What does kombucha taste like?

Kombucha is popping up in more and more places across the UK. But what does kombucha taste like? This article will delve into the unique flavour profile of this fermented tea, exploring its taste, texture, and the factors that influence its flavour.

The Basic Taste of Kombucha

Kombucha, at its core, is a fermented tea, lending it a unique taste unlike any other drink out there. It’s a medley of tangy, sweet, and slightly sour flavours, with a fizzy texture that adds to its charm.

The dominant taste of kombucha is often compared to vinegar, a result of its fermentation process. Yet, this tang is usually mellowed by a lingering sweetness from the sugar in the mix. The outcome is a beverage that strikes a balance between tartness and sweetness, with a touch of fruity or floral notes depending on the tea variety.

Factors Influencing Kombucha's Taste

Type of Tea
The choice of tea you use to brew kombucha really impacts its flavour. Black tea gives a bold, strong taste, while green tea offers a lighter, more delicate flavour. Oolong and white teas fall somewhere in the middle, giving a mix of flavours.
Adding herbal teas brings in some cool flavours to the mix. For example, hibiscus tea gives a fruity, floral kick to the kombucha, while chamomile brings in a soothing, slightly sweet vibe.

Fermentation Time
The taste of kombucha depends heavily on how long it ferments. A shorter fermentation period gives a sweeter, less acidic drink, while a longer one brings out a more vinegar-like flavour.
As the SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast) does its work during fermentation, it breaks down the tea's sugar into alcohol, carbon dioxide, and various acids. More time fermenting means more sugar consumed, resulting in less sweetness and more tanginess.

Flavour Variations of Kombucha

Fruit-Flavoured Kombucha
Many of the commercial kombucha brands out there offer fruit-flavoured varieties that really shake up the taste of the drink. Think apple, berry, mango, and pineapple - these flavours bring a fruity twist to the kombucha, smoothing out its natural tanginess.
It's also possible to flavour homemade kombucha by adding fruit juice or pieces of fruit during a second fermentation process. This not only imparts additional flavour but can also increase the carbonation of the drink, making it even fizzier.

Spiced Kombucha
Spices can totally jazz up your kombucha, giving it a whole new vibe. Think ginger, cinnamon, and cloves! Ginger brings a zesty punch and amps up that natural fizz, while cinnamon and cloves bring in warmth and richness to the flavour.
Just like fruit, you can toss in some spices during a second fermentation process. This lets their flavours mingle with the kombucha for a few days.


So, what does kombucha taste like? The answer is complex and varies depending on several factors, including the type of tea used, the length of fermentation, and any additional flavours added. At its core, kombucha offers a unique blend of sweet, sour, and tangy flavours, with a fizzy texture that makes it a refreshing and intriguing beverage.

Whether you're all about the tang of plain kombucha or lean towards the fruity sweetness, there's a fermented tea version to match every taste. So, why not give it a go and savour the unique flavour of kombucha yourself?