Where To Buy Unflavored Kombucha

You can make your own homemade kombucha SCOBY from scratch, but you’ll need raw, unflavored kombucha to start. Here’s where to buy unflavored kombucha!

This may be the question I get most often – “Where can I find unflavored kombucha?!”

When I first began making kombucha, unflavored kombucha was easy to come by in any grocery store that carried kombucha. But things are changing and our favorite brands have been pulling the unflavored bottles from the shelves. Which leaves us with the question…how can I start my kombucha now?

Pouring starter kombucha into jar

Why you need unflavored kombucha

For the uninitiated, you can grow your own SCOBY from scratch with just a bottle of unflavored, raw kombucha. No fancy kits. No buying a SCOBY online. Just kombucha, tea, and sugar.

The unflavored kombucha (or “starter” kombucha) kicks off the reaction, producing a SCOBY over a couple weeks. But there are two things your starter kombucha needs to be:

  • Unflavored: Store bought kombucha that has flavor is often watered down by juice, making it less potent. Ensure your starter kombucha is unflavored (or at the very least, minimally flavored).
  • Raw: Kombucha should not be pasteurized and should contain live cultures (bonus points if it has gunky floaties in it, which help kickstart fermentation). Any kombucha that is sold at room temperature (i.e. shelf stable) is probably not raw.

Where to buy unflavored kombucha

Grocery Stores: Many organic or health food grocery stores – like Whole Foods and Sprouts – carry unflavored kombucha. My favorite brand of unflavored is GT’s Organic Original (blue label) or GT’s Pure (yellow label).

Facebook Groups: There are many Facebook groups filled with avid home brewers. Many groups don’t allow the selling of SCOBYs/starter, and will only charge you for postage. Our Kickass Kombucha Brewers group is filled with generous brewers from around the world, or find a local group specific to your area.

Craigslist: Craigslist (and similar local buy/sell websites) are filled with brewers selling SCOBYs and starter, usually for pretty cheap.

Friends: Have a friend who brews kombucha? They may have extra starter (or even a SCOBY hotel filled with potent starter)!

Amazon: If all else fails, Amazon has a variety of things from SCOBYs to starter kits that can get you up and running.

Leave a Comment

35 thoughts on “Where To Buy Unflavored Kombucha”

  1. Wow thanks for this article. I was going crazy trying to find the GTs original kombucha! We moved from HI to NY and I had to leave my scoby behind. Hoping the pure works 🤞🏽

  2. Hi, again.
    I think I might have left my scoby hotel too long without changing out the liquid. The scoby is not looking too good! sitting at the bottom and only partially there. (It’s less than half of the full circle it was before.) Can I still use it? If not and I need to start all over, can I use my own homemade kombucha for the starter?
    PS – I didn’t get a notification last time I asked a question.

  3. Hello,
    This is my first time attempting to make Scoby. Will it be possible to make a hard buch from this scoby? If so, what extra steps do I need to take?

  4. Hello, the raw kombucha I purchased to make my scoby is GT’s pure, but it has kiwi juice in it. I’m not sure if my scoby will turn out the way it should, will this work? The link you provided in the next section, “first fermentation” leads me to amazon where I can find the exact bottle I bought that also includes the kiwi juice, but I’m not sure if this is the wrong one for making the scoby.

  5. I’m in the US, but my local “natural foods” store, which has been in business for more than 40 years, not only does not sell unflavored kombucha but also did not know what it is or where to get it. Many smaller cities and towns in the US don’t have a Whole Foods or other specialized grocery. Many places around the world have no access at all to this product, so please take a more global and less affluent-urban-US point of view. I have a background in internet security and refuse to participate in social networks, so please stop pushing that. What’s needed is a secure, reliable source of kombucha starter that doesn’t rely on insecure social network groups or US-based high-end grocery stores.

    • “I have a background in internet security and refuse to participate in social networks, so please stop pushing that.”

      If you refuse to participate in social networks then that’s fine but you can’t tell other people not to participate if they so choose. That’s just incredibly dumb. Are you seriously asking Sara to not mention the Facebook group just because you don’t approve? This is so dumb I felt that I had to say something. I am a java developer so your background in internet security doesn’t impress me at all…

  6. Hello!

    Your instructions are great, thank you so much for the detailed explanations.

    I live in Egypt and unfortunately we don’t have any kind kombucha accessible – hence me wanting to make some on my own.

    Is there no way to make this without the starter kombucha? Even if it’s a longer process?

    • You really need that starter colony of bacteria and yeast, otherwise there’s nothing to start it with! Can you order some online where you are?

  7. I want to make kombucha for the first time but I’m confused. Do I need unflavored, unpasteurized kombucha to make the scoby or do I need it to make the kombucha too? I purchased a dehydrated scoby. I don’t understand why I need to buy kombucha.

  8. My husband’s SCOBY died and I want to surprise him with a new one. Are SCOBYs more like commercial yeast — interchangeable with no real difference among them — or like wild yeast — each with its own unique flavor and characteristics? If the latter, what do I look for to ensure I am getting a good quality SCOBY? Thanks.

  9. I love this website!! It has everything anyone will ever need and the video’s and explanations make everything simple and are easy to follow.
    This is my kombucha home now.
    Thank you for giving us all everything we’ll ever need.
    Many blessings

  10. What kind of east is used to ferment the first Kombucha tea. Is it any east or specific east? I am from Mozambique and cannot get easily the starter or SCOBY.

    • It is naturally occurring yeast that’s in kombucha. Some online sellers have dried SCOBYs that you might try!

  11. I have just discovered brilliant Kombucha.
    But its 18 months old, and does not float to the top of the jar any more.
    It has also stopped making new baby scoby, so I wondered if it is at the end of its life…….unable to find Kombucha raw tea, or reliable scoby to buy, as I was Given my first one.

    • After 18 months of no attention it probably is indeed dead. It needs a constant supply of tea and sugar to “eat”, otherwise the bacteria and yeast dies off. Check some of the links in this post (especially the FB groups!) where you may be able to get new starter.