10 Best Kombucha Brands
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Looking For the Best Kombucha Brands
If there’s one thing we’ve learned from testing and making our own kombucha, it’s that not all kombucha is created equal. Our first batch tasted more like sour vinegar than we’d care to admit.
The process of making the beneficial health bevvy is one of simple fermentation, and yet, there’s a reason why this best Kombucha brands list exists.
“Kombucha is made from yeast, sugar and black tea. This mixture is left to sit for at least a week to allow bacteria to ferment it to form acids, and alcohol,” said Dr. Carrie Lam.
“This fermentation process is very similar to the way kimchi and yogurt is made. Other substances can be added to the tea for more flavor, or it can be taken plain.”
Meet the Expert: Carrie Lam, MD
Dr. Carrie Lam, MD, DABFM, ABAARM, FAAMFM graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Fine Arts from Pacific Union College, California, and earned her Doctor of Medicine degree from Loma Linda University, California.
Dr. Lam is board certified in family medicine, and Anti-Aging and regenerative medicine. She has completed her fellowship in Anti-Aging Metabolic and Functional medicine and is a graduate of the Institute of Functional Medicine’s Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice (AFMCP) Course.
Dr. Lam won a Medical Scholarship Award for Preventive Medicine and is an author of the international best selling books Advanced Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome: A Metabolic Approach and Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome Cookbook. She is a part of Lam Clinic.
In record time, kombucha has changed from a hippie health beverage to a must-have wellness essential, enjoyed by anyone who wants to reap the plentiful perks of good bacteria.
A major player in the probiotics category, this fizzy, tasty beverage is one of the few that blurs the line between health needs and yummy treats. Just like what smoothies have become.
Kombucha is promoted as a drink with effects including improving digestion, strengthening the immune system, and reducing blood pressure. Studies have begun to explore how kombucha helps fight against gout, hemorrhoids, nervousness, and abnormal liver function. According to this study, kombucha also works as an antioxidant.
But since no two brands are quite the same, and unless you’re willing to test out each one yourself, finding the best kombucha brands takes time and money. We’ve done the grunt work for you and put together our top 10 picks that range in taste, ingredients, and benefits.
But First, What Is Kombucha Exactly?
If you’re totally new to the world of kombucha, you are certainly in for a treat. Once you get past the whole SCOBY thing, which is a mass of yeast and bacteria that gives the drink its body-healthy edge. But let’s back things up a few pages.
“Kombucha originally came from China around 2,000 years ago. Over the years, it has also become popular in Japan and Russia, before spreading to Europe in the early 20th century,” Dr. Lam said.
“In recent years, this drink has become popular amongst people who are looking to improve their improve health and boost their energy levels.”
Basically, kombucha is a fermented beverage that starts with black or green tea. The fermentation process involves the tea, a bacterial SCOBY, and sugar. With a simple list of ingredients and low calories, it’s no wonder the drink has become a health sensation. But its benefits surpass the diet culture and reach into what good bacteria can do for your body.
Packed with a range of probiotics, antioxidants, and polyphenols from the tea, the bubbly drink is an easy swap for soda or alcohol. Though, due to the fermentation process, some varieties do contain a small percentage of alcohol under 0.05%.
Probiotics can help prevent or treat diarrhea caused by infections or antibiotics which ultimately can improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. In a nutshell, probiotics can boost the immune system and reduce inflammation.
According to this review, one of the most well-known health effects of probiotics is preventing and improving the progression of bowel diseases by improving the immune system.
Also, a diet high in antioxidants may reduce the risk of many diseases including heart disease and certain cancers since antioxidants scavenge free radicals from the body cells. This ultimately prevents and reduces any of the damage caused by oxidation.
This study concludes that antioxidants work by giving electrons to free radicals. They are also involved in mechanisms that repair DNA and maintain the health of cells.
Further, polyphenols can help manage blood pressure levels and keep your blood vessels healthy by promoting good circulation. Chronic inflammation, which is another risk factor for heart disease, is also reduced when higher levels of polyphenols are found in the body.
Substantial evidence suggests that specific polyphenols benefit health, mainly contributing to the prevention and management of certain chronic diseases. The ability to harness these benefits is limited by the current understanding of mechanisms and potential effects.
So… Think you might be keen on kombucha? We’re about to dive into our picks for the top 10 best kombucha brands out there. Whether you like light and effervescent or juicy and sweet, we’ve got it all here. Let’s dive into the vat.
10 Best Kombucha Brands
Think of the picture-perfect way a kombucha brand gets started and that’s exactly the story of Health-Ade. Launched at a California farmer’s market in 2012, the small but mighty company quickly grew in popularity.
Created by husband and wife team Daina and Justin Trout along with their good friend Vanessa Drew, Health-Ade came to be known as the best-tasting kombucha on the block. Its 1 billion CFUs of probiotics and antioxidants is a perk that people gladly glugged down along with tasty, inspired flavors and organic ingredients.
Today, Health-Ade kombucha has a great variety of flavors like strawberry glow, bubbly rose, and mint limeade, along with branding we’re low-key obsessed with. Light and approachable just like its ‘booch. Grab a 12-pack of 16 fl oz bottles for $48.
- Vegan & gluten-free
- Organic & non-GMO
- Lots of tasty flavors
- Made in small batches
- Made with fresh ingredients
- 1 billion CFUs per bottle
Rise was founded by David Côté and Mathieu Gallant in 2008 and raised in Montreal, Quebec, where it still brews and bottles its kombucha today. Mixing up delicious, Canadian-inspired flavors, you’ll find tasty combinations like blueberry & maple, peach & mango, and new-age favorites like lime & matcha.
Its classic kombucha line contains just 5-7g of sugar but the brand also offers a low-sugar line with only 1g. Packing every bottle with 5 billion CFUs, sippers also get 150mg of free-radical fighting polyphenols and 81mg of organic acids from green tea.
Rise kombucha is raw and unpasteurized to help keep probiotics intact, which is probably why it has one of the highest CFU counts on this best kombucha brand list. It may also be a little bubblier than others thanks to added carbonation and less vinegar-y in taste, which are something customers notice.
CFU occurs when the fermentation process is fruitful thanks to the high sugar content. This results in a thick gelatinous layer on top known as the symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, or SCOBY.
This review shows that many of these fermented foods contained large amounts of lactic acid bacteria, although there was considerable variation based on geographical region and sampling time.
You can get a 14 fl oz bottle of Rise kombucha for $3-$4.
- Raw & unpasteurized for high probiotic count
- Great variety of flavors
- Low sugar & calories
- Vegan & gluten-free
- Organic & non-GMO
- 5 billion CFUs
3. GT’s Living Foods
GT’s Living Foods is probably the most iconic name among our picks for best kombucha brands. Founded 25 years ago by GT Dave, the brand is a product of his upbringing in Eastern philosophy, along with a mother SCOBY he received in the ‘90s.
Constantly brewing and drinking their own kombucha, GT’s mom actually recovered from breast cancer and says she has the kombucha to thank. He was only 15 when he started bottling his kombucha in his parent’s house and soon after that, it made its way into US grocery store chains.
Today, GT’s kombucha is still made the way it was all those years ago. Raw and naturally bubbly, the company uses only organic ingredients and handcrafts them in small batches. It’s still family-owned and operated.
Pick up classic flavors like watermelon wonder, pink lemonade, and hibiscus ginger, all of which clock in at around 7g of sugar and under 50 calories. You’ll find 16 fl oz bottles for between $3-$4.
- Naturally effervescent
- Raw & unpasteurized
- Antioxidants from green tea
- Handcrafted in small batches
- 2 billion CFUs
- Made with love
As a health drink, it doesn’t come as a surprise that many of the best kombucha brands have heartfelt stories about why they were created. This is the case for Booch, which was founded in 2015 after Shannon Kamins’ personal struggle with celiac disease.
In an attempt to heal her body, the new health science grad put her hobby to good use, brewing 10 L batches and mixing in medicinal herbs to create a potent elixir.
You’ll still find those herbs in Booch’s flavors today (think: chaga mushrooms, wild rose petals, and stinging nettle) that include inspired combinations like strawberry apple, chaga chai, and blue mermaid.
Reminding sippers to drink with intention, the London, Ontario-based brand chooses only organic ingredients for its drinks, along with positive energy and love (those last two are on each and every ingredient label). A 16 fl oz bottle with 16g of sugar is about $5-$6.
- Blends herbs, adaptogens, and probiotics
- Unique flavors
- Organic & non-GMO
- Made with love & positivity
For KeVita, life is about experiences, and it seeks to help you feel your most vibrant as you make your way through them. Created by certified nutritionist Chakra Earthsong, the brand’s kombuchas are crafted with 30 years of expertise in alternative health.
KeVita kombucha started in a California kitchen in 2008 with a culture of kefir water. Its first product was the lemon ginger sparkling probiotic drink, which isn’t kombucha, but it did lead to its creation a few years later.
With its brews, you can expect to find a combination of healthy additions, including spirulina, organic fruit juices, and hops among flavors like blackberry hops, French oak apple, and exotic greens. Today, the brand is owned by PepsiCo but maintains the same integrity as Chakra’s first brew.
With 15g of sugar per 15.2 fl oz bottle, you can get one for about $4.
- USDA Organic
- Contains added caffeine
- Made with stevia
- 2 strains of live probiotics
- 4 billion CFUs
6. Brew Dr.
Using high-quality ingredients, organic herbs, fruit, and organic loose-leaf teas, Brew Dr.’s concoctions give you the benefits of a health tonic along with the delicious, fizzy taste of your favorite beverage.
Crafting kombucha in classic flavors like super berry, ginger lemon, and flower power, its line is very ginger-forward, a nod to its digestion-promoting superpowers.
The brand itself was founded by Matt Thomas in 2006 when he began experimenting in his kitchen in Portland, OR. Originally called Townshend’s Tea Company, the brand took a turn in 2008 and started making ‘booch.
Brew Dr is described as being authentic in taste, so you may find stronger flavors in its line. Dedicated to helping people and the earth, the brand is a Certified B Corp and is a partner of 1% for the Planet. In other words, it’s doing good with its business while helping communities and our ecosystems at the same time.
You’ll find 14 fl oz bottles with 15g of sugar each in its classic line, along with its alternative selection of Tranquil Herbs kombucha made with CBD. A bottle of classic is sold for between $2-$3.
- Made from high-quality, organic ingredients
- Gluten-free, non-GMO, and USDA organic
- Raw & unpasteurized
- Gives back to the planet
- Carbon-neutral brand
- Certified B Corp
- Absolutely no alcohol
- CBD line
- Contains 1 billion CFUs
Humm kombucha comes from founder Michelle Mitchell’s mother-in-law’s recipe. After her friend, Jamie Danek tried one sip, she instantly decided that the world needed the special brew. So in 2008, they started up a small-time business, called it Kombucha Mama, and started making deliveries around their hometown in Oregon.
Since it’s packed with vitamin B, antioxidants, and probiotics, instead of health-busting soft drinks, Humm lifts its drinkers up. And with flavors like elderberry honey, cherry cola, and blueberry mint, it’s a joy to sip back on. You’ll find it in a classic formula, along with a zero sugar and energy line.
Vitamin B complex helps prevent infections, support cell health, and promote healthy brain function by encouraging good digestion and a healthy appetite. This study shows that B vitamins represent a group of essential dietary micronutrients.
Offering 2 billion CFUs in every bottle, the brews are USDA organic and made with real fruit and vitamin B12. A 12-pack of 12 fl oz cans is $36.
- 2 billion cultures
- Vegan & gluten-free
- Contain vitamin B 12
- Organic & non-GMO
- Made in travel-friendly cans
Remedy is a brand started with confidence. Enterprising couple Sarah and Emmet Condon began making their kombucha at home, regularly drinking it themselves and sharing it with their kids and their friends. Everyone loved it.
They decided to take it seriously in 2012, officially launching their brand but deciding to keep it true to its roots no matter what. Today, though it’s grown exponentially, Remedy kombucha is still made in small batches, long-aged brewing for 30 days before bottling.
With absolutely no sugar, you’ll still get the benefits of 330 million CFUs, organic acids, and antioxidants, along with 6 tasty, classic flavors like cherry plum and raspberry lemon. Served up in travel-friendly cans, you can get a pack of 12, 8.5 fl oz cans for $22.
- Made in small batches
- Long-aged brewed for 30 days
- Absolutely no sugar
- Only 10mg of caffeine
- Can be stored in or out of the fridge
- Vegan & gluten-free
Tonica is fondly known in the health community as “the delicious kombucha.” Founded in 2006 by yogi Zoey Shamai, the Toronto-based brand was created with the purpose to do the wellness beverage differently.
With Tonica, you’ll still get the same benefits of probiotics, only you’ll enjoy bold tastes in goji grapefruit, and classics like mango, peach, and ginger. With a focus on bringing out the best in fruity flavors, each bottle claims to contain 50x more antioxidants than other kombucha brands thanks to the blend of green, black, and rooibos tea.
Raw and lightly carbonated, this pick will be a little more bubbly than other brands too. You’ll find its regular version in bottles as well as a low-sugar variety in cans. A 12-pack of 12 fl oz bottles has 12g of sugar, retailing for $48.
- Made in small batches
- Carbonated for extra bubbles
- 50x more antioxidants
- Bold flavors
- Offers a low sugar option
10. Live Kombucha
Interestingly enough, a lot of the best kombucha brands actually come from Canada. Live Kombucha originated in Guelph in 2013 and was made by Uttara Balada Inc., which wanted to bring Canadians the best that kombucha can offer.
The company’s CEO Lorman Ip is to thank for its unique beverage which uses high-quality cold-brew tea and fresh fruit juices. A naturally-carbonated drink, it’s made in tasty and health-forward flavors like orange oolong, lemon ginger, and chaga bomb.
Thanks to a slower cold extraction, Live Kombucha contains more vitamins and polyphenols than others that use hot extraction. And with the addition of Aussie trace minerals to every batch, you’ll enjoy the benefits of 74 naturally occurring trace minerals with every sip.
Since it’s 100% undiluted, Live Kombucha is a potent health tonic that’s crystal charged to infuse it with positive energy. You can get a 12 fl oz bottle for $2.50.
- 74 naturally-occurring trace minerals
- 100% undiluted
- Naturally carbonated
- Charged with crystals
- Low in sugar
Which Brand Makes the Healthiest Kombucha?
To answer this, we need to define what healthy means. To some, health is organic or key ingredients, and to others, it’s low sugar or less calories. The healthiest kombucha will be one that checks all of those boxes, and actually, there are a few best kombucha brands that do.
Live Kombucha is a top pick for this category. Its kombucha contains 74 different trace minerals and is completely organic, raw, and undiluted. Using cold extraction, the tea’s polyphenols are protected, so you’ll likely get more benefits from its brews than you would others.
Our only hang-up for Live Kombucha is its 15g of sugar per serving. If the best kombucha brands for you need to be low in sugar, we’d recommend giving Tonica a try. Though it doesn’t have as many trace minerals, it’s brewed with green and rooibos tea and contains 50x the antioxidants that others do.
What Is the Most Popular Kombucha Brand?
This is an easy one, GT’s Living Foods, hands down. This is THE brand people imagine when they think about kombucha. It’s been around for 25 years and is sold in tons of stores around the world.
It’s one of the best kombucha brands on the market when it comes to health too. Its raw, unpasteurized kombucha, tasty organic flavors, and natural effervescence are what make people come back again and again.
Which Brand of Kombucha Has the Most Probiotics?
There are a few best kombucha brands on this list that contain over 2 billion CFUs per serving, but only one that contains 5 billion CFUs. And that’s Rise. CFU is short for colony forming units, and they’re the probiotics that people drink kombucha for.
In theory, though more beneficial bacteria can appear better for you, some say high CFU counts don’t matter. In general, probiotic supplements range from 1-10 billion CFUs. If you’re already taking a probiotic, the number of probiotics in each bottle should affect your final decision much.
Choosing the Best Kombucha Brands: Things to Consider
When finding the best kombucha brands out there, there are a lot of different aspects to think about. First and foremost is the health factor. After all, there’s no sense in drinking a kombucha that’s one step away from a sugary soda. And yet, there are types out there like that.
Selecting the best kombucha brands involves looking at the brand and its products from head to toe. Below, we’ll walk you through the process so you can understand our method a little more and then apply it for yourself as you make your way through our top 10 picks.
Likely, there are names on the best kombucha brands list that you’ve heard of before. Since the fermented tea is now a staple in many households around the globe, you’ve got a ton of options to pick from.
If the credibility of a brand is important to you, then you’ll certainly find a few picks here that may be appealing. If you’re more concerned with how a brand operates, then keep an eye out for mentions of where it sources ingredients or what its values are.
Those that mention sourcing locations are often the ones that take care in selecting honest, sustainable, or ethical choices.
When it comes to health drinks, quality is super important. Almost every single one of our best kombucha brands recommended here is organic and completely natural. You won’t find synthetic preservatives in any of our picks, so you can rest assured that no matter which one you choose, you’re getting a 100% natural product.
For those of you looking for something even higher in quality, you’ll notice that some names on this best kombucha brands list are certified organic, while others only source high-quality ingredients.
Some of the best kombucha brands come in bottles, others come in cans. There is some debate over the importance of using dark-colored glass bottles versus clear glass (dark glass is said to protect the probiotics better), but regardless of your preference, what you really may care about is how much you’re getting in a bottle.
Once you open a bottle or can of kombucha, if you like bubbles, you’re probably going to want to finish it within a few twists of the cap. Like a soda, the more oxygen is exposed to the liquid, the less fizzy it gets, and if this is important to your sipping experience, you may be better off with a single-serving quantity.
We’ve included the prices for each brand’s’ 12-16 fl oz kombucha bottles or cans above, so keep the quantity in mind when you think about the cost.
Additional Health Benefits
With kombucha, the very least you’re getting from glugging back a bottle is probiotics. Every bottle has them.
You may notice that some of the best kombucha brands use green or rooibos tea instead of black. Depending on the type of tea that’s used, your kombucha will have additional health benefits like antioxidants and polyphenols.
“Kombucha contains caffeine and B vitamins as well as probiotics, which are essential for your gut health. Studies on rats have found that kombucha may delay the absorption of LDL cholesterol, sometimes known as the bad cholesterol. Animal studies have also shown that kombucha may increase HDL levels, which are the good cholesterol levels,” Dr. Lam said.
You’ll also find that certain blends will add adaptogens, antioxidant-rich berries, digestion-friendly ginger, or cell-fueling chlorophyll. All of these ingredients carry their own sets of health benefits, so it’s up to you to decide on a brand that aligns with your needs.
If you’re going to drink something more than once, and since drinking kombucha is meant to be a long-term thing, it’s kind of important that you like how it tastes.
Kombucha has a bad reputation for being vinegary, and while we can’t guarantee that every single one of the flavors from the brands above won’t be, we’ve carefully selected picks with great reputations for taste.
You’ll notice that some of the best kombucha brands have more traditional and basic flavors like ginger or peach, while others have creative, modern twists like chaga bomb, elderberry honey, and bubbly rose. Flavor selection varies from company to company, and if you like variety, consider choosing one with a lot of options.
Bottom line, the fermentation process requires sugar. There’s no way around it. But with kombucha, the majority of sugar you feed the bacterial culture gets eaten up by it, leaving a minimal amount.
Some of the best kombucha brands on this list add sugar to their mixtures after the fermentation process for taste. This may be in the form of cane sugar, natural juice, honey, or agave. If you’re avoiding sugar, then it may be a good idea to look for a kombucha with very low or no sugar.
There’s only a few names on this list whose kombucha doesn’t contain any sugar. Instead, many brands use stevia to give customers a sugar-free beverage without sacrificing taste.
So you’ve decided to add kombucha to your diet. Like most things that are good for you, it’s a little more costly than the thing you’re switching over from, which in this case is most likely soda.
The cost of your newfound health bevvy isn’t totally unreasonable though, since there are a lot of names on this best kombucha brands list that make super affordable drinks. In general, you’re looking at paying between $2-$5 for a can or bottle of kombucha, and some bottles can contain two servings.
Keep an eye out for the serving size when you’re considering the price. Not all brands offer the same quantities.
Which brand of kombucha has the least amount of sugar?
Too much sugar has been linked to cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes, so it’s no wonder you may be searching for a kombucha with low sugar. Not all of us are, but if it’s a preference of yours, we’ve included a ton of picks on this best kombucha brands list that contain under 5g of sugar (1 teaspoon).
The drinks that contain the least amount of sugar come from Rebel and Humm; these brands use stevia in place of added sugar. That way, you’ll still get the sweet taste you’re after, only, the beverage you’re glugging back on a regular won’t have a ton of calories and you won’t have to think twice about sugar.
Is kombucha a good substitute for alcohol?
Kombucha is fizzy, delicious, and can be slightly relaxing, three things that make the beverage an excellent replacement for alcohol. Having something in hand that slightly resembles beer, champagne, or your favorite cocktail may be a good way to cut back on the hard stuff.
By nature, kombucha is alcoholic, but the names on the best kombucha brands list all contain under 0.05% of alcohol, which is the legal limit for non-alcoholic beverages. Some of the brands shown here even use a gentle extraction method to ensure there is absolutely no alcohol present in their brews.
Is drinking kombucha everyday bad?
No, in fact, it’s encouraged. Just like taking a daily probiotic, kombucha contains beneficial bacteria that when taken regularly, can help with digestion, elimination, certain dermal issues, and fortifying the immune system.
However, drinking too much kombucha has been linked to digestive upset and bloating and the overconsumption of caffeine. It’s best to limit your intake to 16 oz per day at most.
How fast should you drink kombucha?
It’s best to sip your kombucha slowly. Since the bubbly beverage contains gas, if you chug it quickly, just like any other carbonated drink, it can cause severe gas pains in your chest and, for some, may even cause diarrhea.
Kombucha has quickly become a staple in grocery stores, restaurants, and now, even bars. The effervescent beverage is seen as a replacement for soda, made with natural ingredients to help your body.
Whether you’re drawn to this list of the best kombucha brands because you’re new to the drink or because you’ve overindulged on your go-to, our top 10 picks all bring something unique to your morning or afternoon sip. Made with natural ingredients, each one is a little different when it comes to flavors, sugar content, and added benefits.
Since we’ve reached the end of this best kombucha brand guide, we hope you’re leaving us feeling a little more confident about the drink overall, and ready to start your journey with your new favorite beverage.
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