Bangkok is a city brimming with talented personalities and charming characters who have pushed their way through to really make their mark. There’s no doubt that they’re truly living their best life, and doing it in great style. In our Good Life Gurus series, we explore and ask the city’s millennial tastemakers and cultural arbiters to reveal what the good life means to them, and give us a little insight into how they live it.
You can’t call yourself a cool kid in Bangkok if you don’t drink kombucha. You especially don’t get to don the moniker if you don’t drink Sea’s Kombucha. Here, we chat to the man behind the mania, Krisanai ‘Sea’ Assakul, as he spills the fermented tea on his good life staples and his must-visit spaces.
If Sea’s surname rings familiar, it’s likely you know it in association with the renowned Ocean Group corporation. Nevertheless, in our chat with him, the youngest of the four Assakul siblings is refreshing — effervescent, like kombucha almost — to speak to. Beyond his background in finance, and the heavy weight of his family empire, in our chat Sea speaks mostly to mindfulness, and mindful living. This, paired with his big love for surfing, bouldering, and quality brews ranks him high on our list of Good Life Gurus.
Here, young Sea Assakul shares the story behind his eponymous kombucha brand, his favourite neighbourhood for bar-hopping, and the best butcher in Bangkok. Read on for valuable insight into running a business mindfully, ethically, and sustainably in 2021, and staying in tune with the outdoors as a modern millennial with great taste.
I’m Sea, the youngest of four siblings. I really enjoy deep and meaningful discussion on any variety of topics, something I grew to enjoy at university. Since March 2020, I’ve been working on Sea’s Kombucha with my sister P’Sand.
Sea’s Kombucha initially started as a hobby back in the beginning of 2020. I had tried kombucha (a fermented tea) whilst I was studying in the UK, and with a passion for fermentation I wanted to create my own.
With kombucha being a health drink, I believe that the experience of drinking it should be one that is pleasurable and one that you can come back to. My goal in crafting my own kombucha was to create something that could be incorporated into people’s daily habits, a drink kind to your body that does not compromise on taste.
We tend to have a wide range, but usually our customers are interested in trying something new as an alternative to conventional soft drinks or trying to find a drink to incorporate into their healthy lifestyles.
To me, the good life is about allowing yourself the time to be mindful and appreciate things that make you happy. I feel that it’s easy to get into the mindset of having to always be productive or working, and I find that it’s sometimes hard to take that time for myself and be mindful enough to allow myself the space to enjoy without guilt.
In order to be mindful enough to live the good life, for me, I try to find activities that require me to really focus. That in turns helps me to focus on appreciating the moment of joy.
I think that kombucha can be a medium that anyone could use to take a break and enjoy a refreshing drink that’s healthy for the body and guilt free.
1. Practising mindfulness to whatever degree you can
2. Recognising activities that you love to do
3. Learning how to give yourself a break
4. Finding friends and family to enjoy activities with
5. If you can, sharing that happiness
My self-care rituals are usually activities that allow me to be mindful and focussed.
One of my favourite things to do in the morning is to brew myself an iced pour-over coffee. I love the smell of freshly ground coffee and the methodical nature of drip coffee.
When I can, I head down to Khao Lak to go surfing. Getting out at sunrise, paddling out, and catching a long clean wave is a great way to start the day fresh.
If I’m in Bangkok, I like to go bouldering at Stone Goat Climbing Gym. Bouldering offers a mix of puzzle solving, technical skill, and physical strength that requires me to focus my mind on the task at hand.
At Sea’s Kombucha, one of our core values is to be a moral and ethical business for our community. We incorporate this mindset into how we source our ingredients and how we create our product. We choose to use only locally grown produce and we try our best to use packaging that is as sustainable as possible. Nearly every part of our bottle is reusable/recyclable.
At home, my family are all quite environmentally conscious. We sort our waste for recycling, compost where we can, and make a point to reduce the amount of single use plastics. If we do end up using it, we try our best to use it multiple times or clean it for recycling.
I think it’s important to find ways to enjoy staying active. I’m not the biggest fan of pure cardio activities, so I tend to find sports that allow me to move around, stay strong, and healthy like surfing, tennis, golf and bouldering.
I’m not a breakfast person myself but my lunch go to is Plara Cafe.
Soi Nana on Maitri Chit road. Soi Nana has several bars, notably Bar Hao, Tep Bar, and Teens of Thailand. I like the way you can take your date on a very easy bar hop in small and intimate settings.
A drink that’s no longer available: the Spiced Old Fashioned at Salon du Japonisant.
Khao Lak, Memories Beach.
Find the things that make you happy, if it’s not in your routine then incorporate it in. Allow yourself the time to do it and take in those happy moments.