Confessions of a Kombucha Virgin

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June 26, 2012

I attended a lunch with a bunch of my fellow yoga teachers a while back, and the subject of the conversation moved to kombucha. I didn’t want to admit that I had no idea what it was, so I just listened intently as they went on about this wonder elixir. I remember hearing that it was all natural, contained magic mushrooms, was fizzy and to be opened with caution, could clean you out, and filled you up with renewed energy.

I learned that kombucha can boost the immune system, reverse the aging process, and is a cure-all for a wide range of conditions including baldness, insomnia, intestinal disorders, arthritis, and cancer…but they had me with the mention of the magic mushrooms. If I could drink something healthy that gave me a little natural buzz and helped me stay young, I wanted to give it a try. I made a mental note to pick myself up some kombucha the next time I went to a health food store.

A couple of months passed, and I hadn’t yet tried kombucha. Then one day there were some extra bottles graciously left at Yoga Bliss Akron by my fellow yoga teacher, Juli Hicks (Yoga Bliss now carries GT’s Kombucha, so you can grab a cold one after a yoga class). I was hot after teaching and in a hurry, so I grabbed a bottle and ran to my car shaking the bottle up to move around all the sediment that settles on the bottom of each bottle, which I have to admit kind of creeps me out.

I got in my car, pulled out to start my drive home, and went to open my bottle of kombucha.

Can you say EXPLOSION!

In case you need a visual of the liquid explosion!

Kombucha was spewing out of the glass bottle and spraying up all over me and my car. Plus, I was still trying to drive. It’s amazing that I didn’t get in a wreck, but luckily I came to a red light and was able to maneuver  the lid back onto the bottle to contain the combustion. I drove the rest of the way home sitting in a big, wet diaper of kombucha. As thirsty as I was, I was not going to open that bottle again and risk another blowout.

Yes, I had been warned not to shake the bottle. The bottle even has a plastic cap cover with the following friendly warning: naturally effervescent – careful when opening. That my friends, is the biggest product understatement I’ve heard in quite a while.

GT's you may want to beef up the warning here!

After cleaning up the pool of liquid, I took the possessed bottle into the house and told my husband the story behind my green bath. At this point we were both a little leery of drinking something that had that much gassy, fizzy power to it. I started to conjure up visions of Charlie drinking the fizzy lifting drinks in Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Surely, no good could come from this.

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The experience in my car had left no room in my imagination for what  this liquid had the potential to do inside my digestive tract.

After letting the bottle set for a good hour the curiosity got the best of us, and we decided it was safe to open again and each did a shot to see if we would survive.

We did, and I have to admit, even though I never experienced the mushroom buzz, I am a fan of the Kombucha . I like the taste, a cross between sparkling apple cider and champagne, and I like the way it makes me feel. But I’ll never shake it up like a Polaroid again!

I’ve since learned that kombucha is made by fermenting tea using yeast and bacteria, which forms a kombucha culture. This culture is what is affectionately referred to as the mushroom. I guess it really is a magic mushroom if it produces a drink that can energize my mind, fight off the effects of aging with anti-oxidants, and boost my immune system.

So, what’s your kombucha confession? Let me know if you’ve tried it, what brands or flavors you like best, if you’re adventurous enough to make you own, and how to remove the kombucha smell from a car interior!


Geyser Image: Zsolt Zatrok Dr

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