What Does Kombucha Taste Like?

Kombucha is a fermented, slightly carbonated, sweetened tea drink. However, there are multiple flavors and additions used to change the flavor of the kombucha.

Overall, kombucha is acidic, tart, and fruity. It’s lightly carbonated so it has a bit of fizziness to it as well. Probiotics also form during the fermentation processes which means the kombucha lacks a smooth drinking experience. 

If you like a little texture in your beverages, kombucha may be right for you. The yeast and bacteria cultures tend to float around in your drink. 

Flavors

When you say that something tastes acidic, tart, and fruit, you’ve sort of run the gamut on flavors. 

Without getting science-heavy, part of the kombucha’s flavor comes from the fermentation process. If the bacteria and yeast consume more of the sugar, the kombucha is more tart and acidic. However, if the bacteria and yeast consume less, your kombucha will be a little sweeter.

That being said, the primary flavor is usually some sort of tartness and maybe a little vinegary. 

Then your secondary flavor depends on what you’ve added. Common ingredients in kombucha are fruits, herbs, and spices.

So depending on what you add to your kombucha, you can end up with a drink that is sweet and tart or earthy and tart. Or even something altogether different.

The type of tea used also has an effect on the flavor of the kombucha. Some common types are black, white, and green.

Black Tea Kombucha

Black tea kombucha is a little drier with a nice acidic bite to it. It generally has a bit of a malty undertone and has a somewhat more bitter flavor.

White Tea Kombucha

Kombucha made with white tea tends to be a little lighter with somewhat more delicate flavors. This tea will be somewhat more sour than black tea kombucha.

Green Tea Kombucha

Green tea will give the kombucha a milder flavor. It will still be acidic and tart, but the flavors will be somewhat more muted. In addition, you may get a grassy flavor from the tea.

Texture

Kombucha should have a texture of a soda that is starting to lose its carbonation. It’s still there, but it’s not quite as bubbly as a typical soda. 

But it’s the other aspect of texture that tends to make people ask questions.

Kombucha is alive. 

You’ll notice that kombucha has a bunch of stuff floating around in it. The stuff is essentially bacteria and yeast cultures. This is normal and the sign of good, healthy, robust kombucha.

However, if you don’t like pulp in your orange juice, you might not enjoy the texture of kombucha, as they are fairly similar. 

Aroma

Opening a bottle of kombucha is not like opening a bottle of soda. Unless you open a ginger beer, you likely won’t get a distinctive smell from a soda.

Kombucha, however, has a very unique, very pungent smell. It should have a vinegary smell. It shouldn’t be overpowering, but you should know immediately that it’s vinegar. 

After the vinegar, you should be able to pick up what’s in the kombucha. It will generally smell either fruity or botanical. Combined it should make for a pleasant somewhat tart aroma.

Does Kombucha Taste Like Alcohol

If you know anything about fermentation, you know that fermentation eats sugar and converts it to alcohol. Since this is similar to how kombucha is made, you might wonder if it tastes anything like wine or beer. 

While there is alcoholic kombucha, generally it’s not meant to taste much like wine or beer. If you are homebrewing your kombucha, it’s a common mistake to end up with the taste of beer. However, it’s not generally appreciated or enjoyed in this way.

Overall Thoughts

Kombucha is a tart, moderately carbonated, sweetened tea drink. Overall, you should expect a tart, somewhat sour taste. However, depending on your choice of tea and what you choose to add, the kombucha could be a little sweeter.

Kombucha has the reputation for being intimidating. However,  there are so many commercial varieties available now, it’s easy to just pick one up. Give one a try and see if you enjoy the tartness for yourself.