The Harbinger Online

Juice Craze

juice graphicI like fresh and organic. If you ask my friends they’d say I’m into “earthy” stuff. I usually crave black bean chips or brussel sprouts for snacks. So, when I came across Kombucha, fermented black tea full of vitamins and healthy detoxifiers, in Waldo’s One More Cup, I couldn’t help but snag one just for a taste.

Kombucha is a type of fermented tea that contains natural sugars and local honey for health and a little bit of sweetness to balance out the strong acidic taste. It’s good. But not that good.

The cold Kanbucha glass bottle was adorable with its flowery label, the light pink juice looked so innocent and sweet. But BAM. My first sip of the fruity fizz hit me hard and unexpectedly, and just a breath after my first sip I felt the burn. Cayenne and ginger — wow. This flavor, “Sweet Heat,” was made up of lemon juice, cold-pressed ginger, apple and cayenne pepper. I liked it but I’m not in love, it’s definitely not my go-to iced tea.

I know. What are you thinking drinking anything with ginger and cayenne pepper?

Kombucha has been known as the “eternal health elixir” to the Chinese for the last 2,000 years. Although the health benefits like increasing metabolism and weight loss are not scientifically tested, the rawness of the drink contains strong probiotics and good gut bacteria that have been proven to detoxify and boost immunity. Although, to be honest, even without knowing about the health benefits you would think you’re getting a full body detox.

Detoxification? Sign me up. Those kinds of healthy benefits are enough enticement for me to want to at least have it once in a while. But for the people who would not be so convinced to try it solely based on its metabolism-boosting power, try it for the tastebud shock.

There are a number of other flavors such as ginge-rose, lemonade, Chai, Jasmine, Strawberry, Grape. Kombucha can be found in most coffee shops refrigerators like One More Cup and Black Dog Café, Sprouts and Whole Foods. They aren’t hard to find, taking up full sections of refrigerators just for the juice. Clearly Kansas Citians have a higher tolerance for it, because there are three local Kombucha companies right here in KC: Kanbucha, Tea Biotics and Brewkery. Kombucha can also be made on your own if you have a starter culture.

Don’t get me wrong, Kombucha is quite refreshing in its own shocking way, but I can’t finish an entire bottle to save my life. The flavor is so intense and when combined with carbonation it becomes overwhelming. I generally drink about half and am pretty much done for the day. Although I am able to refrigerate what I don’t finish, I don’t usually end up finishing it. Maybe if the bottle had a little less I would look forward to paying $7.00 for the ‘booch at my weekly Whole Foods trip.

Kombucha is just unlike any other beverage. It’s got great health benefits with supposed long-term effects when consumed regularly, but I’m going to need half the size and half the price to become a ‘booth believer.

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Daisy Bolin

Daisy Bolin is a senior at Shawnee Mission East and the head copy editor of the Harbinger in her fourth year on staff. Outside of Harbinger Daisy is a member of the Women’s Foundation of Kansas City, DECA, StuCo, and Share Chair of Pack of Pals. She can generally be found nannying or running late just about anywhere. Read Full »

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