Several years ago Eric Childs was feeling overstressed and under the weather so his boss brought him a bottle of kombucha. Childs, who goes by Kombuchaman, quickly got hooked on the tart fizzy fermentation, and started making his own to save money. “It’s not this magic potion sent from above, but it does do wonderful things,” he told BB in a phone call.
In case you don’t down one after your daily yoga session, kombucha uses mushroom-like cultures to ferment tea and sugar into a slightly carbonated, slightly caffeinated drink with an almost vinegary flavor. At first sip it might not appeal, but converts swear to its benefits, and one of us here at BB swears by it for a hangover cure. “It does what the drinker needs,” said Childs.
This January Kombuchaman started bottling his Brooklyn-brewed Kombucha, using friends and family as guinea pigs for his recipe. He’s in the process of increasing his production capacity and is aiming to have it in local Brooklyn stores by late spring or early summer. He plans on selling a 16-oz bottle for $3, definitely less than the average price of what’s currently on the market, and it will be the only fresh, local kombucha available. Look for it under the Kombucha Brooklyn label, a slightly different name that the one he started out with.
If you can’t wait for the Kombuchaman’s bounty to hit local shelves, take a class with him at The Brooklyn Kitchen, and learn to make your own. Or, contact Childs through his website. He sells start-up kits for home kombucha brewers, and will answer questions and share tips for anyone who is already making their own. If you’ve found your version inferior to the store-bought stuff, take heart: Kombuchaman counsels patience: “It takes three of four brews to really get a consistent, tasty batch.”
Sent by Annaliese. Photo courtesy Kombuchaman.