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Friday, May 7, 2010

A Local Resource Guide to Kombucha

Posted By on Fri, May 7, 2010 at 8:40 AM

click to enlarge SCOBY doo! - ANITASARKEESIAN/FLICKR
  • anitasarkeesian/Flickr
  • SCOBY doo!
You've asked for it, dear readers, and a lovely New York Times article mentioning our tongue-in-cheek thought that kombucha tea could become the new bacon has caused lovers of SCOBY (the symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast from which kombucha is brewed) from as far away as Russia to holler at us about the topic. Finally, in response, here's our humble resource guide to the emerging kombucha culture of the Bay Area.

Want to make your own? The San Francisco Kombucha Kollective offers home brewing kits ($12). You can also purchase kombucha made by the Kollective at prices that get even more affordable with membership.

click to enlarge Watermelon jalapeño kombucha by Berkeley's Cultured. - TAMARA PALMER
  • Tamara Palmer
  • Watermelon jalapeño kombucha by Berkeley's Cultured.
Want to support Bay Area kombucha producers? While scanning local shelves, keep an eye out for standout brands Lonjevitea, Lev's Original Kombucha, and Kombucha Rejuvenation Company. Visit pickle wonderland Cultured (800 Bancroft at Fifth, Berkeley) for its homemade kombucha, including spicy summer specials that we yearn for all year long.

Want to drink kombucha while you're shopping for groceries? Whole Foods locations in Noe Valley and Potrero Hill have it on tap for 15 cents an ounce. You can even bring your own container if you want, but we're thinking they probably won't let you shotgun it straight from the source.

Want to drink kombucha at a restaurant? MenuPages San Francisco's Find-a-Food feature lists four eateries with kombucha on the menu: Cafe Flore (2298 Market at 16th St.), Cafe Gratitude (2400 Harrison at 20th St.), FeelGood Cafe (4690 18th St. at Market), and the Plant Cafe (Pier 3 at the Embarcadero). To which we'd add the marvelous home-brewed flavors at Crepe O Chocolat (75 O'Farrell at Stockton). There are undoubtedly several others; we'd love to keep a running list of them if you have a good one to add to the comments below.

Want to drink kombucha and sake at the same time and, you know, be social? House Kombucha's Happy Hour Tuesdays and Wednesdays at Live Sushi Bistro (1 Gilbert at Brannan) may be just what the doctor ordered.

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Tamara Palmer

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