When I started eating a mostly vegan diet three years ago, a coworker told me I was just “steps away” from drinking kombucha. I laughed about it — as if drinking kombucha was some giant stepping stone in being healthy, or going vegan.
Honestly, I was a little scared to try it. I mean, fermented tea?? It sounded like it wouldn’t taste good, but people RAVE about it. But, I didn’t try any until earlier this year, when I went to a Galentine’s Day event and they were handing out free bottles of the stuff.
The one I got was from Synergy and it was their Trilogy kombucha. When I took my first sip, I am certain my eyes went wide, but I continued to drink.
…And I’ve basically been hooked ever since! So, I’ve been buying a few different brands and flavors every time I go to the grocery store. I’ve purchased some from Aldi (where I usually go for groceries), Trader Joe’s, and H-E-B.
What Are The Health Benefits of Drinking Kombucha?
Part of the reason I’ve been drinking kombucha is that I’m currently on my fitness challenge, and I’m not allowing myself to drink alcohol. Kombucha provides a little midday “treat” that is flavorful, but low in calories, and actually, it has a lot of heath benefits.
Kombucha is fermented tea that has a natural effervescence, so it’s got a little bit of fizz when you open it and pour it (sometimes I like to drink mine out of a wine glass, because why not?).
It’s most known for its living probiotics, which help with a healthy gut. A healthy gut assists with weight loss, digestive health, and immune function. If you’re eating a vegetarian or a vegan diet, getting healthy gut bacteria can be difficult, especially if your body is used to eating meat.
Kombucha also has Amino Acids, Polyphenols, and Active Enzymes. These assist with muscle growth, combat cell damage, and breaking down foods.
Here are the ones I’ve tried so far:
GT’s Organic Kombucha
GT’s is probably the most-recognized kombucha brand — or at least, it’s the one I see the most. They have a group of organic and raw kombucha, along with their Synergy line, which is organic. They also have a line of kombucha that has chia seeds in it… and it looks delicious!
So far, I’ve tried the Synergy Trilogy, Synergy Cosmic Cranberry, Synergy Watermelon Wonder, and Synergy Guava Goddess. The Guava Goddess is my favorite and it would be a good poolside drink for the summer — very refreshing. The Watermelon is also fantastic! If you’ve never had kombucha before, I wouldn’t recommend the Trilogy as the first one (even though that’s what I did), go for a flavor you like instead.
You can see all of their flavors on the GT Living Foods website — there’s a ton — and I want to try their Lavender Love, Synergy Pink Lady Basil, and Synergy Strawberry Serenity.
I’ve tried to Pink Lady Apple and the Maca-Berry — the apple is my favorite so far. I want to try their Jalapeño-Kiwi-Cucumber and the Bubbly Rose (both of these look so good!).
This is a good brand to try first because both flavors I’ve had were really great, and it doesn’t have that fermented taste that some of the other flavors I’ve tried have. It’s also less fizzy, so if that’s not your bag, this one’s for you. You can see all of their current flavors on the Health-Ade website.
Wonder Drink Prebiotic Kombucha
As far as I’ve seen, the Aldi I shop at always has Wonder Drink Kombucha. It’s less-expensive than other brands, and according to their website, they are the first and only prebiotic Kombucha! Probiotics feed and nourish probiotics, so it helps your digestive system even more.
So far, I’ve only had the Cherry & Black Currant (which I’ve gotten twice now). I really want to try the Green Tea & Lemon, but I haven’t seen it yet. Wonder Drink has five flavors sold in bottles, but they also sell the same flavors in cans, which is convenient.
They also have a separate Prebiotic line and a Prebiotic Plus line that’s expected soon.
Trader Joe’s Organic Kombucha
Recently, Trader Joe’s has released their own line of organic kombucha, and it’s also affordable — if I remember correctly, it’s under $3 a bottle. I’ve tried the Pomegranate Hibiscus, and it was tasty.
There is more sugar in the Trader Joe’s brand, so I cut it with a little bit of water when I drank it. With all of these, I measure out the serving size. Most bottles are two servings, so I only allow myself one serving per day, using a measuring cup to get eight ounces per serving.
Greenbelt Craft Kombucha
Since I live in Austin, I was really excited to see that some locals have created their own kombucha and its on the shelves at H-E-B! You *might* be able to find it at Kroger, too.
They have four flavors out, and so far I’ve tried the Blood Orange Yerba Mate and the Hibiscus Berry Black Tea. Both of these are much less sweeter (there is no other sugar added) than all of the others I’ve tried, which was a welcome surprise.
I don’t want to use the word “savory” to describe them, but they almost have more of a beer taste than a sweet taste, if that makes sense. These come in a can, with one serving per can, and are around $2 per can.
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