Best Kombucha in Hong Kong for a healthy gut | Taboocha
Check out our local brand story with Taboocha, the best kombucha in Hong Kong! Let’s take a peek at their story of two sisters switching from the fashion industry, law and interior industry to brewing kombucha at a micro brewery in Hong Kong. Here’s the link to a recipe and tips on how to make your own homemade kombucha.
I worked as an assistant fashion buyer prior to Taboocha. It was a high stress work environment / nature and I developed a couple of health issues because of this – among them was a weak gut and constipation. I tried different methods to combat constipation, moving to a more plant based diet, drinking lots of water, but in the end it was an introduction by a friend to kombucha that did the magic. My friend taught me how to make it and I realized quickly that it really helped me! I kept making it but I also noticed it kept disappearing from the fridge quickly after I harvested the drink from weeks long of fermentation. My sister secretly drank them all!
By that time I felt like the fashion industry was against my lifestyle and beliefs that I had to quit, and try something new. After a quick trip to the States and Australia, exploring the different kombucha brands and possibilities, I was inspired to create a brand of kombucha that has a hidden agenda of helping dogs, and so we decided to name the brand after our adopted mongrel puppy taboo! Thus Taboocha!
From brewing at home to a micro brewery
I started making everything at home and going to these tiny no frills markets to give out testers, to let people try and understand kombucha. We were lucky enough to get a first restaurant customer – Mana! And that’s when we knew we had to register a limited company and really take it a little more seriously.
From then on, we grew organically and moved into an actual licensed kitchen facility, and a bigger micro brewery in Kwai Hing 2 years ago. I would say the hardworking work ethics I developed in the past job really helped me in growing the brand, as I was a one man team for some time and I had to invent and try to learn to do everything.
From being a solicitor to brewing kombucha
After I graduated I worked as a solicitor for 7 years in disputes and regulatory. Then I quit my job in 2015 to help out with the family business (which is a rather traditional trading and distribution business in the interior surfaces industry) and Taboocha which at the time was only a tiny start-up with ONE full-time staff which was my sister.
It was not an easy transition from law to business because whilst lawyers are (technically) trained to be risk averse, inflexible and extremely careful in making “the” best decision, being an entrepreneur is all about taking risks, being creative, dreaming big and making decisions FAST.
Hustle is a great word. I’ve learned how important hustling is because connections and friends are immensely important in building a business – I am eternally grateful for all our friends in the brewing industry who have helped us along the way.
The challenges with scaling up Taboocha
PAT & LISA:
Moving into our new brewery in Kwai Hing from our small food factory space in Lai Chi Kok in early 2021 was quite a challenge for us because we transitioned from fermenting our kombucha in 5L glass jars to 750L stainless steel tanks. We also had to adapt to new methods of brewing, transferring and cleaning. It was particularly challenging because we are (coincidentally) an all-girls team so a lot of adjustments had to be made when moving and utilizing equipment.
What's something important you've learnt along the way?
PAT & LISA:
Something which I’ve learned (but yet to be achieved) is that it is really important to educate people about kombucha and in particular for us, how we make our kombucha and the values behind our brand. There are so many brands and products out there but we really hope that people will think about every purchase they make and realise that it makes a difference to themselves as well as the people behind those products.
What previous experiences and cultures helped to shape your business?
I think growing up in a family where our parents (who are business partners, by the way) built a business out of nothing gave me the perspective of an employer and all the kinds of stress and frustration they face on a daily basis, just to keep a company running and ensure that bills are paid timely every month. Thereafter my working experience at a US firm exposed me to westernised values in a workplace where diversity, mutual respect and taking ownership was important as an employee. These experiences and values have influenced me in making decisions now in my two businesses.
My parents have always given me the idea that if you work hard, you can make everything happen. Nothing is impossible. My sister always tells me to keep doing what I do and believe in myself. If not for my supportive family and friends, I would have given up on this business a long time ago.
Thanks for sharing your insightful reflections! Can you share a tip with us for people who are on the same journey?
Change with the times, and always stay humble!
Don’t be afraid to be different, make content that matters.
What's next for Taboocha?
We want to develop a line of kombucha that is more experimental and funky, that could be a great addition to natural wines and beers at dinner parties.
How to make your own homemade kombucha
Where to get your scoby in Hong Kong: https://carousell.app.link/kS0lWhFRLnb