Kombucha (kelp tea) is popularly consumed as tea and seasoning for cooking dishes in Japan. Seaweed is an important element of Japanese cuisine. However, outside of Japan, few people know what kinds of seaweeds are consumed and how they are consumed. Many people are surprised to know that seaweed can be the basic flavor of a simple tea infusion called kombu cha. Kombu Cha, which can be literally translated to “kombu kelp tea” is, as that translation implies, a tea made from the kombu seaweed. The kombu is dried, then it is often cut into small pieces or crushed into a powder. In it’s most basic form, hot water is poured on the prepared kombu, a sprinkle of salt is added to the concoction and it is drank as a tea. The white powder on the seaweed is what is released in the water and gives the tea its umami (some kind of deep flavor often found in Japanese cuisine).