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Jack Henderson
August 18, 2016

We ❤ Mother Kombucha

Together they run Mother Kombucha; the most well-known and widespread kombucha drink in Berlin. They serve a couple of restaurants like Parker Bowls and Standard Pizza, you may even have seen them in the craft beer shop Lager Lager! We met them to find out more about their tasty and healthy drink.

Firstly, What is kombucha?

(Clemens): Kombucha is a fermented tea, we produce it by using black tea, cane sugar, and water. Then we add a bacterial culture called ‘mother’ (a mixture between bacteria and yeast) and leave it to ferment for 10 days. I would call kombucha an energy and health drink, since the caffeine from the tea pumps you up whilst the bacteria helps your digestive system. It acts as a detox, something a few people here in Berlin need I think.

Are there any further health benefits?

(Clemens): Lots of blogs and history books talk about the health benefits of kombucha, which is only partly scientifically proven. The best way to find is to drink it yourself. I personally can feel the positive effect it has on my body and the response I get from others reiterates that too. You feel energised and refreshed after drinking it, I’d say it’s probably more refreshing than anything else I’ve had. So refreshing that a friend of mine drinks around 3 bottles a day!

 

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You’ve came along way in such a small amount of time, how did it all start?

(Clemens): At the start betahaus in fact played an initial roll, I was making kombucha at home and didn’t know anyone else making it in Berlin. A friend of mine was at the Christmas market and called, informing me that there was a girl there demonstrating kombucha, within 5 minutes I was there. That was when Alexis and I met, since then we’ve become both very good friends and business partners.

We were then introduced to the owners of Cordobar, a one of the best wine bars and restaurants not only in Berlin, but Germany itself. The guys there love to experiment with food and invited us for a tasting session. They immediately loved our kombucha so we decided to make a go of it, that was only a year ago.

 

“A friend of mine was at the Christmas market and called, informing me that there was a girl there demonstrating kombucha, within 5 minutes I was there”

If we would have kombucha bacteria at home, what recipe would you recommend us to try?

(Clemens): We’ve recently started making lemonade using Mother Kombucha as a base. You just add lime, mint leaves, elderflower syrup and of-course ice cubes. We’ve became addicted to this mix because it’s so simple to make and so refreshing in this hot weather!

We heard you’re currently serving various restaurants and clubs in Berlin, can you tell us more?

(Alexis): The first three places we were in were Cordobar, Parker Bowles and Industry Standard! All highly recommendable, young, and vibrant places here in Berlin. Actually, Parker Bowles’ bar manager, Fabian, has created some beautiful cocktails using our kombucha. One named Jerry Steiner, and my favourite; Queen mother breakfast lemonade, which is a gin based cocktail, infused with Earl Grey, lemon, maple syrup and obviously Mother Raw Kombucha..

We also have some new exciting partnerships. Firstly, the craft beer shop LagerLager and also Home Cafe in Neukölln. Go check them out, they’re all doing some truly amazing things.

 

Alexis

What else are you working on, tell us what you’ve got planned over the next coming months?

(Clemens): The plan for this summer is to explore how refreshing kombucha can be, we’ll not only be experimenting with different flavours and cocktails but also events too. Mother Kombucha is all about refreshment and that’s where we want to push the boundaries.

(Alexis): It’s really about making people understand what kombucha is too, that’s currently more important than trying to expand. It’s also difficult for us to grow as the expiry date for any bottle is 4 weeks. It’s because the drink is still technically ‘living’, so if you keep it for longer than 4 weeks, the bacteria will grow too big and the fizz will puts too much pressure on the bottle. Therefore our production cycle is very short and takes a lot of work, there is only three of us after all.

 

“The plan for this summer is to explore how refreshing kombucha can be, we’ll not only be experimenting with different flavours and cocktails but also events too”

What’s the division in work & tasks between you three?

(Clemens): Our team currently consists of 3 core members and a lot of very dedicated friends helping out whenever possible. The roles and responsibilities are very liquid amongst our team, we all focus on our strengths, overall it’s the big decisions we make as a group. At the end of the day the goal is to create a great drink and deliver it to the people. That’s our common goal and that’s what we’re all working towards.

 

If you’d like to try Mother Kombucha, you can buy a bottle in the café for 3€! Clemens, Alexis and Timo are also working on producing a six pack for those of you who want to enjoy the drink at home!

Join betahaus and become a member! Make here your first step! 

Toni: Honestly, we have skillsets that you don’t usually find in developers. Because we've had lives that were not just about computer science. I think to some extent this is what makes us different. 

Martin: I believe one of the reasons why people pick us over other studios is because it can be very hard working with developers. If you’re not understanding their work, if the communication is not flowing, you, as a client can feel lost. We're easy to communicate with and we’re always open to feedback and we're open to discuss anything. In the end, after all iterations, if you say we need to start the website from scratch and that you don’t like the idea, we won’t take it personally. 

Alex: Also, I think, since we all work as coding teachers, we are officially qualified to explain what coding is to people who don't code, which is actually really rare because a lot of developers, as Martin says, don't want to, or literally just don't know how to articulate what they're doing. Whereas we are trained in articulating what it is that we're doing, why it's meaningful and why it takes a certain amount of time.

Photo by Lea GK


Alex: Zimt & Mehl - the Turkish bakery around the corner. It’s just soo good.

Martin: Oh, there is this Italian restaurant called Ristorante del Arte

Tony: Oh, my God, this place is so funny. It looks like a pretty average Italian restaurant, but the whole interior design inside is just decorated in such a weird way. The entire place is covered in frescoes. They have crystal chandeliers and Easter bunnies. Some Greek columns. It has a different name on the menu, on the side and on the Internet. And it was an ex-shoe-store.

Want to get in touch with Obst Digital? Come around betahaus | Neukölln and meet them here or send them an email to contact@obst.digital !

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