I was first turned on to this fizzy, fermented concoction a few years back by some fellow coop members who were buying it up off the shelves faster than I could re-stock it. I had no idea what it was, but hey, all my fellow organic-food loving friends were swearing by it. I tried a flavor called “Guava Goddess” (Synergy brand) and fell in love with the stuff. It is definitely different and certainly an acquired taste, but I was hooked. Depending on the flavor you get it can taste more or less like flavored tea but what exactly is it? Kombucha is a raw, tea based beverage made by fermenting tea and sugar with the Kombucha culture. The first recorded use of Kombucha comes from China in 221 BC during the Tsin Dynasty. It was known as “The Tea of Immortality”. People swear by its healing properties and immune boosting abilities. Some claim that through its antioxidants, probiotics and detoxifying properties it is a cure-all for things such as: baldness, insomnia, intestinal disorders, arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple sclerosis, AIDS, and even cancer.
In NYC Kombucha bars have been popping up as quickly as wild mushrooms. You can find many “on tap” varieties at places like: Whole Foods (Union Square), Tea Room (Williamsburg), Dig Inn (Union Square), and The Queens Kickshaw (Astoria) which actually serves a 6.3% alcoholic variety.