Happy Saturday, zine readers! All around the world, Saturday is a drinkin’ night! And in this Saturday edition of Blog Zine, we’re going to drink! What are we gonna drink? A crisp pilsner? No! A jammy merlot? No! What about even maybe a vodka-cranberry? NO! Are you starting to get worried? You should! Because the only libation on tonight’s drink menu isn’t even a consolation mocktail of a club soda with some grenadine and a cherry, it’s a health drink that looks like it tastes like dirt and the Peace Corps! But, this zine author’s passion for kombucha is so strong, you’ll feel a little drunk love for kombucha by the end. Bottoms up!
Here’s my Rating System:
It’s Aiight: .
Maybe If You’re Into That Sort of Thing: ?
Brew Yr Own Kombucha
Price: not listed
The very idea of kombucha, some yeast-based supposed health-tea, disgusts me. It’s dirty-urine-colored, you brew it in a closet like some horrible secret, and vegans seem to like it. That is a pretty good litmus for whether something is going to taste bad. But Marya is obsessed with the stuff, so enamored of it that she makes me tolerate its existence. If it makes someone so joyful, there’s gotta be something to it. It’s kind of like when you don’t like your best friend’s boyfriend, but hey, he makes her happy.
Marya starts you off on your kombucha journey by explaining to you about “scoby,” some kind of disgusting starter that she describes as “a slimy discolored brain, floating in cloudy juice, or a whale’s nether parts.” Is your mouth watering yet? Fortunately, Marya’s passion is highly entertaining: She throws out some questionable kombucha propaganda (“Chernobyl survivors drank kombucha to help detoxify from the deadly effects of nuclear fallout”), and is your kombucha brewing-cheerleader (“Filtered water is best, but do you think people near Chernobyl had perfectly pristine water to brew their tea? No, they did not”). She even consoles you when you’re disgusted by the scoby (“You are a little freaked out. Maybe set her aside. . .”). Finally, once you’re all prepped up, Marya takes you through the kombucha brewing stages, deadpan in its descriptions: “You basically have sweet tea with a strange bacteria/yeast pad sitting in it.” And apparently, not only can you drink the stuff, you can use it as a household cleaner. To me, that’s a pretty good indicator I shouldn’t ingest it, but what do I know? I was only taught by cultural icon Officer Ugg.
This zine didn’t convince me to drink kombucha. As a matter of fact, despite Marya’s quirky enthusiasm, it made me less likely to try it. However, it is educational and entertaining. Even if you decide against ingesting something that starts with a “strange bacteria pad” floating atop it, Brew Yr Own Kombucha is a passion project that deserves a cult following.
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Kari Tervo enjoys pop culture as a universal language. Sorry, Esperanto and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department: Bieber wins. She’s not sure if she’s supposed to be writing about herself in the first or third person right now, so she’s going to act like someone does this kind of work for her. Why ruin the mystique?
Kari reviews zines for Pop Culture Beast in her regular column, Blog Zine. She also provides pop culture opinion and analysis about whatever she gets the urge to write about.