The centuries-old fermented tea drink, kombucha, has enjoyed a sharp rise in popularity over the past few years thanks to its alleged health benefits and an increasing consumer-love for all things cleansing and cure-all. It's slightly surprising, then, that it has taken this long for the first kombucha bar to open in Sydney.
Opening its doors to the public on Friday, April 10, The Wild Kombucha Bar and Collaboratory is located in a converted warehouse on Parramatta Road in Leichhardt. It's the product of a year's hard work from husband and wife founders, Lara and Matt Ball.
Wild Kombucha is already on tap at Ruby's Diner in Waverley, North Bondi's Orchard Street Elixir Bar, and and Greenhouse Coffee in Darlinghurst. The Leichhardt bar offers six types of Wild Kombucha across six taps. Fermenting flavours include stinging nettle and rosella, finger lime and ginger, and lemon aspen with lilly pilly.
A refillable Wild Kombucha bottle costs $4 for the 500mL variety and $5 for the 750mL. Refills are $8 and $12 respectively. The bar's team recommends about 250mL of the tea a day for beginners.
"We started making kombucha for ourselves at home a couple of years ago," Lara says. "It's all evolved very organically. We didn't sit down and write a business plan or anything."
The bar is attached to Wild Kombucha's production space. Ball is also keen to collaborate with other food makers and have events at the venue.
"We wanted to create a space that helped other foodmakers too," she says. "We found it really hard to find a place for ourselves, and along the way we met all these other people experiencing the same problem."
Upcoming events include a chocolate workshop and evening dessert bar featuring raw, vegan ice-cream sandwiches from Emica Penklis, naturopath and chocolatier of Loco Love.
On Saturday, April 11 there will be a pop-up breakfast chef with Demelza Donohoo at Wild Thing Raw. A four-dish set menu will likely include walnut crackers with hummus, tomato, green olive and zaatar and creamy cashew chia pudding with seasonal fruit and coconut vanilla cream. Raw vegan, Indian, Japanese and Mexican dinners are also planned.
495 Parramatta Road, Leichhardt, Fri-Sat 10am-5pm, wildkombucha.com