Can you eat a SCOBY?

Can you eat the SCOBY sitting on top of your kombucha? And if so, does it have any benefits? Answering it all here!

Can you eat the SCOBY sitting on top of your kombucha? And if so, does it have any benefits? Answering it all here!

Although it’s made by essentially letting sweet tea go rotten, kombucha is perfectly drinkable (and contains loads of health benefits as a result of the fermentation)!

But what about the SCOBY used to make your kombucha? Or the little SCOBYs that may form in your second fermentation bottles? Are kombucha SCOBYs edible?

The short answer: yes! Kombucha SCOBYs are edible, contain many of the same health benefits of kombucha, and can be cooked into a number of tasty treats!

kombucha scoby on a plate

What is a kombucha SCOBY?

In order to understand why a SCOBY is safe to eat, it’s important to understand what a SCOBY actually is. SCOBY is an acronym that stands for Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast.

Through a series of reactions between the bacteria, yeast, and sweet tea, cellulose is created, forming the structure of the SCOBY. If you’ll remember back to high school science class, cellulose is the substance found in plant cell walls that gives them their structure. While humans cannot digest cellulose, it is an important element in our diet for its insoluble fiber.

All that to say, SCOBYs are basically rubbery pancakes made of healthy bacteria and yeasts, all tied together with cellulose. Yum!

What does SCOBY taste like?

I’ve got a confession…I love eating SCOBYs. Specifically, the little SCOBYs that form on top of second fermentation bottles! Kombucha SCOBYs have a mild taste, taking on a hint of the kombucha flavor. But where their taste isn’t much to write home about, the texture is unique.

The texture of a SCOBY is like a soft, chewy gummy bear. The outer layers can sometimes be a little wet or slimy, especially for younger SCOBYs.

Recipes for using leftover SCOBYs

If you’ve been brewing kombucha for a few months, your SCOBY may have grown past its capacity. At this point you can split it into two SCOBYs and double your kombucha output, or gift a SCOBY to a friend, or…eat it! Here are a few fun ways to eat your kombucha SCOBY.



A gummy candy that none of our taste testers could guess was made from kombucha SCOBYs!
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Red smoothie in a tall glass with striped straw and strawberries

Kombucha SCOBY Smoothie

Have a leftover SCOBY that you're not sure what to do with? Make this probiotic-packed Kombucha SCOBY Smoothie!
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SCOBY Leather

Dehydrate your SCOBY into a fruit roll-up that both grown-ups and kids will love.
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Craving something savory? Transform your kombucha SCOBY into leathery jerky!
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15 thoughts on “Can you eat a SCOBY?”

  1. This is great. I finally got brave enough to eat a bite of my scoby and you know what— IT WAS EXACTLY LIKE EATING BOBA JELLIES. I swear if you were to blindfold me and dice it up and ask me what it is, I would bet my life that it was boba jelly. That said, now I am all on board and kicking myself for being so chicken not to try it all these years.

  2. How should I store the scoby for eating? I plan to put a bit in my smoothie each morning. Would just sticking it in the fridge or freezer (by itself, without soaking it in tea) be okay?

  3. Thank you. I especially like the thin new scobys, and came here to check if the more mature and thick ones are fine to eat.