Probiotics are essential to one’s digestive health, and Asian culture, in particular, has always propagated the importance of having a good gut. As children, we were inundated by Vitagen and Yakult advertisements preaching the probiotic way. As adults, marketing has matured to push kombucha and kefir in our direction, lauding these low-sugar probiotic drinks as the beverage bandwagon we should all get on to ensure our body is in tip-top shape. Atop of ensuring your digestive tract flourishes, kombucha and kefir also have added benefits, including the lowering of blood sugar and cholesterol, along with being rich in antioxidants.
Tea-based kombucha and milk, as well as water kefirs have risen to mainstream attention over the past three years or so, largely thanks to it being the hipster drink of choice, but these fermented beverages have a legacy spanning centuries. Its renaissance across the world has reached Singapore’s doorstep, and with that comes the surge of local labels specialising in their own versions of these refreshments. The next time you want to get your fermented fix, take the #supportlocal route instead and give these artisanal makers a go.
Yocha Kombucha was founded on one woman’s hunt to abate her sinus issues and eczema. Founder Amanda Tan set out to make her own probiotic drinks, and when it proved to drastically improve her health, she started Yocha Kombucha to spread the word.
All of Yocha’s kombuchas are based on fruit and botanicals, with each flavour named after the specific purpose it serves. For instance, the combination of hibiscus and pineapple is dubbed Immune Fighter, while lemongrass and ginger ‘booch is named Detox Delight. Yocha Kombucha also offers subscription services, with deliveries right to your doorstep.
Yocha is located at #01-19 Vibes @ East Coast, 308 Telok Kurau Road, Singapore 423858, +65 9296 6687
Bushwick Biotech’s Kombucha
The rise of kombucha in Singapore can be attributed to Bushwick Biotech, one of the few companies to bring the trend from the West to our city. Run by Daniel Gerick, the food health company produces low-sugar kombucha under the Mad Alchemyst label, which currently retails at a number of cafés in Singapore, as well as its own web-store. To help people get on the kombucha and kefir train, Bushwick Biotech also sells DIY starter kits with a kombucha SCOBY (a culture that is the base of the drink) or kefir grains, as well as detailed instructions for you to get fermenting at home.
Craft and Culture
Craft Culture is a female-run and -owned probiotic brewery that claims to be the first to sell flavoured kombuchas and kefirs in Singapore. Beyond the plentiful options for taste, Craft Culture also offers kombucha skincare (yes, it has topical benefits for your skin too) and detox packs that you can drink through a week to reduce bloat and breakouts.
Craft and Culture is located at B1-113, 183 Jalan Pelikat, Singapore 537643k,
Small-batch kombucha makers, Wild Boocha, make organic versions of the beverage in a slew of flavour combinations, though their most interesting option is their Harmony Adaptogenic Kombucha, made with three medicinal herbs — tulsi, amla and ashwagandha —which purportedly reduce stress and increase energy. The next time the workday gets you lethargic, swap your coffee and caffeine jitters for some Harmony-induced zen.
Teapulse is a standalone fermented tea brewery that offers kombucha tea with the option for pearls, so you finally claim that your cup of bubble tea is good for you. Zesty house-brewed kombucha in flavours like lemongrass, citrus and butterfly pea comes topped with konjaku pearls for a zero-calorie indulgence, perfect for a post-lunch pick-me-up when in the Central Business District.
Teapulse is located at #01-04 Royal Group Building, 3 Phillip St, Singapore 048693, +65 9457 6395
Miss Kefir is a full-fledged café dedicated to all things kefir. Based in East Coast, the shop offers customers a broad range of milk kefir-based products apart from its signature range of cultured milk drinks. Expect to find parfaits, smoothies, bowls, even baked goods with kefir as the common denominator, so you can truly have your probiotics any way you want it.