Kombucha is making its way into the Kerala consumer market for the right reasons. This probiotic-rich drink has attracted the taste palette of Malayalis and it is here to stay. We spoke to the founders of Kumbayah Foods, Arvind and Ashvini, about their kombucha venture that’s considerably becoming popular in Kerala. This brew is a type of tea that has been fermented and has a sweet and sour taste. One of the reasons people consume this drink is because it promotes a healthy immune system and prevents constipation. But more that, it tastes really damn good.
28-year-old Trivandrum native Arvind is a musician by profession. He was doing Hindustani music in Bhopal before he started Kumbayah Foods. He also worked as a playback singer in Chennai. A foodie at heart, Arvind has always loved cooking and trying out cocktails and different recipes. His love for food and drinks gave way to a passion that brought a smile to his face.
How Kumbayah Foods Started
Speaking to PinkLungi, Arvind shared, “I have been brewing kombucha for the past eight years now. When I was in Bhopal, a good friend of mine from Spain gifted me a kombucha scoby, which is a starter kit to brew your own concoction. I soon started brewing my own kombucha as it helped me with my stomach issues. Its probiotic properties helped with my digestion. During the lockdown, I used to visit Cafe Onway in Palayam, Trivandrum. The owner is a good friend of mine. I used to chill with him during closing hours and share a bottle or two of my kombucha with him. He liked it so much that he offered it to his customers. They gave really good reviews. When he started taking orders from me, I decided to sell my product.”
It started in this cafe and kicked off really well for Arvind. His partner from France, Ashvini Birghoffer, caught the entrepreneurship fervour and the couple decided to make it a brand. That’s how Kumbayah Kambucha was born. He shared, “The only reason I decided to sell my products was because of the stellar customer reviews we got from Cafe Onway.”
Kombucha brewing is a therapeutic process, claims Ashvini. She shares, “We follow a long fermentation process of 30-40 days for our kombuchas for enhanced taste and optimal health benefits. Kumbayah kombucha is 100% live and naturally fizzy due to the fermentation process, we do not add any gases to carbonate it.”
Arvind commented, “The aim and goal of the company is to help people replace the unhealthy drinks and beverages that are on the market. We want people to choose a healthy alternative like Kombucha. We have developed our recipe without compromising on the taste. That’s our greatest selling point.”
Kumbayah Foods Flavours
They have 12 flavours in the market now, even though they have experimented with over 35. The shortlisted ones are their best-sellers and the ones that have received good reviews. Arvind shared that they would constantly improvise on the flavours. He himself has a bottle or two every single day.
They serve original kombucha, kombucha fruit flavours like Litchi Rose, Berry Mix, Strawberry Mint, and Ginger Citrus. They also have an interesting range of flavours such as Green Goddess, a mixture of spirulina and green apple, and the Pink Goddess, which is a mixture of pink guava, rose and litchi. You should also try their Black Detox, which is a combination of activated charcoal, black grape, and cardamon.
They have a cold-pressed category too. As of now, they have only introduced Chilli Pineapple. They will soon bring flavours like ABC (Apple, Beetroot, Carrot) into the market.
In their saffron category, the Mango Saffron kombucha is one of the best sellers.
The price of their products rand from INR 99 and can go up to INR 169.
Why Are They Unique?
Arvind shared, “The kombucha that you get in the market is quite tarnished. It has a vinegarish taste. Ours is more flavour-based. We have given more emphasis to flavouring. We use a mix of fruits and spices. Like my partner said earlier, the carbonation in the drink is 100% natural. We even have a whole array of flavours that makes us different. To my knowledge, we are the first brand to make kombucha using saffron, whole green chilly, Fruit infusion, spirulina and activated charcoal.”
Kumbayah Foods is quite popular in Trivandrum. They hold more than 90 per cent of the kombucha market in Kerala. Do give it a try, and your tummy will thank you later.