About Us: Wellness-Drinks - a modern Bio-Manufactory
Wellness-Drinks is a modern workshop for the “organic” lifestyle. It thrives from the idea of enabling practically everybody to easily produce pure and naturally rich food simply based on fermentation itself. Wellness-Drinks therefore keeps up with an ancient tradition and craftsmanship that licenses every one of us the knowledge about how to savor his own food in full control of quality, character and a variety of ingredients. We are genuinely convinced that this is not something to be left to the anonymous food industry.
Andre Goetz, the managing director of Wellness-Drinks, has dedicated himself for over two decades now to fermentation cultures like the Kombucha fungus, Milk Kefir (Kefir grains) and Water Kefir (Japan crystals) as well as the fermentation of raw vegetables. Since 2006, he produces and markets the biologically active fermentation drinks with his company and awarded the German eco quality label “bio” (certified organic, in compliance with EU-Eco-regulations).
In doing so, Wellness-Drinks has become Europe’s largest retailer of organic Kombucha and organic Kefir drinks based on tea fungus and Kefir grains from exclusively certified organic farming. We guarantee every customer 100% of pure natural delight with our microbiologically clean cultures. For details about our Quality Guarantee, please click here.
Franzi Schädel: Interview with Wellness-Drinks founder André Götz
If you want to find out more about André Götz and the background of Wellness-Drinks, we do recommend the following interview with Franzi Schädel – a very successful food blogger who explores the manifold options in the vegetarian and vegan Cuisine for her blog „Wo geht’s zum Gemüseregal“ ("Show Us The Veggie-Shelf!")
Franzi Schädel: What made you decide to work with Kombucha and the like?
André Götz: Just like it is typical for momentous encounters, I ran completely unexpected into the Kombucha story. It was about 20 years ago when I saw a Kombucha fungus for the first time in the kitchen of a friend’s house who was already very interested in healthy and home-made food. To be honest, I was fascinated but also a little bit repelled by this weird looking slice of fungus which was brown and sitting enthroned on a brew. My first reaction was “You really wanna drink that?” Well, the friend got me convinced and I finally took the bullet (which was really bloody in this case). I tried Kombucha tea for the first time and became excited really fast. It didn’t take long for me and I had my own jar with a Kombucha fungus at home.
Of course, I didn‘t expect to turn my hobby into a profession at the time being. But nevertheless, I soon started to show interest in the world of micro-organisms especially the good ones in our food that preserve it and refine its taste. Mankind uses them already for millennia because they allow bioavailability of many micronutrients in the first place.
"Our menu would look totally different without micro-organisms"
When we talk about food, we usually refer to vegetable or animal origin. However, our menu would look totally different without micro-organisms: bread and bakery products of all kinds, most dairy products, beer, wine, vinegar, lactofermented vegetables, sauerkraut, kimchi and all Asian soy, oyster and fish sauces ... all of these would not exist without micro-organisms. Therefore, I quickly discovered that there are many more cultures of bacteria and yeasts aside Kombucha that are also fully suitable for delicious and easy home-made food. From that point, the subject-matter of a “healthy nutrition” became more and more important to me - also because I found out about my lactose intolerance back then.
Additionally, I discovered: that our intestinal mucosa covers an area of 400–500 square meters being our largest area of contact with the outside world, if you want to put it that way… And, that most of our immune cells are being produced in our intestine, thus tracing back many illnesses to problems in our digestion and a disorder of our intestinal microbiome… And, that we carry around our very own and unique bacteria ecosystem, a world full of thousands of bacteria types giving a population of at least 10 trillion micro-organisms, more than all of our body cells by the way… All of that was not directly clear to me, and even scholars agree that it has to be studied scientifically even further more because most of it is still unknown, especially its nexus and consequences - there are new studies and theories almost every month - fascinating! as Mr. Spock would say.
Franzi Schädel: What are the benefits of Kombucha, Kefir and alike?
André Götz: Foods that are enriched and fermented by lactic acid bacteria and yeasts do make a healthy and balanced diet and are inevitable for me. There is no reason to not produce them by yourself at home. It is easy, fun and has a lot of benefits. Firstly, the industrial foods we buy in supermarkets are usually heated or otherwise stopped in their fermentation or fermentation process because the industry wants a uniform standardized quality. Yoghurt may not be too sour and Kombucha drinks need to be preserved so they don’t become vinegar… that’s why you mostly don’t find alive bacteria or yeasts in industry food – lastly, to your harm.
"We can decide about the quality and character ourselves by producing Kombucha and Kefir at home having full control over the ingredients and their amount"
The other reason, furthermore and just as important: When I want to drink a lactic acid fermented beverage, why do I have to take artificial flavors, stabilizers, sweeteners and the like without choice? We don’t have to! The quality of a product is usually much better with a shorter list of ingredients and their familiarity to you. We can decide about the quality and character ourselves by producing Kombucha and Kefir at home having full control over the ingredients and their amount. Now, when I read through the list of ingredients of a food in the supermarket, I rather wonder: What is that actually and do I also have it in my kitchen? Could I use it for cooking myself? If the answer is no, I keep moving.
Franzi Schädel: What’s your favorite beverage and why?
André Götz: Kombucha was the awakening for me and I still like it very much. Maybe that’s because I am a passionate tea fan and favor its bitter or slightly bitter taste. Also, I like the well balanced acidity of Kombucha. But I have to admit that many people find the taste of Kombucha initially strange and prefer to enjoy it rather mixed with water or some juice and or as a feature of a sauce or a dressing - there are many recipes. However, I am fine with it when pure as well. This may be because I am Hessian and used to sour cider – our national beverage is the Hessian “Ebbelwoi”.
"No matter what, Kefir (mostly) fits all the time - try it!"
I’ve also gotten used to more Water Kefir in recent years because it’s more easily to enjoy compared to Kombucha when pure. Besides, Water Kefir has a major advantage: it is so resilient that we can add already a variety of ingredients like teas, spices, herbs, citrus fruits and dried fruit of all kinds right at the beginning of fermentation so that you always get a different and surprising drink. When it comes to Kefir, I like the most that it is so easy and versatile to integrate to a broad variety of dishes and meals. No matter what, Kefir (mostly) fits all the time - try it for sweet desserts, your breakfast cereals, smoothies, salad dressings, dips and sauces, or even hearty entrees like stews and soups! I am excited for its yeasty flavor, and for me, Milk Kefir is much more tastier than yoghurt for example.
Franzi Schädel: In particular, do you have any recommendations for the wonderful products in your webshop?
André Götz: Sure, I am pleased to! Just try it out yourself and make your own experiences. Get your own feeling for and about these cultures with which you can prepare the most delicious drinks daily. But please be careful, some people are not happy with their very first attempt of growing Kombucha or the fermentation of their Water Kefir crystals. It usually works out the second time though. It’s interesting because it may taste totally different even when you use the same ingredients and thought that you have it done exactly the same way.
"A little patience is required"
Nowadays we are used to food that tastes the same every time but it’s completely different when it comes down to live cultures like Kombucha, Kefir and Water Kefir. One day, Kombucha may be sparkling and full of carbon dioxide, the other day it’s not. One day, it smells like apples and citrus fruits but on the other day it’s flat and boring. We talk like wine experts here and you will need some time to get accustomed. Many customers do really get involved and develop a caring and loving relationship to their cultures, almost like a pet.
But it’s not only the “hard facts” that are important for the flavor. It’s also about ingredients, location, temperature and the timing of fermentation. Moreover, please do also take into account that seasonal weather, your living area and even sudden weather changes have impact on your cultures. A colleague of mine works a lot with sourdough and goes as far as not letting anybody into the room where the “mother dough” rests. He is deeply convinced that this would have a negative impact on the quality of the dough - and he is truly no esoteric! Simply stunning, right?
Note: All information and tips on our website have been selected and verified by us with great care. Nevertheless, we cannot guarantee for the currency, completeness and validity of the given data. We assume no liability for any damage and or accidents.
When following our recommendations, tips, and notes, please also use your own personal judgment and experience in the proper and safe handling of food.