Kombucha: The golden elixir

I remember it like it was yesterday.

One Saturday afternoon we were sitting in the cafe at our local Whole Foods market, preparing to dig into our lunch purchases. We had each grabbed a different flavor of GT Dave’s Kombucha, mine was the Multi-Green and Kevin’s was the Cosmic Cranberry. Our journey was about to begin.

We had never had Kombucha before, but Kevin was interested. He’d read an article by an organic beekeeper about how he’d sprayed his bees with raw Kombucha as a substitute for sugar water when opening the hives. (Sugar water spray is used when handling swarms and opening hives as a substitute for smoking. Sugar water spray has a similar calming effect; bees cannot fly when wet, and grooming themselves keeps them occupied.) The hives which had been sprayed with the Kombucha had been the weakest prior to the spraying and finished out the season as the strongest. The beekeeper had also found diminished arthritis and other health improvements after drinking the tea himself.

We each took our bottle; I glanced at the instructions and the extensive sediment at the bottom of the bottle and shook hard. Kevin, paying attention to the instructions, then told me to “shake gently” while pointing at the large words on the bottle. A woman sitting at a table near us, asked if we’d had one before (she had her own bottle), to which we’d responded “no”. She said “They’re really good”, with that gleam in her eye only a true addict can convey. I learned the validity of the “shake gently” instructions as my bottle when opened produced a huge volume of froth, but not being deterred, took a sip.

At first the taste was a little weird, a slightly sweet tea with sour overtones, and well carbonated. Kevin and I looked at each other, and looked at our neighbor and she smiled. We were hooked.

Once lunch was over, we went over to the display and bought our first case. The bottle said to drink one a day and we did. Sometimes we could not restrain ourselves and would have two bottles a day. Whenever I had a bottle, my mood improved, I felt less stressed and calmer. Whenever we’d spot someone with a bottle, there was that gleam in the eye, the smile and nod, like we were part of a secret society. Cravings for coffee, alcohol, and overeating vanished within days. Within a week, we’d panic if we ran out.

We were running a $40 a week habit. Teetering on the brink of financial ruin we decided to try making our own.
Tune in next time for: Adventures in Kombucha making.

Posted by Natalie
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