What is kombucha?

Kombucha is a fermented tea beverage, made by adding a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY) to a solution of tea and sugar. During the course of the weeks-long fermentation process, the cultures metabolize the sugar and tea components to render a naturally carbonated beverage, with a slightly sweet-tart flavor, full of healthy components like B vitamins, organic acids, and antioxidants.

Being a “raw” beverage, it is teaming with healthy bacteria and yeast. During our second-stage fermentation, our brewer adds whole ingredients like ginger, elderberries, or chaga mushroom to give the kombucha unique taste profiles.

Is this a new health fad?
Kombucha is nothing new, in fact it’s very old. The drink purportedly originated in China in 221 BC and while that may simply be a romantic tale, it has been brewed at home for centuries, and commercially during the last twenty years. With less than ⅓ of the sugar commonly found in soft drinks, and numerous healthful properties, health conscious people everywhere are turning to kombucha to satisfy their thirst.

Both sales and access have recently exploded, as kombucha has gone mainstream, with sales estimated at over $500 million. Buyers can find kombucha well beyond the traditional retail outlets like health food stores. It can be purchased in supermarkets, restaurants, bars (it is used as a mixer), farmers markets and at breweries. Find our kombucha at these participating retail locations:

Why is kombucha made with sugar?

As with any fermentation process, sugar is necessary to feed the yeast. Think about yogurt, the yogurt cultures consume the milk sugar (lactose) to produce a sweet-tart milk product teaming with probiotics. The process is similar for kombucha. The sugar feeds the yeast, which creates CO2 & ethanol, then the bacteria consume the ethanol and convert it into healthy acids. Very little sugar remains when it is bottled, depending on how long the fermentation process lasts. Moreover, the fermentation process cleaves sucrose (polysaccharide) into fructose and glucose – both of which are utilized by the fermentation process thereby reducing the glycemic load.

Why does kombucha have to be refrigerated?

The majority of kombucha sold on the market is raw, and therefore biologically active. The fermentation process continues as long as bacteria and yeast have sugars to feed on. Yeast are temperature sensitive, and cold temperatures keep them less active.

Keeping kombucha cold is an important means to ensure the quality remains consistent and compliant.

If exposed to warm or hot temperatures, the fermentation continues rapidly and the carbon dioxide will build up quickly. The results could be anywhere from an excess carbonation upon opening to an exploding or broken bottle. It is important to keep commercial kombucha refrigerated at all times to prevent any mishaps. Good thing it is so delicious, leaving it in the bottle almost never happens!

Do you force carbonate your products?
We do not force carbonate any of our products. Sometimes our kombucha will have slight inconsistencies because it is a live, raw, fermented product. Which means, sometimes it will be very fizzy and sometimes it will be a little less so. But the benefits are all the same.
What is the pH of kombucha? Why is it important?
The proper pH level of kombucha is between 2.5 and 3.5 pH. The pH level of kombucha is important as it protects the brew from harmful microorganisms.
What are the “jellyfish” or “floaters” in the bottle?

During the fermentation process and even after bottling, the bacteria continues to flourish and produces a by-product of the fermentation. This gel-like mass of cellulose, often resembling a jellyfish, is completely harmless and can be consumed or discarded. This is what the “floaters” or “jellyfish” are that are seen in Kombucha.

How much caffeine does it have?
Caffeine is essential for brewing kombucha, yet most of the caffeine is metabolized in the fermentation process. Caffeine levels differ depending on the type of tea used, but what remains is a fraction of what was started with.
How long does it last?
Kombucha does not go bad! Kombucha will last for months in your refrigerator, where it will continue to ferment at a very slow rate. The fizz will go away after a while, but the kombucha still keeps all of its health benefits. When the kombucha is no longer to your taste as a beverage, we suggest using it as a vinegar substitute. Make a salad dressing, use it as a hair rinse, soak your athletes feet in it, put it in a squirt gun and have a really mean squirt gun fight.
Does kombucha contain alcohol?
Kombucha contains trace amounts of alcohol, a natural byproduct of the fermentation process that preserves the brew and protects it from harmful microorganisms. The trace amounts of alcohol are similar to what you’d find in unpasteurized fruit juice. Kombucha is considered halal because it is non-inebriating and the ethanol serves as a preservative.
I’m not going to be home, or will be otherwise occupied when my kombucha is set to be delivered. Do I need to put it in the fridge right away?
We don’t expect you to set an alarm for us or wait around for a knock on the door. We won’t ring the doorbell unless you’ve expressly asked us to do so. All of our products are packaged in delivery boxes that came directly from our cold room. Simply refrigerate them once you’re awake, home, or otherwise unoccupied, and wait for them to be nice and cold before opening and consuming.
Can I request a specific drop-off time for my delivery?
Unfortunately not. We have set delivery days. Once your subscription order is complete, your first delivery will begin on the next available delivery day. Because our delivery team members cover a lot of ground in a short period of time, their routes are mapped according to efficiency; unfortunately this means that we cannot promise that your order will arrive at a specific time within the specified day.
I live in an apartment building—will you still be able to deliver my kombucha?
Of course! We simply ask that you leave drop-off instructions that are as detailed as possible in the Delivery Instructions section of the checkout. If you’d like your order left with a concierge or building manager, or if our driver will require a buzzer code to gain access to your apartment or office building, please let us know.