The Best Kombuchas, According to a Dietitian

A Good Kombucha Provides Probiotics And Tons of Flavor

We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more.

Best Kombuchas

Verywell Fit / Kevin Liang

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 is 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.

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 an alcoholic beverage, 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.

We also had a registered dietitian from our Review Board review this article for accuracy surrounding what to look for in kombucha, including the validity of its health claims, as well as safety concerns and potential affect on your bowels.

Best Overall

Better Booch Kombucha Organic, Variety Pack

4.8
Better Booch Kombucha Organic, Variety Pack

Amazon

Pros
  • Organic and non-GMO

  • Small-craft brewed

  • Unique flavor varieties made with natural, botanical tea blends

Cons
  • More expensive

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 that's made 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 its product in temperature-controlled packaging to preserve the probiotics. They are also certified vegan, kosher, and gluten-free, and verified non-alcoholic.

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

Key Specs:
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

Brew Dr. Kombucha, Organic, Raw & Probiotic - Island Mango - Green Tea with Mango, Passionfruit and Ginger - 14 Fl Oz Bottle

Amazon

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 publication: $3 for a 14-ounce bottle ($0.26 per fluid ounce)

Key Specs:
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 the maker measures 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, however, 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 gave it a top rating for best probiotic kombucha in 2018.

Price at time of publication: $4.00 for a 16-ounce bottle ($0.26 per fluid ounce)

Key Specs:
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

Bear's Fruit

Pros
  • Flavored with whole, organic fruit and herbs

  • Organic and non-GMO

Cons
  • More epensive

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 brew 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 publication: $4 for a 12-ounce can ($0.33 per fluid ounce)

Key Specs:
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 it varies, depending on the flavor. Health-Ade Kombucha is certified organic, non-GMO, vegan, and 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 publication: $50 for a pack of 12 ($0.26 per fluid ounce)

Key Specs:
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 Brewing Kit

The Kombucha Shop Kombucha Starter Brewing Kit

The Kombucha Shop Organic Kombucha Starter Kit

Amazon

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 who are pregnant or immunocompromised or who hae a preexisting health condition should consult a healthcare provider before consuming homemade kombucha.

Price at time of publish: $48

Key Specs:
Serving Size: Varies | Calories: Varies | Total Sugar: Varies | Organic: No | Flavor Varieties Include: Black and Oolong Tea base provided


How We Selected

Our dietitians picked these products based on probiotic content, added sugars, flavors and taste . Importantly, they looked for products that meet certain quality and ethical when it comes to processing as well.

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 that 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 are technically not added sugars, 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 it 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 who are pregnant or immunocompromised, or who have a pre-existing health condition should consult a healthcare professional 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. That can happen if the kombucha is not produced, bottled, and stored according to FDA regulations.

Be sure to consult a healthcare professional before consuming these products if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or have a medical condition. If you avoid alcohol, always read the label closely to ensure that 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 whether 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 maker'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 they 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 vary, depending on the ingredients and production methods, making it hard to draw any conclusions about 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 whether the strands of bacteria and amounts present in kombucha specifically promote a healthy gut in humans.

    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, so producers are required to follow certain food regulations, production protocols, and labeling policies.Home-brewed kombucha can be safe if the proper 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, children, those who are pregnant or immunocompromised, and those who have a pre-existing medical condition should consult a healthcare professional before consuming kombucha.

    Note 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 died (likely related to her pre-existing medical conditions), after consuming homemade, over-fermented, highly acidic kombucha in excessive amounts. In response, 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 from fermented and carbonated beverages (for example, some may experience bloating). 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 whether 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. Remember that 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. 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 it generally costs between $2 and $5 per bottle, typically ranging from 12 to 16 ounces.

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

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

30 Sources
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.
  1. Villarreal-Soto SA, Beaufort S, Bouajila J, Souchard J-P, Taillandier P. Understanding kombucha tea fermentation: A reviewJ Food Sci. 2018;83(3):580-588. doi:0.1111/1750-3841.14068

  2. Wastyk HC, Fragiadakis GK, Perelman D, et al. Gut-microbiota-targeted diets modulate human immune statusCell. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2021.06.019

  3. NIH - Health Professional Fact Sheet: Probiotics.

  4. Kapp JM, Sumner W. Kombucha: A systematic review of the empirical evidence of human health benefitAnn Epidemiol. 2019;30:66-70. doi:10.1016/j.annepidem.2018.11.001

  5. Dimidi E, Cox SR, Rossi M, Whelan K. Fermented foods: definitions and characteristics, impact on the gut microbiota and effects on gastrointestinal health and disease. Nutrients. 2019;11(8):1806.

  6. Hidese S, Ogawa S, Ota M, et al. Effects of L-theanine administration on stress-related symptoms and cognitive functions in healthy adults: A randomized controlled trialNutrients. 2019;11(10):E2362. doi:10.3390/nu11102362

  7. NIH - Health Information: Ginger.

  8. Yang J, Lagishetty V, Kurnia P, Henning SM, Ahdoot AI, Jacobs JP. Microbial and chemical profiles of commercial kombucha productsNutrients. 2022;14(3):670.

  9. Cooperman T, M.D. Probiotic supplements review (Including pet probiotics) & top picks. ConsumerLab.com. 2022.

  10. CDC - Unexplained severe illness possibly associated with consumption of kombucha tea. 1995.

  11. Cooperman T, M.D. Probiotic supplements review (Including pet probiotics) & top picks. ConsumerLab.com. 2022.

  12. KBI - Official Guidance - added sugars & nutrition panel changes. Kombucha Brewers International.

  13. Get the Facts: Added Sugars. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Updated May 6, 2021

  14. American Heart Association - Added Sugars.

  15. Nummer, Brian A. Kombucha Brewing Under the Food and Drug Administration Model Food Code: Risk Analysis and Processing Guidance. Journal of Environmental Health, 2013.

  16. U.S. Department of the Treasury, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) - Kombucha Information and Resources.

  17. Nummer, Brian A. Kombucha Brewing Under the Food and Drug Administration Model Food Code: Risk Analysis and Processing Guidance. Journal of Environmental Health, 2013.

  18. Yang J, Lagishetty V, Kurnia P, Henning SM, Ahdoot AI, Jacobs JP. Microbial and chemical profiles of commercial kombucha productsNutrients. 2022;14(3):670.

  19. Júnior JC da S, Meireles Mafaldo Í, de Lima Brito I, Tribuzy de Magalhães Cordeiro AM. Kombucha: Formulation, chemical composition, and therapeutic potentialitiesCurr Res Food Sci. 2022;5:360-365.

  20. Villarreal-Soto SA, Beaufort S, Bouajila J, Souchard JP, Taillandier P. Understanding kombucha tea fermentation: a review: understanding kombucha tea fermentationJournal of Food Science. 2018;83(3):580-588.

  21. Yang J, Lagishetty V, Kurnia P, Henning SM, Ahdoot AI, Jacobs JP. Microbial and chemical profiles of commercial kombucha productsNutrients. 2022;14(3):670.

  22. Dimidi E, Cox SR, Rossi M, Whelan K. Fermented foods: definitions and characteristics, impact on the gut microbiota and effects on gastrointestinal health and diseaseNutrients. 2019;11(8):1806.

  23. Martínez Leal J, Valenzuela Suárez L, Jayabalan R, Huerta Oros J, Escalante-Aburto A. A review on health benefits of kombucha nutritional compounds and metabolitesCyTA - Journal of Food. 2018;16(1):390-399.

  24. Martínez Leal J, Valenzuela Suárez L, Jayabalan R, Huerta Oros J, Escalante-Aburto A. A review on health benefits of kombucha nutritional compounds and metabolitesCyTA - Journal of Food. 2018;16(1):390-399.

  25. Kapp, Julie M, PhD, FACE, Sumner, Walton MD. Kombucha: a systematic review of the empirical evidence of human health benefitAnnals of Epidemiology. 2019;30:66-70.

  26. Nummer, Brian A. Kombucha Brewing Under the Food and Drug Administration Model Food Code: Risk Analysis and Processing Guidance. Journal of Environmental Health, 2013.

  27. CDC - Unexplained severe illness possibly associated with consumption of kombucha tea -- Iowa, 1995.

  28. NIH. Fact Sheet For Health Professionals - Probiotics.

  29. Klemm, Sarah RDN, CD, LDN. Prebiotics and Probiotics: Creating a Healthier You. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

  30. Nummer, Brian A. Kombucha Brewing Under the Food and Drug Administration Model Food Code: Risk Analysis and Processing Guidance. Journal of Environmental Health, 2013.

Additional Reading