Friday, February 6, 2015

The Beginner's Guide To Brew Your Own Kombucha

So #eatclean and #stayfit is your goal in 2k15 and you're running out of money to support your ~~*groovy hippie*~~ lifestyle because organic foods and drinks are SO expensive.
Don't give up just yet, go dump diving or something. Or make your own kombucha!
Kombucha is loaded with health benefits which you can google or click here to educate yo'self. 

Kombucha is a fermented tea drink so it's basically good for your guts. And it's cheap and easy to make! I'm super clumsy and my life is a series of unfortunate events -but if I can make my own kombucha, I guess you can too!

You'll need:
- glass container
-coffee filter/paper towel/towel to cover the brew
-elastics to secure

-black tea bags or loose (you can choose other tea, but black tea is best)
-white sugar (do not use other sweetener, honey or agave!)
-kombucha mushroom, also known as SCOBY or Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast, I know this sounds really gross and scary but it is a magical createur that will transform regular sweet black tea into a liquid health goodness (I get mine from eBay, or you can ask around a hippie community? You can make your own SCOBY from kombucha liquid but let's face it, ain't nobody got time for that!)
-starter liquid which can be kombucha you get from stores or use vinegar and water

What you need to do:
-disinfect your container with boiling water and vinegar, let cool
-boil a liter of water
-add around 8 grams of tea (1 tsp = 3 gr), a tea bag is normally 2 gr
-let seep for 15 mins
-add in the sugar, about 100gr (1 Tsp=20 gr)
-let the tea cool completely (!)

-pour the tea+sugar mixture to the container (strain if you use loose tea)
-add in a cup of the starting liquid (either kombucha or vinegar+water)
-with a clean hand (wash with warm water and vinegar) out the SCOBY into the container
-cover the container and use elastics to secure
-place the container in warm, dark place. like your ex lover's heart?! -I mean kitchen would be ideal but i have flatmates and I don't want them to see the SCOBY and freak out, so I keep it in my room.

-you may check your brew after 1 week, try if the taste is to your liking
-you can let it brew for 1-2 weeks (until the taste is ok for you), 3 weeks max because it probably will get too sour to drink
-so if you like the taste of your kombucha you can remove the SCOBY and the newly formed baby SCOBY (everytime you brew kombucha, the SCOBY will give birth to a cute bby gremlin of SCOBY)
and drink it. Or...

-if you want to have your booch fizzy because you're craving soda, you need a second fermentation in which you remove the SCOBY off the kombucha drink and store it in an air-tight bottles. You can also put different flavors if you wish when bottling your kombucha. Use thinly chopped ginger, or frozen fruits and your imagination - the options are endless!
-put the bottle in warm dark place and let it ferment for few days (2-14 days)
-when you like the taste you can strain it or drink it right away.
-store in fridge to stop the fermentation.
-enjoy your own brewed kombucha and instagram it and brag about it at the next dinner party and brew some more and give it to all your friends!

*do not use metal object like spoon or fork to discard the SCOBY or to taste the brew
*it's totally cool if the SCOBY is floating on top, sideways or make itself comfy at the bottom of the container or have like brown strings attached to it, however if you see molds: abort the mission! Discard everything and start from the beginning with a new, healthy SCOBY and be more careful, also: revise your life.
*use the baby SCOBY for your next brew, the mama SCOBY still can be used or stored with a bit of kombucha liquid before you use it again
*I would gladly share my SCOBY baby if you're interested in brewing your own kombucha
*because of the fermentation, kombucha gonna contain a tiny bit of alcohol (about 1%), not that you need to worry about it, but I just feel like putting it out there.
*I got my glass container and bottle from Ikea (the Korken series), about 2,50 euro each.
*use organics if possible, but normal black tea and sugar works perfectly fine too.
*singing Ed Sheeran songs to your kombucha will not make it sweeter - the shorter the brew period the sweeter it will taste. The longer you let it brew, the more sugar will be consumed by the SCOBY. 
*happy brewing!

the SCOBY floating on top // day one of brewing

Saturday, January 3, 2015

how to: super cute lipscrub

you need ONLY 3 ingredients that you most probably already have in your kitchen if you're a normal human being:

-4 tbs castor sugar
-2 tbs organic (lol) coconut oil
-a drop of food coloring (optional)

mix shit up, transfer&store into a cute teeny jar, voila! you got yourself a cute lipscrub that is comparable to lush product with fraction of the price! without even leaving the house! you can practically making these in your undies while watching seinfeld.

put about a pea sized of product into yr lips, scrub scrub for about 3 mins, while doing that go on and listen to ed sheeran to achieve the maximal soothing effect, when you're done scrubbin' wipe off the residue with a tissue OR just lick it off. I did and haven't died yet, plus it's tasty.

The scrubbin' get your lips smooth and the tiny bit swelling is great because your lips would feel fuller and looks hot like kylie jenner's --only, like way natural.

you can of course get creative and use brown sugar, olive oil, jojoba oil, sweet almond oil if you don't have coconut oil on hand. i bet adding peppermint extract would be great as well, or cinnamon (because it helps to make the lips plumper).

Monday, November 17, 2014

kapadokya // istanbul

1) shadow selfie 
2) church room in the monastery
3) rock living
4) looking out (running out of ideas to name the photo)
5) the chicken village
6) proportions
7) on the road
8) welcome earthlings!
9) wearing totoro neckpillow and asking for milk on the plane because i'm a baby
10) potsmoderism?
11) sleeping child (ok, a dog)
12) the basillica cistern
13) the blue mosque
14) distance
15) maghrib
16) love is an open door 
17) mezze and menemen (aka my true love in a form of tomato spiced rührei)
18) the calm after the rain
19) surveillance
20) communication
21) çay
22) hostel noir
23) a little hint
24) and a little hope

Friday, November 14, 2014

On Solo Traveling

This isn't my first time.
I can do this.
I'm doing this.

I kept repeating those lines on the bus ride to Berlin, on the plane, stranded in Kiev Airport, until I finally reached my final destination, Atatürk Airport in Istanbul.

Traveling, solo or with companion is exciting. You wake up early, beating the alarm clock, because that's how excited you are to go out there and see things you haven't seen before.
Sure airports, lay overs, plane ride, crowded train rides, or long overnight bus rides are depressing, but I always crave for that feeling, along with that exhale when you finally got there. The place you been eyeing on Lonely Planet guide, google image and tags on Instagram.
When I finally arrived in Göreme, Cappadocia I couldn't stop smiling. The whole place blew my mind, it was much prettier than those filtered insta pictures in real!

But sights and places are not the only things that makes the trip, often the people, companions matters.
Sometimes I feel like I could just replace familiar faces who I could've shared these experiences with with people I met along the way, and I did. Brisk meetings, deep conversations, laughs, good-byes.
It is so easy to meet people when you travel alone - and this comes from this rather unsocial girl.

This girl at the breakfast table striked up a conversation because I was wearing my Twin Peaks shirt. We talked and talked and found out she's a vegetarian too. And it t's such a great feeling to bond with people with similarities.

The two aussie girls I met at the dorm room are both 19 and traveling Europe to figure out what they want to do next (I'm secretly jealous I didn't have the chance to do the same when I was younger), the one girl, Molly and I also shared similar taste of music and I ended up introducing her to few of my favorite bands like Beirut and Foxygen.

I met Adam one morning also at the breakfast table. He was doing something with a alumunium cylinder tube thing, so I asked him what he's doing, and he answered with still a bed voice, "making my own coffee," - what a hipsterscum, I thought. Seriously this bearded dude would go to the lounge every morning, grinding his own coffee beans, put it in a filter tube and basically making his own coffee when there's obviously coffee served on the table. Ok, I was conflicting with myself to either think it's either cool or snotty kind of behaviour he was engaging.
But yeah, turned out Adam is a barista who spent a year in Denmark and now traveling en route home. And he actually offered me (!) a cup of his precious coffee. We also went hiking together and unravel our shared love on Sriracha sauce.
One woman, who also joined us hiking, Steph is a journalist and a writer. I had nice deep conversations about so many things with her, from the german language, feminism to hipsters in her hometown in Portland (it can't get more hipster than that). We were in the middle of a conversation when the shuttle picked me up to go to the airport. It was sort of sad. But people always come and go, you lose some you gain some more.

And there was also Gopal, an indian guy from Singapore. One evening, we hung out at the lounge also with the aussie girls and this other guy from London and he was sugar high. It was the most fun I've had in a long time. Such lovely crowds. We played backgammon together, and they basically discovered food delivery service in Göreme that later is praised by other fellow backpackers at the hostel, because the place is basically freezing once the sun goes down and ain't nobody got time to go out to get foods. We also laughed our asses off this immature joke on a turkish bus company named kamil koç, I contributed by making this terrible line that goes, "How do you get there?" "I'm riding kamil koç (read: something inappropriate)". Yep, we are immature.

It was just such lovely time at the hostel, good vibe and cool people. That was the case for Cappadocia. In Istanbul, I was mostly a lone wolf, maybe a lone kitty. It's easy to feel some type of einsamtkeit when you're all alone in a big city, think Scarlet Jo in Lost in Translation. Except that she's 10000x prettier, met Bill Murray and basically still having a fabulous arty time in Tokyo, while me, nodding softly when the waiter asked, "table for one?" and basically just going from one neighborhood to another petting probably half population of cats of Istanbul (and there's tons of cats in Istanbul!), yeah okay, that's actually not so bad.
But along with the high number of cats population, the amount of cat calls I got is also extremely high. Around my time of travel, the video of girl walking for 10 hours in NYC also went viral, which made my anger bubbling even more reading all the dumb, ignorant comments. But that's off-topic.

Summing everything up, like everthing in the world, there's always goods and bads. And in the end, the world is a book and those who don't travel only read a page traveling is cool (or at least it helps into tricking your friends to think you lead a cool life), you get to finally update your facebook and instagram account with cool pics, you probably meet cool people and get the chance to try cool things.

Most important is that when you travel alone, when often time you would get lost navigating between the small dim-lighted streets, you would eventually find your way back.
While traveling alone, lost, you may lost, but in the end you found yourself.
Because again, yourself is the coolest companion you could ask for.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

About hipsters

I'm currently reading text for my communication studies class and suddenly it crossed my mind that in this society where pop culture rules, people who choose to get off the mainstream, people who actually read classic literature and not into top 40 music, people who go to museum and art exhibition, some people who are "different" than the others, "the normal group" are considered as a hipster. I'm almost sure the word "hipster" has a negative connotation? Not one person want himself to be labelled "hipster" and some people use the term to mock someone who tries to do anti-mainstream things.
This society and that includes the mass media sculpt our thinking process. Entertainment is more appreciated than education or art. How sad is that.
I've been called a wanna be hipster or into hipsters and my reaction was to get bit upset about it. All this time people around me and the media makes me think that hipster is a no-no. Some people also claimed hipsters to be the worst kind of people out there.
I mean sure there are some people who are typical hipsters (in the way they dress, thick rimmed glasses, beanie, american apparel are some examples of what most people think what a hipster person would wear - or based on their hobbies of reading, knitting, brewing beer at home, or any other typical hipster characteristics) who tend to think themself as better human than the rest, but a bad personality could also be owned by someone who is not a typical hipster at all too.
My main point is just the reality is sad that when you want to be different and appreciate things that are not considered a popular culture, you are being labeled something with a negative conotation (like the term hipster).