First it was kale, then kefir, and now kombucha’s lighting up Sydney’s health scene. Part of the fermented food trend, the sparkling tea was invented by the Chinese thousands of years ago, and it’s becoming more and more popular as people learn about its benefits. And there are many – kombucha is packed with probiotics to heal, detox and energise the body, support the nervous system, and kick-start digestion. It’s also bursting with flavour, thanks to the ‘SCOBY’ (live cultures) and the various fruits, spices and roots makers are adding to the mix. Think of it as cider’s healthy cousin – it’s just as refreshing.
Health food stores aside, here’s where to sip on the gut-loving goodie around Sydney.
After a trip to Maui, owners Matt and Laura were so impressed by the kombucha there, they decided to make their own. The result was Wild Kombucha, a delicious brew that’s made in the on-site lab and stocked at healthy hotspots like Orchard Street, Single Origin Roasters, Cooh and The Greenhouse Café, and even features on the Rockpool menu. But to sample all five flavours, go straight to the source with a trip to Ballsy Brewing.
495 Parramatta Road, Leichhardt
At this 1920s-style corner shop in Cammeray, coffee is serious business – and they make a seriously good kombucha, too. The brainchild of scientist-turned-café owner John Menck and his wife Emma Fryer, it’s safe to say the team knows their stuff. Settle into a seat in this warm, cosy café and sip on the double fermented kombucha, a punchy version of the carbonated tea that’s served in little beakers.
8 Carter Street, Cammeray
A contender for the cutest spot in Sydney, Egg of the Universe is a yoga-studio-slash-wholefoods-cafe that brews its own kombucha. Head to the leafy courtyard out back, and you’ll see shelves stacked with jars of the fermented drink in various stages of brewing. If you’re new to kombucha, order the Spiced Honey Kombucha, which is sweetly blended with raw honey, fruits and spices. Otherwise, try the Vintage Kombucha – it’s served straight up for a tart taste.
711 Darling Street, Rozelle
In the CBD, this sustainable café serves up colourful, healthy plates that are almost too pretty to eat. After ordering from the chalkboard menu (which lists the farmers behind each dish), settle in and sip on some kombucha. Here, the brew is brimming with the usual probitoics, as well as ginger and turmeric for an extra kick. Then, grab a coffee for the road, courtesy of former Mecca barista Marcelo Soto.
155 Clarence Street, Sydney
Over in Potts Point, The Farm is a café and health food store rolled into one. After shopping for the week, treat yourself to a CocoWhip (coconut ice-cream soft serve) and a bottle of kombucha. The cafe has the Melbournian masters of the superfood drink, Remedy Kombucha, on tap in original, raspberry lemonade and ginger lemon flavours. The sparkling, sweet raspberry lemonade is our pick.
Shop 3, 81 Macleay Street, Potts Point