A kombucha lover’s guide to choosing the best kombucha.
As a kombucha brewer, I am still no stranger to picking up a bottle of booch at the grocery store. I love trying new flavor combinations and I often get inspired for my own secondary fermentation where I add my fun flavors.
Kombucha’s growing popularity means that there are SO MANY brands and flavors to choose from and it seems like new ones are popping up each month. Not all store bought booch is created equal, so it's important to be an educated consumer and pick the best booch wherever you live!
-Read the label. The first step in being a better booch buyer is to read the ingredients!
-Carbonated water is a cop out. Part of the tradition and magic of the kombucha brewing process is creating carbonation! I am not saying that if your booch has “carbonated water” in the ingredients that it is cheating but…. I am.
-Prefer glass over aluminum and plastic. Kombucha is acidic by nature, which means that it can chemically react with the vessels. Glass is a nonreactive material, whereas plastic is prone to breaking down and metals can leach into your booch from the cans. Long-term consumption of booch that has micro amounts of plastics and heavy metals can contribute to chronic health conditions down the line. When in doubt choose glass!
-Choose whole food flavoring over “natural flavors.” I like to see fruit, tea and herbs to flavor my store bought kombucha. Natural flavors are vague ingredients that can be made of many different foods, but also can be synthesized in laboratories. The FDA doesn’t require companies to list what is in their natural flavoring unless it includes a common allergen. In my opinion if you have nothing to hide, then just list your ingredients.
-Stay away from the shelf stable kombucha. One of the reasons I love kombucha is because it is a fermented food and has beneficial probiotics! When a beverage is put on the shelf it goes through a process of pasteurization that kills or removes all the living organisms in that food so it doesn’t need to be refrigerated. Shelf stable kombucha = no more beneficial probiotics. Head to the refrigerated section to pick up your bottle of bubbly.
-Choose local companies when possible. Support your local kombucha breweries! Buying local means less fossil fuels used to get the kombucha from the brewing facility to your mouth and you help sustain small companies.