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What does kombucha taste like?

It’s the first question most people have, “what does kombucha taste like?” Here’s what you can expect when you drink this tart and fizzy fermented tea!

As kombucha continues growing in popularity, I hear the question more and more from kombucha newbies – “what does kombucha taste like?”

Which is a valid question because sometimes I don’t even know. I mean, there are so many flavors wrapped up into one bottle! So I’ll do my best to describe the taste of kombucha (along with why it tastes, smells, and feels the way that it does)!

Smell

The first thing you notice when you crack open a bottle of kombucha (or hover over the first fermentation jar) is the smell. Kombucha smells like a mild vinegar (though the vinegar smell is usually much stronger than the vinegar taste).

Taste

Kombucha tastes tart and slightly sweet, similar to a sour sparkling apple cider or ginger ale. Depending on the brand (if store bought) or fermentation length (if made at home), kombucha can be mouth-puckering sour or mildly sweet.

This range in tartness of kombucha all comes down to how it’s made. In short, kombucha is a fermentation process where bacteria and yeast “eat” the sugars in sweet tea and convert them to acidity, carbonation, and alcohol (learn more about how kombucha works here).

When the bacteria and yeast consume more of the sugar (such as when they have a longer fermentation time or are in a warmer environment), the kombucha becomes more acidic and tart.

And although kombucha’s main ingredient is tea, it doesn’t actually taste like tea after the fermentation is complete! The primary flavor is tart and vinegar-esque, but also depends on what flavors are added in the second fermentation – such as fruits, herbs, or spices.

Collage of kombucha flavors

Texture

One of the reasons people love kombucha (besides the health benefits and tasty flavors) is the texture! The yeast in the kombucha creates a natural carbonation, resulting in an effervescent and fizzy drink. Though not as sharp as soda (which is made by forced carbonation), the carbonation of kombucha is soft, light, and tongue tingling!

Our favorite kombucha flavors

Ready to make your kombucha taste exactly how you want? Here are a few of our favorite flavors!

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