Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Where is the kombucha hiding in Austin?

Attention, world!

Where have you hidden my kombucha?

And the rest of you: Austinites, are you all drinking your kombucha?

Because if not, you need to hop on that train, my friend.

One of my pals, Stephanie, used to shake her head every time I bought a bottle of kombucha from Whole Foods.

"What's that stuff floating around in it?" she asked.

"Parts of the culture!" I chirped, like that explained everything.

Another friend of mine, Sarah, who is part human, part mystical healer/forest nymph/fairy, introduced me to kombucha in 2005. This was back when the only game in town was GT's, and their product lined numbered exactly three: Original, Ginger, and Gingerberry.

When she unscrewed the lid for me, I took a deep sip.

"They make it from fermented tea," she said. "And it does all these amazing things for you."

In addition to detoxifying your liver, enhancing your metabolism, bequeathing you with lustrous hair and skin and other benefits proudly printed on the label, kombucha apparently cured GT's mom of cancer.

All I know is, it gave me a buzz.

"Why does this drink make me feel AWESOME?!" I wondered. And then I realized: it had a trace amount of alcohol in it.

This is precisely the reason that GT's - and apparently other kombucha brands - are being pulled off the shelves in grocery stores all over the country. Which makes me very, very sad.

Since my mom and I are both hooked on kombucha, it wasn't long before she and Dad learned how to make it themselves, and then gifted me with a "mother," i.e., the scary-looking bacteria you use to create homemade kombucha.


It's a little frightening, isn't it.

Ross and I made some last Fall, and as much as I love GT's, our version is considerably more economic. That's because it literally requires four ingredients: the bacteria, sugar, tea bags, and water.

This got me thinking: To hell with the Farmer's Market, I'm joining the black market!

Buddha's Brew already makes kombucha right here in Austin. As does the Museum of Ephemerata, this insane, delightful gallery of oddities that every Austinite should visit once in his or her life. (Think toenail clippings from Marilyn Monroe and what not).

Now Buddha's Brew is for purchase obviously, and to my knowledge Museum of Ephemerata lets people sample theirs for free. So both of those are legal. But here are my questions:

*do you know where to find kombucha (store-bought OR homemade) in austin?

*would you like a recipe posted, to learn how to make your own?

*if i threw a kombucha tea party, would you come? 

That last one's not a promise. But I'm seriously thinking about it! I think we should call it: The Tea Party Movement: Kombucha Style. And it'll be like the Annual Hot Sauce Festival or the Chili Cook-Off, except ours will feature a delicious, magical beverage.

28 comments:

Chris L said...

Zen Fast Food on Guadalupe and Congress have it. (The others may as well, just haven't been to them). They are also $4 a bottle there. Boo.

Actually, the Buddha's Brew site list everywhere they are sold in town. I was contemplating trying to order directly from them...

I am interested in recipes, either way.

bob-o said...

before i moved back to san antonio a month ago, we used to carry synergy at the spec's at brodie and 290.

katherine said...

i would totally come to your kombucha tea party! i just buy mine from the farmer's market, but i think it'd be a pretty cool thing to learn how to make. my sister is going to be WWOOFing in france in a few weeks, and apparently the farm she'll be working on will teach her how to make kombucha. i'm hoping she'll remember how once she gets home so she can teach me!

Elaine Krackau said...

Yes, please post a recipe, Tolly!

Kate Higdon said...

I bought my kombucha at Whole Foods until the alcohol issue surfaced. I loved GT's gingerade!! I miss it so much. I like Buddha's Brew too but they have more sugar in their mix (or so it shows on the nutrition info).

Please post recipe! I would love to learn to make my own. Maybe we can all make some at share it, create new flavors, be adventurous...start that revolution of tea!

And yes, if there was a Kombucha tea party I would be there in a snap!

Thanks for the post!

basiccravings said...

I love kombucha! Sprouts, Whole Foods, and the HEB by my house carry kombucha.....at least they did last week.

Yoga Groove also makes their own kombucha and sells it.

thefirstkitchen.com said...

No to the first question, but yes and yes to the second and third! I'm a bit late on the kombucha train, but a friend's husband makes his own and she's told me about the health benefits. Ever since then I've wanted to try to make it. Plus that jellyfish-lookin' thing is badass.

Kristen said...

I would love to learn how to make my own! I used to drink the GT brand, but it was sadly too much $ for my budget. I would also come to a kombucha tea party!

atxglutenfree said...

people's rx!

Rod said...

I would definitely come to the k-tea party! Good golly, this recall has hit pretty hard. Until this alcohol issue is straightened out, I think everyone should try to make at batch at home, it's so easy! I'll retweet any Austin location with kombucha and put me down for the guacamole.

Austin Eavesdropper said...

WHOA! I had no idea there were all these comments!! My weird blog said no one had commented yet. THANKS BLOGGER.

Anyway, wow! I will post that recipe STAT, and y'all, we need to seriously think about this kombucha party. I wonder where a good spot would be? I like the parking lot behind Jo's on SoCo, but it might be more appropriate to hold it at a place that already makes kombucha/carries it? Like Whole Foods?

selahestelle said...

I just saw this on Andrew Zimmern and remember you and Sarah chirping about it at C-Club. I would come to any tea party you ever threw.

Michelle said...

I have never tried kombucha, but I am curious and definitely down for a tea party! (I'm always down for a tea party, to be honest.)

Anonymous said...

Ruta Maya has a full spectrum of different flavors of Buddha's Brew, purple grape is delish!

celenajustine said...

I'm with Selah- definitely down with tea parties. I've had Kombucha a few times when it was for sale at my HEB, I guess it got pulled? I wasn't drinking it during pregnancy/breastfeeding because raw unpasteurized stuff is iffy, but I liked it! It's called a "mother" when it accumulates in dye jars too. It makes more sense in this context though because something is coming from it. With egg dyes you just fish it out and throw it away.

stephanie ridge said...

if you thought you could possibly turn me onto Kombucha, forgettaboutit. Grossed out to the extreme.

Grant said...

Spider House sold Kombucha last time I was there.

Amanda said...

I want to learn how to do that! But how do you keep it from getting moldy? I heard that's bad. Also, is vinegar flavor optional? I bought a bottle once and couldn't finish it.

Hanlly Sam © said...

the gas station on 45th and duval
wheatsville co-op
mr. natural on cesar chavez
but if you are making it F that! tastes way better when you make it. I didnt really liked it til I tried the one my bf's friend makes it is pure AWESOMENESS! haha :) cheers! and i hope they solve the problem soon at whole foods!

Austin Eavesdropper said...

Haha, @Hanlly Sam - "F that!" My thoughts exactly, because I DONE DID IT. Started my kombucha on Thursday, y'all.

I even took pictures, everyone! Of all the steps I mean. My dumb camera isn't loading them onto my computer for some reason. But as soon as it does, I'll post the step-by-step process. It's so freakin' easy.

Anastasia said...

The Whip In off of 35. Also really good naan if your down.

Hanlly Sam © said...

Yes I wanna know how to make it! pleaseee!! or sell it! i'll buy it haha

Kombucha Girl said...

Back to brewing my own, but I found some at Fresh Plus in Hyde Park and at Cherrywood Coffee House.

rise said...

So where can you purchase the "mother" for making your own?

Lindsay Cotter said...

Where is GT kombucha? Anyone is austin still know? Need a fix badly, LOL!

Austin Eavesdropper said...

@Anastasia - Thanks for the tip!

@Lindsay - GT's is no longer until further notice! The FDA is trying to figure out how to label it, I think - either pasteurize it and make it "non-alcoholic," or keep the current formula, and put it in the liquor section. Either way, kinda blows.

@Kombucha Girl - What kind? Buddha's Brew?

@Rise @Hanlly Sam - I still have two unclaimed mothers if either of you want one. Just email me (address at right). It's first come, first serve!

rise said...

Ok...I emailed you about that mother. Can come by to pick it up asap.

Shannon said...

anyone know where I can get a mother? I am ready to brew my own, but not sure where to get one...