What is a SCOBY? And What a SCOBY Isn’t.
When you google, “What is a SCOBY,” you’ll often get the same answer from 30,000 feet. “A S.C.O.B.Y. is an acronym which stands for Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast and is the culture that transforms sweet tea into kombucha.”
Ok, great. So what exactly is a SCOBY?
Well, the kombucha culture or SCOBY is a colony of living bacteria and yeast. When looking at a SCOBY, you will usually be looking at liquid kombucha starter tea and a kombucha pellicle. The B.Y. in SCOBY, the bacteria and yeast, are microscopic, so you can’t see them. But they are there, living in both the liquid of the kombucha starter tea and the kombucha pellicle.
The SCOBY Consists of Starter Tea and a Pellicle.
Pretty straight forward, right? Well, we’re not done. Adding to this, the kombucha pellicle or cellulose mat is almost always called the SCOBY. This is where it gets a little confusing. So let’s rephrase the above sentence with this logic.
The SCOBY Consists of Starter Tea and a SCOBY.
See where we are going with this? The word SCOBY being used interchangeably can get confusing. You may find yourself having two different conversations without clarification. This post isn’t necessarily meant to be a lesson in semantics as the dual usage is commonplace. We say call it whatever you want, but it’s essential to understand the difference. Let’s do it again;
The S.C.O.B.Y. is a Colony of Living Bacteria and Yeast that are found in both the Liquid Starter Tea and The Pellicle.
Now that we understand the difference let’s go over each one.