Beneficial Bacteria Are Used to Create the Kombucha Drinks from Costa Mesa’s Fermentation Farm
Written By: Rina Magsombol Costa Mesa’s Fermentation Farm Makes Probiotic-Rich Kombucha
Doesn’t the word “kombucha” sound like an excruciating massage treatment or perilously spicy pepper? Well, neither definition is even close. Kombucha is a lot more pleasant than an intense massage or burning your taste buds off. Yasmine Mason, owner of Fermentation Farm, describes kombucha as fermented tea. Mason began brewing and bubbling these healthy concoctions at home, which soon became one of the many remarkable products Fermentation Farm supplies. Established in 2014, Mason’s desire to promote optimal health has catapulted her from owning a private chiropractic office in Newport Beach to founding a fermentation business.
Q: Fermentation Farm is new to Costa Mesa and has been drawing in a lot of customers. What is the history behind your success?
Yasmine Mason: Just after my son was born seven years ago, I started fermenting vegetables and making kombucha at home. My kitchen quickly turned into a bubbling, fermenting food science lab! I then began selling my kombucha and fermented yogurt to friends, and I started dreaming about opening a fermented food shop. This shop would be a place for our patients and others to purchase these densely nutritious foods and drinks. I also wanted them to be able to learn how to make these fermented foods and drinks.
Q: When I asked someone today what they thought kombucha meant, they said it meant “explosion, ” just in another language. What an answer! What is kombucha?
YM: Kombucha is a fermented sweet tea that, once fermented, is a fantastic health tonic. There are only four ingredients in kombucha: water, tea, sugar and the mother culture called S.C.O.B.Y., which is an acronym for “symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast.” This S.C.O.B.Y. culture eats up the sugar in the tea and gives off probiotics, B vitamins and organic acids.
Q: Say I walk into your shop, confused and overwhelmed. What types of fermented beverages and food does the Farm offer?
YM: We make three different drinks at Fermentation Farm: kombucha, fermented ginger soda and water kefir soda. As far as fermented foods, we crock-ferment garlic kraut, beet kraut, curtido, ginger carrots, dill pickles, dilly beans, green tomatoes, chimichurri, samba oelek (a Chinese hot sauce) and yogurt, just to name a few.
Q: What is the fermentation process for one of your favorite products?
YM: One of our bestselling products is our fermented Master Tonic. Master Tonic is usually an infused vinegar. I put a twist on it and ferment this turmeric tonic into an immune-system booster, liver cleanser and digestive system healer by fermenting it for five to seven days, causing it to become probiotic and full of B vitamins.
Q: You offer fermentation classes, which is interesting. How many people have enrolled already?
YM: The cost is nominal, $5 for a one month trial or $25 for a lifetime membership. We have had close to 1, 400 members join since September of last year. Our classes are predominantly on the how-to’s of fermenting: kombucha class, kraut and veggie class, yogurt class and fermented soda class. We also have a bone broth class every other month.
Q: What are the health benefits one can receive from fermented beverages and food?
YM: Fermented foods and drinks use lactic acid bacteria and naturally occurring yeasts to increase the nutrient density of foods. These nutrients are probiotics, B vitamins and many different organic acids that all turn regular food items into superfoods.
Q: For those who have not experienced fermented anything, would you say the taste is acquirable?
YM: If you like the taste of pickles, you will like fermented foods! Kids sometimes need a bit of coaxing to try different fermented foods and drinks, but once they try them, they love them.
Q: How has the past year been with the Farm’s ever-growing popularity and education of healthy, fermented beverages?
YM: We are extremely proud to be the first and only fermented food shop in Orange County. We have had such success this past year and are truly honored to serve our members. Their outpouring of support for what we stand for has been humbling and awe-inspiring.
Native Knowledge: There’s a big difference between good bacteria and bad bacteria. Good bacteria, such as the lactic acid bacteria that live on vegetables and cause fermentation to happen, are extremely necessary for proper digestive and overall health. Bad bacteria is pathogenic, or disease-causing.
On the Rise: The fermentation process also causes good yeasts to grow. These good yeasts combat bad yeasts (like candida) and help the body achieve optimal health.
1125 Victoria St Ste R
Costa Mesa, CA 92627