Our natural kefir drinks are made from our herd’s full fat, pasteurised, non-homogenised milk cultured with kefir grains. This delicious farm produced kefir has no additives or preservatives.
We have blended raspberry fruit purees with our natural kefir drink for customers who might like a natural sweet flavour added to the kefir. It needs to be stored at about 4 degrees and has a shorter shelf life than the natural kefir drinks. We hope you enjoy it.
Our strained kefir is a natural kefir drink which is strained to remove some of the liquid from the drink and make a product of a different thickness and texture. It is a more “yoghurt like” product but it is not a yoghurt. It is proving popular with our customers who compare it to Greek Yoghurt or Natural Yoghurt but with a different taste. It has a unique taste that is fresh on the palate and tastes of natural goodness. It can be eaten on it’s own or taken with fresh fruit or with honey or with granola. It has many uses and can be used by the consumer in a way that suits them. It takes two litres of kefir to make one litre of strained kefir.
We use only milk from our own farm which is pasteurised in our dairy less than 200m from our milking parlour. No long miles of delivery! We have the freshest milk as our primary ingredient.
We make our kefir from the kefir grains that have grown from the kefir we got first day because that is how we first made kefir and because all scientific research relates to kefir made from kefir grains. This is the traditional way of making kefir and many other commercially available kefirs are not made in this way.
The Cultured Couple make kefir in the traditional way, in small batches in our on farm dairy where each batch is unique. This is an artisanal product and the making of our kefir is part art and part science. The milk changes depending on the grass the cows are eating, the seasons and the effects of the weather on grass quality and whether the cows are grazing outside or being fed indoors so our kefir changes also. Our kefir grains are a product that grows naturally with love, care and lots of attention. We create the right conditions for our pasteurised non-homogenized milk and our kefir grains to combine to create The Cultured Couple Kefir. We put a lot of care and attention into creating our products and we hope you are happy with the result!
We are The Cultured Couple and we have become intrigued with one cultured product called Kefir. We are Norma and Willie Leahy and we are a dairy farming couple who live on our farm in Carrueragh, Moyvane in Co.Kerry. Willie farms on his home farm which has been in the Leahy family for at least four generations. In May 2016 something happened that changed our path. Willie finished up in hospital with three infections- bacterial, fungal and viral! After a week of intravenous antibiotics and medication Willie needed to build up his immune system. A friend of the family introduced us to kefir and generously gave us some kefir grains and we began to experiment with making it.
Willie felt that this product greatly aided his return to health and was delighted with the effect the daily intake of kefir had. We thought this was a fabulous product and wanted to introduce more people to it. We knew we had the core ingredient in our own nutritious milk and we wanted to make kefir in the traditional way by using kefir grains. However we felt that we needed a better background in food production to launch this venture and Norma returned to college in September 2016 to pursue a Diploma in Speciality Food Production in UCC. This course was ideally suited to pave the way for an entrepreneurial start-up food business. We began production in August 2017. From very small beginnings we started building a family based business on our farm.
Our Strained Kefir won Best Emerging Product in the Dairy Section at Listowel Food Fair 2017, our Natural Kefir won Gold at Blas na hEireann in October 2018 and our Raspberry Kefir Drink was Highly Commended at Listowel Food Fair in 2018. We are excited to be food producers of our own products and we are learning every day. We have some knowledge of this fabulous 2,000 year old product and we aim to develop new interesting kefir products. We are following our gut and developing our small artisanal business and would encourage everyone to look after their gut with the help of The Cultured Couple kefir products!
Kefir is a fermented milk containing live cultures originating in the Caucasian mountains over 2000 years ago. The word ‘kefir’ comes from the Turkish language and means ‘long life’ or ‘good life’. It has a sour cream-like consistency and a distinct flavour. It is characterized by a distinctive fizzy or sparkling mouthfeel.
Kefir has a highly complex flavour because the kefir grains used in its manufacture have a highly diverse microbiota. Kefir grains are remarkable in their physical resemblence to cauliflower florets, the grains are irregularly shaped and have a slimy texture but are structurally strong enough for physical seperation and recovery from the milk following fermentation. They are composed of proteins and polysaccharides in which this complex microbiota is enclosed. During fermentation these grains increase in size and number and that is how a new biomass is developed. When the milk has fermented these grains are recovered and reused in the next batch of kefir.
Kefir is produced when a kefir grain is added to milk to initiate a natural fermentation; incubation is usually at room temperature for about 24 hours resulting in a beverage that has been described as having a pleasantly sour or yoghurt like taste.
The Cultured Couple kefir has a distinctive taste, it is slightly sour, creamy and has a distinctive mouthfeel! The taste of kefir requires getting used to but it quickly grows on you . Before you open your bottle give it a gentle shake as there can be natural separation of the contents as we use no added artificial stabilisers or additives. Kefir is often referred to as the ‘champagne’ of yoghurt drinks due to its characterstic fizz.
Willie personally found that when he was at his lowest physically after bacterial, fungal and viral infections that taking kefir daily helped him on the road to recovery. We are restricted in the claims we can make for our kefir due to EU regulations however we can say that kefir is a good source of protein, calcium and B Vitamins. Many people with lactose intolerance can get the benefits of milk (ie. calcium and protein) by drinking kefir, however anyone with lactose intolerance should consult their doctor before consuming kefir as people can have different levels of lactose intolerance. Kefir is still actively being studied by scientists and doctors worldwide and many of their findings may be found online if you wish to research further.
Our kefir is made in a dairy approved by the Department of Agriculture as is indicated by the oval ball on our label. It is subject to regulations and testing critera of the department. You can find our dairy on the list of DAFM Approved Establishments here
The Cultured Couple’s kefir is made using the nutritious milk from our farm and pasteurised in our dairy which is only 200m from the milking parlour.
The milk is non-homogenized which means it does not go through an unnecessary homogenization process - the cream is not dispersed in the milk and it may come to the top but once you gently shake the bottle everything mixes up! We make our natural kefir in small batches using only kefir grains and our freshly pasteurised full-fat milk. This is the traditional way of making kefir and has been used for over 2000 years.
Our product is an artisan one - made by Norma and Willie in our dairy and it is hand filled and hand labelled by us and each batch is unique.
Listowel Food Fair 2017 - Winner for the Best Emerging Artisan Product in the Dairy Category for our Strained Kefir
Listowel Food Fair 2018 - Highly Commended Award in the Dairy Category for Raspberry Flavoured Kefir Drink
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