Germans are so extra.
That’s my conclusion from a research I was doing about the origins of the name Kombucha. I mean you have to agree with me the name itself makes you want to buy a boatload of bottles and have a Bottomless-Kombucha party.
Hmmm…that sounds beautiful.
In fact, why don’t we? That seems like such a good idea now that I think about it. We’d have a floral-capri pants-and-crocs hangout with orange-and-brown-hued potted plants and wooden pergolas dotting the area, and it would be themed… (Spreads hands in slow motion for the full effect)… ‘The Bottomless Nirvana’.
Well when I get a patent for it and rake in millions with A-list celebrities in attendance, you’ll be begging me to get in. It’ll be our own Kombucha haven. (Also, I’ll probably say the word Kombucha 1200 times in the course of this article. So shoot me.)
And no, the name Kombucha doesn’t come from German if you thought that’s what I meant at the onset… their version is even fancier. The call it “Kombuchaschwamm”.
Germany 10 – China 7.
And as you might have already gathered, the name originates from Northeast China, reportedly derived from Dr. Kombu, a Korean physician who brought the fermented tea to Japan as a curative for an Emperor. It is said that it was initially prized for its healing properties.
As I recall, the first time I tasted what has been touted to be the elixir of immortality, I was in a pair of blue jeans, a white shirt and sneakers. I had been having a foul day struggling with a keto diet, which I ended up giving up on anyway. I was at Zucchini shopping for alternatives to juices- those sugar-packed death traps. I don’t take juices, sodas or any fruit beverages for exactly that reason; you are slowly carving out your own flat line on an ECG. (Nobody come at me please. I would rather just save those calories for a gin and tonic or a glass of wine.)
I would more likely bet on not pissing off mums as the real elixir though. So many times I came close to death with my own mother because I did something outside the line of sanity (in her view) and got found out – this being the only caveat. If you weren’t caught, it didn’t happen. Except there’s just an uncanny spidey sense that all mother’s seem to possess, which I thought could only be attributed to witchcraft conjured up during child-birth. Perhaps the pain experienced is because there’s a spell being cast to develop their sixth sense, because you will inevitably be found out.
Well after the birth of my own child I quickly dispelled that preposterous notion and understood it was just a God-given gift to enable us not suck 100% at this mothering thing.
Anyway, I remember sipping it and rolling it around in my mouth, exposing it to all my taste buds, savouring its taste. I remember paying attention to its texture and other tactile sensations such as the sense of weight and body, then repeating the whole process…
Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating.
But I was curious to know how it would taste.
Would I like it?
Full disclosure, I expected to hate it. It’s just healthy things get a bad rap. It’s like the taste of all healthy food just amalgamates into the taste of over-boiled cabbage. It’s an unhealthy view, pun intended.
But surprisingly, as anything named Kombucha would, it was good. I liked it; even loved it. It was effervescent, tart and slightly sweet. I like how different it tasted, and what it did for my taste buds. I liked the different added flavours, some fruity, some floral, some spicy and even some herbaceous.
At the time -circa 2018- there weren’t many brands in the market. Only recently do we have new entrants actually. Quite a few in fact.
My favourite all-time brand though remains Booch. This is the plug. I love the fact that I can take it with ice cubes at night to mimic a glass of wine, and it’s healthy for the gut. In fact, experts say that it improves digestion as it is a healthy source of probiotics, and it has also been promoted as strengthening the immune system, reducing blood pressure and detoxifying the system. Proponents of Kombucha also contend for a myriad of other benefits, but I guess the jury is still out on this one.
I would say try it even if just for its resplendent name. Can’t have any regrets when your ex drunk calls you and you respond to say you can’t get into it because you’re out having a kombucha with your girls…
What? I’m petty sometimes too. Get over it.
And get yourself some Kombucha.
Zucchini Price Guide for Kombucha
Mohawk Kombucha- 250/-
mama Kombucha – 250/-
Booch – 225/-
My fave is the Booch Tea one.