A few years ago I had kombucha, it’s a very strange plasticky disc fungus which you feed tea. At the time I was researching it and enjoyed the fact that no-one knew where it originated from. I also stumbled across kefir, but was not so interested since you had to feed it milk. But now J has given us water kefir!!
It’s also quite odd, these translucent white cubes which you feed with sugary water and fruit.
Over to wikipedia:
Tibicos are a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts held in a polysaccharide biofilm matrix created by the bacteria. As with kefir grains, the microbes present in tibicos act in symbiosis to maintain a stable culture. Tibicos can do this in many different sugary liquids, feeding off the sugar to produce lactic acid, alcohol (ethanol), and carbon dioxide gas, which carbonates the drink. Tibicos is also known as tibi, water kefir grains, sugar kefir grains, Japanese water crystals and California bees, and in older literature as bébées, African bees, ale nuts, Australian bees, balm of Gilead, beer seeds, beer plant, bees, ginger bees, Japanese beer seeds and vinegar bees.
People who do not wish to consume dairy products may find that water kefir provides probiotics without the need for dairy or tea cultured products, such as kombucha.