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Buffalo's Bucha Scene Grows with Snowy Owl Kombucha

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Written by Brett Llenos Smith

Published on July 20, 2016


It’s a sweltering summer day and your refreshment options are:

1) iced tea
2) fruit juice
3) beer

What do you choose?

If you think iced tea is too bland, fruit juice is too tangy, and a beer is too dehydrating, you may want to go with a well-balanced and medium bodied refreshment from Snowy Owl Kombucha.

For the uninitiated, kombucha is a fermented beverage that has been made in Asia for centuries. Essentially, it’s a sweet iced tea that has been inoculated with a bacterial culture. The bacteria convert sugars into carbonation, B vitamins, and antioxidants.

Steeping lavender lemonade tea for our Saturday Tasting. It’s gonna be a totally #herbal experience. #Kombucha #juice

A photo posted by Snowy Owl Kombucha (@snowyowlko) on


Advocates for the drink claim it offers all kinds of health benefits, but I’ll leave that topic for another day. Instead, I’ll just say that it is a probiotic beverage, and research is constantly showing the benefits of consuming probiotic food products.
While many kombuchas on the market stick to traditional tea-based flavors, Snowy Owl Kombucha doesn’t always base its flavor profiles around the earthy tones of steeped tea leaves.
Rather, most of the company’s drinks blend kombucha with freshly pressed juices. The result is a deeply rich and effervescent drink that pleases the palate with, say, the tang of strawberry or the sweetness of mango.
 

 
Kombucha is also a healthy alternative to other sugary carbonated beverages, and on a recent trip to visit Snowy Owls’ pop-up in the Old First Ward, co-founder Tara Sasiadek told me many of her company’s products have become kid favorites.

“We just juiced this morning, so this is freshest juice you can get, and there are no odd fake flavors or chemicals,” she said. “We’re also trying to make unique flavors with what’s local. So we’re using mint and lavender from local farms and we’re just trying to see what we can use and grow that’s from as close to home as possible.”

Sourcing spices for a custom chai blend. #Kombucha #tea #potions
A photo posted by Snowy Owl Kombucha (@snowyowlko) on


Snowy Owl has a number of unique flavor combinations in their product line, which is constantly rotating.  One of their regular products called the “Fauxjito” mixes kombucha with fresh mint and muddled limes. The “Hater-aid” has cherry juice and coconut water, a combination designed to soothe and hydrate.

The kombucha company will have a permanent retail location in the Barrel Factory, a soon-to-be-opened multi-use facility on Vandalia Street in the Old First Ward. For now, Snowy Owl holds pop-up events outside the Barrel Factory on Wednesday evenings and Saturday afternoons, which includes free tastings of the company’s product line.

I was able to sample a few different flavors, and I can tell you Snowy Owl’s products run the gamut from kid-friendly and very approachable to a bit funkier and more challenging to less-experienced palates.  I was definitely able to pick out a few flavors that not only taste great on their own; they also seemed like ideal cocktail mixers.

 

 
“I think giving people tastes make them way more comfortable because it’s kind of an unusual product,” Sasiadek said. “When you buy it in a co-op, you’re kind of like, ‘I think I want this. It sounds like its good, but I can’t tell.’”

“So here you can tell that you’re going to love it and then you can take home what you love,” she added.
For more info on Snowy Owl Kombucha head to snowyowlko.com and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.
 

Snowy Owl Kombucha

69 Vandalia St, Buffalo, NY
Pop-up Hours: Wednesday 5-7 pm, Saturday 2-4 pm
64oz Growler fills are $15
Photos x Snowy Owl Kombucha
snowyowlko.com
 
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Written by <a href="https://stepoutbuffalo.com/author/brett-smith/" target="_self">Brett Llenos Smith</a>

Written by Brett Llenos Smith

Brett Llenos Smith is a freelance writer based in Buffalo’s Allentown neighborhood who has been covering local food and culture for the Step Out Buffalo over the past six years. As someone with a multi-ethnic background, he has a passion for exploring and understand the many diverse corners of Western New York.
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