I remember my first sip of kombucha fondly… such a magical moment. But when I think back to the first time I tried the fermented concoction, I also remember a lot of hesitation and skepticism — I smelled it, poured it into a clear glass to get a good look at it, smelled it again, Googled things like “what is kombucha” and “is kombucha tea safe to drink”, and smelled it five more times before I took the tiniest sip.

I definitely plan to answer those and many more questions for you over the next few months, but I wanted to go ahead and write a simple post with the rules, more or less, for drinking kombucha. If you’re like me, rules are life. And understanding what you should or shouldn’t do (and why) can go a long way in putting you at ease before you take a swig.

Three flavors of kombucha in clear glass jars on counter

How to Drink Kombucha

  • Keep it refrigerated. This ish was fermented, peeps. Leave it out and it will begin growing some extra goodness (aka bacteria) that I (or your store-bought provider) spent time getting to the perfect level (and then removing the evidence of so you wouldn’t be grossed out). That said, I do my best to get everything out, but some small, brown, stringy-looking things are perfectly normal. They’re safe to drink, but feel free to strain or pluck ’em out.
  • Enjoy from glass or plastic containers, not metal. Your kombucha is safe to drink straight out of the bottle it comes in. But I know it can be weird to drink something you can’t see. So, if you choose to pour your booch into another container to drink it, you should opt for a glass or plastic cup. I’m not sure who has metal cups sitting around, but in any case, metal isn’t a good mix with the acidity of the kombucha.

P.s. my bottles are brown because I did some research and bought the bottles with the best lids (for better carbonation). It has nothing to do with the brew itself, that’s only a factor with beer. In fact, the lovely geniuses over at Wikipedia had this to say about beer bottles being brown: “The light causes riboflavin to react with and break down isohumulones, a molecule that contributes to the bitterness of the beer and is derived from the hops.” Kombucha has no hops, so it doesn’t actually matter if it is bottled in clear, brown, green or any other bottle.

  • Drink up. You don’t really need to worry about overdoing it with the booch, but a serving size is generally defined as 8 oz. Most bottles (including mine) are 16 oz., so you’ve got two per bottle, or one great big serving of delicious goodness! I usually drink a bottle at a time because, you know… it’s GOOD!

Three flavors of kombucha with focus on orange flavor

  • You won’t get drunk, I promise. While kombucha tea does contain alcohol and drinking it may make you feel all kinds of good inside, good luck drinking enough to feel any sort of intoxicating effects. Here’s what the folks over at Kombucha Brewers International had to say about the alcohol levels in kombucha: “Kombucha contains trace amounts of alcohol, a natural byproduct of the fermentation process that preserves the brew and protects it from harmful microorganisms. The trace amounts of alcohol are similar to what you’d find in unpasteurized fruit juice. Kombucha is considered halal because it is non-inebriating and the ethanol serves as a preservative.”

The legal limit for alcohol content in store-bought kombucha is .05%, while home brews (like mine) likely contain closer to 1% (you’re welcome). Also, for this reason and a couple others, pregnant peeps shouldn’t drink kombucha without consulting a doctor.

So there you have it — the ins and outs of safely enjoying kombucha! Soon enough, you’ll be feeling the benefits and won’t even remember the early stages when you were afraid to touch the brown, stringy things!

Have concerns or specific questions? Drop ’em in the comments and I’ll get you an answer!