What Does Kombucha Taste Like? Everything You Need to Know

Kombucha is a fermented drink made of sugar, yeast, and bacteria. Kombucha originates from China and has a long history of over 2,000 years! Kombucha is gaining popularity in Europe, the US, and Asia thanks to its unique flavor profile and health benefits. If you have never tried kombucha and want to know what it tastes like, read on.

What does kombucha taste like? Original kombucha has a fizzy, slightly sour, acidic, and fragrant flavor with notes of fruitiness and vinegar. Flavored kombucha acquires a fruity, sour, citrusy, tart taste with hints of flowers and herbs. Kombucha’s taste is bold and refreshing and is similar to iced tea and apple cider. 

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Kombucha Taste 101 – All You Need to Know

What is kombucha? Kombucha is a popular fermented drink made of sugar, bacteria, and yeast. It has a pronounced vinegary smell and a strong acidic, fruity, and tart-fizzy flavor. Kombucha is rich in antioxidants, probiotics, and B vitamins that facilitate digestion, provide energy, improve mood, reduce cholesterol and, according to Healthline.com, even prevent cancer.

Even if you have not tried kombucha, you must have seen it in the shops and bars. This fermented tea has an interesting name, but it also has an interesting flavor. Many say that kombucha is an acquired taste and gets better every time you drink it. But is it actually true?

Is kombucha an acquired taste? Due to its unique flavor, aroma profile, and unusual preparation method, kombucha is an acquired taste, so it gets better every time you drink it. Start acquainting yourself with mild kombucha flavors (strawberry, mint lime, or mango) before moving to radical ones (pumpkin, chia seeds, or rosemary grape). 

Kombucha Flavor Depends On:

  • Tea – Most often, manufacturers use black tea to make kombucha. However, you can also use green, white, oolong, herbal (hibiscus, butterfly pea), or chai.
  • Fermentation period – The longer the fermentation period is, the more pronounced the flavor and aroma are.
  • Added flavors – Kombucha flavor heavily depends on the added flavors. Strawberry? Blueberry? Mango? Pumpkin? It all has different tastes!

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Kombucha taste is really described differently. We have checked out Quora and Reddit forums, and here is how people describe kombucha taste:

  • Fruit tea
  • Iced tea
  • Cool combo of fizz, sweetness, and tartness
  • Bald and refreshing
  • Carbonated sour drink
  • Best to drink with snacks
  • Sweaty socks
  • Waking up your taste buds
  • Fairly mild or strong and acidic, depending on the fermentation
  • Tangy flavor reminiscent of apple cider

As you can see, kombucha taste descriptions vary greatly. Most forum participants seem to like it, while some consider kombucha to taste like sweaty socks. To determine which opinion you support, try your first kombucha drink today!

Kombucha taste really depends on the flavor you choose. As of now, there are 34 (!!!) kombucha flavors, from blueberry and strawberry to peach pie and pumpkin spice. We recommend you start your kombucha journey with some standard flavors before trying some crazy ones like spiced pear or turmeric.

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Let’s look at some of the most popular kombucha flavors you can get in the shop or make at home:

  • Strawberry
  • Raspberry
  • Lemon
  • Lime and mint
  • Grapefruit
  • Rosemary grape
  • Apple cinnamon
  • Mango
  • Lime
  • Orange
  • Blackberry
  • Carrot
  • Persimmon
  • Mango
  • Passionfruit
  • Melon
  • Lemon zinger
  • Cherry pie
  • Strawberry basil
  • Blackberry vanilla
  • Vanilla peach
  • Kiwi and spinach
  • Spicy ginger
  • Chia seeds
  • Lavender
  • Mulled wine
  • Cream soda
  • Candy cane
  • Pumpkin
  • Turmeric

And much, much more! Kombucha has so many flavor variations, so there will be something for everyone. Do you like fruity, fizzy drinks? Great, why not try apple, mango, or orange-flavored kombucha? If you are more into berries, check out blueberry, blackberry, or even strawberry-flavored kombucha. If you prefer vegetable-based drinks, go for pumpkin or carrot kombucha. And if you have a sweet tooth, try out lavender or vanilla kombucha. The choice is vast!

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Why does kombucha taste so weird? You might think kombucha tastes weird because it is a fermented drink that has a distinctive acidic, tart flavor with notes of vinegar. Kombucha also has a pronounced vinegary smell and a light tingle that can confuse your taste buds. Once you get used to kombucha, it will not taste weird anymore.

Kombucha is a really amazing soda substitute. Why drink high-sugar Coke or Fanta if you can substitute them with a healthy and tasty alternative? If you cut on sodas, you will notice internal and external changes in no time!

Does Kombucha Taste Like Alcohol?

Surprisingly, many people who haven’t tried kombucha suppose it is some sort of alcohol. Partially, it is true because home-brewed drinks often contain different amounts of alcohol, which can also be dangerous for your health. However, standard commercial kombucha contains less than 0.5% of alcohol; hence it is non-alcoholic. According to US law (and many other countries), all drinks that contain less than 0.5% of alcohol by volume are considered alcohol-free.

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Does kombucha taste like alcohol? Due to the fermentation process, kombucha does have a slight alcohol taste. Indeed, kombucha tastes similar to apple cider or ginger ale. However, the original commercial kombucha is non-alcoholic as it contains less than 0.5% of alcohol, similar to sauerkraut, kefir, or kimchi. 

Does kombucha taste like wine? While original kombucha tastes more like vinegar, flavored (grape, turmeric, ginger), kombucha has a slightly acidic, fruity flavor reminiscent of wine. However, kombucha is non-alcoholic.

Kombucha Smell

What does kombucha smell like? Original kombucha has a rather strong vinegar taste due to the fermentation process. However, flavored kombucha also acquires floral, herbal, fruity (strawberry, mango, raspberry, grapes, etc.), and even vanilla aroma notes. Some say kombucha smells a lot like iced fruity tea. 

Like its taste, kombucha smell varies – unflavored kombucha does have a rich vinegary aroma, while flavored drinks can have fruity, sour, herbal, floral, or even vanilla aroma. If you are about to try your first kombucha, check out the original flavor to experience the real kombucha taste and aroma.

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Why Do People Like Kombucha Taste So Much?

Even though kombucha has a 2,000-year history, it is now the most popular than ever. Kombucha is becoming more and more popular thanks to healthy lifestyle promotion. Kombucha is not only tasty but also has plenty of important antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients.

Why do people like kombucha so much? People like kombucha so much because of its fizzy, fruity, tart flavor with notes of flowers and herbs. Kombucha is a healthy refreshing drink that gives you an energy boost and is low in sugar. Kombucha is rich in antioxidants, amino acids, probiotics, and vitamins (B6, B12, riboflavin, and thiamine). 

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Kombucha contains probiotics that facilitate digestion, influencing all other processes from your mood to hormone levels. Since kombucha contains little sugar, it is good for weight loss. Some sportsmen drink kombucha before and after workouts to get an additional source of energy and restore muscles.

Kombucha also removes toxins from the body, reduces cholesterol levels, and has anti-inflammatory properties. Some studies conclude that kombucha may suppress the growth of cancer cells. Kombucha also improves your mood and reduces anxiety. Next time you feel like having a fizzy drink, have kombucha instead of Coke, Red Bull, or a glass of apple cider!

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