Wednesday, November 11, 2009


The cashiers at the co-op tend to be curious about fellow members’ purchases. It starts out innocently. “What kind of mushrooms are these?” asks the cashier. On lucky days I end up dispensing cooking tips and recipes, other days I get lectured.

A few weeks ago, after inspecting my lebne and my corn cakes, the cashier swiped my six-pack of beer and asked me if I had ever had kombucha. I prepared myself to defend my beer. I’d heard of kombucha. It sounded healthy.

Now. I don’t have anything against healthy, but healthy and good are not enough for me, which is why I don’t practice yoga regularly.

It’s hard to argue against yoga. Whenever I take a yoga class I can feel its benefits. I’ve limped into a yoga class unable to straighten out much-abused hip flexors and walked out with an easy stride. After a month of bikram yoga and no running, on my first race back I was able to shave almost a full minute off my pace.

I wish I liked yoga and was able to keep up practicing it for more than a month at a time, but for me most yoga is like that would-be suitor: very nice, but too boring to hold my attention. It would be lovely, I think as I cover my mouth to stifle a yawn,

What’s worse is the holier-than-thou company it often keeps.

“I’ve had green tea with kombucha.” I replied, tightening the hold on the beer and moving it away from her.
“No. This is a cold drink. When I get beer I usually swap out a few beers for kombucha,” she volunteered.
“Why?” I couldn’t imagine what beer had to do with kombucha.
“It’s so good! I love it!” She said as she scanned the rest of my items.
“You love the taste?”
“The taste is ok, but I love the way it makes me feel!” she replied, and I could see she was already looking forward to finishing her shift and buying herself some kombucha.
“Feel?” I wasn’t getting this.
“It’s kind of like I’m buzzed, but alert, relaxed. And it’s good for you!”

I filed that away under things from the co-op I might to try someday. Thanks to Veteran’s day, this morning I was able to shop in a relatively un-crowded co-op and look for kombucha. I started in the beer aisle and was redirected to the yogurt case.

It’s with the yogurt because it needs to be kept refrigerated. It has probiotics, B vitamins (my favorite!), is naturally effervescent, might have trace amounts of alcohol due to fermentation, and may have floating, living cultures in the bottle. Also, please avoid shaking. I’m guessing you don’t want to disrupt those living cultures.

I was skeptical, but I tried to keep an open mind when I tried it. I’m not sure how many bottles of the stuff you have to drink to feel its effects, so I will only report on the taste.

It was a little sour a little fizzy; light, almost citrusy. Refreshing. Kind of like a slightly flat seltzer mixed with leftover juice from the olive jar. The bottle contained two servings. I meant to have only one, but the whole bottle was gone before I noticed. I loved it, but unless you like to drink the vinegary liquid that olives come in, you might not like it.

I almost went for the fridge to grab a second bottle, when I had nightmarish visions of myself buying goji berries (I hate them), and alfalfa sprouts (they tend to go bad in my fridge – not sure why). Thanks Anna, for sharing this video and helping bring me back to my senses.


  1. Evan tried some kombucha I was drinking once, made a face and said, "It tastes like vinegar and death." I explained that it's an acquired taste, but he wasn't convinced.

  2. I heard it's actually more like nature's soda as it's heath benefits are controversial. Majo, we could actually make this at home very easily :D

    ha ha ha I don't know why but I really laughed at that clip! - pae

  3. Jess, tell Evan to fight death with death.

    Patience, thanks for the link. Yes! Let's make kombucha!