After I nearly let my milk kefir grains die (again!) because the only person who would be able to drink said kefir was my husband, I decided to look into non-dairy probiotic cultured/fermented beverages. Long term, these are far cheaper than constantly buying probiotics. The two top contenders were:
Water Kefir (Also Coconut Water Kefir), which ferments sugary water into a refreshing, probiotic beverage that can take on the flavors of whatever fruits or other things are added. Water Kefir has been described as Fresca for Hippies.
Kombucha, whose starter is called a “tea mushroom” or SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast), takes a sweetened tea and does the same sort of thing to it as the water kefir, except that this particular combination also produces glucuronic acid, a detoxifying substance.
After much research, I couldn’t decide between the two – so I ordered starters for both from eBay. I know that there are other places to get them “free for shipping,” but this was fastest, simplest, and most secure. (The seller has over 2,000 ratings, all positive.)
I will send updates as soon as they arrive and I am able to make my first drinks.