Hyderabad: A pandemic may not be the right time to start a business, but for some home brewers of probiotic drink Kombucha, it has turned out to be the perfect time to tweak a few recipes.
Picking up off the trend of the fermented drink that owes its origin to China, a few enterprising individuals took to brewing their own flavoured concoctions in the city and are now raking in loads of moolah on it.
For the uninitiated, kombucha is nothing but fermented brewed tea. It could be black/green or even oolong tea depending on how strong a taste one wants. Those who drink it on the regular describe it as having a tart taste, a bit sweet and sour thrown in together in a fizzy drink that’s all natural. The fermentation happens when you add SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) to a sugary team where the yeast and bacteria eat up all the sugar over weeks resulting in a refreshing and slightly sour fizzy drink.
Having tried his hand at brewing the drink as a student at Manipal university, Rahul K, a engineering graduate realised there was a market for it as students guzzled it down in a jiffy and found himself making batches of it. The youngster who is in his 20s shared his idea with his friend Twinkle and the two rolled out their brand Hydra Kombucha this year.
“What we realised is the age group of people going for such drinks is mostly between 18 to 35 who have some idea about kombucha. We also tried to educate more people about the benefits that it is really good for the gut and immunity,” says Twinkle. The brand offers flavours like Mango jalapeno, Pomegranate basil, masala chai and pineapple apart from the original flavour kombucha.
“Pineapple is our most popular flavour. Generally, when they first hear about it, people think about the taste, as health drinks aren’t tasty and are considered an acquired taste. But, with kombucha, we add natural flavours that don’t make it seem so,” adds Twinkle, who comes from an event management background.
Like the two friends, another duo Shruti Padala and Divya Vegesna fell in love with the fermented drink during a trip to Gokarna in 2017, but when they came back to Hyderabad and looked for places that sold it, they couldn’t find any.
“So I started reading more about kombucha and was surprised to learn that it has health benefits apart from being a funky and fun drink. I started to brew it in small batches for me and my family. It became a hit among my friends too and a part of our get-togethers. After a lot of experimenting, I partnered with my friend and we launched our brand called Booch Please,” says Shruti, who runs the Hyderabad operations with her brother Abhishek Padala while Divya Vegesna takes care of Vizag operations.
They offer six flavours, Bloody Beet, Zesty Ginger, Goofy Grape, Mexican Mama, Apple Pie and Purple Rain.
“We also have limited edition seasonal flavours from time to time, apart from bi-weekly subscriptions,” shares Shruti, who balances a sales and marketing job while doing this part-time. Both brands like to keep things as organic as possible.
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