Brewing Kombucha for the Culture
Milan Jordan | The Cultured Kombucha | Founder & Chief Brewing Officer
Remember the 90s? F.U.B.U. was for us and by us and songs like Can I Kick reigned supreme. Milan Jordan, Founder & Chief Brewing Officer of The Cultured Kombucha, loved the era so much that she decided to bottle it up and serve it. And, she's doing it for the culture.
What Do You Do?
I live a bit of a dual life. By day I work in architecture and on nights and weekends, I brew kombucha.
How Is Kombucha Made?
Kombucha is a bubbly drink similar to soda except kombucha is brewed from fresh tea. Kombucha also adds in a friendly culture called skoby that ferments the tea and helps to create a healthier environment in your gut.
How'd You Get Into Brewing Kombucha?
I went to a kombucha brewing class and I loved it so much that I continued to meet up with the girls from the class. We’d host kombucha pot lucks and everybody raved about mine and said I should look into selling it at a farmer’s market. So, that was my plan. I thought I'd brew it and sell it on the weekends but the food and beverage business is a different beast with the licenses and everything else you have to go through. So, I've been going through all the processes since July and the last step will be getting permanent kitchen space.
Why Did You Create The Cultured Kombucha?
I created The Cultured Kombucha to help diversify the health and wellness scene and to get minorities in lesser served communities interested in their internal health. I believe all communities should have access to and knowledge of internal health and wellness but there’s a bit of normalizing that has to happen for people to embrace something. I hate that kombucha has this luxury, super high-end aura because wellness needs to be available for everyone. Kombucha is the fastest growing health beverage in the U.S. It doesn’t need to be an exclusive thing. So, I brew this kombucha for culture, and for those who might otherwise overlook probiotic benefits.
DID YOU KNOW:
30-50% of black women and men in the U.S. either live with hyper-tension, obesity, or diabetes?
With diabetes, obesity, and hyper-tension running rampant in the community and soda available everywhere, I wanted to create a healthier alternative. I believe that adding kombucha to people’s daily lives can help change these trends.
Check out The Cultured Kombucha's iFund Women Campaign Page to help bring it to a market in the Washington, DC area.
For the Culture
Naming The Brews
The brews are named after 90's hip-hop and R&B songs. It was an interesting creative exercise. I tried to pick a name that evokes the feeling that you experience when taste the flavor. So, Can I Kick It is ginger and basil based. It’s got a kick. And, the song is punchy too. It evokes that feeling for me.
I have six flavors but I’m always experimenting with something new.
Can I Kick It Ginger Basil
P.Y.T. Rosemary Lime.
I Used to Love Her Honey Apple.
Straight Outta Concord Concord Grape.
The O.G. The original flavor (green tea and fresh lime)
Tropic Like It’s Hot Pineapple Coconut Vanilla. (Tiny Leaf Partnership with Ivy Tea Co.)
Tiny Leaf Partnership Program
Tiny Leaf is The Cultured Kombucha’s partnership program. The mission is to bring exposure to local, multicultural herbalists and tea brands. Each quarter, I'll select one local herbalist’s tea to create a seasonal, custom kombucha that celebrates the creativity an uniqueness of local tea blend.
For our launch, we partnered with Ivy Tea Co., another black woman-owned business. The brew, Tropic Like It’s Hot, is an island in a bottle. It’s a bold, bright, and flavorful kombucha brewed from Ivy Tea Co.'s Rise & Grind, a coconut vanilla breakfast blend tea. Our second ferment brings in fresh pineapple for a probiotic play on a pina colada.
To learn more about the Tiny Leaf partnership program, email email@example.com.
How Do You Source Your Other Ingredients?
We source our produce from a local farm in the District that runs a program, Cultivate the City, that helps city schools activate their greenspace with gardening programs, and seeks to inspire healthy and sustainable living by empowering communities with tools and training for urban agriculture.
Support The Cultured Kombucha
Check out The Cultured Kombucha's iFund Women Campaign Page to help bring it to a market in the Washington, DC area. Diverse representation in the health and wellness scene does matter. People need to see themselves reflected in the products they support and the brands they buy. Cultured is all about your tribe — whether that tribe is a gang of good bacteria or an awesome cohort of women conspiring for your good.
1 Big Bowl of Representation
2 Dope Inspirational Women
1 Tribe of Support
Step 1: Add 1 Big bowl of representation
Why is Representation Important?
Google wellness and look at the images. You’ll see a trend that needs to be broken. Wellness definitely has a race problem. On my Instagram page I have about two stock photos because when I look for stock images it’s hard to find people of color. On a daily basis, there are these little messages that you see that can make you feel excluded and photograhy is a huge part of that. Fortunately, I’m blessed to know lots of talented photograhers and videographers. And so, I work with them to try to change the representation narrative. I try to diversify the images of health and wellness where ever possible.
Step 2: Add 2 Dope Inspirational Women
Black Women Who Inspire You
Lauren Ash | Black Girl Om podcast
I think of her as one of the black women pioneers in wellness. She has a podcast called Black Girl in Om and it’s all about drawing black girls into wellness and the yoga movement.
Angel Anderson | The SpiceSuite
I admire people who give back — you start from somewhere, you make it, and then you reach back and bring other people with you. The SpiceSuite is not only an interactive spice bar which features unique, infused cooking oils and spice blends but also a cooperative-like space for other female entrepreneurs to host a pop-up shop every week while also acting as the storekeeper for the day. These women are known as DC's Spice Girls and I’m fortunate to be one of them.
Step 3: Add 1 Tribe of Support
When Black Women Support Each Other...
We move mountains.
Black women entrepreneurs are the fastest growing entrepreneur segment. When we support each other everyone wins.
Step 4: Ferment & Drink!
The Everyday Lemonade.
We don't wait for life to hand us lemons to make lemonade.
Featuring dope black women in dope careers -- creatives, entrepreneurs, and magic makers -- because representation matters.