The Best Kombucha You Can Buy, Ranked

The best kombucha you can buy is fizzy, sour, and just feels like it’s good for you. We’re no scientists and can’t necessarily speak to gut health, but these kombucha flavors and kombucha brands are sure to make your mouth happy.

Our taste tests are typically guided by a pretty simple question: Does the thing we’re tasting, you know, taste good? Leave it to a gelatinous glob of bacteria to gum up the works. 

Kombucha, a tea-based beverage that’s fermented with the help of SCOBY (aka Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast, aka the aforementioned glob), is purported to promote gut health, strengthen the immune system, and even lower cholesterol. There’s no hard and fast science on these benefits—according to the New York Times, there isn’t even scientific consensus that the bacteria in ‘booch are probiotic. What we do know is that during the kombucha fermentation process, bacteria and yeast turn sugar into organic acids and carbon dioxide, giving the beverage fizz and the signature vinegar-y funk that makes it feel like it’s good for you. As our guest taster, Mythical e-commerce coordinator Andjelina Belcastro, pointed out, if a kombucha brand is too sweet or too much like a fizzy fruit juice, it just feels less healthy. Basically, the best kombucha needs to be a little gross to be good. 

We sipped a bunch of kombucha brands and kombucha flavors and came up with seven that struck the perfect balance of sweetness, funk, and fizz—and bonus points if it actually tasted like tea.

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best health-ade kombucha

Best of the Best

Health-Ade Kombucha Pink Lady Apple

Yes, Health-Ade comes in a bulky-ass brown bottle that looks like some dusty relic on a shelf in an abandoned turn-of-the-century pharmacy (Sporked staff writer Jordan Myrick compared it to a family heirloom), but don’t let that put you off. This fizzy, sweet-but-not-too-sweet kombucha was our guest taster’s favorite coming into the day and ended up being the best kombucha we tasted, thanks to a tart, crisp quality that truly channels a Pink Lady apple. It has a sweet aroma that reminded us of Martinelli’s apple juice, but the pleasant surprise is that its apple-y notes don’t overpower the flavor of tea. According to Andjelina, it has the best balance of “drinkability, taste, and actually feeling like it’s doing something good for my gut.” Big ups to the whistling anthropomorphic apple on the label—we love a gut health queen.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Target

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

best gt's kombucha

Best Classic ‘Booch Flavor

GT’s Synergy Raw Kombucha Trilogy

If the idea of nine billion living probiotics wriggling down your gullet doesn’t give you the willies, this ‘booch is for you. Of all the kombucha brands we tried, GT’s Living Foods claims to be the first company to put kombucha on store shelves, and the brand’s Trilogy flavor has a classic ‘booch taste you might expect from the beverage’s retail progenitor. In case you were wondering, the “trilogy” of flavors in question is raspberry, lemon, and ginger, although we were only really able to detect lemon and ginger, a mouth-puckering combo that’s a classic kombucha flavor. According to Jordan, this one feels healthy, which “feels fun.” They also liked the bits of pulp at the bottom of the bottle— “You get ‘em and you chew ‘em a little.” Sorry about everything.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Target

Rating:

9.5/10

Sporks

best tasting kombucha

Best Juice Flavor

GT’s Synergy Raw Kombucha Watermelon Wonder

Okay, I don’t know if people sip kombucha by the pool (mostly because I don’t have a pool), but this refreshing, fizzy ‘booch feels like it’s made for a sunny summer day. Pressed watermelon juice makes it taste like a fresh, fruity paleta with a touch of sourness that channels a watermelon candy minus the phony, saccharine flavor (GT’s kombuchas don’t have added sugar like many others do). Pour this kombucha flavor into a glass, stick a little paper umbrella in it, and sip away.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Target

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

best kombucha better booch

Best Herbaceous

Better Booch Citrus Sunrise

Despite an aroma two tasters described as “foot,” this canned concoction got high marks for its sage-forward flavor. The combination of a citrusy zip, leafy herbs, and a distinct tea flavor make it taste like an expensive candle smells, if that’s your thing (it’s mine, apparently). Plus, its delicate fizz is highly refreshing. It’s brewed with pu’erh tea, a leaf with an earthy, almost mushroomy flavor. The can doesn’t scream complexity, but you’ll find it here all the same—maybe just hold your nose if you don’t want to experience eau de toes.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Instacart

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

best kombucha better booch

Best Tea Flavor

Better Booch Morning Glory

You’d be surprised how many kombuchas don’t taste all that much like tea given that kombucha is, you know, made with tea. This one was a standout for its tea flavor, even if its peachy notes brought to mind a certain popular Snapple flavor. This might not be the ‘booch for people who don’t want their ‘booch to taste good (Andjelina was dubious), but I’d take this pleasantly sour sip over an actual Snapple any day. Sorry, Wendy the Snapple Lady! (Remember the ‘90s?)

Credit: Ryan Martin / Instacart

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

best pomegranate kombucha

Best Sweet

Health-Ade Kombucha Pomegranate

If pomegranates have a distinct flavor, it’s totally lost on me. Gun to head, the best I’d be able to do is describe them as … sweet. Same goes for this bottle of Health-Ade—but the generic sweetness is super refreshing and almost cocktail-y with the mouth-puckering sourness fermentation lends. Andjelina, who apparently knows what pomegranates taste like, said she got more of a raspberry or triple-berry flavor from this bottle. If you aren’t a pomegranate connoisseur (a pom con?), grab this when you’re in the mood for something pleasantly cloying.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Target

Rating:

7.5/10

Sporks

best watermelon kombucha

Best for Skeptics

Sprouts Organic Kombucha Watermelon Hibiscus

This kombucha flavor from Sprouts isn’t exactly bursting with that signature kombucha tang, but it’s fruity, fizzy, and at $1.99 a can, it’s cheaper than a lot of kombucha on grocery store shelves. According to Andjelina, it tastes like “a nice carbonated juice,” though Sporked social media manager Mark Catangui picked up on a mild tea flavor. “I like it,” he said. “It’s gentle.” This is definitely the best kombucha if you’re kombucha curious.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Instacart

Rating:

7.5/10

Sporks

GT’s Synergy Raw Kombucha Trilogy

“This is nice ‘cause you get the bit of the ginger, but you get the berries to kind of make your mouth happy,” Link said during a kombucha taste test on Good Mythical Morning. And Rhett agreed with us about good kombucha tasting like kombucha: “I feel like you’re going to make the decision to drink kombucha, you should know you’re drinking kombucha. And I know I’m drinking kombucha when I’m drinking this kombucha.” That’s why it landed so high on our list, but we just couldn’t resist the crisp, appley flavor of the Health-Ade Pink Lady Apple.

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About the Author

Gwynedd Stuart

Gwynedd Stuart, Sporked’s managing editor, is an L.A.-based writer and editor who spends way, way too much time at the grocery store. She’s never met an Old El Paso taco or mozzarella stick she didn’t like.

Thoughts? Questions? Complete disagreement? Leave a comment!

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  • The best kombucha in the world is Salty Dog by Kosmic Kombucha in Austin, TX! Try it if you have the chance!

    Reply
  • I’m a GT fan through and through but I’ll have to try the pink lady apple by health-ade!

    Reply
    • It’s delish!

      Reply
  • So sad none of those are available in the EU

    Reply
  • If you haven’t tried ‘buchi’ branch kombucha, here is your introduction to the absolute best. I love kombucha to the point of brewing my own and I will die on this hill.

    Reply
  • These are really good picks, not a bad one in the bunch.

    Did you get a chance to try any KeVita brand? They are the brand I find myself choosing most often, particularly the Ginger and the Tart Cherry.

    Reply
  • No list of the others you tasted. I would be interested to know because you don’t have any of the Wild Tonic brand which is definitely the best one I have ever tried and I used to drink at least one a day of different brands when I worked at Whole Foods.

    Reply
  • Health-Ade Pink Lady Apple is my favorite too! But if you want variety, another really tasty brand is Bambucha Kombucha (all of their flavors). Highly recommend those, and Health-Ade Mint Lemonade is yummy too. Recommend: Interesting and entertaining podcast with the founder of Health-Ade: How I Built This: Health-Ade Kombucha: Daina Trout
    Thanks!

    Reply