A Beginners Guide to Kombucha

By Alex Gryciuk

What starts off as a slimy SCOBY (or symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast), raw sugar, and tea, ferments to become a delicious beverage: kombucha. I know, it sounds disgusting and smells like vinegar to most. But for the millions drinking kombucha, including myself, kombucha is a drink sent from the heavens. Along with great flavors, kombucha allegedly provides great health benefits. Although not officially proven to heal some serious health problems like cancer, heart disease, and AIDS, kombucha contains millions of probiotics and lactic-bacteria that act as probiotics. Probiotics could help with gut health and increase bacteria inside your stomach and gut biome. In all, kombucha is a great beverage that can help give you healthy probiotics and has a limited sugar content.

However, some scandals involving kombucha arose in 2010 as a result of high alcohol content: a byproduct of fermentation in kombucha. As a result of poor management and lack of universal protocol, bottles contained more than the amount allowed on bottles. However, since the 2010 scandal, all kombucha bottles contain less than .5% of alcohol per bottle. Universal methods for creating kombucha were established and the health factor of kombucha was restored. It’s nearly impossible to even get drunk off kombucha. 

Given that kombucha is delicious, 100% safe, and could have some health benefits, I encourage all people to at least try it once. But, with a huge market it’s hard to choose exactly which kombucha to try first. So, I’ve created the ultimate kombucha list with three of the best kombucha brands to try first.

  • Brew Dr. (5/5)

Still retaining some delicious flavors, the kombucha maintains a crisp flavor and doesn’t taste like juice. I would compare the crispness to a less sweet ginger-ale. If you are looking for something that will make you feel good after tasting and doesn’t taste as much like juice, try Brew Dr. It tastes great and is revered among the kombucha community for it’s amazing flavor and quality. Some of my favorite flavors to try are Super Berry (more sweet and has a more fruity flavor), Clear Mind (very herbal and light spice flavor), and Love (very floral and light herbal flavor). Brew Dr. has eight constant flavors and one seasonal flavor of kombucha. I encourage you all to try. 

  • Humm (5/5)

Including more juice and sugar into their formula makes their brand of kombucha feel more like a treat. It’s fun flavors and selection allows for the kombucha to mask it’s acquired taste; making it a perfect drink for beginners. Some of my favorite flavors to try are Blueberry Mint (tastes mostly like blueberry), Strawberry Lemonade (tastes like the perfect lemonade drink), and Mango Passionfruit (tastes more like mango). Humm offers eleven constant flavors and has a selection of low sugar kombucha. 

  • Health-Ade (4/ 5)

Don’t let the brand name fool you. While most health-oriented kombuchas focus more on health benefits, this kombucha brand still creates great flavors. Found in all grocery stores and its stockpile of at least 15 flavors, Health-Ade has the biggest selection of kombucha to try from. In a store, you are bound to find something you like. While Brew Dr. is more refined and Humm more sweet, it’s safe to describe Health-Ade as a brand in between both spectrums. It’s flavors are slightly-refined, crispy, and have a sweeter makeup. Without trying to sound pretentious, this kombucha feels like a sweeter version of Brew Dr. Its wide selection of flavors and availability makes it perfect for anyone just looking for great kombucha. My favorite flavors are Rose Bubbly (a rose and floral taste), Tropical Punch (mango and fruity taste), and Pomegranate (a fruity, pomegranate taste).