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The New Kids in Town: Capital Kombucha

From Ashley Lusk. Check out her blog, Metropoetrylis. Find her on Twitter @arlusk or email her at ashley[AT]borderstan.com.

Coffee. Coffee. Wine. That’s pretty much the schedule of drinks in most of my days. But the guys at Capital Kombucha have given me a pretty good reason to add tea to that list.

"Kombucha"

Three members of the Capital Kombucha team, from left: co-founder Andreas Schneider, Dan Bae and John Lee. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Kombucha is a fermented tea drink that that was first created more than 2,000 years ago, according to Capital Kombucha co-founder Andreas Schneider. The drink’s ingredients include brewed tea, Kombucha culture, sugar and handmade flavors.

Schneider says most of the sugar is evaporated in the fermenting process, and that what’s left are the antioxidants associated with tea and a distinct probiotic quality (read: your intestinal tract will love you).

Schneider, along with his friends John Lee and Dan Lieberman, began to bottle Kombucha seriously in February of this year. The three met last fall as classmates in the George Washington University MBA program, which they will complete next year. Today, they bottle and prepare Kombucha locally from a commercial kitchen on Georgia Avenue, using ingredients from DC Central Kitchen’s Nutrition Lab to craft their hand-prepared flavors.

So what does Kombucha taste like? Imagine a tart fruit drink that is lighter than juice, but sweeter than water. A bottle of Capital Kombucha will set you back around $3.50, but the flavors are interesting enough to give it a try; they include Mango Chile, Basil Lemongrass, Mint Lime and Peach.

Today, you can buy bottles of their Kombucha  in stores across DC, including Seasonal Pantry, Yola, Smucker Farms, Buddha B yoga, Bourbon Coffee and Sticky Fingers Bakery.

Schneider says their drinks pair well with smoothies and cocktails. He recommends testing out the two recipes below.

Capital Kombucha Bellini

Ingredients

  • 1 Raspberry
  • 2 Ounces chilled Peach Capital Kombucha
  • 3 Ounces chilled prosecco or champagne

Preparation

  1. In a champagne flute, lightly muddle raspberries before adding kombucha.
  2. Slowly pour over prosecco or champagne, stir and serve.

Booch Berry Mojito

Ingredients

  • 5 blueberries OR raspberries
  • 4 mint leaves
  • 2 oz. Mint Lime Capital Kombucha
  • 2 oz. white rum
  • ½ oz lime juice
  • ½ oz simple syrup *
  • ½ oz soda water
  • Ice (crushed or cubed)

Preparation

  1. Add mint leaves, blueberries/raspberries, lime juice and simple syrup to a glass. Muddle ingredients firmly for 30 seconds (berries should be crushed).
  2. Add 2 oz. Mint Lime Capital Kombucha and 2 oz. white rum to the glass and mix with a spoon.
  3. Add ice and ½ oz of soda water.
  4. To really impress the guests garnish the glass by sliding one mint sprig or raw sugar cane into the glass.

* Simple syrup is equal parts sugar and water, then heated to dissolve. To make a simple syrup, bring 16 oz. of water to a boil, add 16 oz. of sugar, turn off heat, stir until dissolved. Allow syrup to cool before pouring.

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- who has written 50 posts on Borderstan.

Ashley Lusk is an active member of D.C.’s food community and writes for her own blog, Metropoetrylis, where she interprets the movement of the city populous. She does digital marketing and social media for a youth development organization by day, is found eating her way around The District at night. Catch her on Twitter at @arlusk.

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