Bottoms Up: Cultured Ferments' Kombucha Tea
By Kristi Kates | July 22, 2017
Founded in 2016 by Traverse City’s Courtney Lorenz, a former culinary student at Northwestern Michigan College, Cultured Ferments is bringing a homebrew-inspired version of Kombucha — a slightly fizzy, fermented sweet tea — to the masses.
Kombucha, thought to have originated in Russia a couple thousand years ago, had its last big moment in the mid-’80s — but its popularity is on the rise again, thanks to a renewed interest in the benefits it promises to impart to its drinkers via probiotics, vitamins, amino acids, enzymes, and antioxidants.
Cultured Ferments’ bottled brews use tea from Leelanau County’s Light of Day Organics, Michigan’s only tea farm. The teas are fermented for up to two weeks, after which they’re bottled and labeled; each step is monitored by Lorenz and her crew.
Much like other fermented products (think sauerkraut or kimchi), fermented tea does have something of a sharpness to it and can be an acquired taste, although Cultured Ferments’ varieties make it easier, as they’re tempered with carefully balanced flavors.
The Mind’s Eye Chai Kombucha, rife with autumnal spices, is said to taste like “apple pie in a bottle,” while Genuine Ginger Kombucha is similar to ginger ale, with equal parts spice and sweetness. And perhaps the prettiest of the bunch is the Namaste Nectar, a pale fuchsia-colored berry mix steadied with hibiscus.
Find a complete list of locations (over two dozen in northern Michigan alone, plus more downstate) where you can buy Cultured Ferments’ kombucha teas at www.drinkcultured.com.