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January 3rd, 2008

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11:02 am - kombucha
Long ago, before tribe-mates Nyotok & Mr. B left zomba for Mountain Gardens, they were reading up on kombucha.  Nyotok asked if I would make some while they were gone.  Sure, I said, wondering where I'd be able to get a mother to start the culture.  (Not wanting to spend much money on anything.)  I figured maybe if I concentrated on it, affirmation-style, some would appear from somewhere. 

Months later, our friends return, and they brought ... kombucha!  They'd been experimenting with various fermented goods at Mountain Gardens.  So they showed us how to start some, and ... DRINK IT!  It's tangy.  It helps get toxins out of the body.  It's better, and better for you, than soda.  Though less caffeinated and less sweet.  I suppose you could stir some more sweetener into it before you drink it.  You can warm it, too, but then it loses its effervescence. 

Our favorite new radical cookbook, Nourishing Traditions, says NOT to use caffeine, alcohol, or white sugar--but they DO recommend kombucha even though it has traces of alcohol, and is made from caffeinated tea and white sugar.  So, we still drink wine, and coffee, and use white sugar in things, but we ALSO drink homebrew kombucha now. 

Searching the web on kombucha, I find sites that want to tell you about it so they can sell it to you.  And, worse, some people want to sell you an expensive workshop to learn how to brew it.  DON'T PAY MONEY FOR KOMBUCHA!  Brew your own!  It's easy!  It's mostly a matter of waiting and observing.  Ah, that permaculture principle: observe.

We've been using EQUO Organic Masala Chai tea bags for our kombucha, because that's all the black tea we have at the moment, and it turns out good.  I'm having to keep starting more and more jars brewing 'cause we keep drinking it!

The chai also makes good chai, and good chai nog, which is where you make some strong chai tea and, instead of adding milk, add eggnog and keep warming it and stirring it until it goes down warm and makes you feel good.  REALLY good.  We've had windchills below zero the past couple days!  Welcome to January!  But it's expected to be in the fifties in a few days ... weird?
Current Location: zomba, springfield
Current Music: recording of WQNA's Eastern Hemisphere show

(2 comments | Leave a comment)


Date:January 14th, 2008 06:56 pm (UTC)


Kombucha makes a great vinegar too. I've brewed it with black tea, green tea, and yerba mate (individually and in combination).

Nourishing Traditions is excellent! Also great (and in the spirit of kombucha) is Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz.
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Date:January 14th, 2008 09:56 pm (UTC)

Re: Kombucha

Yeah, Wild Fermentation is great. We're trying to get it from the library again but it hasn't come in yet.

I just today took some fresh-brewed kombucha and put it in a big jar with some nettle, mullein, and peppermint to put in the sun for a couple days.

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