Derek Hillen @ New Leaf Kombucha

Every tea has a story. Many people don’t realise that despite their different colours, tastes and mouth feel, all teas come from the same bush.

In our kombucha taproom in Ponsonby, we always have five different types of organic kombucha on tap. If I tell you a secret, all the recipes are the same – we just swap out different single origin tea leaves.

Our Indian Assam tea kombucha is based on tea which comes from Assam State in northeastern India. This lowland tea is familiar to most as it is used as a base in many breakfast teas. Rich, malty and structured, the flavour is satisfying.

The tea in our kenyan purple tea kombucha grows on mountain tops in Kenya on small farms and is relatively rare. This tea has the highest antioxidants of all the teas and brews up purplish in colour. However, the natural colour turns pink as the tea is fermented into kombucha and yields a delicate, summery, forest berry taste on the palate.

Sri Lanka is home to the best black teas in the world and our Sri Lankan black tea kombucha does not disappoint. Smooth and with a crème brulee feeling, this kombucha is a little sweeter and enjoyable to drink.

Perhaps our most popular kombucha is our refreshing gunpowder green tea kombucha brewed with tea from Zhejiang Province in China. Don’t worry, there is no gunpowder in it! The name comes from a linguistical misunderstanding 200 years ago between non-Chinese speaking British tea traders and non-English speaking Chinese tea drinkers. When asked what kind of tea they were drinking, the Chinese thought the question was, could we have some? Always hospitable to guests, the Chinese responded, “Keyi, gang pao de!” which means, “Sure. It’s just made.” Gang pao de, sounded an awful lot like gunpowder to the English ear and the name for this very popular green tea stuck.

Our fifth and final tap at the bar is for experiments. Every week we try something different. Perhaps it is a rooibos tea kombucha, or maybe masala chai, or yerba mate from Brazil, or... come see for yourself! (Derek Hillen)

NEW LEAF KOMBUCHA, 37 Crummer Road, T: 09 360 0199,


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