Kombucha has been all the rage for the past few years and is touted as an essential beverage for a healthier body. You can learn more about kombucha in our detailed guide here and you can learn about the benefits of kombucha in our article here. This fermented tea beverage works its magic best when drank daily but only if you get the right kind of kombucha. With so many brands claiming to be the greatest, how do you sort through the good and the bad? We have some tips to guide you through how to choose the best kombucha.
Kombucha is so popular, you can find it virtually everywhere! Many grocery stores carry a wide variety of kombucha, you can find them at local shops, and at local brewers. We recommend always trying to go to a local brewer first because not only can you get the freshest and best quality kombucha, but you will also know exactly what's inside and how it is made.
Also, the benefit of going to a local brewer is that you can buy in bulk for less! If you're planning on making kombucha part of your daily routine, it can get pricey buying bottles but if you can get a keg, you will save so much money. A keg is a great way to get a lot of kombucha and keep it well preserved for a long time. All you'll need is a kombucharator or kegerator to serve it.
Since kombucha contains probiotics, which are essentially live cultures of bacteria, they are often stored in dark glass bottles to protect the probiotics from deterioration from UV light. Those in clear bottles may not have live cultures or have lost many of the probiotics from light damage.
Additionally, you should choose a glass bottle over plastic because plastic can become degraded by probiotic cultures, causing the packaging material to leach into the beverage. If you're buying kombucha in bulk, which we recommend, you may find it in a stainless steel keg. Kegs are completely airtight, opaque so they don't let light in and can maintain the kombucha's freshness for weeks.
Fermenting in plastic will cause the plastic to leach into the beverage, not only will this affect the taste but it's also very unhealthy. You don't want to be consuming plastic. Don't assume because it is packaged in glass that it was brewed in glass equipment.
Kombucha will naturally have sugar but be wary of added sugars, which can often be sneakily added to make the beverage more enjoyable but less healthy. As a general guideline, if kombucha is listed to have more than four sugars on the nutrition facts label, it may contain added sugar following the fermentation process.
Take a good look at the ingredients list and be sure there are only natural ingredients. Like any beverage out on the market, some brands will add artificial ingredients to enhance the color or flavors in kombucha. Look for kombuchas flavored with natural herbs, spices, and juices. Keep in mind the addition of juice will raise the sugar content of your beverage. In addition to water, tea, a minimal amount of sugar, and culture there shouldn't be many more ingredients and only natural flavorings.
This is a personal preference but sometimes you don't want to consume alcohol and some kombuchas will have a significant amount of alcohol. Many kombuchas will have trace amounts of alcohol. The label will reveal whether or not there is a significant amount of alcohol in the beverage. There are some kombuchas that are designed to be alcoholic beverages, just be aware of this when shopping for your kombucha.
Since kombucha is acidic from its fermentation, it doesn't need to be pasteurized and the pasteurization process would kill the naturally occurring probiotics in the kombucha, which is one of the major features that make kombucha healthy. There are some kombuchas that are pasteurized but they are essentially glorified sodas and lack many of the benefits from a fermented beverage. If you are looking to get health benefits from kombucha, look for a raw or unpasteurized kombucha. You can read more about the healthy benefits of kombucha here.
Take a look at the ingredients list and if you see an exact probiotic count, it is likely that probiotic supplements have been added to the beverage. This means that the probiotics are not coming naturally from the brewing and fermenting process. If you want the purest, most unadulterated kombucha, choose brands that use traditional brewing techniques that allow the bacteria and yeast grow naturally. This will give you the most health benefits out of your beverage. Local brewers are more linkley to use these traditional methods and you can inquire more about how your kombucha is being brewed.
Genuine kombucha with live cultures is always refrigerated to preserve the cultures. So, even when you bring it home, be sure to refrigerate your kombucha to ensure you'll get the most out of your kombucha.
Kombucha should be brewed with only green or black tea. Read the ingredients label throughly to see that there are no flavorings, essences, or extracts that are used to replicate the flavor of the tea. This would mean that you may not be getting genuine kombucha. Again, this is why getting your kombucha from a local brewer is best.
Kombucha is made from live bacteria cultures called SCOBY and these cultures are very good for your gut and body health. The bacteria often leaves particulates and a cloudiness to the beverage but this is normal and natural. This is something your should look for and you should drink.
While kombucha is good for you, you should only be drinking 1-2 cups of kombucha per day or a maximum of 16 oz. This is the highest recommended amount by the FDA for daily consumption. You may purchase a higher volume than 16 ounces; however, once you open up that bottle, the beverage starts to breakdown. It will not be as fresh or as beneficial the longer you have the kombucha open. We recommend if you are planning to drink kombucha daily, to order a keg direct from a brewer. A keg will keep your kombucha fresh and well-preserved until the last drop!
You can drink kombucha straight from the bottle or pour it into your glass, just be sure to be within the appropriate daily consumption allowance. We think that drinking kombucha straight from the tap is the best way to enjoy and benefit from this probiotic beverage. To do this, you can either brew your own kombucha or you can purchase a keg from a brewer. Then, you simply connect the keg to a kombucharator or kegerator and you can have kombucha on demand! The beauty of a dispenser like this is that you will always have kombucha on hand and it stays fresh for a long time. If you're going to make a habit out of kombucha, tea, soda, soda water, coffee, or beer, a beverage dispenser is a worthwhile investment.
Your health is worth the investment and we want to be here to help you, whether you want to brew your own kombucha or dispense a daily dose of the beverage, we have you covered! Our team of experts can walk you through getting the perfect brewing and dispensing equipment for your kombucha and other beverages. Contact our team of experts at 800-710-9939.