Bringing mindfulness to a kitchen ritual, like brewing kombucha, can help us direct our attention and cultivate more peace, gratitude and joy in our life. We may often catch ourselves in a storm of thought loops and reactions. If we are caught up in the past or the future we are not tuned into what we are sensing in the present. We can use the power of feeling, touching, seeing, hearing, and tasting to settle in the current moment.
One tool to find more peace in our internal world is to deliberately focus on an activity.
Whether it's our breath, walking or cooking something, we can bring our awareness to our body sensations to draw us back to the now.
The process of making a primary fermentation of kombucha is the same every time. You brew the tea, add sugar, let it cool and pour it into your brewing vessel. After you get the hang of the process, you can relax and enjoy into the dance around the kitchen. From listening to the sound of the water boiling to stirring sugar in the pot with a spoon, there are so many small rituals to pay attention to.
The relationship I have with my slimy jellyfish-like kombucha brewing organisms (known as a SCOBY - symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) is also one that reminds me to slow down and check in with myself.
4 Ways Brewing Kombucha Facilitates Mindfulness:
Check out Lila Volkas N.C.'s blog post: the Top 4 reasons it is important to brew kombucha in the age of convenience.
The origin of my first SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast)
My first SCOBY was given to me the Summer of 2012 when I WWOOFed on a blueberry farm on Vancouver Island. Everyday Joanne, the owner of the farm, would pull out a jar of liquid with a slimy pancake floating on top and pour herself a glass. I was slightly disgusted, but very intrigued. One day I got the guts up to ask her what she was drinking. She said that it was 'kombucha' and offered me a glass. After the first sip I instantly fell in love! This drink was bubbly, sour, sweet and slightly strange. The perfect combination.
As a parting gift she gave me a piece of her SCOBY and I traveled back to California for the rest of the Summer. I started brewing the moment I got home and never stopped. I have traveled all over the world with my SCOBY making kombucha along the way.
How I got started teaching workshops
In college I'd bring my home-brewed kombucha in recycled jam jars to sip on during my art history classes. More and more of my friends started asking me what I was drinking (because duh! most people thought I was making my own moonshine). Once they learned it was fermented tea and tried some of my brew, they insisted that I teach them how to make kombucha too! I taught my very first kombucha brewing workshop in 2012 through Sprouts, the Student Food Co-op, I volunteered at on campus.
How kombucha changed my life
Before making kombucha myself I never thought that I could make anything that I'd find in a store. I became inspired to make other foods items like jams, nut butters, bread and sauerkraut. I also started to make the connection between the food I eat and how it makes me feel. Drinking kombucha and eating vegetables made me feel good, while eating a bunch of vegan brownies and peanut butter for dinner did not.
Not only was kombucha delicious to drink and made me feel good physically, but I also loved connecting with people about how to make it themselves. I found my love for teaching people about nutrition and how to make nourishing food. This enthusiasm for wellness was one of the things that inspired me to go to Bauman College to become the Certified Nutrition Consultant I am today.
The slimy SCOBY connection
My SCOBY's name is Shiela. While she came into my life from Vancouver Island in 2012 this kombucha organism originally came from San Francisco in 1992! I have personally given pieces of my SCOBY to hundreds of people over the last 7 years. Though my workshop attendees don't know each other, we all connected through the invisible web of sharing the same kombucha starter.
Are you brewing kombucha from attending a workshop of mine? I want to see how it's going!
Follow @kombuchatothepeople and then tag me in your instagram pictures so I can celebrate your kombucha successes or answer any of your booch questions.