You may not think kombucha is your cup of tea, but then again you may not have tried a HOTI brew. Bubbly and without the strong vinegar taste of most kombucha, a HOTI (Healthy On The Inside) Kombucha is the refreshingly refined fizz you need at the end of a long day.
The growing popularity of this fermented tea goes to show that it is not only alcoholic drink producers making a name for themselves in the Bundaberg Region.
Owner Helen Tricarico never imaged she would create a micro-brewery after 30 years in the corporate sector, quickly learning commercial drinks production involves much more than just making a delicious brew. Over the past five years she has developed a skill as a commercial brewer. With a love for all things local, Helen has created a product using as much fresh, local Bundaberg produce as possible.
“I love creating kombucha, as it is such a delicate scientific process. Because HOTI is small batch, artisan and handcrafted, I can use a range of beautiful organic teas to create unique flavour profiles that are not normally created by bigger breweries. That’s what gives HOTI Kombucha its point of difference,” Helen said.
HOTI Kombucha’s humble beginnings started out as a way to quench Helen’s thirst for something both healthy and delicious, soon finding it was a great replacement to drinks often high in sugar, sugar alternatives and alcohol.
HOTI’s growth has been supported by many local businesses, cafes and restaurants. Darryl and Leisa Storey from Nana’s Pantry were the first to see the potential and are now HOTI’s main supplier, with six flavours on tap in the Bundaberg store and three in Hervey Bay.
“HOTI’s business model is founded on a re-fill re-use model. You purchase your bottle and then take it back to be re-filled, doing your bit for our environment by creating less waste and saving money at the same time,” Helen said.
In a growing trend, many are turning to kombucha as a substitute for alcohol, and in an effort to reduce sugar intake, others are mixing it with a range of spirits to provide a dash of health to their favourite tipple.
You can try, and buy, HOTI at Nana’s Pantry 38 Electra Street, Bundaberg or 53 Torquay Road, Hervey Bay