As a fermented drink, kombucha aims to improve gut health and its popularity is definitely growing. We had the chance recently to sample Captain Kombucha’s range of products, described on their website as “a legendary, fermented drink, rich in antioxidants, with unique medicinal properties that can promote physical health and mental recovery, a booster for the body’s natural defenses.”
Each bottle tells the company’s background story: a captain looking for a well-known elixir and eventually getting taught by a samurai how to make this potion. Ultimately he settles in the West, in Portugal (the company is based here) where he starts refining the recipe, experimenting with flavours (he came up with and we were sent, Natural, Pineapple Peach Splash and California Raspberry) and voila! Captain Kombucha was born. Jump aboard to find out how they fared!
The 400ml bottles come in a cardboard box, protected by wood wool. Even though the bottle clearly states not to shake before use, I opened one a bit too quickly, I had better waited before opening -shipping agents are notorious for throwing boxes about. Anyway, after cleaning the spillage it was time to get guzzling!
Original: Water filtered by osmosis, bio sugarcane juice, carbon dioxide, green tea, kombucha culture, tea extract.
Pineapple Peach Splash: Water filtered by osmosis, bio sugarcane juice, carbon dioxide, green tea, kombucha culture, natural pineapple flavour 0.001%, natural peach flavor 0.005%.
California Raspberry: Water filtered by osmosis, bio sugarcane juice, carbon dioxide, green tea, kombucha culture, natural raspberry flavor 0.001%, bio certified extract (carrot, apple and blackberry).
Nutrition (per 100ml)
Original: Energy 100kJ, 23.6kcal; fats 0g; Carbohydrates 5.9g (sugars 4.9g); protein 0g; salt 0g; vitamins 0g
Pineapple Peach Splash: Energy 100kJ, 23.6kcal; fats 0g; Carbohydrates 5.9g (sugars 4.9g); protein 0g; salt 0g; vitamins 0g
California Raspberry: Energy 100kJ, 23.6kcal; fats 0g; Carbohydrates 5.9g (sugars 4.9g); protein 0g; salt 0g; vitamins 0g
Captain Kombucha Original does not have that distinct (and somewhat unpleasant) sweet smell kombucha drinkers are familiar with. Captain Kombucha Original has a pleasant and lightly sweet fragrance. It is fizzy and bubbly, but not overly, and looks great in a champagne glass. It has a fresh and sweet taste. This is the kind of thing that would delightfully accompany a restaurant meal if you were eating out for example.
Pineapple Peach Splash
Of the three, the pineapple flavour is the sweetest. Again there is no characteristic kombucha odour, more of a sweet scent. As for flavors, if this were a sparkly wine, I’d prefer a very dry one.
This nice bubbly pink drink is as sweet as the Pineapple Peach Splash, yet balances it out with pleasing raspberry tartness. I noted the scent here was a little less sweet too. California Raspberry with its rosy, effervescent appearance would look fabulous in any tall glass too.
It’s recommended to keep it cool, yet if that’s not possible, uncooled will not spoil the beverage as it is fermented, and the taste will only get stronger (as I noticed). Do not shake, as it is a carbonated drink. Using any glass will do, yet as it is a bubbly and somewhat alcoholic, a nice, tall champagne glass would do the trick.
Even though I do enjoy kombucha, since I don’t have a sweet tooth, I’m not particularly into the flavored versions. However for fun-loving soda drinkers this is bound to go down well for a pleasant, bubbly, fragrant sensation to match most occasions.