Pick a Better Kombucha

Healthiest store bought kombucha

If you know what Kombucha is, chances are you're already a clean eater.   In fact, I've noticed that just saying the word "Kombucha" gives me some sort of "healthy person" street cred.  I don't know how long this elitist feeling will last though, as Kombucha is fast becoming a very popular beverage.  Soon it will be available everywhere and I won't be weird anymore.

Why do people drink Kombucha?

So, why do we drink this strange brew?  People claim all sorts of things...wild things, but I drink it because it's one of the few beverages I can purchase that is low in sugar AND because it tastes AWESOME!

best kombucha at the store

It also helps my digestion (okay, okay...I'll back up one claim). Sometimes, when I'm feeling under the weather it's the only thing that makes me feel better.   As far as weight loss ... take that with a grain of salt.

Now, kombucha might GIVE YOU indigestion, because it costs so much.  At $4 something a bottle, it's a luxury for most.  At one point I even made my own Kombucha brew.  Yes, I was brave, because growing a colony of bacteria in your kitchen takes courage.  It also makes you really popular with the kids... garnering many "ewwws!" and "what type of organ is that in your jar?" (as if that's a normal thing). Unfortunately, I got lazy and things just bloomed out of control for me until I gave up.  I'm not a good colony keeper.  It tasted really really good though.

The brew starts off with lots of sugar, but the friendly bacteria colony eats it all up and produces by-products (farts and things) that make the Kombucha taste really good.  The longer the Kombucha sits fermenting, the less sugar will be left in it.

Kombucha has a slight fermented/alcohol taste.  The alcohol content is no more than the low-alcohol beverages found in supermarkets.  That said, it has a very similar effect on my limbs...  A couple years ago, there was a big kerfuffle about the alcohol content being over the limit of 0.5.  Now, some U.S. manufacturers are selling two different kinds of Kombucha:  a classic recipe with an "over 21 years of age" warning label on it, and a modified new recipe which somehow halts the fermentation process.  Canadians will be happy to know that these government regulations don't seem to apply here.  I know this, because to start your own Kombucha slave colony, you can either use a "classic over 21" U.S. bottle or a Canadian bottle.  Hmmm?  I wonder if you can become a Kombuchaholic?

How to Pick a Better Bottled Kombucha

If you're buying Kombucha, you'll need to know how the best kind.
  • You might notice that some Kombucha is full of sugar and some is quite low. That's because manufacturers process their Kombucha differently.
  • Are there additives or too much fruit juice?
  • Is the carbonation natural or fake? (Go for real!)
Sometimes you can also find local brands at farmer's markets and health food stores.  If you don't like one brand, don't be afraid to try another.  They all vary in taste, but do note the ingredients and amounts of sugar in them.  Here are a few mainstream brands.

Healthiest store bought kombuchaGT’s Organic Raw Kombucha (By Synergy)

This is my favourite brand!  Available in US & Canada. GT's only has 2 grams of sugar per 8oz/240ml and is probably the most beloved brand amongst Kombuchers.

Available in Citrus, Gingerade, Mulit-green, Third Eye Chai, my favourite GingerBerry and more.

Ingredients in Citrus:  Organic Raw Kombucha, Lemon Juice

best kombucha at the store
Tonica Kombucha
Only available in Canada - Not always consistent in taste.   

4 grams of sugar per 250ml

Ingredients in Ginger:  Filtered water, kombucha (yeast and bacteria cultures), organic cane juice, fermented organic green and black tea, ginger pieces

Healthiest store bought kombucha
RISE Kombucha

Only available in Canada...looking to expand in the US.

6 grams of sugar per 355ml.

You can buy RISE by the bottle or the litre ... great for entertaining or to share with someone.

Lots of flavours like Lemongrass, blueberry and ginger.

Ingredients:  Blueberry Maple:  Filtered water, kombucha culture, fair trade cane sugar*, fair trade black tea*, maple and blueberry herbal tea.

Have you tried Kombucha yet?  Has this inspired you?  Have you been brave enough (or broke enough) to make your own?

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