Edible Innovations: Health-Ade Kombucha Ferments in 100% Glass

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Edible Innovations: Health-Ade Kombucha Ferments in 100% Glass

From Singapore to the USA and all around Europe, Edible Innovations profiles food makers that engage in improving the global food system at every stage, from production to distribution to eating and shopping. Join us as we explore the main trends in the industry from a maker perspective. Chiara Cecchini of Food Innovation Program — an ecosystem with a strong educational core that promotes food innovation as a key tool to tackle the great challenges of the future — introduces you to the faces, stories, and experiences of food makers around the globe. Check back on Tuesdays and Thursdays for new installments.

For thousands of years a simple beverage has brought health and happiness to its consumers: kombucha tea. Kombucha tea has been enjoyed in various cultures and in different flavors and styles. What sets this drink apart is its fermentation process and all of the healthy probiotics that come with it.

Daina Trout, Vanessa Dew, and Justin Trout combined their vision of healthy living with their individual talents to create Health-Ade, a kombucha product that encourages their customers to follow their gut and see the results.

What’s Kombucha?

Kombucha is a fermented tea comprised of sugar, water, tea, and SCOBY. “SCOBY” is actually an acronym: Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast. It is the living home for the bacteria and yeast that transforms sweet tea into tangy, fizzy kombucha. It’s a rubbery raft that floats on the surface of the kombucha. Aside from being a home for yeast and good bacteria, the SCOBY seals off the fermenting drink from the air and protects it from outside, undesirable bacterias.

The flavors can be manipulated through the teas, and adding in fruits and roots (like ginger and turmeric) creates additional flavor and health benefits. While kombucha has been consumed for many years, its rise in popularity has recently really begun to surface within the growing health food market. The drink is flavorful, easy to make, and holds a strong background in balanced wellness.

The Team Behind the Tea

The idea for Health-Ade first came about during one of Daina Trout’s entrepreneurship club meetings with her husband, Justin Trout, and best friend, Vanessa Dew. The trio wanted to explore ways they could combine their diverse backgrounds into a successful business venture. They started with just the three of them, each contributing all of their savings to make a company that valued wellness and health. Daina also brought her Masters in Nutrition and a knowledge of food for a balanced lifestyle. She wanted to create something that was both known for being healthy and also made people feel good when they drank it.

The three weren’t always in the kombucha business. The trio was originally looking into SCOBY as an aid to combat hair loss. After pursuing that idea without much success, they realized that their SCOBY was key to making a really good kombucha. They all started working on creating different concoctions that would taste delicious, until Vanessa, their powerhouse for sales, called it “Let’s make kombucha.” The group followed their gut, creating several different types of kombucha with the goal of providing their customers with feelings of both health and happiness.

Health-Ade’s entire fermentation process takes place in 100% glass, to prevent plastic or metal leaching. It is unique in the field of commercial production. They also choose to create their batches in incredibly small quantities, only 2.5 gallons each, for quality control. The process is certified organic with high-quality products, fully gluten-free, and raw.

Do it Yourself

Now, I know that you are all curious about making your own kombucha (and SCOBY) as well. Is it possible? Heck yes!

You can grow a new SCOBY from scratch by combining tea, sugar, and some pre-made kombucha. You can use homemade kombucha from a friend or store-bought kombucha, but make sure it’s a raw, unflavored variety. It also helps if you can see one of those little blobby things floating at the top or bottom of the bottle.

It takes roughly 2 to 4 weeks to grow a new SCOBY, but the time might be less if your kitchen is warm (or longer if your kitchen is cool). In general, try to keep your kombucha at an average room temperature of about 70°F, and your SCOBY will form in a little over two weeks.

It seems you are all set to taste the super-healthy Health-Ade Kombucha as well as put your hands on making it from scratch!

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Chiara is fascinated by food as a means to impact bodies, minds, and environment. She has studied international business in three different countries, and is an alumni of the Food Innovation Program and US Director at the Future Food Institute.

Based in California, she is also a Research Scholar at Food Science and Technology at UC Davis, working on building the first comprehensive Internet of Food to enable food care through food systems semantics. She is a selected member of Barilla Center Food Nutrition Foundation, a Research Affiliate at Institute For The Future, Board Member at Maker Faire and selected member of the Global Shapers, a young global network of innovators promoted by the World Economic Forum.

She is passionate about social entrepreneurship and impact investing, and aims to leave her mark on society.

View more articles by Chiara Cecchini