Wednesday, December 31, 2008


We here in the Western world are constantly turning to the East in search of elixirs that will allow us to live a prolonged and healthy life. Sure, there are the yogis and wise men of the orient whose lives ultimately span a century or more but really, when you're sitting down in the lotus position and remaining calm all day then you're bound to live a long, happy life. Reduced calorie requirements from not moving much means that you can survive on far less food than those villagers starving to death at the base of your holy mountain. Living at such great heights also makes it harder for roaming bandits to come and kill you in your sleep.

kombucha light

The latest oriental potion boasting mystical properties that I've encounter is kombucha.

Wikipedia says: "Kombucha is the Western name for sweetened tea or tisane that has been fermented using a macroscopic solid mass of microorganisms called a kombucha colony."

Perhaps the recent introduction of this drink to the US stems from the popularity of probiotic drinks and other microbe infested foods that are purported to support well-being.

kombucha bullcrap

Now, I have no problem whatsoever with claims of reasonable health benefits but the label of this drink goes a bit far, forcing me take the Bill Hicks stance on marketing. What we have here is essentially a soft drink. There is a decent amount of good nutrients loaded into this little bottle but you also get a dose of added sugar (which, admittedly, is significantly smaller than what one typically encounters in most soft drinks). So you can pack the mini-fridge next to the couch with these things to your heart's content but kombucha alone is not going to do anything for your longevity.

kombucha ingredients

Spurious claims aside, this commercial implementation of the kombucha recipe is marvelously flavorful. It tastes like a lightly carbonated ginger sweet tea which is funny because it's actually a lightly carbonated ginger sweet tea with magic microorganisms (they apparently don't add much to the taste).

I don't remember how much this was because I received it as a gift but expect a high price tag attached to those mystical properties, even if you are just buying it for the taste.

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