Is It Worth It: Why Is Kombucha So Expensive?

Kombucha is so expensive because there is a high demand for this fermented tea. The companies that brew kombucha can only make so much at once—the fermentation process takes at least one week to brew a gallon of kombucha. Learn more about the cost breakdown below. 

How Much Does Kombucha Cost?

The exact cost of kombucha depends on which region you’re in and which store you buy kombucha from—generally, a 16 oz bottle of kombucha costs between $3 and $5. If you drink one 16-ounce bottle of kombucha each week, you’ll spend an average of $207 each year. If you drink one bottle of store-bought kombucha daily, you’ll spend an average of $1,450 each year.

Many stores have sales, dropping the price of kombucha closer to $3 per bottle. Kombucha lasts for an extended time in the refrigerator, so you can stock up when you see sales. Some brands are cheaper than others. Different brands have different kombucha flavors, so you can buy several different kinds to find what you like best. If you’re concerned about cost, consider brewing kombucha at home.

Is It Cheaper to Buy Kombucha or Make It?

Brewing your own kombucha drops the price dramatically. If you learn to brew your own, you’ll only spend around $30 yearly, even if you drink kombucha daily. Homemade kombucha is easy to make. You need:

  • Black tea or green tea—either tea bags or loose-leaf tea.
  • Plain, brewed kombucha—if it’s your first time brewing kombucha, buy one bottle of unflavored kombucha at your local grocery store.
  • A large glass jar (around $15).
  • One cup of sugar (cane sugar or white table sugar).
  • Glass bottles to store your brewed, fermented kombucha tea (around $25).
  • A SCOBY starter culture—either from a friend or purchased and activated (around $20).
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Brewing kombucha at home

The process is simple: brew tea and add sugar. Cool to room temperature and add to the glass container. Add your SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) and some unflavored kombucha. Let sit for three to five days until fizzy. Pour into bottles and enjoy!

You can put your homemade kombucha through a second fermentation with fruit, ginger, or other herbs. Even if you need to purchase all of the above equipment, you will still save money by brewing your own kombucha at home.

Is Kombucha Worth the Money?

Each person needs to decide for themselves if kombucha is worth the money. Kombucha has many health benefits that may outweigh the cost. Kombucha has a plethora of probiotics that may help gut issues, as well as numerous other health benefits. Drinking kombucha may improve other health issues and help avoid larger medical expenses by increasing overall health.

Cut costs by home-brewing kombucha. Your initial investment may be as much as $75, but if you brew batches of kombucha each week, you will save money in the long run. Brewing kombucha is not labor intensive—it takes around 20 minutes of active time each week. If you brew your own at home, use glass or stainless steel containers to ensure safety.

What Are the Health Benefits of Kombucha?

The full health benefits of kombucha still need more research, but experts commonly list these health benefits:

  • Can help lower blood pressure
  • Contains B vitamins
  • Boosts your immune system with probiotics
  • Helps maintain a healthy gut—fermentation helps support healthy digestion
  • May help with weight loss
  • May reduce the risk of heart disease
  • Kombucha made with green tea contains antioxidants, which improve body function

Is It Okay to Drink Kombucha Every Day?

It is okay to drink kombucha daily—just do so in moderation. Kombucha contains sugars and carbonation, which can cause bloating if you drink too much. Kombucha also contains caffeine, so drinking it late in the day or excessively may interrupt your sleep cycle.

The FDA says drinking kombucha is safe. Start by drinking a half cup (4 ounces) of kombucha daily and monitor your body. You can add more or drink less, depending on how you feel. Kombucha may not be the best choice for young children, pregnant women, or those with a compromised immune system since it is not pasteurized.

Sarah Pearce

Sarah first tried kombucha in 2015 and she was hooked. Her favorite flavor is ginger, but cranberry comes in a close second. She made her own for many years and loved experimenting with fruit flavors.

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