Quench your thirst at home: everything you need to know about kombucha

Brew your own Booch

Keely Ganong

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear Kombucha? GT Dave? Marin moms after a yoga class? Good Earth? Or maybe nothing? You have probably heard of kombucha, possibly recognize it from the grocery store, but there are many misconceptions about the beverage. This review explains these misunderstandings and includes favorite brands plus my own reliable recipe. To start with the basics, kombucha is fermented tea. It is made with sweetened black or green tea and a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY).

Good Earth grocery stores carry a wide variety of kombucha brands and flavors

The brewing journey that kombucha undergoes is extensive. What began as tea leaves gradually transforms into a bubbly, refreshing beverage. To understand the process, one must understand the two most vital components: fermentation and the SCOBY. Without a SCOBY, kombucha would not ferment and would just be plain tea. The process of fermentation is not only important for kombucha but also crucial for food products such as yogurt, pickles, and cheese. Fermentation happens when the bacteria and yeast break down the sugars into alcohol and acids. The acids left behind are beneficial and the alcohol content is low containing less than 0.5 percent alcohol. However, the alcohol percentage should not be a concern for consumers because the drink is labeled as a “non-alcoholic” beverage. Depending on the fermenting time (a week to a month), kombucha can offer a vinegary and tart taste or may leave a sweeter flavor behind.

One aspect that makes kombucha even more tempting is the fact that it is healthy. For starters, you feel content after drinking a glass of kombucha, unlike the bloated feeling soda gives many people. Kombucha is said to improve your digestive and immune systems because it contains probiotics, vitamin B, and antioxidants. However, although kombucha has been advertised to have endless health benefits, few have been backed up with scientific evidence.

Because of the vast range of flavors, most grocery stores now feature an entire refrigerated section dedicated to kombucha. If the numerous bottles of kombucha piled high are overwhelming to choose from, allow me to share my favorite brands and flavors. 


Health-Ade’s Pink Lady Apple is almost always my first choice. This drink offers an initial tart and mildly vinegary taste, a common kombucha characteristic. What makes this specific drink my favorite is its perfect balance, incorporating the sweetness of apple juice and creating a crisp and satisfying beverage

A close second in Health-Ade’s flavors is Blood Orange – Carrot – Ginger. This flavor incorporates a perfect blend of sweet, tart, richness, and spice. The ginger adds a hot and zesty element that’s not too overpowering. I like this flavor because it’s pretty unique and each ingredient has a distinct taste.

Tempting flavors of kombucha found at Good Earth each have their own unique taste


Hands down, the perfect flavor to begin your quest into the world of kombucha is Synergy’s Trilogy. What might be one of their most popular flavors is unique and refreshing in all the right ways kombucha should be. Synergy has a perfected sweet and tangy flavor with fizziness that is extremely satisfying on a nice warm day. Hints of raspberry and ginger offer a perfect balance and mature flavor. 

Marin Kombucha

Now if you’re in the mood to support the locals and stray away from the big brand kombucha companies I advise you to try Marin Kombucha. The local aspect is intriguing in itself but the classic and raw flavor does not disappoint the anticipation. Additionally, Marin Kombucha is oak-aged, a unique aging process which accounts for its unique flavor and probiotic properties. On the days that you are feeling a more herbal or spice focused flavor, crack open Marin Kombucha’s Ginger Lemongrass and you will surely be satisfied.

While you most likely will find satisfaction with these store-bought beverages, it is actually possible to make your own kombucha at home. So save your wallet from the 5 dollar bottle of kombucha, and brew your own kombucha at home! Even better, with self quarantining and social distancing, you probably have an immense amount of time to spare. That sounds like the perfect time to make a bubbly beverage that will exceed your expectations. Homebrewing kombucha will give your wallet a break, give you an involved activity to take your mind off things, and most of all, it’s extremely rewarding. Click on my recipe linked above and begin the journey into the world of homebrewed kombucha.