Faces Behind the Business: A Kombucha A Day, Keeps the Doctors Away (BuchaLabs)
A Kombucha A Day, Keeps the Doctors Away
It is undisputed that health is our greatest wealth.
Maintaining our overall well-being is crucial to ensuring a quality life. That being said, with Malaysia being a food haven, would you actually be able to resist a sugary Milo Dinosaur or foamy Teh Tarik? If you really think about it, being happy can also give rise to countless health benefits and good food makes everyone happy. Seems like a win-win right? So, why deny yourself your favourite milkshake or soda? Still not convinced? For all you health conscious foodies, fret not, because BuchaLabs is here to solve your dilemma with their healthy but fizzy kombucha!
BuchaLabs was founded by Mashad Pino, and is managed by a team of three. Prior to launching BuchaLabs, Mashad was a professional chef with more than 15 years of experience in the industry, and had worked in various prestigious restaurants all around the globe. Some of these restaurants include Vila Joya, a two Michelin stars restaurant in Algarve, Portugal, and Lorenz Adlon Esszimmer, a two Michelin stars restaurant located in Berlin, Germany. After years of working as a professional chef, Mashad came back to Malaysia, and sought new challenges and experiences. He decided to venture into the business side of the food and beverages industry. He started with providing consultancy services for new restaurants, before making the decision to start his own business of brewing kombucha.
No stranger to kombucha, Mashad was exposed to this naturally fermented drink from a young age, because his mother used to brew her own at home. Mashad noticed the global shift within our modern society to pursue healthier lifestyles, which also increased the demand for healthier food options. He seized this growing opportunity to introduce his kombucha to the market. While kombucha is still a relatively niche market at the moment, Mashad believes that BuchaLabs is on the right path because healthy eating habits will continue to rise in popularity in the years to come.
Established in early 2021, BuchaLabs provides a unique variety of kombucha ranging from seasonal Blood Orange to delicious Blueberry and Mint. With his experience as a professional chef under his belt, Mashad seeks to combine and achieve a specific yet unique blend of foreign and local flavours. Kombucha is a naturally fermented, effervescent tea drink, which brings us several health benefits, including strengthening our immune system, and improving our digestion. It is also rich with antioxidants and can help detoxify your body of certain toxins.
Brewing kombucha is a delicate mastery because it requires proper handling of SCOBY, which is a living culture of bacteria and yeast, that naturally ferments the tea to make kombucha. To achieve the perfect balance between fizziness, sweetness, and strength in flavours - SCOBY needs to be fed with the right amount of sugar, and must be left in the right temperature and environment for a specific amount of time. In the environment of higher temperature, SCOBY will react quicker and create more gas. Due to the hot weather in Malaysia, Mashad shared that he once heard a kombucha bottle explode!
What sets BuchaLabs apart from their competitors is the fact that they brew their kombucha via cold brew, so that it has a different and unique flavour profile. It takes around 10 to 14 days to make kombucha because it needs to go through at least two rounds of fermentation. Since they brew their kombucha by hand, there is also the difficulty of maintaining the flavours of their drinks, as they are dealing with living cultures of bacteria and yeast. However, Mashad believes that doing everything by hand is the best way to brew something, because you get to learn by experience and will have a better understanding of the process.
When dealing with hurdles and difficulties, Mashad profoundly shared that he doesn’t look at them as challenges, but instead, as a part of his entrepreneurial journey. His advice is to review your mindset, remember that not everything is within your control, so you will have to adjust and adapt to the various situations. Learn to do better next time and you will flourish. Truly adopting what he preaches, Mashad willingly modified his business model to accommodate online retail, in order to better adjust to the pandemic lockdown situation - even though his initial plan was to have business-to-business partnerships with cafés and restaurants.
If you are planning on starting your business journey, Mashad’s advice is to never give up and always ensure that you enjoy what you do. For Mashad, because he truly loves what he is currently pursuing, he thoroughly enjoys this journey into the unknown. He is of the opinion that everyone has to find their own passion in order to not only understand themselves better, but to also figure out what suits them best.
On a final note, Mashad would love for everybody who has not tried kombucha before to give it a try! BuchaLabs is 100% organic and naturally brewed, with no preservatives or artificial flavouring added. So don’t worry about jeopardising your health, as kombucha brings you countless health benefits and keeps you bubbly (pun intended) and healthy. Go grab yourself a bottle today, and keep the doctors away!
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