The Bearded Persian
The Bearded Persian is our very own Master Kombucha-Brewer-Extraordinaire, going by the name of Alan, who is the beard behind The Bearded Persian. Homed in the Main Room here at the Eco Village, kombucha is served on tap into glass bottles, so you can keep reusing and refilling to your heart's content!
The Bearded Persian also have you covered with a range of speciality teas, along with a whole host of enthusiasm & plenty of chat.
Kom-bu-what on earth is kombucha, anyway?
Striped down to its bare-naked self, kombucha is essentially fermented tea. A cold, slightly sparkling (naturally sparkling, of course) drink. Kombucha is not only refreshing but also a probiotic; renowned for its health benefits and digestive properties.
Produced from a blend of mixed tea leaves, spices such as cardamom, plus a little sugar; the taste develops over a number of weeks whilst fermenting.
With origins in the Far East, kombucha has recently come to the forefront of many health experts and industry leader's minds, recognised for its antioxidant and probiotic benefits, as well as the vitamins, iron and minerals it contains too.
After suffering from dietary issues such as IBS and acid reflux, Alan wanted to look into natural remedies after finding more traditional medicines disagreeing with him.
With careful research, he sought out some shop-bought kombucha that began to ease his symptoms. Recognising the positive impact this was having, along with a can-do attitude, Alan then set about creating his own.
Why the Eco Village?
Alan begin to dabble in kombucha brewing in 2019. From using it to support his own gut health, and gifting it to friends, he really developed a taste for it and found others liked it, too.
Back in early June 2020 we knew we wanted to support a local kombucha producer here at the Eco Village, and put a shout out on our Instagram channel asking for brewers to get in touch. After one of his friends tagged him in the post, and some excitable conversations with The Beths, The Bearded Persian was born!
Luckily, being half-Persian, and spending much of his adult life drinking tea in Iran, Alan already had the expertise and his mum's own recipe to follow as a starting point. Working on this together, they developed and perfected their secret blend that we all enjoy today. (Sounds historic, was only last year).
Sustainability factors for The Bearded Persian.
From the beginning, it was really important to Alan for The Bearded Persian to be as sustainable and low waste as possible.
After his original chat with Beth, Alan went to research all relevant sustainability aspects in order to set The Bearded Persian up as a business, and realised the enormity of the task ahead. Supplier packaging was non-recyclable, and the packing he wanted to use for his own range caused further difficulties; striving for zero-waste on a business front can be extremely challenging.
Nevertheless, he persisted. Researching further into more ethical processes and practices, lead him to find solutions for many of the issues he was facing.
Alan now asks for larger bags from his suppliers for his speciality teas, and tea leaves, when ordering. Being a food product, air-tight packaging is essential. However reducing the volume of these packets certainly helps, and in turn, Alan reuses these as bin liners at home - every little helps!
Serving The Bearded Persian kombucha in reusable glass bottles further assists waste reduction. Alan encourages customers to bring their own bottles wherever possible (as the kombucha is on tap you can have as much or little as you'd like!). The cycle of reusing and refilling these certainly helps lower the volume and waste of any additional bottles.
Down to the smallest detail, even stickers, Alan prefers to respect the natural world and limit waste as much as possible. With compostable tea packets and a strong reuse ethos, he's frequently known to give away excess packaging from his deliveries via social media to anyone in need of cardboard boxes!
All used tea leaves discarded at the end of each kombucha brew, Alan pops straight into his wormery. They love it, by all accounts.
Although not an ideal zero-waste system, if that's even possible, The Bearded Persian is definitely striving to be as low-waste as can be. And who could ask for anything more?!
Future goals for The Bearded Persian.
If you've ever had a chat with Alan, you'll know he's brimming with excitement and a million ideas. He took part in our Christmas festivities, brewing all of his speciality teas on a Pop-Up stall in our courtyard during December, and would like to do more this year.
He often brings in various props made from bits of old wood and is constantly working on something new. He has recently been collaborating with local roastery, Jute, to produce his own Coffee Kombucha, which we're all very excited about trying!
Things you probably didn't know about Alan...
- He can speak Farsi
- Alan spent much of his adult life (3 months a year, or 25% apparently!) in Iran.
- Alan walked across Spain in 2020, for the second time. We're not sure why.
- Alan has a birthmark the shape of the UK on his leg. He will probably show you, if you ask.
- He used to own a pet duck.
- He loves nature, and can often be seen out foraging.
- Alan loves making things - be it furniture, food, or alcohol. It can often have a touch of the Victorian inventor about it, which we have all the time in the world for.
- He loves a glass of wine and a good whisky. So dedicated that he is to kombucha-making, he's had to retire his love of red wine, (the tannins affect your tastebuds y'know - essential for good kombucha-brewing). He will tell you this on ALL occasions, which leads us to believe it is very important information.
- Alan once stood right next to Noel Gallagher outside the Ivy in London and had absolutely no idea it was him until a friend pointed him out. Noel then got papped with Alan looking extremely confused in the background, which ended up in the Daily Mail. And this is why he belongs with us.
Discover more about The Bearded Persian.
The Bearded Persian can be found in the Main Room here at the Eco Village, straight after Susie and her Windowsill Plants. There you'll find a fridge stocked with bottles of the good stuff, alongside all the beautiful loose leaf teas.