Although still fairly unknown in the West, kombucha, or bottle-fermented tea has taken off in the health foods industry. I first discovered it in 2008 when the Japanese wife of a local underground music artist brought her hand-brewed kombucha to a gig to sell in Eastern Market (Detroit). Fundamentally it’s iced tea, but it has such an interesting texture and bite (depending on the recipe and how much ginger is used) that no two are the same. Kombucha makes for a fabulous alternative to beer or wine at parties.
Lately however, I’ve been drinking a great deal of kombucha to combat my Irritable Bowel Syndrome, though sadly it doesn’t work every time. Possibly because of the live cultures and probiotic content, half a bottle is often enough to alleviate my symptoms. Mind you, the product is still in its infancy in the West so it often costs between $3.50 and $4.50 per bottle. I often buy it in bulk at the specialty food stores, but even then i never buy enough to last and it’s just not the sort of thing that’s stocked in every corner store. There are all of three places that retail kombucha on campus: U-Gos, Babo Market and Silvio’s Organic Ristorante. Silvio’s sells the local favorite, Unity Vibration in the 12 oz bottle and charges over $6 for it, so they’re definitely piggy-backing on the high-end lunch crowd. Babo’s is really just too far away to usually make the trek and now it seems that U-Gos has increased their prices because, and I quote, “We’re been subsummed into campus dorms and we have to match their pricing across the board”. Which really makes no sense since none of the dorms sell kombucha. North Campus also has a U-Go’s which often sells kombucha, and that has often helped during long mahjong nights.
Today I’m drinking G.T.’s Synergy organic & raw Trilogy kombucha. By trilogy, they mean it’s a blend of their Ginger, Guava Goddess (probably) and Original flavors. When it comes to kombucha, I really don’t pay much attention to the flavors, though the Multi-Green is really terrible and often the only thing left after the other flavors have sold out. The Trilogy is a nice fruity blend with a little zing from the ginger. Fortunately for me, it has enough live cultures to do the trick for my extremely irritable endocrine system.
I’ve been told by my gastroenterologist that there’s really nothing overtly wrong with my GI tract, and probably I’m experiencing IBS as a form of social anxiety defense. Oh yay. That’s certainly easy to combat, right? ^^;; I think it’s probably a valid diagnosis though, as it often has the tendency to create a smell so noxious as to drive anyone and everyone away (with the noted exception of an ex-boyfriend with Buddha-like patience).