One of the biggest reasons that people drink kombucha is for its health benefits, which is why many people want the kombucha they’re drinking to be as healthy as possible, and almost always organic. But what if you brew your own kombucha at home and want it organic? How do you make organic kombucha?
Organic kombucha is made in the same way as regular kombucha except with all organic ingredients. These ingredients include organic tea, organic sugar, and some kind of organic flavoring such as fruit, juice, herbs, or roots.
In this article I’ll quickly cover a common question: "what does organic even mean?", and then go into the details of how you can make your own organic kombucha at home. Let’s get into it!
What Does Organic Mean?
Organic basically means that a product is almost completely natural and wasn't grown or made with the use of pesticides, growth hormones, or other unhealthy, artificial additives.
In the United States, in order for a product to be considered organic and be allowed to put the word on its label it must be certified by the U.S. department of Agriculture to have been, “grown and processed according to federal guidelines addressing, among many factors, soil quality, animal raising practices, pest and weed control, and use of additives. Organic producers rely on natural substances and physical, mechanical, or biologically based farming methods to the fullest extent possible.”
A product must have 95% or more of its ingredients fit the above requirements for it to be considered organic, and the remaining 5% of ingredients still have to fit into the requirements of a separate, less strict list.
If a product is considered “100% organic,” everything it’s made of has been certified by the USDA to be organic.
You don’t have to worry about a company saying their product is organic when it really isn’t since the penalties for doing so can be fines of up to up to $17,952 per violation.
Is Organic Kombucha Healthier?
For kombucha to be considered organic it must follow the same rules as all other food: be made of at least 95% organic ingredients. This means that the tea and sugar used to brew it and the juice and herbs used to flavor it come from farms that do not use unapproved pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, or genetically engineered foods.
Because kombucha is made from only a few ingredients, most kombucha brands you buy will be organic.
The big question many people have when discussing organic kombucha and organic foods in general is whether or not organic foods are healthier for you than inorganic foods.
While nutritionally organic kombucha is the same as regular, we know that foods and drinks made with organic ingredients generally have less pesticides, fertilizers, hormones and antibiotics in them.
The juries are still out on whether or not these pesticides and hormones can cause long term health problems, but many people believe they may contribute to the development of certain cancers.
So I would say that while organic kombucha isn’t nutritionally healthier, knowing that it’s been brewed with ingredients that have as few pesticides, antibiotics, and other additives in them is definitely a plus. And likely at least makes it a little healthier to drink.
Personally if I'm buying a bottle of kombucha, it being not organic isn’t a deal breaker for me. But if I was choosing between two bottles that are exactly the same except ones organic and ones not, I’m choosing the organic one every time.
How to Make Organic Kombucha
So you home brew kombucha and you’ve decided that you want the booch you’re making to be organic. Great decision! But how do you do it?
Making your home-brewed kombucha organic is super simple, all you have to do is make sure that all the ingredients you use are organic. The only trade off with making organic kombucha is that you’re going to be spending a little more money on ingredients since organic foods usually cost a little more.
For those who are focused on making their kombucha as healthy as possible the small price increase in ingredients probably won’t matter, but for those who got into home brewing kombucha to save money, it might be an important factor to consider.
There are 3 main ingredients used in every kombucha brew that you’ll need to make sure you buy organic. Let’s walk through each of them one by one.
Sugar is one of the most important ingredients in kombucha as it serves as the food for the living bacteria and yeast culture to use for fermentation.
Organic sugar is sugar that’s produced from organically grown sugar cane plants and refined without the use of any chemicals.
There are a couple different kinds of organic sugar available, but I recommend you use organic white cane sugar if you can find it. This type of sugar undergoes the least amount of processing and will be the healthiest for you and the SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast) to eat.
If you want to save a trip to the store you can get a 3lb bag of Anthony’s Organic Cane Sugar for only $11.99 on Amazon here and have it delivered right to your doorstep in only a couple days.
Even if you don’t care about drinking tea thats nonorganic, using organic tea for brewing kombucha can be a good idea as the chemicals and pesticides in regular tea can be harmful for the bacteria culture that ferments kombucha to consume.
If you’d like to stock up you can get 100 organic high quality black tea bags for only $14.99 on Amazon here.
Or if you’d like to make your kombucha as high quality and healthy as possible, you can use organic loose leaf tea, since more flavor and nutrients get pulled out of the tea when it’s loose leaf than when it’s in tea bags.
My favorite organic loose leaf black tea is Vahdam's 100% pure Darjeeling black tea. This tea is grown in the Himalayas, makes strong kombucha with a lot of flavor, and will give your SCOBY all the nutrients it needs to stay healthy.
You can find large bags of Vahdams 100% pure loose leaf black tea for a bargain on Amazon here.
The last ingredient you’ll need to make sure is organic is the flavoring you use during the 2nd fermentation of the kombucha.
Because the type of flavoring you use can be anything from a root like ginger to a fruit like peaches, I can’t link you to a specific organic product like I did with the sugar and tea. But just make sure that when you buy the ingredient for flavoring at the store that it has the USDA organic sticker on it and you’ll be fine.
Organic Kombucha Recipe
Now that you have all the ingredients needed to make kombucha and they’re all organic, all you have to do is make kombucha like normal! You can follow any recipe online or check out my easy to follow 5 Step Kombucha Recipe here.
Organic kombucha is generally healthier than non organic kombucha because it’s made from ingredients that have been certified to have little to no hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, and fertilizers in them. And making your own organic kombucha is as simple as using organic sugar, tea, and flavoring when you brew it.
I hope this article was helpful for you! If you’d like to learn more about kombucha, it’s health benefits, and home brewing tips, be sure to check out the rest of my website! Have a great day!