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Some History on Water-Kefir/Japanese Crystals :

The exact origin of the Water-Kefir unfortunately is not known. It is assumed that it comes from Mexico. There in 1899, M. Lutz documented its existence in the sugar saturated water of the Ountia cactus for the first time.

In Europe the Water-Kefir is also known by the name Japanese Crystals. Due to the similar biological composition these Japanese Crystals are identical with the – here slightly more - famous Water-Kefir. It is to be assumed that the Water-Kefir actually originates from various places.

In Europe it has been used since the beginning of the 1930’s. In Switzerland for instance it has been known as “Tibi-kernel” before WW II. In the French speaking regions it was called “graines vivantes” (“living kernel”).

With the period of W II it disappeared in many regions.

I made first contact with that beverage in the middle of the 1980’s, it still being sort of an insider cult drink.

It was in the middle of the 90’s that I recalled this natural drink and after extensive search was able to actually get hold of genuine culture media for Water-Kefir. Since then this drink has become very popular and sometimes has been celebrated as sort of a wellness-drink.

For approximately 5 years now Water-Kefir is being sold as an enzyme version in some health food shops. This enzyme version of the Kefir-drink is produced similarly to the production method of the “real” Water-Kefir and does actually taste comparable. The only disadvantage of this drink is that the enzymes only live for short period of time and after having been used for around 10 times (at the latest) they have to replaced and therefore be bought again.

  In the beginning of 2003 I saw „Kefir“ being sold for the first time as a refreshing beverage in a supermarket by a corporation called "Carpe Diem" . Judging from its taste/composition it strikes me to be Water-Kefir (elder-flavored) – however, I’ve no specific information about the drink. The price was around 3 Euro. Whether the vital characteristics are being lost if the Water-Kefir drink derives from mass production (due to the destruction of enzymes and germs) I don’t know for sure.

Water-Kefir is a good alternative to the common refreshments.


Proceed to : Application of Water-KEfirs