The Best Kombuchas, According to a Dietitian

Better Booch's Kombucha Organic has quality ingredients with great flavor

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Kombucha is a fermented tea beverage that may contain antioxidants and, if unpasteurized, live, active cultures called probiotics. While more research is needed, current studies show that consuming a diet high in fiber and probiotic-rich products—like kombucha—may help to promote a healthy gut microbiome. However, scientific research on the health benefits of kombucha specifically are limited, and the amounts and strains of probiotics in each product can vary. To support a healthy gut, consider diversifying your intake of probiotic-rich foods and consuming adequate fiber from plant-based sources like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes.

Reviewed & Approved

The Better Booch Kombucha Organic, Variety Pack is our top pick because it's USDA Organic, made in small batches for quality control, and comes in a variety of delicious flavors. We also love GT’s Enlightened Synergy Gingerade Kombucha, which has been a trusted kombucha brand for years and also comes at a more affordable price point.

Holly Klamer, MS RDN says, "There are many positive reasons to drink kombucha. It provides a source of antioxidants from the tea base and optional herbs and real fruit juices used for flavoring. Kombucha can be a good way to get some probiotics in your diet especially if you don't consume dairy products, like yogurt, or fermented vegetables. It can be a great choice when you are craving something sweet and refreshing but don't want to reach for a high sugar soda or alcoholic drink."

All kombucha contains sugar, as it is needed in the fermentation process, but the type and amount in each product varies. It is important to note that kombucha also contains trace amounts of alcohol from fermentation. While most kombucha contains too little alcohol to be considered alcoholic beverages, some products exceed the .5% alcohol by volume (ABV) cut-off, which may not be suitable for some. When selecting our top kombucha list, we considered taste, processing (raw vs. pasteurized and fermentation time), additional ingredients, and sugar and alcohol content.

Here are the best kombuchas, according to a dietitian.

In This Article

Best Overall: Better Booch Kombucha Organic, Variety Pack

4.8
Pros
  • Organic and non-GMO

  • Small-craft brewed

  • Unique flavor varieties made with natural, botanical tea blends

Cons
  • Expensive

What do buyers say? 82% of 400+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

Better Booch Kombucha is our top pick for its delicious flavors and quality ingredients, making it a great probiotic-packed, refreshing beverage. Better Booch is a USDA organic, non-GMO, craft-brewed kombucha. They brew their kombucha in small batches for better quality control and flavor.

Organic herbs and botanicals are used to create their 11 unique flavors. This variety pack allows you to try three of the flavors, including Morning Glory, Ginger Boost, and Golden Pear. The Morning Glory flavor is brewed with black tea that contains naturally existing L-theanine, an amino acid that may enhance mental clarity as well as improve sleep. The Ginger Boost flavor is made with ginger and mint, which may ease nausea.

Better Booch ships their product in temperature-controlled packaging to preserve the probiotics. They are also certified vegan, kosher, gluten-free, and verified non-alcoholic.

Price at time of publish: $40 for Pack of 9 ($0.28 per Fluid Ounce)

Serving size: 1 container (16 ounces) | Calories: 60 | Total sugar: 10 grams (Added sugar: 10 grams) | Organic: Yes | Flavor varieties include: Morning Glory, Ginger Boost, Golden Pear, Citrus Sunrise, Hibiscus Healer, Island Hopper

Best Budget-Friendly : Brew Dr. Kombucha Island Mango

Pros
  • More affordable than other brands

  • Commitment to carbon neutrality and environmental non-profits

  • Organic and non-GMO

Cons
  • Higher in added sugar than other varieties

Brew Dr. offers all the probiotic benefits in tasty flavor combinations at an affordable price point. This Island Mango flavor is sweetened with mango puree and cane sugar, containing 80 calories and 15 grams of sugar per 14-ounce bottle. This variety is slightly sweeter, making it a good option for a sweet treat beverage. This kombucha is also kosher, gluten-free, and verified non-alcoholic.

Additional flavors we like are Ginger Turmeric and the Super Berry flavor, which delivers an antioxidant boost from a blend of six different berries. You can feel good about this purchase too as the company is committed to carbon neutrality and also donates some of its revenue to environmental and social non-profit organizations.

Price at time of publish: $2 for a 14-ounce bottle ($0.24 per fluid ounce)

Serving size: 1 bottle (14 ounces) | Calories: 80 | Total sugar: 15 grams (Added sugar: 13 grams) | Organic: Yes | Flavor varieties include: Island Mango, Strawberry Basil, Super Berry, Ginger Lemon, Wildberry Ginger, Watermelon

Best Tasting: GT's Organic Kombucha Gingerade

GT's Organic Kombucha Gingerade

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Wide variety of unique flavor combinations

  • Provides probiotic content information on the label

  • 9 billion CFU probiotics per 16 ounces bottle at time of production

Cons
  • Some flavors contain more than 15 grams of sugar from fruit juices

GT’s Enlightened Synergy Gingerade Kombucha is made with bacteria culture, black tea, green tea, kiwi juice, and ginger juice. This product has been on the market for years, and the balanced flavor profiles always keep us coming back for more. We also love that they measure the type and amount of probiotics at the time of bottling, displayed below the nutrition facts. This Kombucha contains 9 billion living probiotics at the time of bottling, which is more than many other varieties on the market. It is important to note that all of these probiotic strands may not be active at the time when the drink is consumed.

Top flavors include the spicy kick of the Gingerade, or the Trilogy with fresh-pressed raspberry, lemon, and ginger juice. If you’re looking for a dose of greens, try the Multi-Green flavor which has spirulina, blue-green algae, and chlorella, containing B-vitamins, beta-carotene, vitamin E, minerals, and antioxidants. ConsumerLabs.com also tested this product and it received top rating for best probiotic kombucha in 2018.

Price at time of publish: $3.00 for a 16 ounce bottle ($0.20 per fluid ounce)

Serving size: 1 bottle (16 ounces) | Calories: 50 | Total sugar: 12 grams (Added sugar: 0 grams) | Organic: Contains organically produced ingredients | Flavor varieties include: Gingerade, Peach Paradise, Trilogy, Guava Goddess, Lemon Berry, Multi-Green, Cosmic Cranberry, Strawberry Lemonade

Best No Sugar Added: Bear's Fruit Kombucha

Bear's Fruit Kombucha

Courtesy of Fresh Direct

Pros
  • Flavored with whole, organic fruit and herbs

  • Organic and non-GMO

Cons
  • Expensive

We love the unique flavors that Bear’s Fruit offers including, Strawberry Jalapeno, Blueberry Lavender, and Lemon Rosemary—all made from whole organic fruit and herbs. These flavors perfectly balance the naturally sweet and tangy taste of kombucha.

Each bottle is 10 fluid ounces and contains under 50 calories and just 9 grams of sugar. Bear's Fruit brews their kombucha with whole organic fruit instead of extracting the juice concentrate, which keeps the total sugar content down. There is cane sugar used for the fermentation process, but no sugar or fruit juices are added after that stage.

Price at time of publish: $4 for a 12-ounce can ($0.33 per fluid ounce)

Serving size: 1 can (12 ounces) | Calories: 50 | Total sugar: 11 grams (Added sugar: 0 grams) | Organic: Yes | Flavor varieties include: Strawberry Jalapeno, Blueberry Lavender, Ginger Lemon Rosemary, Pineapple Mint

Best Flavor Variety: Health-Ade Kombucha Tea Organic Probiotic Drink, Variety Pack

Health-Ade Kombucha Tea Organic Probiotic Drink, Variety Pack

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Wide variety of unique flavor combinations

  • Organic and non-GMO

  • 1 billion CFU probiotics present at time of bottling

Cons
  • Higher in added sugar than other varieties

Health-Ade has over a dozen kombucha flavors, so you’ll be sure to find one that suits your taste buds. This product comes in 16 fluid ounce bottles containing around 70 calories and 14 grams of sugar, but varies depending on the flavor. Health-Ade Kombucha is certified Organic, Non-GMO, Vegan, Gluten-Free and also lists the probiotic content at 1 billion CFU per bottle at time of production. As mentioned above, the amount of active probiotics at time of consumption can vary.

For a festive sip, skip the glass of wine or champagne and try the Bubbly Rose flavor. Instead of apple cider, try the Pink Lady Apple for a similar fall crisp flavor and beneficial bacteria. Other flavor favorites include Watermelon, Blood Orange Carrot Ginger, Mint Limeade, and Tropical Punch.

Price at time of publish: $50 for a pack of 12 ($0.26 per fluid ounce)

Serving size: 1 bottle (16 ounces) | Calories: 70-80 | Total sugar: 14 -16 grams (Added sugar: 12-13 grams) | Organic: Yes | Flavor varieties include: Watermelon, Blood Orange Carrot Ginger,  Mint Limeade, and Tropical Punch

Best Make Your Own: The Kombucha Shop Kombucha Starter Brewing Kit

The Kombucha Shop Kombucha Brewing Kit with Organic Kombucha Scoby. Includes Glass Brew Jar, Organic Kombucha Loose Leaf Tea, Temperature Gauge, Organic Sugar and More!
Courtesy of Amazon.com.
Pros
  • Ability to control the ingredients

  • Provides detailed instructions, and all instruments needed

Cons
  • Must follow precise instructions to avoid contamination of harmful bacteria

If you're feeling crafty, try this at-home kombucha brewing kit from The Kombucha Shop. It comes with a one-gallon brew jar, organic loose leaf black and oolong tea, kombucha culture, liquid starter, pH test strips tea bag, a temperature gauge, a pipette, and a step-by-step guide to brewing.

Brewing your own kombucha is definitely an art and requires a quick science lesson, but the results are worth it. This kit is great for those who want to literally take their health into their own hands and prefer to make their own food and beverages from scratch when the time allows. This also makes for a great gift for your health-focused friend who likes to experiment in the kitchen.

It is important to note that homemade kombucha can carry a greater risk of growing harmful bacteria because it is a less controlled environment and not under FDA consumer regulation. Those that are pregnant, immunocompromised, or with a preexisting health condition should consult a healthcare provider before consuming homemade kombucha.

Price at time of publish: $45

Serving size: Varies | Calories: Varies | Total sugar: Varies | Organic: No | Flavor varieties include: Black and Oolong Tea base provided

What to Look for in Kombucha

Sugar

All kombucha contains some amount of sugar, as it’s needed for the fermentation process. As of 2016, FDA regulations mandate that the amount of sugar that remains in the product after fermentation be included on the nutrition label under total sugar content and any sugars added after fermentation are considered added sugar.

Some brands use fruit juices or purees for either the sugar needed for fermentation or for adding sweetness and flavor after fermentation, which would be considered under total sugar, not added sugar. It is important to note that both added sugars and sugars from fruit juice, concentrate or puree affect blood sugar levels similarly, and therefore should be considered in the context of your dietary needs.

Keep in mind The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020–2025 recommend that you keep your intake of added sugar to less than 10% of your total daily calories, which translates to less than 50 grams of added sugar per day based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet. The American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugars even more to about 25 grams or less per day for women and 30 grams or less for men. While fruit juice, concentrate or puree is technically not an added sugar, it is stripped of the fruit's fiber and can therefore cause blood sugar spikes, which is particularly important for those with diabetes to monitor, and in general, should be consumed in moderation.

Probiotic Content

The probiotic content of kombucha products can vary. Some brands list the amount and type of probiotics at time of production on the nutrition label; however, the amount that actually survive upon consumption may differ from the content listed. In general, kombucha products that are fermented, raw and unpasteurized contain higher levels of probiotics.

The FDA regulates the production of commercially sold kombucha products, and therefore they are deemed safe for consumption despite the products not being pasteurized. However, those that are pregnant, immunocompromised, or that have a preexisting health condition should consult a healthcare profession before consuming unpasteurized products.

Alcohol Content

All kombucha contains trace amounts of alcohol from the fermentation process, with some products exceeding the .5% ABV alcohol cut-off. All kombucha products that are above .5% alcohol at time of production are then deemed an alcoholic beverage and regulated under different laws. It is important to note that is is possible for fermentation to continue after kombucha products leave the manufacturing facility, which can lead to in an increase in alcohol content over time. This can happen if the kombucha is not produced, bottled and stored according to FDA code.

Be sure to consult a healthcare professional before consuming these products if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have a medical condition. If you avoid alcohol, always read the label closely to ensure you're selecting a product that aligns with your lifestyle.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Does kombucha have caffeine?

    Most Kombucha does contain some caffeine, because it typically has a base of either green or black tea varieties. The amount depends on the caffeine content in the tea leaves used to brew the tea. Caffeine content may also depend on how long the tea was steeped in hot liquid, how long the kombucha ferments, and if any caffeine was added at the end. Most kombucha contains anywhere from 5 milligrams to 25 milligrams, which is much less than a cup of coffee which typically contains about 100 milligrams. Many manufacturers will list the caffeine content on the label or you may be able to find it on the company's FAQ page.

  • How nutritious is kombucha?

    The nutritional composition of kombucha varies by brand and flavor, depending on the production process and ingredients used. They typically do not contain any protein, fats or fiber, but do contain carbohydrates, primary in the form of sugars from either cane sugar or fruit juices, concentrates or purees. They can also contain varying levels of polyphenols, which are antioxidant compounds found in plants, from the tea or fruit blends they contain.

    Other compounds in kombucha include: small amounts of B-vitamins, trace minerals (including copper, iron and zinc), organic acids (including acetic acid which is found in vinegar products), probiotics (of varying levels), carbon dioxide (that gives carbonation) and alcohol. Most of these compounds are derived from the fermentation process in kombucha production.

  • What are the benefits of drinking kombucha?

    There are many health claims associated with kombucha, however, there are limited studies on the effects of kombucha consumption in humans. Additionally, the composition of kombucha can look very different depending on the ingredients and production methods, making it hard to draw any conclusions on its potential health benefits.

    Due to the kombucha fermentation process, some unpasteurized, raw kombucha can contain varying levels of probiotics, or “good” bacteria.While we know that probiotics can be beneficial for the gut microbiome, it is inconclusive if the strands of bacteria and amounts present in kombucha specifically promote a healthy gut in humans.

    Additionally. kombucha can contain polyphenols that have antioxidant properties, similar to those found in fruits, vegetables and other plant derived food and beverages. In general, antioxidants can help to mitigate inflammation.

    There is also some animal research that suggests that both the antioxidant compounds and probiotics as well as the acetic and glucuronic acid contents could be associated with improved heart health, gut health, blood sugar control, liver detoxification, immune response and increased antioxidant activity. However, due to the limitations in these studies, more research is needed to fully understand the potential health benefits, as well as potential negative side effects of kombucha consumption.

  • Is kombucha safe to drink?

    In general, consuming commercially sold kombucha in moderation is considered safe for healthy adults, as it is a regulated beverage by the FDA, meaning producers are required to follow certain food codes, production protocols, and labeling policies.Home-brewed kombucha can be safe if safety protocols are followed and pH levels are well monitored, but it does come with more risk.

    Because kombucha can contain varying levels of alcohol and because unpasteurized beverages can come with risks of bacterial contamination if not processed and stored properly, those that are children, pregnant, immunocompromised, or with a preexisting medical condition should consult a healthcare professional before consuming kombucha.

    It should also be noted that consuming large quantities of kombucha, particularly off-market products not regulated by the FDA, can have potential negative side effects. In 1995, two women in Iowa fell critically ill, and one with a fatal outcome (likely related to her preexisting medical conditions), after consuming homemade, over fermented, highly acidic kombucha in excess amounts. In response to this, the CDC released a statement advising that individuals should proceed with caution when consuming non-FDA regulated kombucha products, and should limit their intake to 4 ounces per day.

  • How does kombucha affect your bowels?

    In general, individuals can have different gastrointestinal responses to fermented and carbonated beverages (for example, some may experience bloating). Also, those with IBS may be sensitive to certain high-FODMAP ingredients in kombucha (particularly types of sugar like fructose). It's best to start with a small amount and test for tolerance.

    From a gut health perspective, there may be benefits to consuming probiotic rich foods and beverages. Some unpasteurized, raw kombucha can contain varying levels of probiotics, or “good” bacteria, however, it is inconclusive if the strands of bacteria and amounts present in kombucha specifically promote a healthy gut in humans. To learn more about probiotics in general, check out The Best Probiotic Supplements of 2022 for Men and Women.

    To support a healthy gut and bowel regularity, consider diversifying your intake of probiotic-rich foods (like yogurt, kefir, kombucha, kimchi and other fermented products) and consuming adequate fiber from plant-based sources like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. Additionally, adequate hydration is essential for regularity, particularly as you increase your fiber intake.

  • How is kombucha made?

    Kombucha is made by fermenting tea and sugar with SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast). The FDA Food Code guidelines allow for up to a 10 day fermentation, as continued fermentation beyond that can lead to acidity levels that may be harmful for consumer. In general, the pH levels of kombucha need to be tightly monitored and controlled for safe production. After fermentation, some companies add additional sugar or other flavoring like fruit juice.

  • How much does kombucha cost?

    The price of kombucha varies depending on the brand and certifications, but they generally cost between $2-5 per bottle, which typically range from 12-16 ounces.

    Products that are USDA Certified Organic may come with a higher price tag and so will buying individual containers versus cases. The size of the bottle or can varies, so also take into consideration the price per serving. Also compare pricing between the different retailers listed, as pricing may change and items may be on sale on one retailer and not on another.

    Our top pick, Better Booch Kombucha Organic, Variety Pack was $40 for Pack of 9 ($0.28 per Fluid Ounce) when we published this article, and is USDA Organic and non-GMO.

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Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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