If you’ve stopped by the Seaside Farmers Market, it’s more than likely you’ve seen Noli South’s Stephen Kole serving up kombucha alongside his adorable family. Kole says the company is all about “family and fermentation” and one visit will prove it’s true.
Kole and his wife, Summer, started brewing kombucha when they were eagerly anticipating the arrival of their first daughter, Magnolia, or Noli for short. Since then, they’ve welcomed two more daughters, and they all help out every Saturday morning.
Operating out of Panama City Beach, they also make their way to the Pensacola Farmers Market and the Rosemary Beach market on Sundays. If you’re looking for a way to add a little buzz to your Saturday routine, kombucha might provide the wellness boost you need.
“More than likely if you’ve heard of kombucha you know it has probiotics in it, but what many don’t know is that the organic acids created during the fermentation process (including ascorbic acid, which is widely known as Vitamin C) are a huge boost in our gut health and overall wellness,” Kole tells The Seaside Times.
Kole says that while kombucha is acidic, it’s also alkalinizing, so it doesn’t lower your body’s pH and in fact it helps to restore it to its natural state.
“Kombucha contains its own enzymes allowing the body to fully digest it with virtually no energy. A lot of our body’s energy goes into digesting our food so in theory consuming kombucha allows our digestive systems a bit of a break and boost,” Kole explains. “Another benefit produced in the fermentation process is B vitamins. This is where we believe the energy boost or ‘pick me up’ you feel while drinking a kombucha comes from.”
If you’ve thought about making your own buzzy brew, there are a few facts you need to know before you undertake brewing. Kole calls fermenting kombucha at home a fairly simple process, but warns it requires quite a bit of trial and error.
“There are many factors that contribute to the fermentation time such as temperature, depth of your vessel, and the quality of your kombucha/starter, as well as your recipe,” Kole says. It’s also best if you invest in a pH meter to ensure your kombucha sits within the correct levels of acidity to avoid the growth of harmful bacteria.”
And if you really want to up your buzz, Noli South offers folks the chance to add CBD to their carefully crafted drinks. Kole advises that it helps with many different ailments, including but not limited to inflammation, anxiety, stress, sleep and reactiveness.
Even if you’ve never tried the probiotic drink before, there are options for beginners. “All of our kombucha is light and crisp, making it a great choice for enthusiasts and first timers alike,” Kole says. “We use white and green tea in our primary fermentation, resulting in less of a tea flavor and more focus on the second fermentation, which is when the herbal teas and fruits are added. We have earthy and fruity flavors, so it’s always just best to choose which ones pique your interest the most."