Before you ask, Rebekah and Roger are not a couple. We’re business partners and we’re on the same quiz team at the Grey Lynn RSC 🙂
HOW LONG DO YOUR PRODUCTS LAST?
HOW SHOULD I STORE THEM?
- All Hakanoa products are pasteurised and safe to be stored at room temperature unopened. Syrups for 2 years, gingers beers and dressings for 1 year. Best in a dark cool cupboard if you have one.
- All Hakanoa products are preservative-free and must be refrigerated after opening.
- Hakanoa chai & ginger syrups need to be refrigerated and used within 3 months.
- Salad dressings need to be refrigerated and used within 1 month.
- Ginger beers have a 1-year shelf-life, and should be chilled prior to serving and are intended to be consumed soon after opening. They have a twist-crown cap so you can drink some and put the lid back on if you want to, but the fizz will diminish over time.
WHERE DO YOU MAKE IT?
- We brew and bottle our ginger beers in the Bay of Plenty. We’re not big enough to own our own brewery, especially one with the pasteurisation gear we need to preserve our ginger beers. So we work with a boutique cider maker in Mt Maunganui – Sam Cooney of Apple Tree Cider. He’s the only contract brewer in the country who would let us ferment with our wild culture, and his winemakers degree comes in very handy when we’re balancing out the flavours in each batch at bottling time.
- Our syrups and dressings are made here in Auckland. We work with Aromatics in Takanini, and Wild Appetite in Albany, using recipes developed originally in Hakanoa Street in Grey Lynn.
- .Rebekah’s very first commercial production runs were done at the Long Black Café on the AUT campus in Pt Chevalier. Hakanoa moved to The Refreshment Room in Titirangi in 2010, and brewed ginger beer in what is now their function room. We took over their kitchen when they were closed, every Monday and Tuesday. We out-grew that gorgeous facility 2 years later and went to the Foodbowl in Mangere to learn how to up-scale our recipes for commercial production whilst retaining all the integrity we had developed thus far. Once we knew how to make our goods on a bigger scale, we teamed up with Aromatics to make our spice concentrates, and with Apple Tree to brew our beers.
WHERE DOES YOUR GINGER COME FROM?
- Our fresh ginger is from Fiji. It is conventionally grown. This is a recent development for Hakanoa – we have only just become big enough to trade with Fijian ginger growers. There is certified organic ginger grown in Fiji as well as the conventionally grown ginger that we use from local growers. We know it’s highly labour-intensive to hand-pick off the pests that live on ginger plants, so the fresh organic stuff is several times more expensive. We’re not about to suggest the plantation workers be paid less, but neither are we keen to charge you a lot more for our products. We plan to make a 100% organic Hakanoa ginger product with fresh Fijian ginger one day though, watch this space…
- Our organic dried ginger comes from the Gatty Plantation in Fiji via Ceres Organics.
WHY AREN’T YOUR PRODUCTS CERTIFIED ORGANIC?
- Our raw sugar, sultanas, dried ginger, manuka honey and black tea are all certified organic. But our fresh ginger and citrus juices are not organic.
- We use a very high proportion of fresh ginger in our products – we use on average 1 tonne every month. We know it’s highly labour-intensive to hand-pick off the pests that live on ginger plants. Usually organic produce is 2 to 3 times the price of conventionally grown produce, but with ginger it’s between 6 and 10 times the price because of the sheer amount of work involved. We’re not about to suggest the plantation workers be paid less, but neither are we keen to charge you a lot more for our products. We plan to make a 100% organic Hakanoa ginger product with Fijian ginger one day though.
- Our lemon & lime juices are conventionally grown in NZ and not from concentrate. In the quantities we use, the only organic option is juice in concentrated form, grown & processed in America or Europe. Those concentrates don’t taste nearly as good as our juice. We get our juices from St Andrews Limes in Hawkes Bay, all from NZ grown fruit and flash pasteurised with no additives whatsoever.
- It’s really important to us to source what we can from local producers, to keep our local economy healthy and support the community that supports us. Having said that, ginger, sugar and spices are tropical plants that need to grow near the Equator, so fair trade terms & low carbon miles are also important considerations when we’re sourcing ingredients.
WHERE DOES EVERYTHING ELSE YOU USE COME FROM?
- Our organic fair trade raw sugar comes from South America via Natural Sugars NZ
- Our organic sultanas come from Turkey via Ceres Organics
- Our organic black tea comes from Sri Lanka via Kerikeri Tea
- Our organic Manuka honey is from Earthbound Honey
- Our lemon & lime juice come from NZ fruit via St Andrews Limes in Hawkes Bay, who flash pasteurise but do not add ascorbic acid or citric acid to their juice.
- Our whole dried spices – Cinnamon quills, green Cardamom pods etc – come from all over the world via Mahadeo’s Spices, who grind them fresh to order for us for each batch.
- Our bottles come from O-I Glass, including our wonderful 500ml swing-top bottles which are designed to be re-used many times – by you or someone you know.
- Our compostable tasting cups & other disposables come from Friendlypak & Innocent Packaging
- Our labels are printed by the extremely helpful MR Labels
- Our gorgeous photographs are by Lucy Mutch Photography
- The videos were shot, edited & finished by the lovely crew at Tomorrowland.
- Our perseverance comes from everyone’s continued support, thanking you kindly!
WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THE GINGER SYRUP?
This delectable concoction is a ginger-lovers dream. It is dense with 48% fresh ginger, carefully cooked with organic sugar & sultanas, then filtered to produce a silky rich syrup that warms you right down to the cockles of your heart. This stuff is incredibly versatile – it’s a cordial, a condiment, and a cooking ingredient. It’s also rich and smooth and delicious – try to imagine liquid gingerbread.
Wonderful diluted in sodas, or in hot water, in hot toddies, and especially good dissolved in hot frothy milk. Yes – hot milk! It’s a very soothing concoction. Dangerously good trickled over ice-cream, pancakes, porridge or yoghurt. Fabulous in salad dressings, marinades, and stir fries.
General uses and recipes are here.
WHAT IS CHAI?
The original Chai Masala – or Spiced Tea – comes from India, where spices are simmered for hours in milk before tea and sugar are added and the sweet rich mixture is served in tiny cups.
Hakanoa Chai Syrups are fresh spice and organic black tea concentrates designed to be mixed with hot textured velvety milk to make a Chai Latte. They also work with soy milk, most nut milks and are divine with coconut drinking milk. They can also be diluted with hot water to make a Chai Tea.
Our SPICY CHAI is the result of a collaboration between Rebekah and Helen Ollivier, the barista who runs her Aotea Coffee Stand every Saturday at the Britomart Market. Helen tasted 9 variants on Rebekah’s recipe before she and Rebekah were fully satisfied with the results.
The blend of fresh spices, organic black tea and a modest amount of organic raw sugar is based on a traditional Rajasthani recipe that Rebekah learned as a teenager. Fresh root ginger, cinnamon quills, green cardamom pods, black peppercorns and cloves are simmered and steeped for hours before being carefully filtered. We keep fine sediment from the whole spices in our syrups, as it carries so much flavour, but leave large fibres behind. We add tea and just enough sweetness to amplify the array of flavours. There is a lovely balance of spice flavour with a lingering warm finish from the ginger and pepper.
Our CLASSIC CHAI has a richer smoother balance of spice flavour and tea and sweetness. If you want to make this truly indulgent and much closer to the orginal, add a spoonful of sweetened condensed milk to your cup. We have to thank Sami from the Satya Chai Bar for that tip!
Hakanoa UNSWEETENED CHAI has a perfect balance of spice & tea when diluted in hot water. We add a touch of fresh lemon juice to all our Chai’s to make the mixture just acidic enough not to spoil. We balance that tartness with a few organic sultanas, but we chose not to sweeten this mixture. The flavours may seem muted in full-fat milk, especially when compared to our other Chai concentrates syrups that do contain some raw sugar. If you would like to boost the flavours, add the unrefined sweetener of your choice – honey, date syrup, or coconut nectar all work nicely, or try a small pinch of salt in your cup.
WHAT IS WILD FERMENT GINGER BEER?
Do you remember that ginger beer people used to brew at home? It’s a NZ tradition, common back in the day but rare to find now. That’s the stuff we make. Every batch of Hakanoa ginger beer is fermented with our ‘bug’ or ‘plant’. It’s a wild culture full of good bacteria that make our ginger beers super-quenchy. Not too sweet, about ½ the sugar of the big boys* Our ginger-loving lacto bacilli & wild yeasts make food acids & flavours that light up your palate.
Every bottle gets a gentle heat treatment to stop the ferment when we’re happy with the flavours, and to stop the bottles going pop! We ferment for as long as it takes to taste good, which varies with the seasons; that’s wild too. A little alcohol is made as a natural by-product of fermentation. The legal limit for a brewed soft drink is 1.15% abv, and we make sure ours is always below that.
- By ‘big boys’ we mean Bundaberg Ginger Beer @ 10.8 grams of sugars per 100ml, and Schweppes Ginger Beer @ 10.7 grams of sugar per 100ml. Both Hakanoa wild-ferment ginger beers average 5.6 grams sugar per 100ml.