Kombucha is definitely a conversation starter. If you’ve never tried the fizzy beverage, then you might not understand why. If you make it for a living, like Vanessa Tortolano and Alla Shapiro, owners of Nessalla Kombucha, then you quickly learn that people are fascinated by the stuff.
One question leads to another and pretty soon you’re in the midst of an hour-long conversation about a beverage that many drinkers claim increases energy, detoxifies the body and enhances the immune system.
No one knows exactly where kombucha originated, but it’s been around, in some form or fashion, for thousands of years, Vanessa says. The drink is made using a culture of bacteria and yeast to ferment a strong tea and sugar solution.
Vanessa and Alla started making kombucha about four years ago in Madison, where they met and struck up a friendship. Their friendship grew into a business partnership and their kombucha business spread by word-of-mouth.
“Kombucha is a lifestyle choice. Most likely, if you are choosing to drink kombucha, you are on the path to better health,” Vanessa said. “We are living in a time where people are becoming aware that they need to take an active role in their health and well being and kombucha can definitely contribute to that.”
Vanessa and Alla use Fair Trade and organic ingredients and Rishi Teas to make Nessalla kombuchas. You can find Nessalla Kombucha, in a variety of flavors, at your favorite Outpost.