Are you a kombucha virgin? Do you even know what kombucha is? If not, rest assured, you are about to be educated about one of the tastiest, healthiest beverages of all time.
Kombucha: a fermented, effervescent, slightly sweet tea. A refreshing drink full of probiotics that can be bought or home-brewed in many flavors. The natural product of a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY), or a "mother" culture.
I first became aware of the beverage in high school when I witnessed a circle of semi-hippie adults sipping what appeared to be a slightly slimy beverage they claimed was the ultimate elixir of health. It looked and smelled more like an elixir of death to me.
Then, one Christmas not too long after graduating high school, Santa decided to top my stocking off with a bottle of mango kombucha. I can just picture his jolly grin and slightly evil cackle as he dropped it my stocking and tiptoed quickly away. Little did Santa know, he got me started on what quickly became one of my favorite beverages. I was reluctant to take that first sip, but I'm not one to reject a Christmas present. So sip I did, and consequently experienced my first natural kombucha energy buzz. That's right, a natural buzz of energy full of digestive enzymes and probiotics. Or to speak English, a buzz of happiness.
And so I swiftly became an addict. I drank through the rainbow of flavors found in most grocery stores. I found Madison's locally brewed NessAlla kombucha, and fell in love with the drink even more.
Then, my mom got her hands on a "mother" culture, and started brewing her own. Which is as simple as making a large batch of sweetened tea, letting it cool, and placing the culture in a glass container with the kombucha and letting it ferment away for about a week. Drink and repeat.
With each batch the "mother" makes a "baby" culture. So eventually I snagged a baby and started my own home brewing. Now I drink a glass or two nearly every day. And I've decided that I'm certainly not a hippie drinking an elixir of death, but a happy girl drinking a very happy drink.
And so I dare you, the next time you're at the grocery store, head to the refrigerated beverage section in your grocery store and pick up a bottle of kombucha. And try not to love it. If you become as addicted as I do, I will personally ship you a baby of my "mother" culture, so you can brew your own. How's that for a delicious science experiment?