If you aren’t yet familiar with the kombucha craze, it’s time you got on board. Originating as an ‘immortality elixir’ in China as far back as 220 B.C., kombucha offers not just a uniquely sweet-tart flavor, but is also said to have many health benefits. Kombucha contains live probiotic cultures, B vitamins, and antioxidants, all which may play important roles in GI health, digestion, mood, and immunity, making it the perfect addition to your spring detox plan. At the Shop, we carry the best local kombucha we’ve found: Neu Kombucha, made with love by Jennie Neu and her fiancé, Julius Sipkay.
Kombucha is carefully crafted by fermenting “good bugs” (bacteria and yeast, also known as a SCOBY), sugar & tea. The meticulous process involves fermenting each batch in a sterile environment for 7 to 10 days or more before bottling. It’s what comes next in the process that makes Neu Kombucha’s craft-brewed “elixirs of love,” as Jennie and Julius fondly call them.
Everything from the distinctive brown bottles that are manufactured right here in Detroit to the organic lavender sourced from a local co-op, Neu Kombucha is committed to using only organic ingredients, locally sourced when possible. Their 4 unique flavors–Root Beer, Pineapple Ginger, Lavender Lemonade & best-seller Superberry–do not disappoint. Jennie describes them as “a little lighter and a little sweeter [than some of the nationally distributed kombuchas], with beautiful subtle tones that make them all really approachable and enjoyable to drink.”
Jennie Neu started brewing kombucha 3 years ago, making small, 5-gallon batches for customers of the cafe where she worked. Today, she and Julius run the business together, squeezing in production between shifts at the Cacao Tree Cafe in Royal Oak (Jennie) and a full-time gig at Ford Motor Company (Julius). They recently moved to a new kitchen space in the Cacao Tree’s basement and amped up production to a 55-gallon, continuous brew system.
“We work long days, but we’re finally starting to see our hard work pay off, and it’s totally worth it when you see how happy people are with your product and they keep coming back for more,” Julius says.
Are you curious to try these refreshing local elixirs? Check out our selection of Neu Kombucha at the Shop.