For almost a decade Mark and Jess Rabbitt have been brewing kombucha and, as it grew in popularity among family and friends, decided to launch new business Bundaberg Ferments.
Bundaberg Ferments is a family business that offers three delicious flavours of kombucha, including bush fruits, cascara and pineapple and ginger.
Kombucha is a fermented, lightly sparkling, sweetened black or green tea drink commonly consumed for its purported health benefits.
“Our kombucha brewing started about eight years ago in the hunt for a flavoured beverage without the high sugar load,” Mark said.
“Making it ourselves made sense, as we could understand exactly what was going in it.
“Eight years later we have learnt a lot about the alchemising art of making kombucha and decided to share our love for this fermented beauty with family and friends.”
Mark said there was a lot involved in transforming to make a larger scale production of kombucha.
“This was a big jump, as making 4-8 litres in 3-4 weeks goes quickly in our family and not much left to share,” he said.
“So, we upped it to 50 litres, and everyone loved it. This gave us the extra push to want to share it with the rest of the community.
Mark said through Bundaberg Ferments their aim was to create a beverage low in sugar that remained flavoursome.
“We keep things very traditional in the brewing process, as we take a mixed tea blend of certified organic green and oolong tea and sweeten it with raw certified organic sugar,” Mark said.
“We then add our kombucha cultures and the magic begins.
“This process can take some time as we like to make sure as much sugar as possible has been consumed by the cultures which creates all the goodness that is in kombucha.
“We then move to the flavour stage of the brewing in which we source the best quality certified organic fruits and herbs, even wild foraged, to be infused with our golden kombucha.
“We like to leave these fermenting for a few days to really fuse and combine with each other.
“Then its tasting time! As we have removed most of the sugar, we start to add monk fruit juice, this is a naturally very sweet fruit so very little goes in but also contains very little sugar.
“Low sugar was our aim eight years ago and still is, so finding that balance is very important to us.”
“Kombucha is our first launch, as we would love to bring all kinds of fermented products to the community, next on our list is sauerkraut and mayonnaise,” he said.
“I know our friends are dying for us to release the mayonnaise as it is a huge hit, watch this space, I guess.”
Mark said they are currently building relationships with local and Australian suppliers, and they will continue to source Australian organic produce, utilising dried certified organic fruits and herbs to minimise farm wastage.
“What they are unable to sell at market because it might not meet the perfect size requirements, we can still utilise in any season. It’s a win-win,” he said.
“Our strawberry gum leaf is wild foraged in northern New South Wales where it grows in abundance.
“We really want our community to continue to thrive from home-grown businesses that intend to give value to the people and families within it.
“We would love to be able to share our efforts within events in the area to make it easier for people to access a product that we see as a better choice for our family and hopefully yours.”
Three kombucha flavours at Bundaberg Ferments
The three current Bundaberg Ferments kombucha flavours include bush fruits, which is a yummy combination of fruits and Australian bush tucker.
Bush fruits has a pink tinge with a fruity, not-too-sweet medley of fruits including strawberries and banana.
Then there is Cascara which is made from the unused coffee fruit or coffee cherry.
“We were at our friends house, Dan and Cathy from Bundaberg Organic and Quality foods, and they have a coffee tree that was fruiting, we ate the fruit, and it was delicious,” he said.
“We then set about ringing coffee farms to find out what happens to the fruits and (how) its normally discarded.
“We decide to experiment with it in kombucha as we loved the idea of using something that would normally be discarded.
“Its flavour is subtle and is reminiscent of iced tea, so we popped in some lemon, and we have an incredibly refreshing Cascara kombucha.”
Mark said lastly there was the pineapple and ginger which was one of the go-to kombucha flavours.
“It’s kind of hard not to go in (this) mix of flavours,” he said.
“The tangy zing with the subtle sweetness is sure to excite any kombucha lover.”