Hello Kombucha nation! This is Founder Interview number 5. Today, we are interviewing Tadeusz, a fellow Kombucha brewer from Berlin and the founder of Bärbucha Kombucha. Bärbucha's Kombucha Café will be open for participants on the second day of Kombucha Summit. We hope many of you will drop by!
Our Bärbucha Kombucha is the first commercial Kombucha in Berlin. It was established May 2015 & we are still going strong. We produce, what we call a boutique-style Kombucha. So a Kombucha that is of high quality & in limited, individual, single batches. The tea that we use in some of our Kombucha can be as high as over 300 €/kg, like in the case of our Hong Cha & the herbals that we use, can also be quite up there, like the Siberian Chaga.
We do not use any fruits or juices & our Kombucha is unfiltered & naturally carbonated. We have around 20 different varieties of Kombucha in three different lines. Our Classic Line is an entry line & it includes four different Kombucha & one Jun. This line is available through few other places in Berlin. Our Premium Line features Kombucha made out of a one single tea, like Pai Mu Tan (white tea), Oriental Beauty Oolong or Taiwanese Red Tea called Hong Cha. One exception in this category is our Guayusa Kombucha, which is made out of leaves of Ilex guayusa, so not strictly a tea (Camelia sinensis), but a substance that people in Ecuador drink like a tea. And finally our Special Line has Kombucha made with unusual substances of high medicinal value - like Chaga, Jiaogulan, Schisandra or Lapacho just to name a few.
Our Premium & Special Lines are available only at our Kombucha Café – Café Bärbucha, which happens to be Europe’s first, & as far as I know, the only Kombucha Café. We are aiming our product at a bit more mature audience. So i.e. people who want to find a good wine substitute that they can enjoy, people who consider themselves to be tea connoisseurs, people who are interested herbal medicine or, even all the home brewers who want to experience something totally different. But I want to point out that our Kombucha can be enjoyed by all people who love Kombucha.
I came across Kombucha quite early - in the first part of the 1990s when I lived in US. I started brewing it myself in 2010 & when I moved to Berlin in 2014, I brought the culture with me. I knew from my previous visits to Berlin that there was no raw Kombucha available in Berlin, in the same way as it was already the case in the US. So that gave me an idea of creating the first Kombucha company in this city. While looking for an appropriate location, I was giving Kombucha workshops & was working on our first creation – the recipe for Bärbucha Classic. We found a suitable place in November 2014 & after some renovations we opened the doors, in 2015, to what is now known as: Bärbucha – Kombucha Café & Fermenterei.
Since Kombucha was relatively unknown to most of the Berliners, we have opted to start with this Kombucha Café instead of a production facility only. This way we were & still are able to educate the public about Kombucha. With time we have significantly increased the varieties of our Kombucha to the current levels. In addition to Kombucha, we also sell Kombucha supplies for home brewing & we do Kombucha Workshops in three different languages.
In our Kombucha Café, we serve Kombucha in Champagne glasses & in the form of Kombucha Flights. We have a Kombucha book library to browse through & also what we call “The Kombucha of the World” bottle collection. Producing all the Kombucha, doing workshops & running the Kombucha Café is obviously a full time devotion. As it is also my passion, than I really cannot call it a job. It fulfils my creativity & helps me discover & evolve in my other fields of interest like the amazing world of teas, herbal medicines or in photography (I take all of our pictures).
Although we deliver to few places in Berlin, most of our sales are through our Kombucha Café. We are working on making our product available online throughout Germany & we have couple of interesting co-operations in the working.
I would like to see the Kombucha consciousness growing among the European populations. We hope it reaches levels that we see in the English speaking countries. Kombucha was already big in Germany in 1980s & 1990s, although not commercially & the first Kombucha Guru is a German. His name is Günther W. Frank. He wrote the first books about Kombucha & had the first website devoted to all about Kombucha. Unfortunately, with time most of the knowledge was forgotten, just like in other European countries. Luckily things are beginning to change.
Why should people be drinking Kombucha? Simple. When it’s done right, it’s delicious. Two, it’s a living & functional drink. There are not that many other drinks that actually give your body something additional, besides quenching your thirst. And drinking water is very healthy & important, but it also can be very boring.
Obviously meeting other fellow brewers from this continent & re-connecting with the ones that we already know. My other expectation would be a possible & much needed buzz in the press about this Summit, as well as about Kombucha in general & about German Kombucha companies. Something that is actually lacking here in this country. We are hoping to see all of you attending in our Kombucha Café on Sunday. But hopefully not all at once!
Thanks, Tadeusz! You keep reading — we keep posting these interviews from the exciting world of Kombucha!
For those of you interested in participating in October: You can purchase late-bird tickets until August 5 here and in case you have any questions, comments or suggestions, ping us any time at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Instagram.
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