Local Company Brews up Kombucha Business - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Local Company Brews up Kombucha Business

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Sierra Kombucha is a small business in Minden, that's brewing up some big business in the region.

Kombucha is a blend of fermented green tea and fruit juices. And after experimenting with their own recipe for a year or so, Mark and Margaret Jackson decided they had a recipe they thought would sell. And they were right.

"Kombucha is low calorie, low sugar fermented tea. It's really healthy with probiotics," says Margaret Jackson. "It has the same probiotics in it that yogurt has, but it's non-dairy."

Mark is the brewmaster. He says it all starts with the tea.

"I start by brewing up loose green tea. And I add sugar to it. Not cane syrup but real organic sugar. That sugar dissipates in the fermenting process, but it really get us the taste we want."

Then the brew is fermented for about a week, with what they call a SCOBY.

"A SCOBY is a Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast," Mark Jackson explains. "Yes, it looks like a big thick mushroom floating on the brew. It's alive. And we use that same culture for each batch. Kind of like using sourdough starter to get the taste and the fermentation we want."

Business is pretty healthy too. After just a year they have Sierra Kombucha 70 regional stores from Bishop to Reno and around Lake Tahoe.

And - they are beginning to compete with the national brand.

"We feel like we'll see a good 35% growth in the next few years," Mark says.

You can find Sierra Kombucha locally. And online at www.sierrakombucha.com

Written by Erin Breen

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