You’re not imagining it: Kombucha (affectionately named “booch”) has reached that avocado-toast level of wellness fame. And we can think of one major reason that the fermented tea with ancient roots is flying off supermarket shelves and becoming a beverage of choice for so many of us: It’s really, really delicious. In fact, its latest incarnations are tastier than ever.
We spill the tea on the rise of better-tasting booch, below.
What is kombucha, exactly?
Kombucha is a fermented drink made by brewing together tea, sugar, and a SCOBY, which is short for “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.” All kombucha begins as tea—usually black or green tea—but it starts to ferment when you add the live and active cultures (the SCOBY) and sugar. These live and active cultures are microbes (bacteria and yeast) that eat most of the sugar in the tea, converting it into other compounds such as organic acids, gases, and nutrients like B vitamins, and transforming it into a tart-and-tangy beverage.
Usually, a combination of fruit and other ingredients like herbs are then added to the brew, creating endless options for kombucha flavors.
The beginner’s guide to drinking the booch
Even if you’ve never tried kombucha, you’ve probably heard that it has a distinct bold taste. Some say kombucha has a slightly sour edge to it, but don’t let that deter you. Any fermented tang shouldn’t overpower the flavor at all, and the teas sold at your local grocery store today are largely crafted to be well-balanced in flavor. Our suggestion for a smooth introductory booch is KeVita’s Master Brew Kombucha. Each of the 13 flavors in the line—our personal recs are Pineapple Peach, Tart Cherry, Raspberry Lemon, and Ginger—are made with certified organic ingredients and the resulting taste is crisp and bold, with a delicious amount of fizz for a pleasant effervescent pop.
Kombucha also has a kick from its effervescence. As soon as you twist open a chilled bottle of KeVita, you’ll know what we mean: Each flavor is brimming with invigorating, refreshing bubbles (the drink is alive with billions of probiotics, after all!). They’re the same brand that’s given apple cider vinegar a delicious glow-up with its sweet and tangy Apple Cider Vinegar Tonic in flavors like Turmeric Ginger and Meyer Lemon, and their Master Brew Kombucha does the same for kombucha.
With so many creative flavors on the shelves from exotically fruity to spiced, you’re bound to stumble on a favorite. And once you do, you’ll probably find yourself craving its zesty kick the most.
Kombucha is thought to have originated in China more than 2,000 years ago. Fast-forward to today, here’s why kombucha deserves a permanent spot in your fridge and daily routine:
1. It hits the spot when you need an invigorating afternoon drink.
Since kombucha is made from tea, it can naturally contain some caffeine. So instead of reaching for a second or third cup of joe when you feel a 3 p.m. slump coming on, try an invigorating kombucha. KeVita’s Master Brew Kombucha has 68mg of organic caffeine—just under the caffeine content in an 8-oz. cup of coffee, but a tad more than the average booch.
2. Its flavor options are officially unmatched.
Whether it’s post-workout, lunchtime, or your best friend’s birthday party on Zoom, there’s a kombucha for every occasion and every taste preference, ranging from light and refreshing to vibrantly-flavored. It’s likely you’ll find a new flavor to try every time you make a grocery store run.
3. It’s an easy way to get more probiotics into your daily routine.
By definition, probiotics are good bacteria that can bestow health benefits when consumed in the right amounts and of the right type. Functional medicine experts say that incorporating probiotics may work with your gut microbiota. (Did you know that a large portion of your immune system is in your gut?)
4. It’s versatile.
This one’s a no-brainer. Kombucha’s fizzy nature makes it the perfect palate-cleansing pairing with favorite foods like pizza and burgers, and it complements salads, roasted veggies, and sandwiches nicely. For a bubbly alternative that’s caffeine-free and low-cal, KeVita’s light and fruit-forward Sparkling Probiotic Drink has brunch covered with easy-drinking flavors like Mojita Lime Mint Coconut.
5. There’s truly no wrong way to drink it.
No ceremonial matcha-type ritual required here. With store-bought brands, kombucha is ready to sip and enjoy right away.
But not all kombucha is created equal. To find the good stuff, always go for quality ingredients and the flavors you love. KeVita’s unrivaled range of great-tasting Master Brew Kombucha checks all the boxes—and with so many options available, you’ll be grabbing one for each part of your routine. Bottoms up!