Kombucha truly is a one of a kind drink. If you’ve ever tried it, you certainly won’t forget it — the uniqueness of its flavour really sticks in your mind!
But don’t fret — if you haven’t ever had kombucha, drinking fermented tea isn’t as strange as it may sound. In fact, while we’re admittedly a little biased, we’d argue kombucha is one of the most delicious drinks out there. Don’t believe us? Learn all about what kombucha tastes like here, and why it’s not like anything else you’ve ever tried.
What is kombucha?
Kombucha is a fizzy, fermented drink made using yeast, sugar and tea. It’s produced via fermentation, in which a SCOBY (a pancake-shaped symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) is combined with sweetened tea, allowing the bacteria and yeast to convert the ethanol and acetic acid. The drink has also been touted for its potential health benefits for the gut and the immune system owing to its probiotic and antioxidant content.
Does kombucha taste good?
The fermentation process used to make kombucha naturally has a big impact on its taste, not to mention its fizz. You’ll likely recognise the yeast flavour from alcoholic beverages like wine and beer, giving it musty-like notes — though it’s important to note that kombucha itself is considered non-alcoholic, despite the small ethanol content.
Because of the acetic acid created during the fermentation process (the main component of vinegar), kombucha also has a mild vinegar taste. That said, this flavour isn’t overpowering, particularly in combination with the other components used, the main of which is the sweetened tea itself.
The No.1 Living difference
Here at No. 1 Living, we combine the fermented mix with sencha green tea which has a fresh, herbal flavour. Add in the fact we use stevia to sweeten our kombucha (making it sugar-free) and infuse it with natural fruit flavours like passion fruit and raspberry, and the flavour is generally a balance between acidic, fragrant and fruity. That said, our ginger kombucha is more on the fiery side (particularly as it also contains turmeric), so the taste of kombucha really does depend on the particular type you drink!
All in all, kombucha is very different from your average soft drink. Don’t expect a sugary sweet beverage or something excessively spiced, but a fizzy fermented tea with an intricate mix of different flavours. It’s complex, tart and zingy, while often being balanced out with sweet fruits and soft botanicals.
What does kombucha smell like?
When you first open a bottle or can of kombucha, the smell will likely hit you straight away. Depending on which kind you’re drinking, you may notice hints of fruit first. You might also get a whiff of vinegar owing to its acetic acid content. Like with the taste though, this isn’t overwhelming, and doesn’t compare to a bottle of vinegar itself or salad dressing, for example.
What about the bits in kombucha?
Another thing you may notice from time-to-time are the somewhat odd-looking ‘bits’ floating about in your kombucha — think of them like the bits in orange juice, just with a completely different source. These bits are the result of the SCOBY, as, because kombucha tends to be raw and unpasteurised, a new SCOBY will form in the drink after it’s bottled. These bits are totally normal. It’s just the bacteria getting to work and they are completely safe to consume!
What is kombucha's texture like?
Typically brownish or amber to the eye, kombucha has an effervescence to it. However, it isn’t quite as fizzy as your average soda, nor does it have the same kind of syrupy thickness.
How does the type of tea used affect the taste?
The general taste of kombucha is relatively consistent across different types, though it can vary depending on the tea it has been mixed with.
White tea kombucha
Kombuchas using white tea are usually more delicate and aromatic, with hints of almond and vanilla. The closest comparison in taste would probably be a sparkling chardonnay or sauvignon blanc.
Black tea kombucha
Black tea kombucha is reminiscent of a light dry cider in that it's rich and fruity with an acidic bite. It’s also the strongest type of tea you can use, meaning kombucha using it typically tastes more, well, tea-y.
Green tea kombucha
Kombuchas using green tea tend to be more delicate with earthy flavours. This is the type of tea we use here at No. 1 Living, so you can find out what green tea kombucha tastes like by trying one of our products!
How do others describe the taste of kombucha?
As you can probably tell by now, kombucha has a particularly complex flavour profile, and can vary depending on the ingredients used. Like with many other drinks, it also tastes slightly different to everyone, which is why we asked some of our customers to describe it themselves — this will give you a flavour (pun not intended) of what to expect yourself.
Aside from praising it for being “delicious”, “tasty”, and “yummy” (descriptions we humbly agree with), other ways our kombucha has been described include:
- “Great tasting and not too overpowering”
- “Refreshing and light”
- “A great tasting alternative to carbonated or alcoholic drinks, with a slight tart flavour”
So there you have it: the taste of kombucha explained. However, there’s only one way to truly find out what it tastes like, and that’s by trying it yourself! Check out our full range of kombucha here to do just this, and don’t hesitate to get in contact if you have any questions for us, taste-related or otherwise!