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Read Text Only: Made in SF - Kombucha


In a kitchen at a little side alley right off the hustle and bustle of 7th Street in SoMa, Rana Chang and her two brew masters, Walter and Ben, are making tea. It is a special kind of tea. After it has been brewed in a big steel pot along with a little sugar, they add SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast). At first sight, a SCOBY may remind you more of chicken breast than something you would use to make a beverage, but its unsavory appearance is the key to making Kombucha. The SCOBY allows for fermentation and adds a specific flavor to the Kombucha that can vary, depending which culture one uses. House Kombucha comes in 5 different flavors: Jasmine Green, Rose Black, Lavender Green, Vanilla Orchid-Root, and Sun Blossom (a white tea with orange blossoms). To ensure consistent flavors, House Kombucha cultivates the same strand of SCOBY and uses a new generation for every fresh brew. After the cultures and flavors had some time to develop, the Kombucha gets bottled at their facilities in SoMa.

Kombucha is a tradition from central Asia, and although its exact origin is a little unclear, people there have been consuming it for centuries and is said to have beneficial health effects on the human body. Although it has yet to be verified by scientific research, Rana of House Kombucha believes it aids digestion and overall well-being.

Rana is reintroducing a concept that the milkman used in the olden days to "remind us that nothing is really disposable;" a quote House Kombucha holds near and dear. Once you enjoyed the Kombucha, you can bring back the empty glass bottle for a 50-cent refund and for every returned bottle, House Kombucha will donate 5 cents to "Save The Bay," a non-profit organization with the mission to protect and restore the San Francisco Bay to a clean and healthy environment. The bottles are cleaned in SoMa and can then be reused. Their Kombucha is available at many locations throughout San Francisco, as well as a few in the North and East Bay.
House Kombucha is positively tied into the local community by providing employment and encouraging sustainability as well as an awareness of the importance of making products in your backyard.

House Kombucha