Forget Bubble Tea, It’s Time to Catch the Kombucha Wave

by | Jul 11, 2019

The bubble tea flame is burning the brightest it has ever been in Singapore. With a new establishment opening per week it almost seems like, one would think that there’s a hidden KPI (Key Performance Indicator) issued down from some large, overlord Taiwanese F&B corporation.

And I get it, sweetened milk tea with chewy pearls make for a great sweet treat, tack on some brown sugar syrup and for some, it’s heaven on earth. If you consider all the XXL Chicken Cutlet and Braised Pork Rice, it’s safe to say that Singaporeans love Taiwanese cuisine. 

But with recent #stayfit campaigns, healthier choices and healthier living appear to be next big thing and that has given renewed attention to alternative drinks that actually have existed for many years now. 

Kombucha drinks may sound trendy, but the beverage has been around for a while now. In fact, kombucha is said to have a history stretching back well into the 18th and 19th Century, with some sources even alluding to its origins in China in 220 B.C. 

Kombucha is essentially a drink consisting of tea and sugar, fermented with a symbiotic culture/colony of bacteria and yeast (SCOPY). What you get is a lightly sweetened fizzy drink falling somewhere between the lines of sparkling apple cider and champagne – with the resultant brew highly dependent on the tea. 

Mainly prized for its detoxifying properties and being packed full of probiotics, Kombucha is said to be very beneficial to maintaining and improving your gut health. 

So, the next time you see that long queue at Liho or Koi, maybe look the other way and get your hands on one of these three Kombucha drinks — before the crowds decide to swing their collective attention this way again. 

1. Bushwick

These drinks comes in what looks like beer bottles and can be dispensed from kegs, but no, beer they are not. What you are looking at is actually Kombucha tea from Bushwick Biotech. 

Relocating from America in 2013, Bushwick brings their organic probiotic beverages to our shores all the way from Brooklyn, New York. When founder Dan Gerick came over, he realised he faced the same problem when he first started in Brooklyn, there was no Kombucha available. 

Thus began the plan to build a craft Kombucha brewery in Singapore. 6 years in and with extensive research, Bushwick Singapore produces their very own organic and completely natural Kombucha, with The Mad Alchemist brand of Kombucha being distributed in cafes islandwide. 

2. Craft & Culture

Craft & Culture, on the other hand, is born and bred locally. The brainchild of co-founders Winnie and Zhi Wei, Craft & Culture was born out of the duo’s love for fermented drinks. 

Since discovering their shared love of Kombucha tea and Kefir milk on a company trip, Winnie and Zhi Wei translated their probiotic brewing experience into an entrepreneur enterprise that delivers on a well-balanced range of Kombucha and Kefir. 

Today, they have partnerships expanding into skincare with the creation of a Kombucha skin balm. The lotion is handmade and apparently free from all the chemical products that are usually present in many commercial brands.

3. Fizzicle Kombucha

Another local product, Melissa Mak is regarded as one of the pioneers in the local Kombucha brewing scene, and her Fizzicle Kombucha consistently tops the list amongst Kombucha breweries in Singapore.

Her specialty resides in refining a sugar-free jun Kombucha with a specific SCOPY culture which ferments honey instead of the type of refined sugar that is commonly found in many other probiotic Kombucha products. This results in a drink that is naturally fizzy that is sweet with a touch of tartness. 

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