FAQ

Below you’ll find a list of general frequently asked questions and our answers to help you better understand kombucha, our process, our business, and more!

Click on a question to view the answer.

If any new questions come up, feel free to contact us.

Fine Feathers Kombucha Co. Long Beach, California. Local. Made with Love.

 Why Drink Kombucha?

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What is kombucha?

Kombucha [pronounced: com-BOO-tcha] is a fermented, naturally effervescent, semi-sweet tea beverage. Although the exact origin of the culture is unknown, the history of kombucha has its roots in the ancient Far East (China, Russia) thousands of years ago. Kombucha begins simply as tea, sugar and a culture (S.C.O.B.Y.*) and during the process of fermentation, it develops a pleasant sweet-sour taste (similar to cider) and a healthy array of vital organic acids, probiotics, Vitamins B and C, etc.

So, what’s so special about this kombucha thing?

Kombucha is truly a one-of-a-kind beverage. It is fermented simultaneously like beer, yogurt, and vinegar, yet it’s neither of those. It can be fermented using many different techniques, methods and ingredients.
There are many studies that show its digestive-aiding qualities and kombucha’s anti-bacterial, anti-microbial properties along with many other health benefits. You can read here about why kombucha consumption may be beneficial for you.

What ingredients are in kombucha?

Typically, kombucha fermentation involves, but is not limited to, tea (Camellia sinensis), sugar, water and the kombucha culture (S.C.O.B.Y.). For example, back in 2012, we fermented our first batches of Kombuffee (our coffee kombucha), which utilized coffee in the recipe, instead of tea.

I’m staying away from sugar and processed sugar. I’ve heard kombucha is primarily made with sugar, is that true?

This is a very important question that we’re getting quite a bit. The answer we are giving here is very IMPORTANT, so please read carefully.
The beginning stage of kombucha involves a lot of sugar. The initial solution that is prepared for when the ferment is first started is practically undrinkable. However, it is meant to give fuel for the bacteria and yeasts to perform a proper fermentation. Too little or too much initial sugar will cause an incomplete, improper, or stalled ferment.
Also, although made with sucrose (table sugar), the final product contains sugar that is mostly in the form of fructose (which is a simple sugar with a low Glycemic Index (GI), mostly found in fruit). These sugars are NOT processed, they are as natural as “natural” gets (created by Nature and not added). Our kombucha beverages contain as much as 7 grams of sugar per serving, which is about 25-30 calories, which is less than the calories in half an apple (which are almost entirely sugar).

How is Fine Feathers any different than other kombucha brands? Like the other ones at the grocery store?

Well, for one, our kombucha is not mass-produced. Our approach is artisanal and we focus on the quality of the kombucha that we are known for. Our products are made with love and with high-quality teas and ingredients, all of which shows in the final product and is often evident in customers’ reactions when they first try our kombucha. This is not to say that there aren’t other great kombucha products out there.
Mostly, we follow our own vision for the company and its products. We stay true to ourselves, keep innovating, we are sustainable, we love what we do, and we love seeing our customers happier and healthier.

How do you flavor your kombucha?

Our fermentation motto is “Awesomeness Through Simplicity,” which informs the direction and approach of our “flavoring.” Many of the flavors you experience in our kombucha are achieved with, technically, just one ingredient: tea. This is especially the case in our Jasmine Peony, Silver Needle, Rooibos, Emerald Oolong, and Yerba Mate.
For our “Sangria-style” kombuchas, we flavor with locally-sourced, seasonal produce, mainly through infusion. This keeps our creative juices flowing and tends to inspire some very interesting and, sometimes, bold flavors.

Is there alcohol in kombucha?

Technically, yes. The microorganisms in kombucha cannot completely break down the alcohol produced during the fermentation, so there is always a residual amount [usually around 0.3-0.5% alcohol by volume (ABV)]. This is highly dependent on the factors of fermentation, most notably the length of the ferment and the amount of sugar used in the recipe.
Also, please remember that alcohol is a naturally-occurring macronutrient and is often present in very small amounts in foods (i.e. fresh-squeezed orange juice, for example, has about 0.1% ABV).

Am I going to get drunk if I have a few bottles, then?

It is IMPOSSIBLE to get drunk on kombucha. Because it promotes elimination, it would be extremely difficult to build up that much alcohol in your system. If you drink too much kombucha, you are likely to end up with an upset stomach or bloating, as you would be introducing far too many probiotic organisms in your digestive tract.

What are those things floating in the kombucha?

Those are strands of the living cultures in kombucha. They always appear in raw, living kombucha and are present in every bottle. They are also perfectly fine to ingest, as much as that may seem counterintuitive. Think of them as “floating probiotics.”

Are your ingredients organic?

Yes, all of our ingredients are Certified Organic, except in the case of some of our “locally-sourced” ingredients (e.g. lemons), which are produced without the use of artificial fertilizers and pesticides and are sourced directly from farmers and producers simply too small to be Certified Organic.

What types of tea do you use? Are the teas organic?

We gravitate towards white, green and Oolong teas for their complexity and interesting flavor profiles, as well as lower caffeine content. In 2015, we stopped using black tea in our production entirely.
We seek out high-quality teas that come from high-quality soils and have been grown with high-quality care. The minerals in the soil are what enhances the flavor of tea. Additionally, the tea’s origin, its varietal and processing give it its particular flavor profile.
We choose our teas (and ingredients, for that matter) based on what inspires us and our drive to achieve more flavor with fewer ingredients for of a unique and unforgettable experience.  

Is your kombucha raw? Is it unpasteurized?

Yes, absolutely. 100%!

Is it vegan? Paleo? Non-GMO? Gluten-free?

Yes. Fine Feathers Kombucha is vegan, Paleo, Non-GMO and gluten-free.

How much should I drink a day?

There are obviously too many opinions on this matter, especially on the Internet. We advise you to listen to your own body in how much you should drink. Too much would likely cause you to get an upset stomach (most likely bloating).
We suggest starting with 4 ounces per day and increasing the amount to your liking.

Is it gonna make me feel amazing?

While we can’t make such predictions and considering that everyone’s body is different, based on our experience with kombucha and our customers’ testimonies, we feel very confident that you will have a positive experience and notice a difference when consuming kombucha regularly.

I hear you guys deliver on bike?

In the early days of our company (2012/2013), prior to having our very own production facility/retail space, we began delivering by bike as a way of getting the kombucha to the customers. It was a sustainable, hassle-free approach to purchasing kombucha that is local, made with organic ingredients, and fresh.
Nowadays, due to the fact that we have a retail area at the front end of our production facility (which facilitates easy and convenient pick-up), and having the time constraints of running a business and maintaining a smooth production schedule, we have temporarily stopped utilizing bike deliveries. However, we are very much looking forward to resuming them via the Long Beach-based bicycle courier services of Maritime Courier in the near future.

I read somewhere that you are a green business. How so?

We have sustainable practices, such as composting all of our generated organic waste, we give incentives for returning and reusing our bottles. These are just a few examples of being a sustainably-minded business that we feel make a tremendous difference even if it’s on a small scale.
We see our sustainability efforts as an inseparable part of our identity as a business. We are proud to be a Recognized Green Business through The City of Long Beach’s Office of Sustainability.

I live outside of California. How much is it to ship to me?

Unfortunately, we do not sell our products outside of the State of California and we remain committed to our sustainability, staying local, and doing business ethically.
We encourage those visiting Long Beach to make the trek to our facility and experience the quality of our products. Come witness our passion for the process for yourselves.
Lastly, some of our products are available through Finzi, an online kombucha boutique. Please contact them for a shipping quote/more information regarding their service.

I’ve heard that only hipsters drink kombucha. Is that true?

Kombucha is a ferment that precedes the origin of the vague and elusive term “hipster” by several thousand years. Therefore, such statements would be incorrect. Kombucha is consumed by hipsters and non-hipsters alike and will be, undoubtedly so, for many more years to come.