The first time I had a taste of Kombucha, I felt a horrible sting and stench in my mouth, as though drinking acid mixed with vinegar, fermented with rotten guavas with a hint of extracted foot odor. Needless to say, I was not fond of it. At all. I bought my first one, a strawberry GT’s Raw Organic Kombucha (which I was told to be the “sweetest” and “the first one you should try”), at Raleigh Hill’s New Season’s Market. I paid for it and sat outside, ready for enlightenment. I was told by hundreds of customers and friends that this drink, this Kombucha tea, this cultured mushroom, was all the rave and has been for a decade. I wondered which rock I was hiding beneath, not knowing of its existence all these years. I was excited. I was excited to love it and gain clarity and health and a boost in my immune system, and all the wonderful effects it’s been claimed to have for the human body. Oh, I was ready.
What I wasn’t ready for, though, was my disgust in it. I tried drinking it all, but only drank about half. I thought, Right. All these health foodies don’t really like it, and make it out to be a delicious drink just to be cool. Just to fit into the “Oh, I’m such a health food addict that I actually LIKE the taste of disgusting fermented mushroom tea drinks!” It seemed like a competition: how far can you go to prove to your other health foodie friends that you’re a bigger health foodie than the others? Try drinking Kombucha, I told myself. Those idiots. Just a big hype. Pretending to like it! Pretending, just like they pretend to get a “high” whilst running a marathon, or biking uphill for 5 miles, or actually liking the way sea sponge tampon (hey, Jade & Pearl, I do love you!) feels. It was the mother of all natural claims – Kombucha. Tsk. Forget it.
And then a funny thing happened. I passed by the aisle again and saw GT Dave’s Synergy and its beautiful packaging and bright colors flirting with me. I picked up the disgusting glass bottle and studied the drink. All that fermentation floating around. But I kept thinking of everybody’s supposed “love” and “addiction” for it:
“Oh. My. God! I’m totally going to have to get a second job to support my Kombucha addiction.”
If I got a penny every time I heard a reference to Kombucha’s price and their addiction towards it, I’d be a rich woman (and able to afford a GT’s Synergy twice a day). To be fair, they’re pricey: $2.99, sometimes $3.49.
But back to me flirting with the Synergy drink (or was it the other way around)? I ended up buying it, and I’m not kidding you. It took me two days to drink it, but from that moment on, I was hooked. Line. And sinker. I was in love with it, and completely not proud to admit it to anybody else, after giving so much flack to all the Kombucha-drinking crazies out there. But it happened. I became a Kombucha junkie. I seriously recall even going as far as saying, “Wow. I need to find a way to afford my Kombucha drinking.”
I’ve actually come to a point in my Kombucha-drinking existence where I slowed way down and stopped buying so many. And I did the next thing Kombucha addicts do: I made my first batch at home.
Until then, I bid all you Kombucha-drinking citizens farewell, and as for all you Kombucha-hating individuals, I understand. I was right there with you. And for all you “What’s-Kombucha” people, well, then. Let me tell you: try it.