Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Do you kombucha?

I’m not cool. I’m usually in bed by 10, even on weekends. I was briefly a cheerleader in high school, yes, but I was also captain of the academic team and valedictorian. In college, I never hooked up with a stranger or got less than a B+ in a class.

So, like I said, not cool at all. If I discover something “new,” it’s likely been all the rage for months, at least. The item of the moment for me is kombucha. I’ve been reading about it forever online, but I did not encounter it myself until Saturday at the Cherry Street Farmers Market. The lovely chef from Pure Raw Café now makes the fermented tea herself and sells it locally. According to the blogosphere, kombucha is imbued with magical powers that will make you grow five inches taller, improve your IQ by 30 points and cause a flock of angels to follow you around singing dreamy ballads of love and happiness.

Well, that may be going a bit far, but I’ve read that kombucha improves your mood, your hair, your stomach ailments, and your mental clarity. It also reportedly removes heavy metals from your system and helps ward off the ickies thanks to probiotics and antioxidants. And some of you think it’s delicious. When offered a free sample, how could I say no? I’ll be honest: my first sip was interesting. I dare say I even liked it in all its apple-cider-vinegar-flavored glory. I was feeling spunky that day (I blame the tie-dyed skirt), so I bought a bottle. Shall it cure all my ills? That’s the goal.

I tried kombucha again on Sunday, and my taste buds rebelled. This tastes like apple cider vinegar, you freak!, they said to me, lovingly. They’re right. It tasted like it Saturday and every day since then. I’m not sure why I found it pleasant one day and eye-watering the next. But luckily, I’m nothing if not stubborn, so I’m keeping with it, at least until the bottle is empty. It’s an experiment, I’m telling myself. I’ll never know if it will make me prettier and able to fly unless I drink it. (Did I mention the bottle had an Alice in Wonderland-inspired “Drink Me” tag? Have I learned nothing from that cautionary tale?)

Honestly, I do feel a little energy boost every time I choke down a couple of ounces of the stuff. I haven’t had any acid reflux this week, which sadly I experience regularly. The jury’s still out on the rest of its promises, but I will keep chugging along and taking note. And any way, just saying I own a bottle of kombucha (locally produced at that) must earn me some cool points, eh?

Do any of you drink and – gasp! – enjoy kombucha? Am I doing it wrong?


Jessie said...

I drink it! Before I got my Lucy morning sickness I made my own for... maybe a year or two? I got pretty good at it. The trick is to ferment it with the SCOBY in a bowl or big jar for a week, then add some more sugar or some fruit juice, bottle it, and let it ferment another week. Then it gets fizzy and just a little tart. When I was only fermenting it one week, it tasted pretty much like apple cider vinegar.

Or, if you're lazy, busy, or morning sick, you can buy GT's brand. I recommend the Trilogy flavor (raspberry, lemon, and ginger). In fact, I'm going to go drink some of that right now!

Heather said...

I've never heard of it. I must be so NOT cool. I also quit cheerleading after one season in school because it required too much smiling ;)

where does one acquire this magical apple cider vinegar? ;)

Beth said...

Lisa drinks it, but she lives in NYC, so must be cool. Only you and I know she, like us, is not. You remember when we would joke about the "mother liquor" from ochem? Maybe you were ignoring us when we talked about it. The "mother" thing always reminds me of that.

I've never had kombucha, but you know how I feel about carbonation. I think my apprehension also has something to do with the sliding scale of potentially gross eat-your-own-bio-experiments that are sourdough starter (kept and baked with one for months, including the move to NJ, as well as creating lots of sponges for bread), homemade yogurt (did it a couple of times, but prefer Dannon) and kombucha (no interest). I think it's something about the idea of some growing mat of microorganisms on your beverage that is too much for me.

Robin Thomas said...

I will let you Kombucha for me.

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