I became a regular kombucha drinker (and maker) so many years ago that I can’t even remember how it all started.
For my readers who are new to the term, kombucha is a fermented probiotic rich tea (that’s the pro). You can easily make it at home. A batch takes a week to ten days or more. If like me you prefer your kombucha fizzy, you can add another three days to this brew making process.You can buy kombucha soda bottled at natural grocery stores for around three bucks depending on the brand.
My summary of the pros and cons of kombucha:
Pros: It is a healthy, energizing, and detoxifying drink which can be made cheaply at home.
Cons: It contains caffeine (the bacteria needs it to thrive) and the process is time-consuming.
On the other hand, I am rather new to the water kefir scene (seven months tops). Water kefir is also a fermented drink which can be very easily made at home. I must perfectly honest and say that as a result of my new discovery, I no longer brew kombucha mainly because of the time constraint but also because I have fallen in love with DIY fermented soda and my kids favor water kefir. I can make a batch of second ferment water kefir in about 48 hours.
My summary of the pros and cons of water kefir:
Pros: It is a healthy immune boosting and probiotic rich drink which can be made cheaply at home. It does not contain any caffeine and the fermenting time is short.
Cons: None that I can think of.
While I was familiar with the probiotic benefits of kombucha, I knew nothing about water kefir. I decided to do some research and find out a bit more about my new favorite brew.
Kombucha vs Water Kefir: Their Composition
|* Acetobacter: an aerobic bacteria||* Acetobacter fabarum & A. orientalis|
|* Saccharomyces (yeast strains)||* Saccharomyces cerevisiae|
|* Brettanomyces (yeast strain)|
|* Lactobacillus||* Lactobacillus brevis, L. casei, L. hilgardii, L. hordei, & L. nagelii|
|* Pediococcus (bacteria sometimes found in kombucha)|
|* Gluconacetobacter kombuchae (bacteria unique to kombucha)|
|* Zygosaccharomyces kombuchaensis (yeast unique to kombucha)|
|* Leuconostoc citreum & L. mesenteroides (bacteria)|
|* Streptococcus lactis (bacteria)|
|* Hanseniaospora valbyensis (yeast)|
|* Lachancea fermentati (yeast)|
|* Zygotorulaspora ﬂorentina (yeast)|
Which is Better: Kombucha vs Water Kefir?
According to Cultures for Health:
Kombucha can be an aid to digestion. In addition to the beneficial bacteria, it also contains some acids and enzymes to aid in the breaking down of food. Kombucha tea can contain caffeine, depending on the tea used.
Water kefir is more of a general probiotic beverage. While it does contain enzymes and acids, they don’t seem to have quite as strong an effect as those in kombucha. However, water kefir contains a greater number of bacteria strains than those found in kombucha.
In my opinion, comparing kombucha vs water kefir is a bit like comparing apples and oranges. They are two different beverages with different compositions. The best one is the one you will drink and enjoy.
For me personally, water kefir fits my lifestyle better and more of my family members drink it. I still enjoy kombucha on occasion even though I no longer ferment it at home.
Sources for Kombucha vs Water Kefir:
- The microbial diversity of water kefir
- Yeast ecology of Kombucha fermentation
- Biochemical characteristics of tea fungus produced during kombucha fermentation
- Zygosaccharomyces kombuchaensis, a new ascosporogenous yeast from ‘Kombucha tea’
- A Review on Kombucha Tea—Microbiology, Composition, Fermentation, Beneficial Effects, Toxicity, and Tea Fungus
- The yeast spectrum of the ‘tea fungus Kombucha’
- Which is better? Kombucha or water kefir?
- Kombucha: A symbiotic mix of yeast, bacteria and the naturalistic fallacy