Fuck You, Kombucha!

Illustration for article titled Fuck You, Kombucha!

This is Fuck You Week, Jezebel's first annual week of desperate emotional cleansing and unhinged psychic purging.


Kombucha has three camps — people who love it, people who hate it, and people who don't know what the fuck it is. People who love it, get the fuck outta here, I'm done with you — JK, I love you, come back, but seriously, shut your damn mouth or worse, go fill it with kombucha.

People who don't know what it is, I'm not talking about the circular squash or Japanese seaweed tea with similar names — I'm talking about something ten million times worse. Kombucha is an effervescent fermentation of sweetened tea — more aptly described as carbonated vinegar water. Back in the day, they used to just call that a douche, but now it's a speciality drink sold at Whole Foods for $5 a bottle. Progress. Also, people who have yet to dip their tongues into that murky, bubbly dishwater funk, YOU MUST PROMISE ME YOU THAT YOU NEVER WILL. PROMISE ME THIS.

Now. People who hate it, let's rap.

How creepy is it that they refer to the organisms that comprise kombucha as a mother and baby? It's like the beginning of some Japanese horror film called Dorinku. The "mother" is actually a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. And yes, they do call that the SCOBY. As if some adorable acronym — I know, you're thinking SCOBY DOO and that's making you feel like it's an adorable cartoon dog. Don't, it's a trick! — makes up for the fact that you are drinking an unholy melange of bacteria and yeast. Making it is gross as hell, the "mother" floats in tea and slowly grows the baby underneath her. A real concern of homebrewers should be that the "mother" and "baby" are going to enter your thoughts and make you turn on the gas on the stove. Never turn your back on SCOBY.

And when you accidentally get a little of the "baby" in your mouth it feels like you're drinking someone else's loogie. Their thick, slimy, textured loogie. Ugh, it's so gross and disgusting and I'm dry heaving just thinking about it.

And then there's the fact that you're spending as much on a beverage as you do on a sandwich. Seven kombuchas in, you've wasted your child's college tuition. GOOD PARENTING. People would flinch at paying $5 for a beer at that price from a store, will gladly shovel it over to down some fungus water.


Finally, I really feel I can't trust carbonation from a natural source, the whole point of soda is that it's unnatural and that's the way I like it. If I buy Grape Fanta, I know it's going to taste like hella bubbly fake grape deliciousness. If I buy kombucha, no matter what flavor is advertised on the bottle, I know it's going to taste like fermented foot juice mixed with botulism and then put in a Soda Stream. PASS!



Do I have a story for you! Imagine, if you will, that one of your coworkers has decided to grow her own kombucha "mother" from a starter kit. She also decides the best way to conduct this experiment is to put the mother in a nondescript, opaque container and stick it in the mini-fridge in the corner of the cubicle pod at the office. Then some things happen and said coworker leaves to take another job. Fast forward a couple months and the office suffers some flooding that knocks out power to the building. Coming back to work after the flooding, of course the fridge needs to be cleaned. Yours truly draws the short straw and gets to clean out the fridge. I'm going along and then I come to the nondescript container (thing must have had a great seal, because there was no smell to foretell what lay inside). I open it, and am immediately hit with a waft of the most heinous smell I've ever smelled. And it looks even worse than it smells. Having a sensitive nose and quick gag reflex, I had no choice but to just vomit right into the container.

And that is what I get to relive anytime I get a whiff of this disgusting scourge they call Kombucha. The end.