By Maya Frankel

This question seems simple: do I actually like Kombucha? The answer, on the other hand, is far from simple.

Full disclosure, I am very — emphasis on the very —  slowly sipping kombucha as I write this.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with kombucha, it’s a combination of fermented sweet tea and a culture of bacteria and yeast. Sounds gross right? I mean, what even is cultured yeast? Yeast is for baking, why would we put it in our tea? 

My kombucha journey began in ninth grade as a post-yoga refresher. I thought kombucha and yoga went hand in hand, judging from the people around me drinking it and kombucha being sold at the studio.

According to some trendy articles I read, you drink it for gut health, probiotics and antioxidants, to detoxify your body and strengthen your immune system, among many other benefits.

The constant back-and-forth in my mind has been over whether I drink it for the taste, the health benefits or because it’s trendy. This is not a recent contemplation. I have been questioning whether I actually like kombucha for years and have noticed that even the people who “like” kombucha make a disgusted face when they drink it. It resembles the face of sucking on a lemon.

People literally buy this stuff by the gallon. During quarantine even I was guilty of this, but the reality was that the huge gallon that sat in my fridge for two months was too daunting to open. 

How is it still good after two months? Why is the expiration date one year later? That alone makes me question the health benefits of this beverage. Most healthy drinks and foods spoil quickly, yet this does not seem to go bad.

You know that gallon I just talked about? Well, my mom finally finished it today and is now using the bottle for some trendy home décor. So, I guess kombucha does have many benefits. The glass bottle can be turned into a flower vase, a water bottle or even a reusable container.

Occasionally there is a buy-one-get-one sale for kombucha at Whole Foods, so I know my way around the kombucha aisle.

Here are my recommendations for kombucha that I think I like:

Mother Kombucha

Drinking Mother Kombucha at the beach is an aesthetic. Imagine laying on the beach as you watch the sunset and crack open a cold kombucha with the girls. I highly recommend the passion fruit flavor. I am 100 percent certain I like that one.

Health-Ade

This is the kombucha brand I always have in my fridge. The ginger lemon flavor is hard to find, but the pomegranate and pink lady apple flavors are solid.

Synergy

Heads up with this brand, any bottle that has a black cap requires you to be over the age of 21 to purchase. I learned that the embarrassing way. I recommend the Trilogy flavor.

Well, I am a few sips into the kombucha I started when I began writing and I must say I am confused. I make a face when I drink it yet continue to drink it. It has almost addictive qualities, like those of salt and vinegar chips.

The jury is still out.