Watch: real kombucha is made from seaweed

We were having a gift exchange at the office christas party last week.

Does someone have a lot ink where you can buy it it? I mean the Japanese seaweed powder for tea? Sounds good to me. A quick look on amazon pulled up a couple sources… it mentions that it’s a salty sort of thing. Is that right? Or is that something different?

Uh, so… yeah:


It’s just a word. This video is incomplete because it doesn’t tell us the derivation of the American version. I’d be surprised to know if that was a purely American invention but even if it was doesn’t make it less valid (not does it make it more valid).

Isn’t the word hipster old now? In twenty years will it still be hipsters who drink and eat obscure things or will we have a new term?

In Swedish when used as a noun it’s also poison, but when used as an adjective it’s “married”.

I have friends (emigrants from Lviv and Moscow) and I was told kombucha was made with a “tea beast” that most Russians were familiar with for over a hundred years. Probably thousands. And surely not just limited to Russian peoples but all peoples.

Nearly all human societies have a relationship with fermented foods/drinks like kombucha, kvass, beers, ales, meads, kefirs, ciders, rejuvelac, pulque, wine, sake, etc… if you have water, starches and yeasts, you have a way to make a fermented something and it’s probably good to eat if you do it right.

Agree with those here re: false cognates because languages are funny this way. I do have dried kombu and I do drink Ito En green tea, and I will still give kombu-cha a try. In yet another pro-fermentation pitch here, I should mention that oolong and black tea leaves are made by partially- or fully fermenting green tea leaves and then drying them quickly.

Big love to our microbial overlords, who make life delicious.
Big thanks to Sandor Katz.
His books that restarted the culture (ah ha ha!) in the U.S.:

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Ha I totally forgot it was called the tea beast.

Same friend I mentioned early referred to her home made kombucha as “the fish tank” because it had to be fed.

Oh man I am calling my brewing jars “fish tanks” from now on.

I should feed them far more mindfully than I currently do.

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All my hipster buddies call it “booch,” as they stroke their Gandolf beards, tease their man buns, and twiddle their fidget spinners with their toes.

Big fan of sour Spanish ciders.

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K, but I’m not sure about your overall point. You picked two very obvious mispronunciations, whereas most of the ones I could think of aren’t too different from the original Japanese. Origami, tsunami, tycoon, kimono, hibachi, geisha, ninja, samurai, sudoku. Not to say Americans aren’t good at finding new and interesting ways of bastardizing the language, but let’s be fair. Japanese say “konpyuutaa” and “kurejitto kaado”, too. There’s no J in “credit”.

While we’re on the subject, I’d like to give a shoutout to my favorite bit of borrowed Japanese, though it helps your argument: skosh. From the Japanese sukoshi, for “a little”.

Not quite random. These are ordinary and common phonological processes. hari-kari is an example of metathesis, where sounds get their positions swapped (here, vowels). Karaoke is an example of dissimilation: the [a] and the [o] are too similar; English speakers will blend them together. To preserve the syllable boundary, we’ve moved [a] forward and differentiated it from [o]. (The final [e] turning to an [i] is probably just an example of analogy due to spelling) Or, at least, those are my guesses: it’s possible other processes are in effect, and I’m not sure what triggers the change in harakiri. But they’re certainly not random.

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I second the recommendation for this book, it is outstanding.

yes, likely. i don’t like the term personally. i only used it tongue in cheek in reply to the person claiming one was japanese and the other hipster, as a way of pointing out how silly that is.

Remember sea monkeys? the vinegar mother can be your tea monkey.

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I recall an episode of MST3K where someone said “karokie”… we’ve gotten slightly better since the early 90s or whenever that came out. Ha.


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