If someone told you five years ago that grocery stores would soon start selling fermented tea made with a live yeast culture, you’d likely raise an eyebrow or two. But this is exactly what has happened with Kombucha. While it’s by no means new (it’s believed Kombucha first originated in 221 BC), the probiotic-rich drink has gone from specialty niche to mainstream markets seemingly overnight.
The Kombucha boom of the last five years rivals Vancouver’s craft brewery scene about ten years ago. There are so many brands popping up now that it seems like just about everyone is getting into the fermenting business.
It’s a rise to prominence boosted by reported benefits for gut health and immunity, as well as more and more people drinking less and less alcohol. While there isn’t quite a craft-beer-level snobbery to it yet, give it time, and we’re sure Kombucha hipsters will sprout up before you know it.
Luckily before that happens, you’ve got some time to build your ‘booch legitimacy. Visit these YVR spots, and follow their expertise through the new frontier of Vancouver sipping. Tea houses and healthy-option restaurants are the best places to pour a frothy mug of this bubbly elixir.
05 Tea Bar – House madeA peaceful spot for reflection, 05 has a meticulously curated menu from loose leaf tea from around the world. With a quiet ambience, this tea house never fails when you need to get work done. Their housemade Kombucha offerings are always reliably delicious, with a highlight being their Hojicha- a Japanese green tea with notes of apple and caramel.
Cultivate Tea Bar – House made
This beautiful tea shop has a bright and open feeling as soon as you step inside.
Another fantastic place to get work done, sipping on their small-batch, hand-bottled Kombucha, will bring a bit of peace to chipping away at any PowerPoint assignment. With flavours like sencha+mint+dandelion leaves and green tea with fresh ataulfo mango, each batch stimulates creativity as much as it does relaxation.
Faculty Brewing- Oddity Kombucha
A popular brewery in Olympic Village, this hot spot slings beers and ‘booch in equal measure. Sit on their new pop-up patio and enjoy a cold glass from the master brewers at Oddity. Classic ginger, elderberry, or raspberry lemon verbena are just a few of the flavours you’ll find rotating through the taps.
Heirloom Vegetarian- Culture Craft
This meatless destination has been supplying both their west 12th location with veggie-friendly dishes since 2012. With rotating Kombucha taps provided by Culture Craft, it’s the perfect palate cleanse after the spice of their delicious Red Thai Coconut Curry.
Meet in Gastown – Healthy Hooch
With two locations- Gastown and Main street, Meet frequently has lineups waiting for their delicious vegetarian and vegan fare. With a healthy supply of Healthy Hooch Kombucha on tap, there’s always a reason to get a glass if you’re trying to imbibe a little less.