If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, SPY.com may receive an affiliate commission.
If you’re not already part of the kombucha revolution, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of this mysterious drink but have yet to really understand why it’s taking the world by storm. Let us demystify the product and do our best to explain exactly what makes the best kombucha a beverage you simply shouldn’t miss.
What is Kombucha?
With origins dating back to over 2,000 years, “booch,” as it’s colloquially known, is a slightly fizzy drink that uses sugar, black or green tea and a scoby (a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) in its production process. After brewing, the resulting fermented product is naturally effervescent and full of living cultures, antioxidants and amino acids. Depending on your preferences, kombucha can also include fruit, herbs, coffee, coconut water or whatever other flavorings best appeal.
Luckily, for those who are less inclined to brew fermented tea at home, kombucha’s impressive popularity has led to an accompanying rise in professional production, making it easier than ever to pop to your local shop and grab a bottle (or can).
How is Kombucha Made?
At its simplest level, kombucha is fermented tea. And to start the kombucha production process and create this fermented tea, you need at least three things. These are:
- Steeped and cooled black or green tea
- A scoby (a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast)
Once these three ingredients are combined, the resulting mix is left to ferment for a period of time, which often depends on the brewer’s preferences. This initial fermentation can last from a week to a month.
After the initial fermentation is complete, additional ingredients, like fruits, herbs, and spices, can be added to give the kombucha a more unique flavor. This occurs during a second fermentation. Common kombucha additions include:
What are the Health Benefits of Kombucha?
In addition to being a tasty, low-sugar alternative to soda, kombucha is also believed to offer a number of potential digestive and disease-fighting benefits.
This is because the brewing process of kombucha produces lactic-acid bacteria which might have a probiotic function. These probiotics/bacteria increase gut health and aid in digestion and, perhaps, even weight loss.
In addition to the significant advantages to your digestive system, scientists believe kombucha may also:
- Improve cholesterol
- Reduce liver toxicity
- Reduce heart disease
- Help to manage diabetes
- Decrease the risk of some cancers
While these haven’t been scientifically proven in humans beyond all doubt, the tea and probiotics in the kombucha production process certainly do the body more good than the average beer or soda.
Does Kombucha Contain Caffeine?
Sadly, this is not a simple yes or no answer. However, we will side with yes. As the majority of kombuchas are made using black or green tea, they do contain caffeine at some level. But calculating and knowing the exact content isn’t always straightforward. Why is it complicated? Well, the answer is that a lot of the original caffeine content is lost during the fermentation process. This means that while the beverage almost certainly contains some, it’s not on the same level as the average cup of coffee and probably best compared to a cup of decaf instead.
Does Kombucha Contain Alcohol?
Before we answer this question, it’s important to remember that kombucha is a fermented drink. Almost every fermentation process creates three products: alcohol, carbon dioxide and lactic acid. So, you may have already jumped ahead and concluded that there must be alcohol in kombucha, and you’re correct. But, like sauerkraut, soy sauce, and kefir, the levels of alcohol found inside kombucha are, for the most part, nothing you should worry about. Hence it’s not classed as an alcoholic beverage. However, anyone with any potential allergy to alcohol should at least be aware of its presence.
What Does Kombucha Taste Like?
It is safe to say that kombucha has a unique taste, which is why it’s so appealing to so many. While some may compare it to vinegar or sparkling apple cider, once you try it and have become accustomed to this one-of-a-kind flavor and taste profile, you’ll more than likely be hooked. Try to imagine a drink that is effervescent, sweet and tart all at the same time. Of course, a good part of what you taste will also depend on the flavor you have in your hand, however, the underlying “kombucha” taste remains the same. A large part of kombucha’s appeal is its ability to replace other go-to drinks, such as soda, high-caffeine teas, coffees and even beer.
Below, we’ve put together a list of the best kombucha brands available to order online. Each has its own approach to this versatile beverage. From focusing on the brewing technique to providing a range of delicious flavors, scroll down to find the right kombucha brand for you.
1. Remedy Raw Organic Kombucha Tea
The Remedy Raw Organic Kombucha is a beverage full of gut-loving cultures and a number of other tasty ingredients. It’s available in a range of flavors, including ginger lemon, raspberry lemonade and apple crisp. Each can of this kombucha is brewed using quality, tried-and-tested production methods, which involve small-batch creation and sufficient fermentation time. You’ll also find this health-conscious drink is free from sugar and alcohol, providing a beverage that is delicious and sparkling yet lacks the usual negative health impacts of soda. This all-organic drink is ideal as a dinner accompaniment, a summer refresher or an anytime health boost.
2. Better Booch Kombucha
Better Booch Kombucha is produced using a tea-forward, small-batch approach, which allows quality control to ensure everything is just as it should be. The real, organic ingredients deliver all-natural flavors you’ll love, especially as they are low in sugar compared to other artificially flavored competitors. This kombucha brand is available in a range of flavors, including morning glory, cherry retreat, ginger boost and golden pear.
3. Lenny Boy Brewing Good Ol Ginger Kombucha
The Lenny Boy Brewing Co. is part of the lively brewery scene in Charlotte, NC and focuses on using locally sourced, unique ingredients in all the beverages they create, from ales to lagers. In addition to brewing up some of the best beer east of the Mississippi, Lenny Boy Brewing Co. has also developed this delicious ginger kombucha brand. The spicy bite of the ginger brings out the tartness of the kombucha. They’ve also added a touch of molasses to aid in the mineral fortification. Together, these elements create a one-of-a-kind, warming drink.
4. Kevita Master Brew Kombucha Tart Cherry
BEST NATURALLY FLAVORED
Verified as non-alcoholic, which is important as many kombucha brands have trace amounts of alcohol in their products, the Kevita Master Brew Kombucha boasts a multitude of live probiotics and active cultures. While the company produces a large variety of flavors, we’re partial to the tart cherry with its deep, ruby color and balance between tart and sweet. The bold taste is strangely energizing, but the best part is that this kombucha is “naturally flavored with other natural flavors.” Therefore, you don’t have to worry about what’s behind that wonderful cherry flavor, and you can simply focus on how good Kevita Kombucha is for your body.
5. Urban Farm Fermentory Ghost Chili Pepper Kombucha
At this point in your life, you likely know that certain tastes work well together. That’s certainly the case with sour and spicy (also known as pungent) tastes. Think about your favorite Thai food or that ancho sour beer you had at the brewery last month. These foods and drinks all combine sour and spicy with great effectiveness, which is exactly the combination Urban Farm Fermentory Ghost Chili Pepper Kombucha is trying to achieve. Urban Farm Fermentory uses fresh and dried ghost chilis in the brewing process. The result is a drink that certainly awakens the palate and makes you sweat a little with every sip.
6. Unity Vibrations Triple Goddess Raspberry Kombucha
Left to its own devices, kombucha is a slightly alcoholic drink, usually weighing in around 1.5%. Unity Vibrations, a craft brewery in Michigan, decided to capitalize on this fact by creating a kombucha beer. The Triple Goddess Raspberry Kombucha combines a 30-day brewed kombucha with organic dried hops and organic fresh raspberries. This mixture is aged and fermented in oak barrels before being bottle conditioned. The result is a “healthy” and complex beer that’s gluten-free and vegan. And, if raspberry isn’t your favorite, Unity Vibrations has also developed ginger, grapefruit and peach flavors.
7. Scoby Kombucha Organic Kombucha Scoby-Live Culture
BEST LIVE CULTURE
If you’ve decided to take the homebrew course of action, the first thing you’ll discover is that the key to successful home brewing is a good quality scoby. That’s why so many home brewers choose the Scoby Kombucha Organic Kombucha Scoby-Live Culture. In addition to being budget-friendly, this healthy symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast is 100% organic and arrives fresh inside a heat-sealed pouch. However, one thing to note, while all scobies are guaranteed to make kombucha, they will vary in size, texture and color.
8. Fermentaholics Organic Kombucha Scoby
One of the reasons kombucha has become so popular recently is that it’s incredibly easy to brew at home. To do so, all you really need is a large, glass jar, tea bags, sugar, filtered water and a kombucha scoby. The last of those ingredients is the most essential, as the scoby is the living organism that provides kombucha with its healthy properties as well as its natural carbonation. The Fermentaholics Organic Kombucha Scoby makes DIY kombucha super easy by providing the scoby (also known as the pellicle) as well as a cup and a half of starter tea. Simply follow the directions on the back of the bag, and you’ll have a gallon of delicious kombucha in one to three weeks.
9. Brew Dr. Kombucha
The Brew Dr. Kombucha is crafted using Townsend’s tea, botanicals and organic flavoring to produce a great-tasting and active beverage. Every can and bottle is 100% raw and unpasteurized. It’s also free from alcohol, GMOs and artificial ingredients. This kombucha brand is available in a number of flavors, including this tasty superberry option. Amazon users note that this refrigerated beverage has an appealing taste and provides a healthy energy boost.
10. QULA Kombucha Drink Tabs
The QULA Kombucha Drink Tabs let you turn standard tap water into delicious kombucha. They’re ideal for both on-the-go and at-home use and come in a range of packet sizes to cater to every need. You’ll also be able to choose from a number of flavors, including mango-pineapple, guava-rose and blood orange-rosemary. Additionally, each easy-to-mix pack contains no added sugar, under five calories and is vegan, vegetarian and keto diet-friendly.
11. Theory of Kombucha Powdered Drink Mix
BEST ENERGY PACKS
Coming in easy grab-and-go packs, the Theory of Kombucha Powdered Drink Mix is a convenient way to get your dose of the good stuff. This mix is available in packs aimed at either gut health or providing energy. Each contains 2 billion CFUs of probiotics to achieve these goals. You can also choose between raspberry and lemonade or lemon ginger flavors. To use a pack, simply pour it in a glass or bottle, add water, shake and then enjoy. This drink mix is free from sugar, alcohol, gluten and GMOs.
12. Yogi Tea Green Tea Kombucha
Inside this Yogi Tea Green Tea Kombucha, you’ll find a delicious and health-boosting mix of green tea and kombucha. Each pack contains 16 tea bags which are both USDA-certified organic and non-GMO project verified. They also offer an appealing combination of plum and passion fruit flavors for a tea choice you’ll come back to time and time again, not just because of the health benefits. Furthermore, if you prefer a stronger flavor in your cup, try adding two bags instead of one.
13. Align Probiotic Kombucha On-the-Go Packets
If you regularly get kombucha pangs on the go or want a way to travel with kombucha without having to kart large bottles around with you, these Align Probiotic Kombucha On-the-Go Packets could be the answer you’re looking for. Each packet, which is full of the ready-to-go fizzy mix, can be added to normal drinking water to give you a delicious, lemon and ginger-flavored beverage. The probiotics in each drink also promote healthy gut digestion and boost the immune system. In addition, the powder is vegetarian friendly and free from soy, gluten and dairy.
14. Qumba Kombucha Powder
This Qumba Kombucha Powder is a ready-to-mix, delicious powder which keeps longer and more easily than the average bottle of fresh kombucha. This convenience makes it an ideal choice for irregular drinkers or anyone looking for a portable kombucha choice. This vegan-friendly powder comes in a large, 8.1-ounce resealable and sustainably produced pack. You’ll also love the gingerberry flavor which combines sweet, spicy and fruity elements from ginger, artichoke, green tea and apple cider vinegar, which are just a few of the ingredients.
15. KÖE Kombucha
KÖE Kombucha loves using organic ingredients to create a range of delicious options for you to enjoy. From raspberry dragon fruit and strawberry lemonade to blueberry ginger and lemon-lime, there’s a flavor for every palate. Plus, the fact that these flavors are all USDA-organic, free from GMOs and vegan-friendly only adds to their appeal. Their pull-tab packaging also makes this a great option for on-the-go refreshment.
16. Bucha Live
With guava mango, blood orange, raspberry pomegranate, grapefruit sage and yuzu lemon flavors to choose from, there’s a Bucha Live option for everyone. These healthy and nutritious brews offer an appealing balance of flavor and digestive and immunity-boosting benefits. Furthermore, these sparkling beverages come in screw-top bottles, making them a handy option for enjoying at your leisure.
17. Humm Probiotic Zero Sugar Kombucha
BEST LOW SUGAR
The Humm Kombucha slogan states, “There’s a lot of feel-good in every can.” And, that’s certainly true when you consider that each can has over two billion probiotic cultures. This Humm Probiotic Zero Sugar Kombucha brand not only supports a healthy immune system, but it also tastes wonderful, too. The pomegranate lemonade flavor is delightfully carbonated and slightly addicting. In addition, each 11-ounce can contains only 10 calories, and Humm Kombucha products are non-GMO, vegan and gluten-free. This is one fizzy beverage you can feel good about drinking daily.
18. GT’s Organic Raw Kombucha
Try detoxing your body with one of these GT’s Organic Raw Kombucha bottles. This drink is great for promoting intestinal health and probiotic action in the gut, and it uses raw products and an authentic brewing process to achieve this outcome. The lavender love flavor uses organically produced lavender to deliver a natural and delicious flavor. And, if lavender isn’t to your liking, there are a number of other original flavors to try.
19. Wonder Drink Prebiotic Kombucha
With apple mint, tropical mango and ginger peach flavors, Wonder Drink Prebiotic Kombucha brand drinkers have plenty of available and delicious options to choose from. This certified-organic and non-alcoholic kombucha comes in elegant, 12-ounce cans with 10 grams of sugar in each one. Wonder Drink sells itself as the only kombucha brand to include a specific type of organic prebiotic fiber which helps nourish probiotics in your gut.
20. Health-Ade Kombucha
BEST SMALL BATCH
The Health-Ade Kombucha brand markets itself as the best tasting and highest quality kombucha you can buy, and going on user reviews, there’s plenty of people who would agree. Each batch of this organic, vegan-friendly beverage is brewed and fermented in small 2.5-gallon glass jars to prevent glass or metal leaching and to ensure the drink itself keeps the best flavor possible. Cayenne cleanse is one of the punchiest taste options, but numerous other Health-Ade Kombucha flavors are available, too. Other equally tasty options include bubbly rose, grape vibes, tropical punch and more.