Kombucha tea is an effervescent beverage that is created by mixing sugared tea with a solid mass of yeast and bacteria. The bacteria that is use is mostly Acetobacter (acetic acid bacteria) and one or more yeasts. Acetic acid bacteria are autotrophs, meaning they create their own energy. This type of bacteria does this by converting ethanol to acetic acid during fermentation. Yeast is a heterotroph, meaning it can not produce it’s own energy, so it must consume other organisms. In this case, the yeast gets its energy by consuming the sugar in the tea. It then produces ethanol as a byproduct (fermentation). The ethanol feeds the bacteria. Through this process, both types of organisms are able to reproduce.
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