Cover Photo: Estudio Bloom \ Unsplash

Done well, kombucha is a healthy, refreshing soda alternative with a slight tang. Executed poorly, you're sipping on sparkling vinegar. Read on to find out more about the fermented drink and where to get your hands on the tea-based brew.

Kombucha, kefir, kimchi - we can’t seem to get enough of fermented products. Rich with probiotics and good bacteria that promote microbiome diversity and improve your immunity, fermented food and drinks are an easy and delicious way to boost your health.

Here, we take a deep dive into kombucha: the slightly sour, slightly sparkling beverage that’s swept the planet, fostering a global industry worth about USD$1.36 billion in 2019. While the drink may be considered trendy, kombucha is thought to date all the way back to 221BCE, inspiring the date of World Kombucha Day on the 21st of February. The recipe uncovered from that era, which is believed to have originated from northern China and Korea, was for what they called the Tea of Immortality, emphasising the brew’s essential health benefits.

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But how is it made, and what is it made of? Starting with a mix of sugar and tea (often black or green), the concoction is fermented with a ‘symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast’ called SCOBY - a thick, gelatinous film that’s left to float atop the liquid, imparting the tang, effervescence, and health benefits characteristic of kombucha. Through this fermentation process, a minimal amount of alcohol is also produced (less than one per cent). Afterwards, the blend is then flavoured with an array of fruit, juices, and/or spices, opening a world of delicious possibilities.

Due to its popularity, many fans of the fizzy drink now brew their own kombucha at home. However, the process requires a lot of patience, as well as a considerable amount of trial and error to ensure you don’t end up with a bottle of vinegar or some other unpalatable potion. If you want ‘booch’ that’s flavourful, delicious, and ready to enjoy, check out these nine kombucha brands and find out where to get them.

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1. Remedy

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Photo: Remedy Drinks Official Facebook Page
Above Photo: Remedy Drinks Official Facebook Page

If you’re looking for a sugar-free soda alternative bursting with flavour and health benefits, Remedy is an excellent choice. With a stamp of approval from ‘I Quit Sugar’, all Remedy beverages are verified to have no sugar - a fact that surprises many, considering just how delicious their kombucha is. Advocates of ginger ale will love their ginger lemon flavour, a spicy-citrusy choice; but for something truly refreshing, try out their apple crisp.

Shop Remedy through Gourmet Direct, Delidrop, Dough & Grocer, Real Food, and Starbucks outlets.

2. Kombucha Klub

When seeking our healthy products, transparency is key. Through their social media pages, Kombucha Klub gives you a glimpse of the brewing process behind their raw, active kombucha. With the bottles from small, home-grown brands, you can rest assured knowing that you’re enjoying kombucha made only from high-quality ingredients: be it their skinny Moscow mule or their sublime strawberry kombucha, each brew is prepared with real fruit, fresh herbs, and premium tea. 

Shop Kombucha Club through Delidrop, Good Mood Grocer, or place direct orders here.

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Photo: Kombucha Klub Official Facebook Page
Above Photo: Kombucha Klub Official Facebook Page

3. Figgs

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Photo: Figgs Kombucha Official Facebook Page
Above Photo: Figgs Kombucha Official Facebook Page

Figgs Kombucha is another proudly homegrown brand, offering picks like mango lemonade and purple guyabano. Check out their website for creative smoothie, mocktail, and even vinaigrette recipes that use their delicious drink in innovative ways.

Shop Figgs Kombucha through Delidrop, Real Food, or place direct orders here.

4. Deli by Chele

Beyond mouthwatering brisket pastrami sandwiches and a delicious array of artisanal delicatessen products, Deli by Chele also makes unique kombuchas that showcase the fruitful produce of the Philippines. Choose from eight one-of-a-kind flavours like the Prickly Gold (jackfruit) or the Red Dragon (dragonfruit), or order the Boost Box and get to sample four of them in one go.

Shop Deli by Chele here.

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5. Cultur’d MNL

For a whimsical take on kombucha, try Cultur’d MNL. The brand’s bottles contain some of the fresh fruit used in the brewing process - these ‘synbiotic sinkers’ don’t just make each pour look more vibrant and fun, they also provide you with some extra fibre for even more health benefits.Shop Cultur'd Kombucha through The Bow Tie Duck, Good Mood Grocer, or place direct orders here.

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Photo: Cultur'd Kombucha Official Facebook Page
Above Photo: Cultur'd Kombucha Official Facebook Page

6. Oohaw MNL

Quench your thirst with the refreshing kombucha from Oohaw MNL. Each of their five delicious options - including a natural kombucha that highlights the tea’s innate flavours - are brewed for an extended period of time, packing a bold punch that’s tough to beat.

Shop Oohaw through Good Mood Grocer, Green Grocer or place direct orders here.

7. Boochamama

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Photo: Boochamama Official Facebook Page
Above Photo: Boochamama Official Facebook Page

As potent as it is fragrant, lavender is a soothing herb often used in aromatherapy for its calming effects. If you’re in need of a well-deserved break, kick back, relax, and sip on some of Boochamama’s mango-lavender and sencha-lavender brews, or check out their full range for more exciting flavours.

Shop Boochamama here.

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8. Good Fizz

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Photo: Good Fizz Official Instagram Page
Above Photo: Good Fizz Official Instagram Page

Although Good Fizz has a range of fresh, zingy flavours like white peach and orange mint, their blissful blends of fruit and spice are perfect for anyone in need of a cosier concoction. The apple cinnamon kombucha is sure to invite autumnal warmth, reminiscent of grandma’s apple pie.

Shop Good Fizz here.

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9. Happi Lab

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Photo: Happi Lab Official Facebook Page
Above Photo: Happi Lab Official Facebook Page

A healthy life is a happy life - and with products like the kombucha from Happi Lab, forming healthy habits has never been more delicious. Apart from the calamansi mint and blackberry vanilla variants, their alcohol-infused kombucha cocktails are also notable highlights - try their limited-edition whiskey sour or triple berry mojito for a boozy booch.

Shop Happi Lab here.

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