What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is a fermented tea made by combining bacteria and yeast with brewed tea and sugar. Kombucha has to ferment for at least a week up to one month, resulting in a deliciously fizzy drink that can taste sweet or tangy and vinegary depending on how long it is fermented. Oftentimes, kombucha makers will let it ferment twice, adding fruits, herbs, and spices for added flavor.
Similar to the process of making sourdough bread, you have to have a Scoby in order to make your own kombucha. Scoby is an acronym for Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast, and it looks as gross as it sounds, despite the delicious outcome. Scobys are often considered “the coral reef of the bacteria and yeast world,” which constantly renews itself and matures the more times you use it to make kombucha. Its rubbery nature seals off fermenting kombucha from the air to protect it from outside bacterias - the kind you don’t want to brew in your delicious probiotic drink! You can order Scoby online, borrow from a friend who already brews their own kombucha, or grow your own from scratch and follow a kombucha recipe to make your own at home.
Since kombucha is simply fermented tea, the base ingredients for making a kombucha tea are just as simple: a Scoby (containing bacteria and yeast), brewed green or black tea, and sugar.
While the base ingredients are quite simple, kombucha flavors vary depending on what is added to it. You can add additional ingredients such as lemon, ginger, cayenne, berries, chopped fruits, or fruit juice in different combinations to add flavor to the fizzy drink.
What Does Kombucha Taste Like?
Kombucha can be hard to describe if you have never tasted it before. Many people say it has a slight tart and tangy flavor and fizziness, somewhat like a sparkling apple cider, but more sour.
Depending on how it’s flavored, it can taste fruity, spicy, or like a glass of herbs. Although fizzy, it’s not nearly as bubbly as soda, but the fizziness depends on how long the kombucha brewer let it ferment.
Since kombucha is a fermented drink often made with black tea, it does contain trace amounts of alcohol and caffeine, so it is not recommended to drink kombucha while pregnant. Due to federal regulations, all kombucha sold commercially contains no more than .5% alcohol, but most recommend completely restricting alcohol consumption throughout your entire pregnancy. If brewed at home, the alcohol content can be even higher, increasing the risk of harm during your pregnancy or even while breastfeeding.
How much Caffeine in Kombucha?
The amount of caffeine in kombucha varies depending on where you get it. If you purchase a commercially made kombucha, the packaging should tell you how much caffeine is in it. If you make your own at home, you should be able to get an idea of the caffeine content based on how many tea bags you brew in the process. Just keep in mind that the process of fermenting tea to make kombucha actually cuts down the caffeine content of tea to about 1/3 of the amount listed on the tea.
If you’re sensitive to caffeine and the packaging of the kombucha you purchased doesn’t share the caffeine content, contact the brewer to see if they can provide it for you.
Similar to the caffeine content, the caloric content of a kombucha drink will vary depending on how it is flavored, including how much sugar is used in the fermentation process.
Some bottled kombuchas are as little as 30 calories for an entire serving, while others can go up to 120 calories. Some brands can be sneaky about this, making one bottle two servings rather than one so that it appears to be a lower calorie drink. That’s why it’s important to check the nutrition facts to see what constitutes a serving size.
For Weight Loss
You may have heard the buzz about kombucha as a drink that can help to promote weight loss. Let’s get it straight -- kombucha tea is not a magic elixir for weight loss, but it does have many health benefits and can be a great addition to your diet when trying to lose weight!
Kombucha can be rich in probiotics due to the fermentation process. Studies show that probiotics provide your gut with healthy bacteria that help with digestion, inflammation, and weight loss.
If kombucha is made with green tea, your body will benefit from the naturally occurring antioxidants within green tea that can reduce belly fat and help with increasing calorie burn.
Is Kombucha Keto Friendly?
Kombucha drinks are a great addition to a keto diet, as long as the kind you buy is low in sugar and carbs. This is why it’s always important to check the nutrition facts any time you’re considering buying a kombucha drink - many commercial brewers sneak in a lot of added sugar to boost the flavor.
While kombucha is considered a tea, it’s not like any other teas you have ever tasted since it is fermented with bacteria and yeast. It is always served chilled in order to keep the probiotics alive, which benefit your gut.
Does Kombucha Go Bad?
Since kombucha contains live probiotic cultures, it actually doesn’t go bad -- as long as you keep it refrigerated. However, the longer it sits, the less fizzy it will get, which is one of the best aspects of its taste. We recommend sticking to drinking your kombucha by the sell by date listed on the bottle, or just a few days after that date.
How Often Should You Drink Kombucha?
After learning about all of the health benefits of kombucha, you may be tempted to chug a couple of bottles back-to-back and wait for your superpowers to kick in.
While some people may decide to go that route, we don’t recommend it. It’s generally recommended to stick to no more than 8 ounces a day.
Yes, it’s true that you can have too much of a good thing. Since kombucha can contain several strains of yeast, it could cause yeast overgrowth in the mouth and body, and for some, it has been known to irritate IBS symptoms.
Best Kombucha Brands
If you’ve read this far, you’re probably ready to try kombucha tea for yourself. With so many options on the market, we’ve narrowed it down to our three favorite kombucha drink brands and why we like them.
Mobtown Fermentation is the brewer behind Wild Kombucha. Wild Kombucha’s mission is to make kombucha more approachable, affordable, and accessible. A portion of their sales are donated to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s efforts to protect the watershed and the various forms of life it supports.
Wild Kombucha was started by three friends making kombucha out of a juice shop in Baltimore, Maryland. All of Wild Kombucha’s flavors contain no added sugars, so all of the sweetness comes from the naturally sourced ingredients. Each serving is only 50 calories or less, with some flavors only 25 calories per serving.
Wild Kombucha has a flavor for everyone, including anyone who might be intimidated by the distinct taste of kombucha tea.
Blueberry Yerba Maté combines roasted yerba maté and sweet blueberries which makes for a great morning pick-me-up without any added sugars. Wild Kombucha’s Elderberry flavor is rich in antioxidants, as elderberries are known to help boost immunity.
Watermelon Hops allows you to enjoy summer in the bottle with this tasty blend of bitter hops and refreshing watermelon -- consider it a healthy spin on your favorite summer IPA. If you’re feeling more sour than sweet, Tart Cherry Ginger will be right up your alley, with its unique blend of tart cherry juice, ginger juice, and lime juice.
Rowdy Mermaid Kombucha
Rowdy Mermaid Kombucha was started in 2013 in the garage of its founder in Boulder, Colorado. Their mission is to give the world sustainably sourced functional plant medicine in the form of small batch kombucha, which they call “friends with benefits.
Rowdy Mermaid Kombucha views the process as an art form, searching the planet both locally and globally to source creative and unusual ingredients to create unique kombucha drinks flavored by herbs, roots, and flowers.
Rowdy Mermaid brews based on the seasonal availability of ingredients and chooses to work with small farms and suppliers. All of their kombucha are non-GMO, certified organic, and packaged in renewable glass packaging.
Each Rowdy Mermaid flavor has a function intended to work in harmony with your body, mind, and soul. If you need some calm, enjoy an Alpine Lavender, brewed with organic lavender and elderflower. If you need some balance, ‘stop and drink the roses’ by popping open a Flower Grow, a decaf kombucha option infused with chamomile, rose petal, chrysanthemum, and holy basil.
Sometimes you need a bit of clarity - that’s where Lion’s Root comes in, harnessing the power of Lion’s Mane Mushroom, which is known to support brain function, plus turmeric for antioxidants, topped up with pineapple for a taste of the tropics. Living Ginger is made for resilience. Brewed with Chaga Mushroom for adrenal support, Tasmanian pepperberries, spicy ginger, and himalyan salt, this flavor helps you resist stressors.
If you need some digestive support, Rowdy Belly is here for you. Inspired by an ancient Ayurvedic recipe, this flavor combines the healing powers of turmeric, ginger, fennel, and fenugreek. Savory Peach is made for immune support by brewing sweet peach with immune boosting thyme.
Strawberry Tonic is made to refresh with sweet strawberries and bright hibiscus merged with the detoxifying power of dandelion root and prebiotic raw chicory. Rounding up Rowdy Mermaid’s offerings is Watermelon Bloom, a decaf kombucha drink meant to hydrate with notes of watermelon, the mystical superfruit soursop, and flowery notes of hibiscus and rose.
Forage Kombucha is brewed right outside of Madison, Wisconsin by the owners of a healthy eating restaurant, Forage Kitchen. Forage Kombucha offers affordable and convenient canned kombucha, perfect for taking along on all of your outdoor adventures.
Forage is for anyone who craves “sustainable, long-term energy.” Forage Kombucha’s five signature flavors can even be auto-shipped every two weeks or twice a month.
The unique package design of the cans definitely stand out among other kombucha options. Raspberry Kombucha is brewed with green tea, cane sugar, organic raspberry, and organic hibiscus flowers. Ginger Kombucha is brewed with white tea, cane sugar, lemon juice, and ginger juice.
Peach Kombucha is also brewed with white tea, featuring organic cane sugar, organic apples, organic quince, organic peach, and essential orange oil. Enjoy a taste of the tropics with their Tropical Kombucha which blends oolong tea with organic coconut, pineapple, mango, natural passion fruit flavor, and natural lychee flavor.
Blackberry Grape brews black and green teas with hibiscus, currants, schisandra, guayusa, red wine grape skins, blackberry flavor, lychee flavor, and organic cane sugar.
All orders are shipped in a pack of twelve 12oz cans in a refrigerated box.
Our Very Own Instant Kombucha Superdrink: EssenzeFruits
You may not want the hassle of ordering a ton of bottles or cans of kombucha tea. That’s why we made our very own EssenzeFruits Instant Kombucha Superdrink. Our instant kombucha powder features premium green tea, ginger, and fermented apple sugar and is enhanced with 13 strains of probiotics plus 47% prebiotic fibers. This Instant Kombucha Superdrink Powder is a great source of Acetic Acid and Glucuronic Acid and helps support healthy gut bacteria and overall energy.
Our exclusive recipe involves a 15-day fermentation process that is then preserved using our Cool Dry System™ to maintain all of those beneficial live cultures until the last sip. All you have to do is add with cold sparkling water, blend, and drink!
EssenzeFruits Instant Kombucha Superdrink is a lower calorie alternative to standard bottled kombuchas at just 12 to 15 calories per serving. Enjoy all of the energy and health benefits from our Kombucha to nurture your mind and soul.
Our instant powder is vegan, organic, gluten-free, GMO-free, BPA-free, and compatible with many diets, including Keto and Paleo diets. Grab some now and drink up all of the benefits!