I have never bought any drink by the case in my life. Well, other than beer. But today kombucha is on sale at Whole Foods for $1.99 instead of $2.99 per bottle. I bought a case of GT's Organic Raw Kombucha in the Gingerade flavor which is as mysterious to me as it may be to you.
I've been craving this fermented tea made from a symbiotic colony of yeast and bacteria every day for weeks. I bought some for the first time about a month ago as a drink to supplement my lunch, and I can't get enough.
In each glass bottle, a thick gelatinous residue floats in a diluted-tea color liquid. The labeling warns, "DO NOT SHAKE," because the beverage is naturally carbonated. It's not exactly the most aesthetic drink. In fact, I can't focus too long on the "strands of culture" that bob up and down in the bottles.
When I checked out at the counter, the guy said to me, "I used to drink that stuff. I actually craved it. I would think about it which is weird."
"Me too," I say. "I wonder when I can pick up another bottle."
We both laugh.
"I was addicted to it."
"Do you still drink it?"
"I think I burned out on it."
"I wonder when I will," I reply as I pay and leave.
I have actually been thinking about it a lot. When I drink about eight ounces, I feel full and satisfied in this warm, healthy way.
Case in hand, I head to the car where I pry open the box and pop the top on my new bottle. Ah.
Kombucha isn't some new health trend filling the shelves at Whole Paycheck. In fact, it's about 2,000 years old. The Chinese call it an "immortal health elixir." It's primarily known as a great detoxifier - this helps the liver and pancreas and can help prevent diseases like cancer, arthritis and a host of other degenerative conditions. The high levels of Glucaric acid is what makes it a great cancer preventative.
This drink also has cultural clout.
President Reagan drank it when he was diagnosed with cancer after he found out the Russian writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn claimed it cured his stomach cancer.
Other health benefits are that it boosts the immune system, increases energy, promotes weight loss, reduces the risk of arthritis, provides emotional and mental balance and is chock full of antioxidants.
Scientific research, primarily in Germany and Russia, suggests that drinking kombucha every day will promote optimal wellness.
That's why I keep thinking about Kombucha. I feel good when I drink it.
I am still reeling that I bought a whole case, but I'm hooked.