Kombucha: A fermented, slightly alcoholic drink made from black or green tea, sugar and scoby, short for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.
The fizzy probiotic brew is the talk of the town. Look anywhere from Goa’s artisanal restaurants serving homemade kombucha as their special health-conscious offering, to local brands selling labelled bottles of the exotic wellness drink at select stores all over the city. It’s undoubtedly one of the most innovative beverages in focus today that goes back thousands of years and across borders.
So where does kombucha originate? The ancient Chinese thought it was the elixir of life, the miracle drink that could grant immortality because of several health benefits associated with it including faster metabolism, better gut health, immunity boost and even protection against certain cancers.
Goans seem to have picked up on the latest health trend pretty fast and quite naturally owing to the state’s rich heritage of making homemade wines following a similar process. Here’s a list of local kombucha brews that are made and bottled in Goa and where to find them.
1. Swiss Happy Cow
Primarily an artisanal cheese brand run by a woman from the Alps named Barbara Schwarzfisher who’s been living in Goa for over a decade now, Swiss Happy Cow, based in Siolim, has recently introduced fermented drinks including local goodness in a bottle of kombucha. It’s available to buy at major outlets across North Goa and also at Oscar’s Junction down South.
Just ask for ‘the elixir of life’ by Swiss Happy Cow at the superstore to get your hands on one of these sweet and sparkling drinks to take home with you.
Borecha means ‘good tea’ in Konkani. Folks at the brewery like to call it an “anytime, anywhere drink”, which is probably why it’s bottled in pint form, to begin with. Manufactured in the western ghats within Goa, they produce some fizzing good flavours too including Piña Colada, Hawaiian Passion Fruit and Guava Chilli to Orange, Jasmine and Roasted Coconut. However, the scoop is that the classic flavour is a staple with Borecha lovers.
Available both online and on shelves across India from metros to quaint towns, you can also find it at their online shop or order it on Amazon for a system reboot.
3. Medūa Slow Living
Medūa Slow Living is an organic, vegan brand launched by Rashmi Krishnan. Her initiative aims to create wholesome plant-based products from locally-sourced ingredients while being socially conscious. Starting small with a luscious Mango booch, they hope to diversify with seasonal flavours and products along the way, while keeping the ideals of slow living paramount.
Head to Saukhyam, Sensible Earth in Porvorim, or Cafe Rasa Goa in Panjim to grab a bottle on the go! Follow their journey on Instagram.
4. Hombucha Kombucha
A new kid on the block, Hombucha Kombucha founded in August this year by Kezer Godinho and his wife Tatiana Radchenko, is yet another local name to join the new wave of alternative beverages. They experiment with a mix of many flavours in kombucha like Green tea, Original, Pineapple, Pomegranate, Apple and Cinnamon while constantly running promotional offers to make the drink more affordable. As of now, one can find it at select cafes and restaurants in North Goa including Godinho Bar and Restaurant and Cafe Ave Maria in Panjim, Cream Pump at Arpora, Valanka Supermarket in Calangute and Fès Deli at Margao in the South. You can also place an order via Swiggy to get it delivered at home.
With their homemade kombucha, they intend to spread awareness among Goans about the health benefits of drinking this rather tasty brew that’s slowly finding its way around.