Why Is Kombucha So Expensive

Have you recently noticed the rise in prices of kombucha on grocery store shelves? You might be asking yourself: why is kombucha so expensive?

The answer lies in the brewing process, specialized ingredients, and the growing demand for the fermented tea drink.

Kombucha makers pride themselves in brewing their beverage over weeks to create a unique and distinct flavor profile. This process requires attention to detail and quality control. Additionally, specialized ingredients such as organic tea leaves and raw cane sugar can also drive up the cost. Lastly, as more people are becoming health-conscious, demand for kombucha has increased, giving manufacturers justification to raise their prices.

How Expensive Is Kombucha Really?

BrandFlavorSizePrice (USD)
GT’s KombuchaGingerade16 oz$3.99
Health-Ade KombuchaGinger Lemon16 oz$3.99
Kevita KombuchaGinger Turmeric16 oz$3.99
Humm KombuchaOriginal16 oz$3.99
Brew Dr. KombuchaGinger16 oz$3.99
Live KombuchaOriginal16 oz$3.99
Remedy KombuchaGinger16 oz$3.99
Synergy KombuchaGingerade16 oz$3.99
Lifeway KefirGingerberry16 oz$3.99
*Please note that these prices are subject to change and may vary depending on the retailer.

The Basics of Kombucha

Kombucha is a fermented tea that has been enjoyed for centuries due to its many health benefits. It is made by adding a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (known as a SCOBY) to a mixture of tea and sugar. The bacteria and yeast consume the sugar in the tea, producing a tangy and slightly sweet beverage with a slight effervescence.

The Basics of Kombucha

The brewing process for kombucha typically involves three stages: choosing the right ingredients, fermentation, and second fermentation. During the first stage, high-quality tea and sugar are used to create a sweetened tea mixture. This mixture is then added to a jar or container along with the SCOBY. The mixture is left to ferment for one to two weeks, during which time the bacteria and yeast consume the sugar and produce a sour, slightly alcoholic beverage.

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During the second fermentation stage, the kombucha is bottled and left to ferment further for several days to weeks. This process allows for the development of carbonation and additional flavor.

Although the process for making kombucha may seem simple, it is a time and labor-intensive process that requires careful attention to detail and quality ingredients. This is one reason why kombucha can often be quite expensive when purchased from specialty stores and cafes.

Why is Kombucha So Expensive?

Why Is Kombucha So Expensive

The cost of kombucha can vary depending on the brand and location, but most people will agree that it’s more expensive than other beverages. Here are a few reasons why:

The Cost of Ingredients

One of the main reasons why kombucha is expensive is because of the cost of ingredients. High-quality organic or Fair Trade tea leaves, sugar, and SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) are all required to make kombucha. Not to mention, flavors and additional ingredients added during the brewing process can increase the overall cost.

The Brewing Process is Labor-Intensive

The process of brewing kombucha is quite labor-intensive, requiring several steps from brewing to bottling. The brewing process involves monitoring the kombucha daily, ensuring that the right temperature and acidity levels are achieved. Once it’s ready, the kombucha must be bottled, which can also be time-consuming.

The Shelf Life is Limited

Another factor that adds to the cost of kombucha is its short shelf life. Due to its live culture and fermentation process, it needs to be kept refrigerated, and it only lasts for a few weeks. This means that kombucha cannot be produced in bulk, as it will result in significant waste and spoilage.

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What Makes Kombucha So Valuable?

Despite the high cost, kombucha remains a popular beverage choice for many. Here are some reasons why:

What Makes Kombucha So Valuable

Health Benefits of Kombucha

Kombucha is well-known for its many health benefits, like aiding digestion, supporting the immune system, and promoting good gut health. This makes it a valuable beverage for those looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

The Craftsmanship and Skill of Brewers

Making kombucha requires skill and craftsmanship, and some brewers are highly trained to create the best-tasting batch. This adds to the value of the drink, as consumers can appreciate the hard work and dedication that goes into making a quality batch of kombucha.

The Rarity of High Quality Kombucha

Finally, high-quality kombucha can be challenging to find, making it a rare and valuable commodity. Some brewers use unique or exotic flavor combinations, making their product even more desirable for consumers who love kombucha.

If you’re a kombucha lover but can’t quite justify the high cost, don’t worry – there are ways to save money while still enjoying this fizzy drink. Keep reading to find out how.

How to Save Money on Kombucha

If you’re a fan of kombucha, you know that buying it can quickly add up and become expensive. Fortunately, there are ways to save money and enjoy your favorite drink without breaking the bank. Here are some tips on how to save money on kombucha:

How to Save Money on Kombucha

Make Kombucha at Home

One of the best ways to save money on kombucha is to make it at home. Not only is it more cost-effective, but you can also customize it to your liking. Here’s a cost comparison to show just how much you can save:

  • Store-bought kombucha: $3-5 per bottle
  • Making kombucha at home: $1-2 per gallon
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In addition to saving money, making kombucha at home has other benefits such as:

  • More control over the ingredients and flavors
  • The satisfaction of creating something from scratch
  • A fun and educational hobby

To get started, you’ll need a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast), tea, sugar, and a brewing vessel. Here’s a step-by-step guide to making kombucha at home:

  1. Brew black or green tea and dissolve sugar in it.
  2. Add the SCOBY and starter liquid (previously brewed kombucha) to the sweetened tea.
  3. Cover the vessel with a breathable cloth and let it sit at room temperature for 7-14 days.
  4. After the first fermentation, remove the SCOBY and bottle the kombucha with added fruit or flavorings for the second fermentation.
  5. Let the bottles sit at room temperature for 2-4 days until carbonated, then refrigerate and enjoy!

Buy Kombucha in Bulk

If making kombucha at home isn’t your thing, buying it in bulk is another way to save money. Look for local kombucha brewers or health food stores that offer discounts for buying in larger quantities. Here are some tips for buying and storing kombucha in bulk:

  • Buy only what you can realistically consume before the expiration date.
  • Store the kombucha in a cool and dark place to maximize the shelf life.
  • Consider investing in a kombucha tap or dispenser to reduce packaging waste and save money in the long run.

By following these tips, you can enjoy the benefits of kombucha without draining your wallet. Happy brewing and sipping!


In conclusion, the cost of kombucha is influenced by various factors such as ingredients, labor, and limited shelf life. However, the health benefits and craftsmanship of brewers justify the value of high-quality kombucha. If you want to save money, consider making it at home or buying in bulk. Either way, don’t miss out on the delicious and nutritious experience of drinking kombucha.

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