Kombucha
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Hearing that I had a lab quality microscope, a guy at work wanted to know if I would look at some stuff he "cultures" and drinks called "Kombucha." He said that he had heard it was full of "crystals". Because this was fermented tea, I suspected that there were microbes involved. He presented me with a small sample. Since it was only the tea, not the floating Kombucha "mushroom" that produced it, I thought that whatever was in it would not be very dense.

Kombucha  400X - click to see larger Kombucha  400X - click to see larger

Instead of crystals I found several types of of microbes. I was beginning to wonder if he was culturing was what he thought he was culturing. The microbes were mobile though not nearly as energetic as typical pond critters. After it was left on a slide (under a coverslip) for a few days the larger microbes mutliplied and started to become increasingly green, suggesting they posessed chloryphyl or were consuming microbes that had it. Also, bacteria began to appear in dense colonies which formed interesting patterns. This can be seen clearly in the 1st and 4th picture. I suspect these aren't as dense in the Kombucha as they are on this slide which had been sitting around for a while I made a short MPEG movie of it and presented it to him. He was fascinated by it and incredibly, he still drinks the stuff!

Kombucha  400X - click to see larger Kombucha  400X - click to see larger
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