Ypsilanti Citizen Community Lincoln Schools

Volunteers prepare for Ypsi PRIDE Day
By Mark Tower
May. 13, 2010   ·   7:09 a.m.

Volunteers and W.H. Canon employees plant flowers in Depot Town while Ypsilanti resident Mike Labadie repairs the planter's brick work on Ypsi PRIDE Day last year.

Each year, residents in and around the city of Ypsilanti carry on a tradition started by a group of community members enrolled in a city leadership program, a sort...read more

Bicycles zoom as flowers bloom
By Citizen staff
Apr. 30, 2010   ·   2:11 p.m.

Riders from last year's spring ride come in after a long trip. Bike Ypsi’s 2010 Spring Ride and Festival is from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Sunday at Recreation Park (1015 Congress Street).

The weather has turned, the trees are budding and the flowers are popping out of the ground; time for a cruise through town. But don’t be so quick to hop in the...read more

Sheriff Clayton visits Ypsilanti Township
By Mark Tower
Apr. 29, 2010   ·   12:59 p.m.

Ypsilanti Township resident Kathleen Hanadel takes notes as her and other residents attempt to asses WCSO services Tuesday evening at a community forum held at the township's community center.

About 50 Ypsilanti Township residents gave the Washtenaw County Sheriff Office their input about law enforcement in the community Tuesday evening.

The information...read more

Local photographer raising funds for Ypsi Project exhibit
By Adrienne Ziegler
Apr. 20, 2010   ·   2:20 a.m.

Ypsilanti resident Nicholas Beltsos his grandson Demetrios were photographed by Project Ypsi photographer Erica Hampton during a bike ride she took Monday. A former EMU economics professor, Beltsos and his family moved to Ypsi from Dearborn in 1967.

Ypsilanti has many faces, and Erica Hampton wants to share a few of them with you.

Over the past year, Hampton created the The Ypsi Project, a series of portraits...read more

Savoy taking shape as live music venue
By Dan DuChene
Apr. 17, 2010   ·   2:38 p.m.

Local funk band Third Coast Kings play in Ypsilanti's newest live music venue, Savoy, Friday night.

Ypsilanti's newest concert venue is preparing for its grand opening weekend April 23, more than a month after its soft opening March 13.

Formerly Club Divine,...read more

Ypsilanti kombucha tea business takes off

Photo by Charnika Jett

Owners Rachel and Tarek Kannan explain why their Unity Vibration Living Kombucha Tea is unique. The Ypsilanti-based business launched in November.

Unity Vibration Kombucha distribution growing

By Charnika Jett
Feb. 4, 2010    ·    1:07 p.m.

Coffee shops and cafes have long reined supreme for social gatherings and the free Internet hot spot for students. However, some customers have recently found their desire for hot foamy caffeine-infused drinks have gone cold when thinking about the health effects of their liquid habit.

Here to quench their thirst for healthier and tasty concoctions are Rachel and Tarek Kannan, owners of Unity Vibration Living Kombucha Tea. 

Currently, operating out of their Ypsilanti home, the Kannan’s are offering their new specialty flavored kombucha tea to local markets. And as more people taste their kombucha, more people are signing up to distribute their product at their business. 

“We're in 9 different stores, three Plum Markets, a deli [and] a bakery in Detroit, Tarek said. “Hopefully soon we will be in two Whole Foods stores as well.” 

In Ypsilanti, shoppers can find Unity Vibration Living Kombucha Tea at the Ypsilanti Food Co-op.

So what exactly is kombucha tea and how is it different from the others?

Similar to regular tea, kombucha includes a lot of anti-oxidants, but kombucha also has viable probiotics, enzymes minerals and vitamins to add to the many reasons to drink it. It also doesn’t come in the form of leaves like other tea does either. 

“[Kombucha] looks like a mushroom and like a floating pancake,” Tarek said. 

“Yeah, it’s like a jelly fish,” adds Rachel.
“You feed [the kombucha mushroom] black tea and sugar and it converts to sugar,” Tarek explained. 

“The caffeine in the tea then turns into glucuronic acid and acid probiotics. I don’t know where kombucha came from, but they’ve been drinking it in China and Russia for like two to three thousand years.” 

Tarek, an engineer and social worker, used to make wine and beer for himself and friends, but never thought of going into the business of creating his own tea. It wasn’t until he met his wife Rachel, who also enjoyed kombucha, that the idea started coming together. 

“I had a SCOBY (Symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts), which is what you start the kombucha with,” Rachel explained. “You need a culture and I had it and all my friends were doing it.” 

“I started to brew it and Tarek and I decided to do it together because we were buying too much of the brand at the store and it was too expensive at that point in our life,” Rachel said. 

Since officially opening in November, Unity Vibrations Kombucha Tea offers a variety of flavors of kombucha that the Kannan’s make themselves. The process of making one batch of kombucha takes 15 to 25 days and they charge $8 to $10 per bottle. 

“Our kombucha is more gourmet than a lot of other. We like the health aspect but were also really into the taste and the texture, like wine,” Rachel said. 

The Kannan’s also believe their brand of tea is different because they add more fresh juice to their kombucha and also “sounds vibrations” while it’s brewing. 

“We are both Buddhists and we have Tibetan bowls that makes different sound frequencies,” Rachel said.  
“We have them set up across the tanks and we ring them. We have positive intentions with sounding those. We believe those bowls have a lot of ancient wisdom and so we’re trying to bring that into the kombucha so everyone can experience really wonderful things.” 

In addition to the extra tender love and care they put into each batch of kombucha, they also add some pizzazz when creating the flavors. 

“We research and experiment,” Tarek said. “We’ve done some really crazy flavors."

The experimental black pepper flavor didn’t make the cut, but when it comes to the extreme flavors, the Kannans decide to keep those recipes for holiday flavors.  

“The Halloween flavor was [made of] chocolate, chili, honey, vanilla, all in one,” Tarek said.  

“People either loved it and couldn’t get enough, or they hated it. For winter, we had Cranberry Clementine, which was really excellent and extremely healthy.” 

For the future, the Kannan’s hope to expand their brand and Rachel would like to open a tasting room for their kombucha in either downtown Ypsilanti or Ann Arbor. 

“We love Ypsilanti, it’s a good community,” Rachel said. “I like being here because the brewers are here it’s an open minded community. People have received [our kombucha] pretty well here.” 

For more information on Unity Vibrations Kombucha Tea, visit their Web site.


© 2010 The Mojo News Group - Ypsilanti Citizen Home - About Ypsilanti Citizen - Contact Us - Advertising - Calendar - Archives - Terms of Use Citrus Stand Media Group Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional