MISTER KOMBUCHA

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I will never forget the answer I got from my chef when I asked her if I could write an article about Mister Kombucha for the newspaper. She texted me back: ‘well I see in the archive we wrote about 3768 articles about Kombucha, but never about the Mister Kombucha brand, so do your thing!’

I was in shock: 3768 articles about Kombucha?! I had never ever in my life heard of this drink. Where on earth was I when this was all in the news? How could I have missed this super cool new drink? And then I remembered I was pregnant for nine months and in my own ‘I need to decorate my home’ (also known as nesting grade) bubble and hat I didn’t read that many newspapers during that time.

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So I did some research days before I had the interview. I read some articles about the drink that apparently is very popular in America and Australia. I bought different brands of Kombucha. And I had to admit it was really tasty and I noticed I felt better by the day. It is also known as a healthy herbal drink because of the antioxidants and probiotic that kills fungi. Back in the days it was called ‘immortality tea’.

Kombucha is known to be able to contribute to better digestion and more resistance (sounds great to me). The drink also provides more energy (yes hand it over as I have many sleepless nights thanks to my lovely baby girl) and helps with weight loss (well that I can definitely use after giving birth). Actually they could better name it the Chantal drink I guess. Maybe the ‘cha’ in Kombucha is not from the word tea in Chinese language, but from CHAntal..

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After drinking the Kombucha I was very curious about the one made in Rotterdam: the Mister Kombucha. Wesley Kassels (34), the man behind the Mister Kombucha brand, and I met at Vroesenpaviljoen. A nice café in a park were they sell his Kombucha. I did have a long day already and was a little to late for the interview. Luckily Wesley, as with roots in Suriname, told me he is always late himself (but not this time) so he didn’t mind at all.

During a 2 hour lasting interview (we are both people that like to talk a lot) he told me all about his Kombucha adventure this far. He discovered the drink during his trip around the world. Wesley: ,,I was at a local market in Australia where I met a young guy that was selling his own Kombucha. Then he got a call and had to go away for half an hour and he asked me to watch over his stand. So I did and eventually when he came back I sold many of his Kombucha drinks.’’

It was in that moment that Wesley thought he could do that himself. ,,All my life I’m interested in healthy food and drinks (he is a food coach and gym teacher in daily life). So I thought it would be really cool having my own healthy Kombucha. One that I make myself in my own way.’’ So after his world trip Wesley did a course about making Kombucha in Dublin and then started making his own one in his hometown Rotterdam. ,,First in my own kitchen and later at the loft of a friend.’’

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His friends loved his homebrewed Kombucha so he decided to bring it on the market and called it Mister Kombucha. Wesley is now on a mission and wants people to experience that drinks can also be healthy. ,,It is also a good alternative for beer.’’ Mister Kombucha is made from filtered water, herbs full of minerals and antioxidants, unprocessed cane sugar, a living Kombucha culture and pure fruit juice. All biological.

The whole brewing process takes no less than four weeks. Wesley explains: ,,You start with a living starter culture called scoby where you add sugar. The sugar serves as food for the bacteria and yeasts. And is converted into acids, enzymes, vitamin B12 and vitamin C. At the end of the brewing process there is still little sugar in the drink. Assuming it is produced in a good way, Kombucha has the potential to become the new tasty drink on the terrace or for a healthy boost on a cold winter day. ” Well add a potential winner drink for mommy’s as well!

I’m so glad I found out about this drink because I don’t drink sugar soda or (lots of) alcohol. But ordering water in cafes or restaurants starts to get boring. So finally I’ve a solution: Mister Kombucha. I mean, it’s healthy and tasteful. And the bottle looks cool: it almost looks like a bottle of beer, so no need to hide the glass during going out at night. Now I hope the cafes and restaurants in Rotterdam will put this drink on the menu. Luckily already a couple did!

So where to get this awesome Mister Kombucha in Rotterdam:
Wes, Benthuizerstraat 94a, Rotterdam
Harvest Coffee Brewers, Glashaven 107, Rotterdam
Gimsel, Mariniersweg 9, Rotterdam

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