Best Kombucha Starter Kit: 2020 Review

When starting your at-home brewing journey with kombucha, you’ll need to know which kombucha suppliers offer the best materials, instructions, and SCOBYs for sale. The best kombucha starter kit will include everything you want without being overwhelming, and will only use the highest-grade organic materials.

In this article I’ll share some of the best kits currently on the market as well as what to expect from each one. We will also discuss the basics of kombucha so you feel confident and prepared to begin your very own batch.

We’ll consider and examine the level of maintenance, ease of use, durability, and value of each kit in the reviews below. Here is a quick link to each product before we get started:

*If you’re in a hurry, I’d recommend the Fermentaholics Kombucha Brewing Kit as the best one. This high-quality kit comes in 4 different varieties, allowing you to customize it to your needs and budget easily.  

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Best Kombucha Brewing Kit Reviews

Kombucha 101

Urban Kitchen Kombucha Starter Kit

This kit is perfect for someone who wants clear directions and to get started quickly. This Kombucha kit can be set up in as little as 15 minutes. The ingredients are organic and high quality, meaning your kombucha will thrive if used with filtered water. 

In addition to the easy startup process, customers have reported that Urban Kitchen has an excellent customer service team that often responds to questions on the same day. This could really help you save your kombucha if you have a burning question and time is of the essence. 

There aren’t a lot of extras that come with this kit, which is a good thing for people who want to learn about kombucha brewing in a straightforward way. It’s also ideal for those who have previously brewed kombucha and may already have some supplies on hand. The health and strength of this SCOBY has been reported as excellent, which is the most important item in your kit.

This kit includes: 

  • 1 gallon jar
  • Temperature strip
  • Rubber band
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup Black Tea & Tea Bag
  • Sugar
  • A SCOBY
  • A cloth for covering the jar
  • Brewing Instructions

Most Affordable Kit

Pros
  • High-quality SCOBY
  • Excellent customer service
  • Simple for Beginners
  • Excellent Value
  • Organic
Cons
  • Does not include bottles for after brewing
  • Some customers report the SCOBY is “slow” to start. Put your batch in a warmer area and use filtered water to prevent this issue.

Craft A Brew Kombucha Starter Kit

This kombucha kit is beautifully designed and high quality. This company designs its products from recycled materials and is mindful of the sustainability of materials used. Because of the popular and trendy kit design, the Craft A Brew kit is perfect as a gift.

The instructions are accurate and easy, however, some customers wish they included more details, such as how to clean the kit, and how to measure ingredients for future batches. The company quickly responds to questions (often within the same day) so make sure to reach out if you are unsure of the next steps after your first batch. 

This kit includes: 

  • 1 gallon jar
  • Cane sugar
  • Black tea
  • Tight weave cloth
  • Rubber band
  • SCOBY
  • Step-by-step brewing guide 

Stylish Gift Kit

Pros
  • High-quality ingredients
  • Easy for beginners
  • Great Gift Option
  • Stylish
Cons
  • Bee label on jar is a sticker, not engraved
  • Instructions could be more detailed. Reach out to the manufacturer for support.

Fermentaholics Kombucha Brewing Kit

This kombucha starter kit is one of the most flexible sets available and comes in four different varieties to make sure you have all of the equipment you need. The first kit will provide you with all of the essentials that you can expect to get started. Upgraded kits include a heating mat, bottles for after brewing, and cleaning and transferring tools. 

The 7 flip-top bottles included in the super deluxe and pro kombucha bundles are perfect for those who are interested in a second fermentation where fruit, juices, and additional flavoring can be added to your drink. Usually, this needs to be purchased separately from a kit, making it an additional project and expense. 

The heating mat is perfect for those who are making kombucha during winter or who have cooler climates in general, and by “setting and forgetting” your heat mat, you can trust that your kombucha will be at the correct temperature for the cultures to stay healthy and productive.

This kit also comes with pH strips, which are very helpful for making sure your kombucha is acidic enough to kill any unwanted bacteria in the batch.

Although this kit is a bit more involved than most, it is comprehensive and has everything you need to make healthy batches of kombucha that never fail due to pH and temperature monitoring. 

This Kit Includes:

  • Organic, live kombucha starter culture for a 1-gallon batch
  • 1-gallon glass brewing jar
  • Organic cane sugar
  • Organic loose leaf tea blend & re-usable tea bag
  • Acid range pH strips & pipette
  • Adhesive temperature strip
  • Unbleached muslin cloth cover & rubber band
  • Detailed instructions and recipe suggestions
  • Unlimited customer support
  • Heating mat (deluxe & pro)
  • Bottling brush (super deluxe & pro)
  • Stainless steel funnel (super deluxe & pro)
  • 7 flip-top glass bottles (super deluxe & pro)

Best Overall Kit

Pros
  • Customizable with 4 kit options
  • Organic
  • pH strips included
  • Jar has a label for you to track your batch date,
Cons
  • Some customers report missing/broken items in their kit. Contact the manufacturer for replacements.

The Kombucha Shop: Deluxe Kombucha Brewing Kit

This kit is the ultimate pack, including everything you could need to get started. It provides kombucha bottles that can be used to store your kombucha and they can also be used if you’re interested in a second fermentation.

It’s the perfect kit for someone who is serious about kombucha but doesn’t want to take the time to buy each item separately. It’s also a great gift option since it won’t require additional purchases for the recipient. 

The value of this kit is high as well since it is more affordable to purchase everything bundled than separately. So even though it may have a higher price point than other more basic kits in this article, it will save you more money over the long run. 

This Kit Includes: 

  • 1 Gallon Brew Jar w/ lid
  • Organic Kombucha Culture & Starter Tea
  • Organic Sugar
  • Organic Tea Blend by Rishi Tea
  • Reusable Cotton Tea Bag
  • Temperature Strip
  • Cotton Cover & Rubberband
  • Ph Test Strips
  • Pipet Straw
  • Step by Step Directions

Best All-Inclusive Kit

Pros
  • All-inclusive kit
  • Excellent instructions
  • Great value
  • Good high-end gift
Cons
  • Not the strongest SCOBY
  • Some reports of slow customer service

Bucha Brewers: Kombucha Starter Kit

This brewing kit is a simple straightforward setup, easy for any beginner, but includes a couple of extra items, such as pH strips, coffee filters, and a thermometer strip. Another benefit of purchasing this kit is that you will have access to the Bucha Brewers Community, where you can find guides, recipes, brewing resources, and customer support.

One thing that makes Bucha Brewers stand out is its production of high-quality SCOBYs. They are never dehydrated and packed right before shipping, ensuring that they are as fresh and healthy as possible. Since your SCOBY determines the health of your entire batch of Kombucha, this is an important consideration for someone who wants a long-lasting culture. 

This kit contains:

  • 1 Gallon Glass Jar
  • High-quality kombucha SCOBY
  • Strong Starter Tea
  • 1 Cup Certified Organic Cane Sugar
  • Pack of 80 pH Strips
  • Adhesive Thermometer
  • 3 Tbsp Black Tea Blend
  • 2 Coffee Filters – optimal for covering jar during kombucha fermentation
  • Rubber Band to hold filters in place
  • Plastic Lid for jar
  • Straightforward & comprehensive instructions for your first kombucha brew
  • Access to guides, recipes, and support through Bucha Brewers online

Kit with the best SCOBY

Pros
  • Simple kit with a few extras
  • Easy for beginners
  • Very high-quality fresh SCOBY
  • Very active customer service
  • Support from the Bucha Brewers Community
Cons
  • Some customers don’t like using coffee filters instead of cloth

What Is Kombucha?

A wine glass full of sparkling kombucha

Kombucha tea is made by fermenting sweetened black tea with a flat, pancake-­like culture of yeasts and bacteria called the “Kombucha mushroom”. It is not actually a mushroom but is called one because of the shape and color of the sac that forms on top of the tea after it ferments. 

The culture used in Kombucha tea varies but consists of several species of yeast and bacteria. It is also commonly called a SCOBY, which stands for a Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast. It may include Saccharomycodes ludwigii, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Brettanomyces bruxellensis, Bacterium xylinum, Bacterium gluconicum, Bacterium xylinoides, Bacterium katogenum, Pichia fermentans, Candida stellata, and Torula species, among others according to the American Cancer Society 

The History of Kombucha

It’s said that Kombucha has been used as far back as 200 B.C. in Manchuria China, although the first documented account of its use came from Russia and Ukraine towards the end of the 19th century. 

By the 1920s Kombucha was a regular folk remedy in many European Countries. The drink finally achieved popularity in the U.S in the early 1990s. Home fermentors and companies alike began to turn their attention to the many health claims of the tea, and it found its way out of the home remedy realm and into grocery stores nationwide. 

In 2010, at the height of Kombucha’s fame, Randy Trahan, a Consumer Protection Inspector, tested four brands of the tea in order to test its alcoholic content. The results showed that Kombucha ranged from .5 to 2.5 ABV. A beverage must be under .5 ABV in order to be sold as a non­alcoholic beverage. 

Most manufacturers reformulated their recipes and began to pasteurize their tea. This guaranteed a consistent product and Kombucha made it back onto store shelves, more popular than ever

The companies and individuals that continued to stick to their original recipes despite alcohol content boast about the advantages of a raw, un­processed Kombucha. In order to avoid the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau’s limitations on production, the producer ferments Kombucha for personal use or markets it as a 21 and over beverage.

The Nutritional Contents of Kombucha

microscopic picture of purple dyed probiotics

Kombucha is a probiotic, and this helps the body in two main ways. Firstly, the various strains of bacteria and yeast help remove or suppress harmful bacteria, yeast, and parasites in the body. 

Secondly, it aids in breaking down food and supporting metabolism, which helps the body eliminate toxins. This results in higher levels of energy, a strengthened immune system, and better gastrointestinal function. It is called a “functional food” or “biostimulator” because of these attributes. 

pH: Kombucha is acidic. An acidic environment makes it difficult for pathogens to survive, thus aiding the body in immunity.

Enzymes: The enzymes invertase and lactase are found in Kombucha. Enzymes promote chemical and metabolic processes in the body Lactase is necessary for digesting lactose, the sugar found in milk products. Invertase helps digest the sugar sucrose.

Minerals: Yeasts in kombucha contain a number of minerals, including chromium, potassium, sulfur, iron, and phosphorus.

Cellulose: A certain amount of cellulose makes its way into the tea. Cellulose is an insoluble fiber that improves digestive function and helps prevent constipation and colon cancer. 

Amino Acids: Protein building blocks include leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, and valine, which are not made in the body and must be derived from your food sources.

Vitamin C: Vitamin C is an antioxidant and immunity booster.

Vitamin B is created in the fermentation process, providing a variety of functions: 

Vitamin B1 (Thiamin): prevents arthritis, may prevent the growth of cancerous cells, prevents strokes, prevents brain cell aging. 

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) prevents allergies and arthritis 

Vitamin B3 (Niacin) blocks free radical damage, helps skin tissue heal faster 

Vitamin B6 aids in the prevention of obesity and stroke Vitamin B12 aids memory, sense of well­being 

Kombucha is also used to combat: obesity, hangovers, hormone imbalances, PMS, anxiety, diabetes, inflammation, kidney, liver, and pancreas disease. 

Benefits of Homemade Kombucha

a jar of kombucha with a SCOBY in it

Saving Money

The main benefit of making kombucha at home is that it is immensely cheaper than purchasing it. The cost of a bottle of kombucha can reach up to $8 for artisanal brands and costs about $4 on average. After buying your kombucha starter kit one time, your continued cost will be approximately $1 per gallon. That means that with each batch you make, you’ll be getting about 8 bottles of kombucha for about 12 cents each! 

Higher Nutritional Value

­Most store-bought kombucha is pasteurized which means that most of the probiotic cultures in the drink have been killed. This significantly lowers the nutritional value of the drink. Making your own kombucha avoids this process entirely.  

Creativity and Experimentation

I’m the proudest of my kombucha when I’ve just tried some strange idea, such as using an obscure fruit or a new type of tea, and it tasted great! In the beginning, it’s important to learn the basics of kombucha and stick to the recommended ingredient list. However, as you advance, you will be able to try all sorts of interesting recipes and flavors that you can’t find in stores.

You can trade flavors with friends, infuse kombucha with the produce in your home garden, and make all sorts of changes to it as you are inspired. Making kombucha at home certainly leads to a sense of accomplishment and stimulates creativity over time.  

How to Choose the Best Kombucha Starter Kit

Most fermentation kits are great to start with because they will often include all of the materials you need as well as instructions. It can be challenging to purchase everything separately for your Kombucha brewing journey, only to realize you are missing one or two critical items in the middle of preparing your batch. 

Here are the materials you need when brewing Kombucha:

  • A large vase or jar
  • Cloth, rag, or paper towels
  • Large rubber band, string, or tape
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 6 bags of tea (green, black, or both)
  • 1 SCOBY mother
  • A little starter kombucha

Make sure your kit has most or all of the above materials to hit the ground running with your first batch. 

Summary

Making kombucha may take some effort and learning the first time or two, but you are then rewarded with a delicious high-quality drink at a fraction of the cost. These kits will provide you with the extra support you may need to get started, and afterward, the process becomes simple and enjoyable. 

When considering what the best kombucha starter kits are, make sure to consider quality, ease of use, and the value of the kit price-wise. 

If you ever have questions, feel free to reach out to the manufacturers. They are often more than happy to help, which is like a free service alongside your purchase. 

Happy fermenting!

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