Although there is no plop, plop (the jingle from yesteryear) with kombucha, there is definitely a fizz. And for many there is a lot of relief—from a variety of health ailments, many of those ailments stemming from an unhealthy digestive system.
Kombucha is a lightly effervescent drink produced from fermenting sweetened black or green tea, using a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast, commonly referred to as a SCOBY. Originating in the Far East around 2,000 years ago, kombucha has been hailed as the “Immortal Health Elixir” by the Chinese, and has been brewed by home brewers ever since.
In the past two decades, it has also been commercially brewed and available worldwide. Kombucha is gaining popularity in the United States as a remedy and healing food to help balance and improve the gut. As we embrace food as medicine, and look to our own bodies to help us heal, the addition to our diet of this fermented drink containing large numbers of healthy bacteria known as probiotics, is beginning to become more mainstream and more people are looking for locally sourced brews.
The Lowcountry is fortunate to have a locally produced kombucha using local organic ingredients. Jonathan Cox owns and ferments One Love Kombucha on Johns Island. Cox, who himself suffered from a serious medical ailment, found kombucha to be healing for him, and thus he turned that life-changing event into a mission. That mission, or calling, as Cox describes it, is to connect with as many people as possible to introduce them to kombucha and extol the virtues and value of fermented foods, spreading and sharing the love, through workshops and events, such as farmers’ markets.
Cox’s excitement and passion about his calling is palpable when talking with him. It’s obvious that he loves what he’s doing and he’s doing it for all the right reasons. He’s proud to be able to support the local community and humbled to be so supported by it. Most ingredients are locally sourced and organic, and points to Spade and Clover Gardens for its wonderful produce and botanicals that give his kombucha such rich in-season flavors. Cox also emphasizes that One Love Kombucha is brewed using the lowest amount of sugar possible, compared with other brands. Y
ou can find One Love Kombucha at the local Charleston farmers’ markets as well as other venues. Check out their Instagram @onelovekombucha for exact times and locations, and the edible Charleston website for more information