Monday, July 19, 2010

The Summer the Kombucha Went Away...

Whatever else happens this summer, hurricanes, oil spills, Lindsay Lohan's ass finally ending up in jail, for me the summer of 2010 will always be the Summer the Kombucha Went Away.

For awhile now I've had pretty chronic stomach/bowel issues. Yes, I've been to the doctor and after a myriad of disturbing and embarrassing tests, all they could tell me was that I was "fine" and they didn't really know what was going on, but they gave me some antacids that actually made me feel worse. I wont go into the number of things I've tried to make myself feel better, but I will say that the ONLY thing that made me feel significantly and almost instantly better was Kombucha.

What is Kombucha, you ask? Well in short, it's a fermented tea that no one knows exactly where it came from or who started making it or how long it's been around or how they discovered it. If you google Kombucha you're likely to find way more information than you ever wanted about it, but if you want a quick succinct overview here is Wikipedia's definition.

I had seen it around the health store and heard little things about how great it was supposed to be here and there, but I honestly didn't pay much attention and put it in the same category as Goji berries or Acai berries, or whatever new thing they are saying cures everything magically this year until they find out that really it doesn't do much of anything, or maybe it might even kill you. Then one particularly bad weekend for the tummy had me wandering around the healthfood section of a store looking for anything that just might make me feel better, or at least a little bit less like wishing I were dead. I found myself in front of a cooler filled with GTs Synergy Kombucha. My friend who I happened to be staying with that weekend had mentioned awhile back that I should try the stuff (what she actually said was that she "really REALLY wanted me to try it!") but I had poopooed the idea thinking that it was just one more thing that wouldn't work and might possibly make me feel worse. But that particular weekend I thought, "what the hell..." and picked up a bottle to try it.
...aaand I've been semi-addicted ever since. Now one thing I've noticed about Kombucha is that people either psychotically love it, or they hate it with the fire of 1000 suns. There is no in between, there is no "meh..." Well, put me down in the column marked "psychotic love/addicted." I lurve this stuff. I want to marry it. (You get the picture.)

And even though I started drinking it because it made me feel better and at the time I didn't really even care about the taste that much, in fact after that first drink I would have said, "Hey, not as bad as I thought it would be..." if anyone had asked me. Now I just freakin' crave it...

So of course they've banned it from every store in America.

Now, I'm not going to get myself started on why they've taken it off the shelves. It's apparently a labeling issue that has something to do with the minute amounts of alcohol that the fermenting of the tea produces being maybe, possibly less minute than they originally thought. Still not enough to really even give anyone a buzz, mind you, but more than what they thought... Maybe!
(I have various conspiracy theories about what's really going on here, but I wont go into that right now.)

The whole point of this post is that after literally going through all the stages of grief, I finally went ahead and brewed some Kombucha on my own and it was crazy easy!

First I had to grow my own culture or SCOBY as it's called. I used half a bottle of the store bought GTs Citrus that I had been rationing out, and I said a little prayer to the Kombucha Gods and/or Goddesses and followed the directions on this page for making a SCOBY. Actually I didn't follow the directions exactly. I actually used only half a bottle instead of the whole bottle, and my bottle was a flavored Kombucha instead of the original, and I used about 3 tablespoons of sugar instead of 1/4 cup. But it still worked out just fine. Here's a pic of my little SCOBY while it was growing.

Kombucha SCOBY!

I know it looks kinda gross, but I love it and am so proud of it. Just like I would be my own child. I don't care if it's ugly. It's mine.

Now I'm almost finished with my first full on batch and I'm so excited because soon I get to have Kombucha again!!

I'll post later about how it goes...

1 comment:

Lonestarcasie said...

I fear the Kombucha. But I have food issues and anything sort of home canned or fermented or food that requires me to feed it in any way freaks me out. But how awesome that you made some. I am all about making things from scratch.