of kombucha. It isn’t until chapter four, which talks about the kombucha mushroom and what it is, that this book gets interesting to me. Chapter 5 is about acidity, lactic acid, ingredients, and vitamins, so it is basic nutritional values as statistics. It isn’t until chapter 6, which is actually Part 3 of the book, that it talks about how to make kombocha, which has a lot of color photographs to go with it. I do like that it allows for a stainless steel pot, warning you that, “the pot will only contain the tea, never the mushroom.” This is also where I found the rule of thumb for ½ of sugar per liter. It also has some helpful tips, such as molasses contains more nutrients to feed the mushroom than what sugar does. However, the last chapter of the book goes back to being a little bit preachy about the health benefits of drink kombucha. It does contain a Commonly Asked Questions section at the back, and some of them are useful about making kombucha, and the others are about nutrition (Can kombucha cure cancer?). Overall, I find about 40% of the book useful to me, but that is partly because I’m not interested in all the health “cure for cancer” propaganda.

 

Kombucha Phenomenon, Second Edition by Betsy Pryor and Sanford Holst, 1996 

Like Kombucha Rediscovered!, this book starts out with a chapter on “What Kombucha Can and Cannot Do” for your energy, skin, hair, weight, sex, diabetes, yeast infections, AIDS, etc for 58 pages. Next, it gets into the safety of kombucha, including findings by the USDA, and a list of do’s and don’ts regarding making kombocha safely. Next is the chapter on making the tea, followed by drinking the tea and storing it. This does include a section on buying pre-made kombucha at health food stores (it was not in grocery stores back in 1996 like it is today). There is then a chapter on the history of kombucha and research on it, followed by a chapter on the technical stuff of kombucha, like what it is, the mushroom, and fermentation. Finally, there is a reference chapter and “The Last Word,” which states, “Everyone’s interested in their health and making the right decisions. We’ve tried to give the best possible information to help you, but obviously we can’t make recommendations about anyone’s particular medical case.” I think this sums up the book quite well: they do try to talk about health, but it isn’t so preachy and propaganda as they allow room for you to decide if you want to consume it for your own health. As a result, the book feels like it is more full of information about making kombucha than Kombucha Rediscovered!, and it also feels more fun. Out of the two books I found dedicated to kombucha, this is the one I would purchase.

Additional nutritional and/or alternative diet books which have a few pages regarding making and consuming kombucha:

  • Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, 2001. There is a recipe, but I don’t feel it talks all that much more about making it than my little kit did.
  • Truly Cultured by Nancy Lee Bentley, 2007 . There is kombucha recipe. It talks a lot about diet and what not, but there is no index, and the book is to help promote products they sell to make stuff like kombucha and kefir.
  • Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz, 2002. Katz calls it a fad of the 1990s and doesn’t go into the health specifics. He does say that his friend got caught up in the craze and even would try to ferment Mountain Dew with the SCOBY. I believe Katz has some experience with kombucha, and includes sources for obtaining a SCOBY and a recipe.
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