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The History of Kombucha

The History of KombuchaThrough the ages, kombucha has been the beverage of choice for ancient emperors, village dwellers, war veterans, and more. With consumers taking a more organic and holistic approach to the gods they buy, it is no surprise the fermented probiotic drink is the fastest growing tea in the beverage industry, according to Beverage Daily. But where did kombucha actually come from? Check out the timeline below to see a brief history of kombucha over the years.

The History of Kombucha

2737 B.C.

Chinese emperor, Shen Nong, discovered tea. An ancient legend of Emperor Shen Nong accidently discovering tea has been passed down for generations. While boiling water, a leaf from a wild tree drifted into his pot creating the first tea. Intrigued by the refreshing taste, he continued to produce the beverage and introduced it to his people.

After discovering the many medicinal properties in tea, ancient Chinese societies began to use it mainly for medical purposes.

2The History of Kombucha21 B.C.

The tea of immortality. According to an ancient myth, the first known kombucha was invented by the Qin Dynasty for the Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi. It was called “The Tea of Immortality” or “Elixir of Life”, used to keep the emperor young and healthy.

414 A.D.

Dr. Kombu + Cha gives Japan a taste of the elixir of life. Kombucha adopted its name after a man by the namo of Dr. Kombu brought the beverage to the Japanese Emperor Inyoko during his travel. The term “cha,” meaning “tea” in Japanese, was added to his name after discovering its enhancing properties. The tea was said to give samurais a great deal of energy during battle.

The History of Kombucha1913 A.D.

Kombucha saves village from epidemic. After medical epidemic broke out in Germany, researchers were send to find a cure and discovered a village of Russian peasants who were not sick. The one thing they all had in common was a homemade remedy, kombucha.

1915 A.D.

Germany adopts Chinese medical practices. Dr. Rudolf Sklenar created renewed interest in kombucha in Germany when he used it in his practice to treat patients. The probiotics found in kombucha are similar to those found in yogurt – they boost immunity and overall health.

The History of Kombucha1917 A.D.

Was introducesAamerica to kombucha. Kombucha began to reach new countries at a fast rate during World War I through Russian and Germany “prisoners of war”.

1940 A.D.

Europe can no longer afford kombucha. The kombucha trend began to come to an end during World War II. Rations made it difficult for Northern European countries to obtain sugar, a key ingredient for fermentation.

The History of Kombucha1960s

The grooviest tea around town. American households, especially those in California, brew kombucha with friends regularly. It was called “Groovy Tea”.

1995 A.D.

America’s first kombucha brand. After discovering kombucha’s effect on cancer during his mother’s fight against breast cancer, GT Dave established the first and largest kombucha brand in the industry.

2007 A.D.

Aqua ViTea reinvents kombucha. Aqua ViTea was the first tea brand to introduce kombucha on tap. This revolutionary movement inspired martinis, candies, ale, and more.

2010 A.D.

Reformulating the recipi. After elevated alcohol levels were found in many kombucha products, suppliers reformulated products to reduce alcohol levels.

2016 A.D.

Pepsi Co purchased kombucha maker, KeVita for $200 million.

PepsiCo Acquire KeVita Brand

Product Line of Kevita

Today

The kombucha market continues to grow. With more and more people choosing a more holistic and nutritious lifestyle, the trend of kombucha is continuing to rise with more than 180 brands in the market. In 2024 the market is expected to reach more than $4 billion in revenue.

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About Ameyna Jackson

Ameyna is a Content Marketing Journalist at Repsly. As a public relations professional, she is dedicated to providing readers with the original and compelling content. Ameyna is a DC-native always down for a game of hoops.

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  • Cody

    Thanks for the concise article. You misspelled Dr. Rudolf Sklenar’s name though.