Words and photo by Emily Akins
This is our new favorite drink. There are lots of names for it; most people call it Water Kefir, but we call it Tibicos. And the cutest thing ever is Julia asking for “teebeecosh!” It’s a probiotic beverage made with kefir grains. Which sounds so weird when I explain it. So I’ve started just saying that it’s like home made soda but it’s good for you instead of bad for you.
It’s good for you the way that yogurt or milk kefir are good for you – because of the good bacteria that grows. You start out with kefir grains (not real “grains” – they actually look like giant salt crystals). You feed them sugar (and a few other things). They grow and grow during the first ferment; then you flavor the tibicos in the second ferment, after you’ve removed the grains. And in just a matter of days you have some lovely and delicious “soda” (so to speak).
Our favorite flavors are peach or apricot (flavored with tea), lemon juice, or ginger. (Oh and we made a black currant one once that tasted just like a Clearly Canadian!)
See below for the “recipe” we received from our friend who got us started in the world of water kefir. We have (miraculously!) kept our grains going for a couple of months now and while we did have to slow down production, we have kept a steady cycle going. And when we’ve gone on tibicos hiatus in order to leave town, I have missed it so much.
Julia likes it pretty well, too. Clara is still deciding. But I’m glad to have some probiotics to give them to balance out the antibiotics we had to give them a few weeks ago. Gotta keep that balance.
We will have extra grains up for grabs periodically. Happy to spread the Tibicos gospel and the grains!
For more info: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/water-kefir-frequently-asked-questions-faq