Kombucha: not your average sweet tea

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When they began home brewing kombucha, Molly Costa and Amy Costa quickly realized they had something special, and in early 2016 started a different kind of local craft brewing company, Cape Cod Kombucha. We asked them a few questions about their product, and plans for - what will most certainly be - their successful future.

For people who don't already know: what the heck is kombucha?!

Kombucha, most simply, is fermented sweet tea. It is fermented with the help of a SCOBY, which is a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. It is basically a blob of cellulose made up of pro-biotic bacteria and yeast, and it's what makes the magic happen! 

What are the proven health benefits of consuming kombucha?

Until recently, there hasn't been much in the way of proven research on the benefits of kombucha consumption. In fact, a piece was just published on healthline.com on August 29th stating 8 evidence-based health benefits of drinking kombucha. We know that our kombucha is rich in pro-biotics because we have participated in a study with Kombucha Brewers International that tested for strains and concentrations of pro-biotics. 

Kombucha is made with tea and we know that tea contains antioxidants, which fight free radicals in our bodies. Even more so if it is made with green tea, which we do use in our signature blend of fair trade, organic teas. There are polyphenols present in tea that are also present in kombucha, along with acetic acid resulting from the fermentation process. 

Tell us a little bit about how Cape Cod Kombucha got started?

Cape Cod Kombucha started with two women, and we are still a two lady team. Laverne & Shirley. Molly received a kombucha kit as a gift from her sister, and since SCOBYs reproduce themselves with each ferment, she shared one with me, Amy. I had heard of kombucha in the news, but I hadn't tried it until around the same time Molly got that kit back in 2013. I had recently transitioned from bartending into the corporate world, and kombucha allowed for that creative mixologist in me to come out and live a little. I am a foodie at heart and I still love the freedom of expression that product development offers. Between the two of us, we were just having so much fun experimenting with flavors and our friends were really enjoying it too. Eventually, it became clear that we had something special on our hands that we wanted to share with our community.

Do you find the community has been receptive to the product?

Speaking of the community! If our friends liked it, our community has loved it more. We honestly couldn't have hoped for the show of support that we have received. We are ever grateful to our customers, both new and regular consumers as well as local chefs. Ceraldi's features us on their soft-pairing menu. Molly works side by side with Jesse Ceraldi, often utilizing ingredients from the restaurant's garden in special flavors that we create just for them. Chef Matthew Forant at Brewster Fish House uses a blend of two of our signature flavors, Calm'bucha & Ginger Rose, to make a granita to top their raw oysters. It's taken off in a wild way that feels really good.

What are your hopes for the future of your company?

We are currently in process with the Commonwealth to obtain wholesale license status. We ultimately want to be able to be sold in stores and cafe style restaurants, in addition to the farmers markets and fine dining establishments where we are presently featured. It has taken us what feels like a long time, but in the business world is probably about average. We are unwilling to compromise our product for the sake of speed or efficiency. We are open to improvement of course, but not at the price of sacrificing what makes Cape Cod Kombucha special, and that takes time.

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If you haven't tried Cape Cod Kombucha, or can't get enough, you can find them at the Love Yoga Fest in Falmouth and the Love Local Fest in Hyannis, the last two weekends of September, respectively. They will also be outside of Soul Food Natural Market during the Wellfleet Oyster Fest. Keep your eyes on their Facebook page for other places and events where they will be popping up!