Happy Culture

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Happiness is greater when shared ! Let’s shine brighter, together. 

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Where to find us

Find happiness at your favourite stores across South Africa ! You can also enjoy delivery right to your doorstep anywhere in SA.

Pick n Pay
Spar
Food Lover's Market
checkers
Dis-Chem Pharmacies
clicks
wellness warehouse
vide e caffe
eumeul bakery
faithful to nature
Pick n Pay
Spar
Food Lover's Market
checkers
Dis-Chem Pharmacies
clicks
wellness warehouse
vide e caffe
eumeul bakery
faithful to nature

Get in Touch

General feedback and enquiries

[email protected]
083-397-5961 | 083-997-7196

Online store enquiries

Kimona | 083-997-7196
[email protected]

Founder & CEO

Marketing ENQUIRIES

SALES MANAGER

Siyanda | 078-459-9748 [email protected]

CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

[email protected]
083-376-5552

RETAIL ORDERS

[email protected]
083-397-5961 | 083-997-7196

ACCOUNT QUERIES

[email protected]
083-397-5961

FAQs

GENERAL

KOMBUCHA

WATER KEFIR

Our production home is located in Simondium, in the heart of the Cape Winelands. It is here that all Happy Culture beverages are fermented and bottled, using quality mineral water from our very own borehole. 

Happy Culture was founded in Cape Town in 2017, when founders Mark and Manon fused their passions for health, happiness, craft and bubbles with their creative entrepreneurial sprits, and a vision to inspire a beautiful human evolution.  

After discovering kombucha during a travel odyssey, the founders fell in love with its wondrous qualities, and the fermentation alchemy that brought it all to life. It soon became a calling for them to share its wonders with people far and wide. They sourced a bunch of SCOBYs from various sources around Cape Town and turned their kitchen pantry into a fermentation station. While the booch was brewing, and the scobys growing, the founders painted the vision board,  drafted a business plan, onboarded investment partners, and just like that, the vision was ready to turn to reality. 

Today, Happy Culture is a team of 10+, working together to build the brand and craft an exciting range of delicious kombucha and water kefir from their production home in the Cape Winelands.   Though a lot has changed since the humble beginnings, the same ‘happy cultures’ continue to live at the heart of the brand today, with each batch of booch still being made from the same Mother culture which was born in the founders’ kitchen, back in the early  days. 

The Happy Culture team is honoured to be making their goodness-filled ferments available to South Africans all around the country, and is excited to continue to innovate, inspire and evolve the food and drinks market towards healthier, happier horizons for all. 

Yes, all ingredients used in our products are of natural origin. Note the word ‘natural’ may not be used on the label as per label laws, hence why the word ‘flavour’ is not preceded by the word ‘natural’, as it should be.

To make up for the absence of sugar in our products, we had to turn to sugar alternatives knowns as sugar alcohols to bring a sweetness balance to our brews. 

Along with their growing popularity, sugar substitutes have become a hot topic, with many people are questioning their safety. It is important to note that there is a wide range of different sugar substitutes, with a wide range risk profiles. The two main categories of sugar substitutes are 1) artificial sweeteners and 2) sugar alcohols. Though artificial sweeteners have some considerable concerns, sugar alcohols are safe, and even potentially beneficial when consumed in moderation. 

Sugar alcohols are organic compounds, that occur naturally in certain fruits and vegetables. They can also be produced industrially by hydrogenating sugars. 

Sorbitol, Xylitol and Erythritol are three types of sugar alcohols which we have chosen to use in our products.

Sugar alcohols offer the benefits of sweetness with none, or a small portion of, the calories of sugar, and are great option for people with diabetes, those trying to avoid empty calories, and those wanting to avoid the general inflammation and sugar spike effects of sugar. 

Interestingly, similarly to prebiotic fiber, certain sugar alcohols may contribute to a healthy digestive system by promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria and can also assist people who suffer from constipation. 

However, when consumed in excess, and for those with existing conditions, sugar alcohols could have undesirable effects such as bloating and digestive unease. When introducing them to your diet, be conscious of your consumption and its impact on you. 

Of course, everybody is different and sensitivities with largely depend from one person to the next.Some will be able to consume several servings per day with no side effects, while others will have to be more moderate. 

As a benchmark, up to two 250mL servings of Happy Culture kombucha or water kefir daily keeps you well below the recommended daily allowance mark for potential side effects. The best you can do is to start with smaller amounts and observe your body’s response, and build a conscious relationship with your consumption from there. 

Want to know more? Visit our blog  The good and bad of sugar substitutes”

Yes, all our packaging is fully recyclable. Both Aluminium cans and PET is widely recycled in South Africa. If you are not yet recycling at home, please let us be the reason why you start. Find out more about PET and how you can recycle by visiting our sustainability page.

No, we never pasteurise our products. Each sip of kombucha / water kefir, is bubbling with a galaxy of beneficial, living microorganisms ready to bring life and wellbeing. 

Alcohol is a natural byproduct of fermentation and can be found in all fermented foods, like kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi. Both our kombucha and water kefir are highly regulated to remain below the 0,5% alcohol legal limit throughout shelf life.

Fun fact : This alcohol is in fact intrinsically beneficial, as it provides a natural form of food preservation – Nature’s self-defence against contamination and bacteria.

Yes we are Halal certified with ICSA (cert : 6329)

Yes they are. No animal products are used in our products. We take pride in focusing on quality, plant based ingredients only. 

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that bacteria happen to not be able to use as an energy source. In the absence of other sugars, bacterial growth slows. Therefore, its antimicrobial mechanism is bacteriostatic rather than bactericidal.

The presence of Xylitol would be the same as having no sugar or oxygen for them to consume – the bacteria are dormant.

Note that even with the presence of sugar the bacteria would be dormant, as they need oxygen on order to be active (which would also mean fermentation would continue throughout shelf life, and therefore throw flavour balance off ).

Tests under microscopes have shown presence of live bacteria at all stages of shelf life.

Yes, they are indeed friendly for all our Diabetic and Keto friends, thanks to our zero sugar approach across all products.

Kombucha is a sparkling probiotic drink, crafted through the fermentation of sweet tea. Kombucha is loved for is deliciously refreshing, bubbly and health-boosting qualities. It can be enjoyed anytime, anywhere as an invigorating, refreshing and celebratory treat. Happy culture kombucha is made with a base of organic green tea, raw brown sugar, mineral water, and natural fruit juices and extracts.

Even though sugar is used in the base recipe, all sugars are consumed by the cultures during the fermentation process and there is no residual sugar left in the end product. A small amount of natural sweeteners sorbitol and xylitol is added to bring a subtle balance of sweeteness. 

Since our move to zero sugar, our products no longer require refrigeration and can be stored at ambient temperature.  Please rest assured probiotic cultures remain fully alive and happy at warmer departures (just as they would in one’s body !).

 

The fermentation alchemy produces a range of health boosting properties, including:  probiotics, beneficial organic acids and digestive enzymes. Happy Culture kombucha is also high in antioxidants and contains a range of healthy minerals and vitamins.

These beneficial properties work together to boost wellbeing by: supporting gut health & improving digestion, boosting immunity and vitality, balancing and detoxifying the body.

Kombucha is believed to have originated in Northeast China around 220 B.C, where it became loved for its healing properties. Its name is reportedly derived from Dr. Kombu, a Korean physician who brought the fermented tea to Japan as a curative for Emperor Inkyo.

This tradition of fermenting tea at home was passed down through the centuries, and eventually brought to Europe in the early 20th century as a result of trade route expansions. Home-brewed Kombucha popularity grew significantly in the West in the 1960s following Western studies which discovered its health properties.

Kombucha first became available as a commercially ready-to-drink beverage in the early 2000s in North America, and has since become a revolution in the beverage market all around the world.

Happy Culture Kombucha is made using authentic, age old fermentation methods, optimised with modern science and technology.

The base of our kombucha is made with mineral water from our home in the Cape Winelands, slow brewed organic green tea, unrefined brown sugar and Kalahari desert salts. 

This sweet tea mixture is then combined with our ‘happy” live starter cultures (aka a SCOBY) in a vessel, where the magic of the fermentation alchemy will take place over a period of a +/- 3 weeks, in a clean, dark, warm and peaceful environment.

Before bottling, we prepare our unique blends by infusing the base kombucha with natural ingredients including cold pressed juices, natural extracts and spices. Once bottled, our kombucha is sent to the second fermentation room where the bubbles will be naturally formed in the bottle, resulting in a lively elegant effervescence.

SCOBY is an acronym for Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast. This is the  living culture (which looks a bit like a jellyfish) which is responsible for consuming sugar and caffeine during fermentation and converting these into all of the various beneficial properties.

Our booch has a clean, fresh and balanced flavour profile, with each infusion offering a unique expression of flavour and aromatic sensations. Expect a slight acidity, balanced by some some fruity and tea undertones, and enlivened by elegant bubbles. In a nut shell, we love to describe the taste as ‘somewhere between iced tea, cider and champagne’. 

On an immediate basis, a glass of Happy Culture booch is known to make one feel refreshed and invigorated with a ‘happy buzz’. 

In the longer term, when consumed regularly, kombucha is known to uplift wellbeing by improving digestive health, boosting energy levels and overall physical and mental wellbeing.

Happy Culture Kombucha is made using a base of brewed organic green tea, which contains 12mg of caffeine / 100ml. About two thirds of this caffeine is consumed during the fermentation process, with the end product contains about 4mg of caffeine /100ml. This means if you drink a small bottle/can of Happy Culture Kombucha, you will be consuming around 15 mg of caffeine.
 
To give context – an average cup of coffee contains around 100mg of caffeine. Our kombucha therefore offers a gentle ‘mircrodose’ of caffeine and is a great option if you are looking for a light energy boost but don’t want to be consuming too much caffeine (great in the afternoons or for those with high caffeine sensitivity)

 

 

The bubbles are created during a second, in bottle fermentation (just like a traditional Champagne). Unlike sodas, which are artificially carbonated, this bubbles are naturally occurring and formed when the live yeasts consume the residual sugars left at the end of the first ferment, resulting in a fine and beautifully integrated effervescence. 

Kombucha can be enjoyed daily and thanks to being sugar free, with no worry of excess calories. However, like with all things, moderation is best for optimal balance and benefits. Our suggestion is to cap consumption at an average of maximum 500ml/ day and, as always, listening to your body. 

Note that excessive consumption could lead to laxative effects, due to the working of the live cultures, organic acids as well as the presence of xylitol and sorbitol. 

If you’re new to kombucha, and since everyone is different, we recommend introducing Kombucha into your regular diet slowly. A good benchmark is to start with no more than 330ml / day.

Yes, absolutely ! Happy Culture Kombucha can be enjoyed by children and is a great alternative to sugary / artificial juices and sodas. We have received tons of positive feedback from parents all around South Africa.

Again, best to start with smaller quantities (i.e 200ml / day), and to enjoy in moderation. If you are unsure of introducing something new to your child’s body, we recommend consulting with your healthcare professional.

Please note this would not be the case for all kombuchas, as some brands may contain high levels of sugar and considerable levels of ethanol.

Yes, it is safe to drink moderate quantities of your favourite Happy Culture kombooch during pregnancy 🌞
 
The main risks around kombucha and pregnancy are pertaining to caffeine and alcohol content. Our kombucha has very low residual caffeine content (max 4 mg / 100ml) and the alcohol content is of course tightly regulated to be below the legal limit of 0,5%.  Home brews and less regulated brands are however less safe as they are likely to contain a higher alcohol and caffeine content, and can also carry a risk of pathogens.

As always, and as every woman / pregnancy is different, listening to your body.  If you can feel your body is enjoying the benefits, then it’s okay to continue enjoying them.

Both ranges have the same living and sparkling green tea kombucha as a base, infused with fruit juices and extracts.  The difference with the functional range is that it offers an additional functional property over and above that of kombucha. 

The Cherry CBD is infused with a small dose of CBD oil and valerian root, to offer additional calming properties and is best enjoyed to relax or relieve stress. The Zesty energy has been infused with Guarana and Ginseng extracts, for those times when you need an extra energy kick.

 

Kombucha can be drank anytime you enjoy it most. Drink it in the morning for a healthy kick start to your digestive system, as a delicious digestion-boosting and palate cleansing pairing to your lunch, in the afternoon for an energy boost, or anytime of the day that calls for a bubbly refreshment. 

Yes, absolutely ! Happy Culture Kombucha’s unique flavour profile adds a delicious liveliness and depth to cocktails and mocktails, and is an exciting, health-boosting alternative to sugary artificial sodas. That’s right, you can now enjoy you celebratory cheers with health boosting benefits ! To ensure an optimal  experience, stick to quality craft spirits when making your kombucha cocktails, and of course, drink with respect ! 

The sediment is made up of a congregation of cultures, and, in some cases, combined with the natural juices/extracts (i.e cold pressed ginger) – this is a sign of a healthy, happy brew. To dissolve this residue into the liquid, you can turn the bottle upside down and gently rock the bottle back and forth. But remember, no shaking !!

Happy Culture Kombucha has a pH level between 3 and 3.5. The low pH level of Kombucha is a direct result of the organic acids produced during the fermentation.  These acids are beneficial to protect the brew from harmful microorganisms and act as a natural preservative. Rest assured the acids in kombucha, like lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, actually have an alkalising effect on the body (which is desired as most people’s PH is too acidic, due to modern lifestyle influences). Fun fact: fermentation was one of the safest ways to preserve foods before refrigeration was invented.

Shelf life is 12 months from production. Once opened, keep refrigerated and consume within 4 days (for best quality).

Happy Culture Water Kefir is a delicately fermented, lightly infused probiotic water, bubbling with life and delicious hydration. It is made with a base of fruit juice and mineral water, fermented together with a live culture.  The result: a super refreshing, naturally sparkling, zero-sugar probiotic drink. A great option for those who prefer something on the lighter side, but still want to enjoy the bubbly delight and probiotic benefit of fermented drinks.

The style is light and subtle  – almost like a naturally flavoured sparkling water, with a light yeasty and acidity element resulting from the fermentation. Each blend is infused with delicious ingredients to offer unique expressions of flavour and aromatic sensations, while the naturally occurring bubbles offers a lively, elegant effervescence.

The flavour profile is much lighter than kombucha, and so water kefir is a great option for those who wish for refreshment with probiotic benefits but without the stronger, more acquired taste of kombucha.

Happy Culture Water Kefir comes in 4 delicious blends:

Apple & Ginger, Passion Fruit & Mint, Wild Berries, Peach Lemon.

Before fermentation begins, the base blend contains fructose from the fruit juices used. All the fructose is consumed during fermentation and there is no sugar left in the end product. A small amount of natural plant based sweeteners sorbitol is added to bring a subtle balance of sweetness. 

Happy Culture Water Kefir offers beautiful mineral water hydration with probiotic benefits – with each bottle containing billions of medically recognised probiotics to support a healthy gut flora and improved gut function. As an extra touch of goodness, we have added a generous sprinkle of vitamin B12 to further boost your health with every sip. In turn, if consumed regularly, Happy Culture water kefir can assist with:

 Improved Digestion & Gut Health

 Stronger immunity

 More energy and vitality

 Healthier skin

Weight loss (as part of a balanced diet)

There are no known risks of drinking Happy Culture Water Kefir during pregnancy / breastfeeding. Happy Culture Water Kefir is made until strict health and safety protocols and abides to the max 0,5% alcohol limit.  However, like with everything, and because every body is different, if you are new to the products, best to introduce it to your system slowly to test your body’s response and to consult a medical practitioner if you have any questions.

Yes, Happy Culture Water Kefir can be enjoyed by children and is a great alternative to sugary sodas and easy way to supplement on probiotics and vitamin B12. Again, best to start with smaller quantities to test the body’s response and to consult your medical practitioner if you have any concerns or questions.

Shelf life is 12 months from production. Once opened, keep refrigerated and consume within 4 days (for best quality).

Because there are no sugars left at the end of the main fermentation, there is no food for the  yeasts to consumer and therefore our water kefir is safe to be stored in or out of the fridge. 

Rest assured probiotic cultures remain alive and happy at warmer departures (just as they would in one’s body !).

Like kombucha, water kefir is a fermented probiotic drink. The main differences between the two is in the starter cultures and base ingredients used. 

While kombucha is made with a sweet tea base, water kefir is made from a base of mineral water and natural fruit juices. The fructose in the fruit juices are the food for the fermentation. 

The culture used is also different from kombucha to water kefir. In the kombucha SCOBYs , acetic acid bacteria are the dominant bacterial species vehicle in water kefir grains lactic acid bacteria are the most dominant types of bacteria.

The flavour profile of water kefir  is much lighter than kombucha, so a great option for those who are looking for refreshment with probiotic benefits, but without the stronger, more complex taste of kombucha. 

Both are sugar free and crafted with mineral water and natural ingredients. 

Both contain probiotics and vitamins, but kombucha also contains antioxidants and acetic acid. 

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