Once only considered a kind of novelty in health food shops, kombucha has now been regularly featured in many places, including the populated supermarkets, most food shops or even pubs. The best kombucha drinks have been commonly mentioned as the drinks to bond over on the counter table.
The reason? Because those drinks are healthy as well as tasty. Over the years, interest in healthy food has grown significantly and thus fermented foods and beverages are also quite favoured among health conscious drinkers, especially due to their gut-friendly qualities. The growing popularity of kombucha is a great representation of this rise.
Although it’s not enough to hear it said. To truly see why kombucha drinks are gaining traction, it’s necessary that you know what constitutes a kombucha drink in the first place. We will provide you with extra information on the drinks, definitions as well the more detailed benefits, so that you will have a good idea on the products.
- Best Selling Kombucha Drinks
- What is kombucha ?
- The health benefits of kombucha drinks
- Top 10 Best Kombucha Drinks in 2021
- Remedy Raw Kombucha Tea
- Booch & Brew Organic Kombucha
- Lo Bros Ginger & Lemon Kombucha
- Genie Crisp Citrus Kombucha
- No.1 Living Kombucha
- GTS LIVING FOODS Organic Guava Goddess Synergy Kombucha
- Equinox Kombucha
- Biona Organic Kombucha Original
- Loving Foods Kombucha & Jun-Kombucha Mixed Case
- The Gutsy Captain – Kombucha Tea
- How to Choose the Best Kombucha Drink
Best Selling Kombucha Drinks
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What is kombucha ?
Kombucha is the kind of fermented drink that is made from sweet tea and scoby, which stands for “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts”. While it seems and sounds relatively new, and indeed its popularity in the UK has only appeared fairly recently, it has in fact existed for thousands of years, first in East Asian countries such as Japan and China.
Kombucha works via a quite simple process. In order to make kombucha, first, you need to brew the tea and sweeten it with sugar so as to help make the fermentation process more efficient. Afterwards, the aforementioned scoby is then added together with some starter liquid.
This mixture is then covered and left to ferment for a few days up to a week. This is done with a permeable lid attached, which makes for the primary fermentation. Afterwards, the mixture can be poured into a container that is airtight, with some extra sugar added. The longer the mixture is left in it, the fizzier it will be.
Finally, flavourings can be added, including ingredients such as fruit, herbs, spices, coffee, rose petals or coconut water. The end result would then be a live, fermented drink which is bubbly and a bit sour, one which allows for a very wide variety of ingredients.
If you’re a newcomer this may sound a bit unpleasant and unnecessary hard work, but in reality this process is not dissimilar to beer brewing, with the end result being the difference. You will get something akin to apple cider vinegar when it’s done.
And if you feel like the vinegary taste is not something for you, kombucha is still well worth trying due to how beneficial it is for your gut health. We will delve into it a bit further.
The health benefits of kombucha drinks
As time passes, with the growing esteem of the kombucha drinks, more research has been done to figure out the reason as to why that is the case. Slowly and gradually, we’ve been able to uncover how kombucha drinks work in helping you maintain a healthy gut ecosystem.
There are several aspects that factor into the goodness of the kombucha drinks, but the three main ones are as listed below.
The source of probiotics
Generally, fermented foods all contain live microorganisms, namely yogurts, kefir and sauerkraut. Since kombucha drinks are products that are created through fermentation, probiotic bacteria are thus produced and contained in them.
If the concentrations are done right and detailed, these probiotic bacteria can help balance the gut microbiome in humans and make a great improvement on your digestion. That being said, it’s still quite early to truly determine whether kombucha really contain enough beneficial bacteria which have effective probiotic properties.
High level of antioxidants
Antioxidants are substances employed for body protection in the fight against oxidative damage which is caused by free radicals. They are a by-product of normal body processes, one whose impact should be minimized. This can be done by having a diet rich in antioxidants.
Tea or tea leaves are things that are effective and should be considered. It has been said that the fermentation time spent in making the kombucha can have a positive impact on the antioxidant properties of kombucha drinks, but this is not proven definitely just yet.
Rich in vitamins and minerals
When the sugars are broken down by the yeast during fermentation, small amounts of vitamins and minerals are then produced in the kombucha drinks. These include vitamin C, B, B1, B6 and B12.
There are several possible benefits to drinking kombucha that really draw drinkers to them. If you tend to feel bloated after a big meal, kombucha drinks can be a great savior. Although it’s recommended that you use it in combination with complimentary remedies, or with the advice of your GP.
Top 10 Best Kombucha Drinks in 2021
Although this is a relatively new market, it’s quite a busy one. Choosing something that’s perfect for you can be difficult due to tough competition. That’s why, in order to help you, we’ve provided you with a list of the 10 best kombucha drinks, including their strengths and weaknesses so that you’re more able to make an informed decision.
Remedy Raw Kombucha Tea
This kombucha tea from Remedy Raw, which is one of the top kombucha brands, is the one to go for those who are new to kombucha. It comes in a pack of four brilliant flavours to create unbeatable value. Each pack includes 6 cans of Apple Crisp, Raspberry Lemonade, Ginger Lemon and Cherry Plum flavours to give you a certain diversity in taste.
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The true benefit to Remedy drinks is that they all contain no sugar and are natural because their bevvies are brewed the old school way. Raw, organic sugar is used as a key starter ingredient, which solely acts as food for the all-important live culture. During the brewing process, the sugar is converted into healthy organic acids which leave no sugar at all.
- 6 cans in each mixed pack
- Four flavours for diversity
- No sugar
- Flawed delivery
Booch & Brew Organic Kombucha
Booch & Brew are a family run business with years of experience in kombucha brewing. This organic kombucha is a proof of their excellent quality and sustainability in their drinks. For its great products, it’s even won the Great Taste Award of 2019. So you know that this kombucha drink is legit.
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This drink is traditionally fermented with four of the purest, highest quality ingredients consisting of: organic loose-leaf green, black tea leaves, organic cane sugar, and the brand’s own in-house kombucha active cultures. In addition, it is also flavoured subtly with natural fruits and herbs. There won’t be any artificial nasties in it.
- Crafted and brewed on a UK farm
- 4 high quality ingredients
- No nasties guarantee
- Not as tasty as others
Lo Bros Ginger & Lemon Kombucha
The packs of kombucha drinks from Lo Bros contain an amazing 12 cans each containing 250ml, the best amount to fulfill your needs for a good period of time. It’s also naturally low in sugar with only 1.6g of sugar per 100ml, so you won’t have to fear that you will consume too much sugar with the drinks.
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This drink is a small batch brewed in the UK over 21 days at the brand’s own brewery in Berkshire, making sure that you will get UK quality from a UK brand. They are all organic, vegan and unpasteurised, ensuring durability for a long time to come.
- 12 cans in each pack
- Low sugar amount per 100ml
- Only 20 calories per can
- Slow batch brewed in the UK
- Potentially badly packaged
Genie Crisp Citrus Kombucha
Similar to the ones from Lo Bros, this Crisp Citrus drink from Genie Crisp also contains 12 bottles for optimal consumption. It’s an award winning drink famous for its delicious fermented taste combined with pink grapefruit and lemon. It’s this in addition to the reliable health benefits and cement it as one of the best kombucha drinks out there.
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The kombuchas contain natural live cultures for improved gut health. There’s also a guarantee that there will be no sugar or other nasties added to the mixture. It’s created naturally and low in calories for safe repeated consumption.
- Award winning kombucha drink
- 12 bottles per pack
- Fermented and alive
- No additional sugars or sweeteners
- Low in calories
- Relatively lacking in tartness
No.1 Living Kombucha
No. 1 Living Kombucha is a 100% natural drink. It’s made to be sugar-free, dairy-free and gluten-free. It’s also naturally caffeinated, which is something that many will like. Those features make it a suitable beverage for vegans and a great, tasty alternative to sweet fizzy drinks or other more harmful drinks.
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The drink is also authentically brewed, raw and unpasteurized as if homemade, adding a uniqueness to the product. To add to the existing health benefits, it’s also very low in calories, eliminating any worries about consumption.
- 100% natural, free from sugars, dairy and gluten
- Naturally caffeinated
- Suitable for vegans
- Low in calories
- Bad aftertaste
GTS LIVING FOODS Organic Guava Goddess Synergy Kombucha
If you’re a fan of kombucha drinks, you can’t miss out on this one from GTS LIVING FOODS. This kombucha drink is without added sugar, and features only pure fruits and juice. There are good amounts of not only probiotics but also vitamins and minerals.
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Effervescent, and handcrafted in small batches, these drinks are promised to be always cultured and never compromised for anything less than quality.
- Organic, without sugar
- Rich in vitamins and minerals as well as probiotics
- There might be naturally occurring alcohol content
Equinox is one of the best kombucha brands out there and one that absolutely can’t be missed. It is tropical Pink Grapefruit and Guava which are boldly blended with the brand’s own Original Kombucha recipe to deliver a crisp, colourful flavour hit that leaves you amazingly refreshed.
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It is 100% organic as well as being gluten free, which is very suitable for vegans. It is very bubbly and tasty while still keeping itself as geared probiotic drink, which many newcomers will like.
- The flavours are blended with the brand’s own recipe
- 100% organic
- Bubbly and tasty
- Packages take a while to unpack
- Contains low amount of alcohol
Biona Organic Kombucha Original
This health ade kombucha from Biona is certified organic and very suitable for vegans. It’s a carefully selected composition of green tea, black tea and aromatic herbs. It is brewed using only the best organic ingredients.
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This health ade is a sparkling fermented alternative to lemon juice and fruit juices, being low in sugar levels, sugar content and blood sugar.
- Optimal for vegans
- Carefully selected compositions of green tea, black tea and aromatic herbs
- Organic ingredients
- Alternative to blood sugar
Loving Foods Kombucha & Jun-Kombucha Mixed Case
The mixed cases of Loving Foods kombuchas have a long shelf life, making them suitable to feature in grocery stores where they can be easily purchased. Accessibility is a strength of this drink. These fermented drinks are certified organic, using only organic ingredients during production to reduce environmental footprint.
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The Loving Foods drinks have multi green properties and are unpasteurized to ensure that all beneficial bacteria, vitamins, minerals and enzymes are left completely intact. This is a feature that all organic fermented foods strive for.
- Good for human health
- Long shelf life
- Four different fruity flavours in liquid form
- Trace amounts of the original sugar content
- Some might not like the green tea bold flavours
The Gutsy Captain – Kombucha Tea
The probiotic benefit of this kombucha tea from The Gutsy Captain can’t be understated. Every bottle of this drink is created and fermented with the brand’s very own probiotic active cultures, containing only the highest quality functional ingredients.
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The drinks are not pasteurized and feature no artificial colours or flavours, as well as no preservatives. They are built to be a raw kombucha drink and vegan in nature.
- Raw living probiotic culture
- Entirely organic
- Rich in antioxidants and enzymes
- Might have incorrect health claims in terms of sugar levels
How to Choose the Best Kombucha Drink
There are several things to take note of before deciding on a kombucha drink. These can be the amounts of alcohol content left, if it’s blood orange, if it can replace an energy drink while not containing the harmful effects or causing a heart disease.
The methods employed by the brewer, as well as the choice of ingredients added in the recipe can make for a unique and distinct drink.
The type of tea used in production
The type of tea used in the production process will significantly affect the flavour of the drink. The most popular type of tea used is either green or black tea. Although there are indeed discussions taking place between brewers to determine the best tea for fermentation, ultimately how you like the finished product will depend totally on personal taste.
That’s why it’s apt that you know how the different types of tea taste. Green tea kombuchas have a lighter, grassier flavour, while black tea tends to go through oxidation which results in them having a stronger and bolder taste than the former. If you want a more complex, diverse flavour profile, try to use a mixture of the two.
The available flavours
Different kombucha brands will have different flavours altogether, and it’s crucial that you know what all of them mean first before deciding on purchasing. The different flavours will stem from differences in ingredients such as in fresh fruits or herbs, which feature substantially during or after the producing process.
Since the natural flavour of kombuchas might not exactly satisfy everyone, a flavoured variation can make it so that it’s more palatab;le. Fruit flavours are kind of like passion fruits, which tends to be sweeter, while citrus fruits will complement the bitter tang. Ginger or cayenne pepper can add a spicy kick to the drinks, so the choice is entirely dependent upon you.
Check the ABV levels
Although it’s not really an alcoholic beverage, kombuchas do contain alcohol which is in part because of the fermentation process. So it’s best to check the ABV (stands for alcohol by volume) level before proceeding. A trace amount under 0.5 % ABV will mean that they aren’t restricted under licensing laws of the UK.
Alcohol presence will be an issue if it interferes with your religious beliefs, or certain health restrictions and requirements.
What you need to know about gut health
It’s crucial that you know about gut health in order to understand how kombuchas operate. They employ the use of good bacteria. While bacteria tend to be associated with diseases, good bacteria are very helpful and can help boost our wellbeing.
Aside from the drinks, eating a balanced diet is also a good place to start. Using kombucha drinks in combination with the aforementioned good diet is also excellent.
Pasteurised or unpasteurised kombucha?
Pasteurisation is a process in which liquid is heated at high temperature so that harmful bacteria are killed. For some other foods, the same method is done to prevent food-borne diseases. When kombucha is pasteurised, however, good bacteria are also killed off along with the bad ones, which reduce potential probiotic benefits.
The contamination risk or the likelihood of you coming across any nasties is quite low, so if you intend to keep the benefits of the probiotic kombuchas and active cultures, unpasteurised drinks might just be the things to go for.
What amount should I buy?
There’s a shelf life to kombuchas, so you should only consume them within the specified time by the manufacturer. This can be around 3-5 days, or sometimes more. The question of sizes and how much you prefer to drink are also strong factors to consider.
Cans and bottles of 250 to 330ml contain about enough for up to 2 servings, which allows you to sample different brands and flavours. But in general, moderation is key, and try to determine for yourself the amount of kombucha drinks that you’re most comfortable with.
Will my kombucha cause me to be alcoholic?
Kombucha’s alcohol levels have been the subjects of discussions for a while now, culminating in some selective recalls. Over time, brands have become aware and conscious of this and have been trying to reduce the amount to as low as less than 0.5%.
Certainly, you should check for the information provided by the manufacturers first.
What happens when my kombucha gets mold?
First thing first, check thoroughly to see if it’s really mold. Novices and newcomers can mistake the scoby layer for mold. In that case, try to reach professionals or those with knowledge about kombucha drinks, or directly contact the manufacturers for instructions on what to do, and how to notify a mold in the drink.
In the case that you really do have mold, throw everything away immediately and seek your GP’s advice if you encounter any health problems.
This is the end of the article on the best kombucha drinks. We hope that with the provided information as well as our reviews of the best brands and products, we’ve helped you in reaching the most informed decision.
If you’re still hesitant on deciding, we suggest the kombucha drink from Remedy Raw as the best among them all. It’s satisfying in most things and features no sugar at all, which is fantastic. There are also no glaring weaknesses with the product.
But there are really no wrong choices here if you favour health over taste. However, if you favour taste, and for something as dependent on taste as these drinks, it will be a matter of personal taste.
Thanks for reading!