Costco’s subsidiary brand, Kirkland, makes and sells everything from animal crackers to batteries to vodka, and they do all of it pretty well. One product that Kirkland produces that I wondered if it was any good is their kombucha.
Costco’s Kirkland Ginger Lemonade Kombucha is made raw and with billions of probiotic cultures, tastes great, and can be bought in packs of 8 for only $13.99. The kombucha is a little higher in sugar than competitors, and unfortunately there is only 1 flavor available at the moment.
In this article I’ll walk you through everything great and not so great about Kirkland Kombucha so that you can know what you’re getting into before you purchase an 8 pack. Let’s get into it!
What I like about Kirkland Kombucha
Let’s start with the positives. The things that I really like about Kirkland Kombucha and that you probably will too.
The first thing I look for when buying a bottle of kombucha is whether or not it says that it's raw.
Raw Kombucha is kombucha that has a real probiotic culture of healthy bacteria and yeast in it. These probiotics are there as a natural result of the fermentation process if the kombucha is made properly.
It’s important that probiotics are in the kombucha that you drink because they’re the main thing that leads to kombucha's health benefits.
Some of the benefits of consuming probiotics are:
Improved digestive function
Lower risk of diarrhea
Improved mental health
Boosted energy levels
Potential weight loss
The opposite of raw kombucha is pasteurized kombucha, which is when a company heats up the drink to kill bacteria and pathogens in it to extend the shelf life. And while pasteurizations does help prevent the drink from becoming contaminated, it also kills off all the beneficial probiotics that are the reason that many people drink kombucha in the first place.
Because Kirkland Kombucha says “raw” on the bottle we know that it's not pasteurized and has the beneficial bacteria and yeast that naturally occur from kombucha’s fermentation. In fact, Kirkland guarantees that every one of their bottles of booch has over 2 billion CFU of probiotics.
A CFU (Colony Forming Unit) is just a unit of measurement to estimate the amount of bacteria in a sample.
It Tastes Great
After a strong presence of probiotics, I believe that the 2nd most important part of a bottle of kombucha is how it tastes. Since most people don’t just drink kombucha for it’s health benefits, but also for the enjoyment of drinking it.
Anyone who’s used or eaten Kirkland products before knows that they're high quality and can compete with the best in the industry. Their kombucha is no exception.
The only Kirkland Kombucha flavor available at the moment is Ginger Lemonade. Ginger is a pretty common flavor in the kombucha industry, but what makes Kirkland’s flavor different is that it doesn't taste nearly as vinegary or spicy as other ginger lemon kombuchas.
Normally a ginger flavored booch is really acidic and vinegary tasting because of the combination of the acidic kombucha and spicy ginger root. Kirkland has that distinct ginger flavor, but is more sweet than vinegary.
At the end of the day to know whether or not you’ll like the flavor you’re going to have to try it yourself, but I have yet to meet a kombucha drinker who wasn’t impressed with the flavor of Kirkland’s kombucha.
The third most important thing about a bottle of kombucha, after it’s health profile and taste, is the price.
In comparison to most other drinks, kombucha is very expensive. Most individual bottles you find at the store are going to cost around $4, which can get expensive if you’re drinking multiple bottles a week.
One big positive of Kirkland kombucha is that even if it’s not your favorite bottle of kombucha ever, the value you get for the price you pay may convince you to buy it anyway.
Costco sells their kombucha in boxes of 8 bottles for $13.99, which comes out to only $1.75 a bottle! If you compare that to buying a bottle for $4 that’s a savings of 57%!
The last thing I like about Kirkland Kombucha is that it’s organic.
Being organic basically means that the kombucha is made of at least 95% organic ingredients. So the tea and sugar used to brew it and the juice and herbs used to flavor it come from farms that don’t use unapproved pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, or genetically engineered foods.
A kombucha being organic isn’t the most important thing, but it definitely is a plus and sort of “icing on the cake” to the other great parts of Kirkland kombucha.
What I don’t Like About Kirkland Kombucha
We talked about what makes Kirkland Kombucha great, but in order for you to get a full picture of the drink and really know whether or not you want it buy it, you need to know about the negatives too.
It's Higher in Sugar
Because kombucha is a “health drink” most people who drink it prefer bottles that are as low in sugar as possible.
A little bit of sugar in kombucha is normal because sugar is a necessary ingredient for fermentation. And while Kirkland’s kombucha isn’t super high in sugar, with 18g per bottle it is a little higher than the majority of its competitors.
For reference here's the amount of sugar in bottles of the most popular kombucha brands. It will vary a little based on the flavor, but it will give you a reference point.
GT Dave's Kombucha: 18g of Sugar
Brew Dr Kombucha: 14g of Sugar
Health Ade Kombucha: 10g of Sugar
Humm kombucha: 10g of Sugar
There's Only 1 Flavor Available
Another big con of Kirkland kombucha is that there’s only 1 flavor available! And while the ginger lemonade flavor is good and tasty, part of the fun of drinking kombucha is trying different and unique flavors. Even if this kombucha is your favorite kombucha ever, eventually you’re going to want to drink a different brand because you’re tired of the flavor.
I don’t know why Kirkland hasn’t created more flavors with the success that the ginger lemonade kombucha has had, but I hope they do at some point in the future.
Although it’s a little high in sugar and there’s only 1 flavor available, Costco’s Kirkland kombucha is a tasty drink with lots of probiotic benefits that can be bought at an absolute bargain.
Everything considered, if you’re still on the fence about buying Kirkland kombucha I recommend that you give it a shot. I think it’s extremely unlikely you’ll be disappointed, especially if you like ginger flavored kombuchas.
I hope this article could be helpful for you! If you’d like to learn more about kombucha, the best brands out there, and even how to make it yourself, be sure to check out the rest of my website!