Kefir is a popular drink across Eastern and Northern Europe. It was consumed in Russia and Central Asian countries for centuries but is now becoming popular in Japan, the United States and Europe. Production of traditional kefir requires a starter community of kefir grains which are added to the liquid one wishes to ferment. Traditional kefir is fermented at ambient temperatures, generally overnight. Fermentation of the lactose yields a sour, carbonated, slightly alcoholic beverage, with a consistency and taste similar to thin yoghurt.