Kobucha (昆布茶)

Kobucha (Konbucha) is a beverage prepared by pouring hot water onto thinly sliced/powdered dry konbu (kelp). Kobucha with slight salty taste, Kobucha with small rice biscuits mixed in, and Kobucha with high-quality green tea added are also available.

Other than as a beverage, it is sometimes used instead of salt or soybean sauce as a seasoning for the purpose of salt reduction. Kobucha with dried bainiku (plum pulp) mixed is called umekobucha.

Although powdered Kobucha whose main ingredient is umami-chomiryo (good taste seasoning) is popular at present, square Kobucha of two centimeters is increasingly popular combined with the good taste of konbu soup stock. Lately, umekobucha, which is produced by covering square Kobucha with freeze-dried plum powder, is sometimes used for fukucha (lucky tea) that is served on New Year's Day and/or other happy occasions.

In Europe and America, what is called black tea fungus in Japan is called Kombucha. This is a beverage which became popular in Russia etc. around the beginning of 20th century, and it was misconstrued as Japanese Kobucha, though the reason is not clear. Refer to wKombucha.