Monday 21 September 2015

Time to be a samurai

It's unbelievable, yet another Monday rolls by, and I don't even feel all that refreshed after the weekend. Some days it seems that the odds are really stacked against you, a mountain of work and I'm seriously out of juice, wishing I could just jump on a plane to Bahamas and get my resting cap on. Alas reality check, I really need to get on with things, after a not very helpful self pep talk, it is time to bring out my inner samurai warrior. No I don't have a sword or any of the get up, as usual I cheat, I reach for a bottle of kombucha.

Kombucha is a fermented tea, that actually has different names in different countries and has been around for centuries. The exact origins are shrouded in mystery, but it has been noted that samurai warriors had kept the drink in their flasks to replenish energy during battle (was this the original energy drink? I wonder if there was a catchy slogan to go with it back then). Well like a lot of other fermented foods, kombucha is enjoying a moment in the spotlight, and while a few years ago you probably did not even know what it was, unless you had someone in the family fermenting their own, now you are spoilt for choice. Apparently a green tea kombucha is a more delicate drink to prepare than the black variety, and it happens to be the one I like.

Equinox kombucha, the original flavour, reminds me of dry white wine a little. But while I'm not the biggest fan of white wine, I absolutely love the taste of this drink. Fermentation is how alcohol is created, on this particular kombucha label it says that it's non alcoholic with less than 0,5%, still I wouldn't go to town on it, drinking bottle after bottle. Other brands, or home made varieties could potentially have higher percentage of alcohol up to 3%, depending on the length of fermentation. The Equinox original kombucha ingredients are simple: filtered water, raw cane sugar, green chun-mee tea, kombucha culture (all the ingredients with exception of water, which can't be, are organic, and the drink is certified by Soil Association). Just to clarify sugar is necessary for fermentation process, so it's not here as a needles additive, it is for the kombucha culture to eat really, but of course some sugar will still remain in the drink (basically enjoy as a healthier soft drink option with benefits, but don't think that it's sugar free).

Pretty much almost immidiately I feel more awake, and weirdly less stressed out (this is probably a placebo effect, but you know what, I'll take it). As well as the original, Equinox has three other flavours: ginger, raspberry & elderflower, wild berry. I think they are all nice, the ginger one tastes like ginger beer. My personal favourites are original and raspberry & elderflower. As it is a live tea, you need to keep it in the fridge, making it a lovely refreshment through out summer. I always try to have a couple of bottles around, doing anything that requires a lot of focus, like illustration, can be very draining (normally because I don't even notice the passage of time and work with the flow, suddenly realising that I'm hungry way past lunch). Having something that can give an immediate boost and a bit of mental clarity, without the gittery side effects that I get from coffee, is very important for me (having shaky hands, because coffee makes me overly hyper, while painting is really not a good thing).

There is a lot of information about benefits of kombucha floating about, naturally also lots of the kombucha myth busting articles. I personally have it because I enjoy it, I prefer to have a bottle of kombucha to a bottle of beer at a barbecue and I find it is a really great pick me up, an alternative to an energy drink. I would rather be a copy cat samurai rather than wait for metaphoric wings any day, if you catch my drift.

So are you guys on the kombucha wagon? Ever try Equinox? Let me know in the comments.

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