Sometimes when we do something day in and day out, every week, every year, we get bored and apathetic. We’re just going through the motions. Sure it may be healthy, but the joy is gone. It no longer brings the emotional rewards that it once did. Brewing kombucha, or mushroom tea, had gotten like that for me. But I’ve found a book that kicked my apathy to the curb.
Review of Kombucha Revolution
4 out of 5 stars
Kombucha Revolution, 75 Recipes for Homemade brews, Fixers, Elixers, and Mixers, by Stephen Lee, with Ken Koopman, opened up my imagination to some innovative uses for Kombucha. I admit I’ve gotten into a rut. Weekly brewing of my Kombucha, filling the bottles with kombucha and pomegranate juice, capping, waiting a few days for the fizz and then popping it in the fridge, had lost its sparkle. It had become just another chore. And there are a great many chores in my homestead lifestyle. Apathy had set in.
I’ve even procrastinated a few times and ended up with ‘boocha vinegar. And I admit it, I dumped out a few bottles, ok, more than a few bottles, right into the garden to change the soil pH, under my yellowing leaves. My kombucha routine had gotten stale. Then I read Kombucha Revolution and it enlivened by love for Kombucha and expanded the possibilities for me.
It’s not just a book about how to brew kombucha and put it through a second ferment to get some fizz and enrich its flavours, it’s a culinary catalogue that will have you looking at your jar of booch with fresh eyes.
The author, Stephen Lee, founder of Kombucha Wonder, Stash Tea, and Tazo Tea, among other tea businesses, is a tea connoisseur. And he passes some of his extensive knowledge and love of tea to his readers. I learned that the water for tea should not be boiled extensively, and that the type of tea dictates the temperature of the water used to brew it. This secret alone is worth the price of admission.
Kombucha Revolution is first and foremost a cookbook. Drawing on the expertise and favorite recipes on the online kombucha community, it offers several recipes to help you brew amazing Kombucha at home, which will rival the commercial product. Then it goes further, with recipes for skin care, cocktails, main courses, sauces and condiments, dessert, and smoothies. The book is rich with imagination and tested recipes that will motivate the apathetic kombucha brewer. The artwork is enticing and clean, almost magical. There is an index so that you can look up your favorite recipes. You’ll want to keep this book on your cookbook shelf, within reach of your kombucha brewing station.
Besides the abundant recipes for beverages, frozen desserts, and condiments, I found something I could do with the excessively abundant scobies besides feeding them to my chickens or tossing them in the compost.
Boochie Salt Scrub
The Boochie Salt Srub on page 9 uses the surplus scobies combined with coarse salt and kombucha to make an exfoliating, and rejuvenating spa treatment. I’m going to try this as soon as I finish this review, on the abundant scobies I just peeled from my pet scobie, before I made this week’s batch of ‘booch. The extra scobies are first dried and then ground to a powder. Mix them with Himalayan salt, and lemongrass essential oil, plus enough kombucha to make a dry paste. Use this scrub to exfoliate and rejuvenate your feet, legs, knees, and elbows. This is healing, and detoxifying, according to the author. Rinse with warm water. And finish the treatment with a long foot soak in a galvanized tub, to ease the tiredness away.
This book is good but it isn’t the whole story of Kombucha. The book only hints at the health benefits of Kombucha. There is no technical information or scientific studies to sell you on the amazing health benefits of Kombucha. In fact, the author states, “its purported health benefits remain unproven” (p. 4). Fair enough. This is why I gave the book 4 stars instead of 5. If you are looking for scientific studies on the health benefits of daily supplementation with Kombucha, you’ll need to look elsewhere. Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon cites several studies, and would be a good place to begin your research.
But if you are already convinced that you need to add this healthy, detoxifying tonic to your wellness routine, this book will help you keep it sparkling, full of life and joy.
About the author:
STEPHEN LEE is a humble student of tea, its culture and its restorative effects. Stephen has co-founded and sold two of the country’s best-known tea brands, Tazo Tea and Stash Tea. Stephen has now enjoyed 40 years in the premium tea business.
After discovering kombucha on one of his tea importing trips to Russia, Stephen launched Kombucha Wonder Drink in 2001. He has mastered a superbly balanced kombucha tea he offers to others so they too may enjoy this energizing beverage with benefits. Kombucha Wonder Drink can now be found in natural foods stores, grocery stores, pubs, spas, hotels, college campuses, and coffee and tea houses across North America.
He also recently launched Tea Tibet, a not-for-profit tea company benefiting Tibet. All profits go to Tibetan educational projects and orphanages.
Steve spends time with seven grandchildren, walks and journals extensively around the world, and enjoys good food and beverages.
From the back cover:
This guide from the founder of Kombucha Wonder Drink demystifies the process of brewing kombucha at home and offers recipes for using it in infusions, smoothies, cocktails, and more.
The Wonder Drink
Kombucha—a fizzy, fermented tea-based beverage packed with probiotics, vitamins, and enzymes—has home brewers salivating. And who better to guide you through the brewing process than a tea guru with more than forty years of experience under his belt? Stephen Lee, cofounder of Tazo Tea and Stash Tea, turned his attention to fermented tea and founded Kombucha Wonder Drink in 2001. In Kombucha Revolution, Lee reveals the secrets to brewing the perfect batch of kombucha and caring for your very own SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast). He also shares his favorite recipes—plus contributions from brewers, bartenders, and chefs like “Kombucha Mamma” Hannah Crum and Wildwood’s Dustin Clark—for infusing your brew with fruits, herbs, and spices, and incorporating it into juices, smoothies, sauces, snacks, sweets, and cocktails.
With recipes for Lavender–Green Tea Kombucha, Cranberry Bitters Cocktails, Kombucha Vinegar, Green Smoothies, Kombucha Lime Ceviche, and Kombucha Pear Sorbet, mixing this healthful brew into your everyday lifestyle has never been so revolutionary.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.