I got a chance to talk with Jeremy Zeitlin (otherwise known as Trot) with Boulder’s Happy Leaf Kombucha to find out just what the deal is with this beverage, plus, I got the inside scoop on what three former Boulder residents are doing to make Happy Leaf a real local product.
Kombucha tea dates back over 2000 years ago to Asia and it’s been used around the world for millennia, but only just made it over to the states. It’s got a tart flavor and is effervescent due to the fact that it’s a fermented tea (pretty much the opposite of Earl Grey). Because it’s brewed through open fermentation, the tea is very sensitive to environmental factors such as light and temperature, thus making each batch from various brewers taste very different.
Boulder’s Happy Leaf is, of course, different from other brewers on taste alone, but it’s their drive for innovation that sets them apart from other kombucha teas. They use all organic ingredients and source them all locally as much as possible. Since they source locally, they’re forced to some up with new flavors each season, depending on what harvests were the strongest in Colorado for each particular season.
Like so many other small business owners, the trio thrives on challenge and came up with over 25 new flavors over the summer including coconut-ginger-lime and prickly pear (which was a real hit at their tap room in the RiNo district in Denver).
Only recently, Happy Leaf partnered with The Second Kitchen, a food co-op located near downtown Boulder, to offer residents of Boulder draft kombucha. You can stop in and get a cup or fill a growler to go. Since all three founders have big time roots in Boulder, they’re proud that they can offer their tea in some of the great health food retailers in the city.
If you want to see more locally sourced and made kombucha in your grocery stores, Happy Leaf currently has a Kickstarter campaign to help them expand their reach and offer more bottles on more shelves and be available on tap in more locations.