Today I did a live video on my Facebook page talking all things kombucha.
That might not sound like anything super crazy, but I personally found the thought of doing in-the-moment, digitally broadcasted public speaking on a specific topic totally terrifying. No going back and splicing out those mistakes. No re-dos of words stumbled over. No photoshopping out that double chin!
Turns out, talking about something you’re already obsessed with – already dying to chat about with people – isn’t really that scary.
And I’m completely obsessed with kombucha.
It’s been three years since I started making it myself – with many questionable batches and failed attempts along the way – and my fascination with preparing, experimenting with and enjoying this tangy, effervescent, intriguing drink is now well and truly anchored.
It’s got absolutely nothing to do with mindlessly jumping on the next health food fad bandwagon. There are crazy levels of hype around this beverage, but I’m not one to follow would-be ‘superfood’ trends (ugh, can we all stop using that word?) or naively believe that one food can cure all your ails.
Rather, I’m enchanted by the chance to create a living, edible thing all by myself using simple methods and affordable ingredients that transforms in front of my eyes on a daily basis, makes me feel healthier and tastes damn good (my go-to flavour is beetroot and ginger).
I thought for a while about writing an everything-you-need-to-know-about-kombucha post – all the do’s and don’t’s of how to make it at home, and the like. But that seems silly when there are already so many comprehensive resources out there for doing just that. So, instead, here’s a rundown of some of the places I’ve looked to for guidance and inspiration in the world of the ‘booch, and that I’d recommend to anyone in need of the same.
For the curious beginner: My New Roots has a fantastic, super approachable guide to brewing your own kombucha from go to whoa (I use author Sarah Britton’s recipe), complete with extensive nutritional information and step-by-step images that are so beautiful you’ll want to rush out and nab yourself a family of flip-top bottles. Likewise, Sandor Katz’ tome of home fermenting, The Art of Fermentation, has a thorough section on kombucha that’s very readable, interesting and easy to follow.
For the confident brewer: Cultures for Health is your one-stop shop for all things kombucha. Like, it’s a literal shop where you can buy a kombucha starter kit, and check out multiple, information-rich articles on the stuff covering all sorts of topics, like the distinct bacteria and yeasts found in kombucha (academic references included!). There are all the beginners’ how-to’s, too, but there’s plenty more that goes beyond that. My personal fave is the slideshow of healthy and not-so-healthy SCOBYs – this is probably what I get asked most about from friends. (Warning: Google imaging ‘mouldy SCOBY’ will only freak you out more. It’s the microbe equivalent of WebMD-ing that mysterious pain).
For the no-time-to-read food science nerd: the Gastropod podcast did a really good episode on kombucha, packed with information that explores the origins of the drink through to biological studies carried out on it. Spoiler: there’s a SCOBY library at Tufts University in Massachusetts. It’s worth a listen even if you’re not planning on going the home brew route. Also, subscribe to the podcast!
Happy brewing and ‘booching, folks 🙂