Taste Test: Kombucha - Imbibe Magazine Subscribe + Save

From historic artifact to fringe-market beverage to global phenomenon, kombucha has had quite a ride. The global kombucha tea market is now a $2 billion industry, with everyone from independent producers to mega retailers hopping on the probiotic bandwagon. Made from tea fermented with a special culture of yeast and bacteria, the result is a lightly fizzy beverage with a vinegary tang, now sold in a staggering number of flavors. Here are a handful of our staff favorites.

Brew Dr. Kombucha Clear Mind

Oregon-based Brew Dr. initially started as a tea company, using their same house teas to make their kombucha, adding organic herbs, fruits, and spices to their lineup of flavors. The Clear Mind is a fan favorite, combining green tea with rosemary, peppermint, and sage for a light and refreshing taste with just a hint of sweetness.

Health-Ade Kombucha Pink Lady Apple

Founded in 2012 by husband-and-wife team Justin and Daina Trout with best friend Vanessa Dew, Health-Ade was initially sold at a farmers market in Los Angeles. Now supplying 50,000 stores across the country, the company also offers a rainbow of unique flavors from Bubbly Rose to Pineapple Creamsicle. The Pink Lady Apple balances the sweet, crisp flavor of cold-pressed Pink Lady apple juice with the tangy snap of fermented tea.

Wonder Drink Asian Pear & Ginger

Stephen Lee, who co-founded tea companies Stash and Tazo, learned about kombucha on a trip to Russia. Enamored with the fizzy, probiotic beverage, he started Wonder Drink in 1999, and the brand has since spread internationally. The Asian Pear & Ginger is their bestseller and combines the sweet, aromatic flavors of pear with a subtle gingery spice.

Humm Kombucha Coconut Lime

What began in 2008 as a two-woman operation with gallon bottles delivered door-to-door in Bend, Oregon, Humm is now sold in all 50 states and abroad, as well as in their kombucha taproom in downtown Bend. Their proprietary fermentation process results in a milder vinegar taste, allowing more subtle flavors to shine. The Coconut Lime is a wallop of true coconut flavor balanced with a kick of tart lime.

GT’s Kombucha Gingerade

GT’s founder, GT Dave, began brewing and bottling in his parents’ Southern California kitchen when he was just 15. One of the first brands to hit the market more than two decades ago, the company now has more than 30 flavors and varieties, and the trade-marked Gingerade has a delightfully spicy kick from the fresh-pressed ginger.

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