This $75 kombucha brewing kit will pay for itself after you make a few batches - I've already saved a ton of money by making my own

This $75 kombucha brewing kit will pay for itself after you make a few batches - I've already saved a ton of money by making my own

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The Kombucha Shop kit


The Kombucha Shop's Deluxe Kombucha Brewing Kit (currently $74.99 on Amazon) is cheap compared to how much I'd spend buying kombucha at a grocery store. Yes, I did the math.

  • Making your own kombucha is actually feasible with The Kombucha Shop's Deluxe Kombucha Brewing Kit (currently $74.99 on Amazon).
  • It includes a step-by-step guide that makes DIY brewing effortless and fun, plus the kit has everything you need - including swing-top bottles for storing your concoctions.
  • Though there is a reasonable upfront cost, you can continue to brew your own kombucha indefinitely, so the kit essentially pays for itself within a few batches versus buying store-bought drinks.

Kombucha has become quite popular in recent years. This fermented tea is brewed with a mixed culture of yeast and bacteria, and claims to have a long list of benefits, like improving metabolism, digestion, immune system function, liver function, and more.

The verdict is still out on some of those benefits, but one thing is certain - at $3 to $5 for a 16-ounce bottle, kombucha isn't cheap. Fortunately, there are a number of kits available that make it easy for anyone to make kombucha at home, like The Kombucha Shop's Deluxe Kombucha Brewing Kit (currently $74.99), which is one of the highest-rated kits on Amazon with a 4.7-star average rating from more than 200 reviews.

The Madison, Wisconsin-based company got its start in 2013 after founder Kate Field decided to take her side hobby of brewing kombucha to the next level. Her day job was a culinary and nutrition educator for low-income families in Washington, DC, so she parlayed both experiences into creating kits anyone and everyone could access. Today, the company is one of the largest home brewing kombucha enterprises and it sources all of its supplies from US-based businesses.


Below are my experiences with The Kombucha Shop's Deluxe Brewing Kit.

Read more: Everything you need to know about kombucha - the trendy 'health' drink that could be good for your gut


The Deluxe Kombucha Brewing Kit comes with everything you need for DIY kombucha. This kit includes:

  • Easy to follow instructions
  • One-gallon brew jar with lid
  • Organic kombucha culture and starter tea (called a SCOBY, which is an acronym for "syntrophic mixed culture of bacteria and yeast")
  • Organic sugar
  • Organic tea blend by Rishi Tea
  • Reusable cotton tea bag
  • Temperature strip
  • Cotton cover and rubber band
  • pH test strips
  • Pipet straw
  • Six 16-ounce swing top bottles
  • Stainless-steel funnel and strainer set
  • Bottle brush

The Kombucha Shop also offers the Original Kit (currently $44.99 on Amazon), which has everything listed above except for the last three items - the bottles, funnel and strainer set, and cleaning brush.


Set-up process

Going into this, I had zero brewing experience, but I do have a beer brewing kit that's in its third year of gathering dust.

I was intimidated so I asked my wife for help; she also happened to have grown up in a kombucha brewing household. She silently supervised me throughout the process, ready to chime in if I was screwing up.

Thankfully, the instructions were so clear that I didn't end up needing her help. Setting up the kombucha takes less than 30 minutes and is simple due to the easy-to-follow instructions.

First, you make your tea. A tea blend is provided for your first batch, but after that, you can use whatever tea you'd like. Then, add a cup of sugar and transfer the contents to the brew jar along with two quarts of cold water. The directions say to use filtered water, but I used tap water and didn't have an issue.


Next, stick the temperature gauge to the outside of the jar for easy monitoring; you're supposed to keep it between 68 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. After you add the SCOBY to the mix and stir, you test the pH to ensure it's at 4.5 or below. Finally, cover the jar with the included cotton cloth and a rubber band to secure at the mouth. Now you wait.

After seven to nine days, you're supposed to test the kombucha to see if the flavor is where you want it. If it isn't, check again in a few days. Once the flavor is to your liking, you carefully remove and set aside the SCOBY for your next batch before bottling the current one.

At this point, you can add your favorite fruits, vegetables, juices, or herbs to the bottles and let them sit for two to four days in a warm, dark place. After this second fermentation, chill the bottles in the refrigerator and enjoy.

Read more: 3 reasons you should try kombucha - and 6 reasons why you shouldn't

What makes this kit stand out

What I like about The Kombucha Shop's kit is that I can make all the kombucha I want without having to buy additional supplies. Sure, I need to supply my own tea, sugar, and water, but those are items I'd have around the house anyway.


Also, it costs much less making my own kombucha than constantly shelling out $3 or more for a single bottle. I did a little math and found that when you brew your own instead of buying it, the kit pays for itself after the fifth batch - which comes by quick. That's a conservative estimate assuming you pay $0.70 per pound of sugar, $20 per pound of loose-leaf tea, and that a 16-ounce bottle of kombucha costs $3 at your local market.

I also like that as soon as one batch is bottled, I can immediately turn around and start brewing a new one. After my initial brew was done, I started a mint tea concoction going and currently, I'm trying out a raspberry zinger.

You essentially "sprout" a new SCOBY with each batch, so you have the option of making two batches together (provided you have another brewing jar), putting multiple SCOBYs into the same brew, or giving your friends a SCOBY so they can start brewing kombucha too.

Perhaps most importantly, I appreciated that I could specifically tailor the tea to match my tastes and each of my creations so far has been excellent. I like to drink a 12-ounce glass each evening while I prepare dinner, it reduces my cravings for alcoholic beverages and I've also found that it makes me less likely to overeat, which has a constant struggle for me.

These were my personal experiences after drinking my brew, so I can't say everyone will have similar experiences.


Cons to consider

The directions warn that you should always keep the kombucha brew between 68 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. When brewing in the winter and early spring in Michigan, it's hard to find a spot in our home that maintains that temperature. Fortunately, sub-68 degree temps just mean you will need to brew the tea longer. Or, if you don't mind spending an extra $30, The Kombucha Shop offers a heating wrap.

The Cleveland Clinic warns that pregnant women, children, people with compromised immune systems, alcoholics, and those with certain chronic diseases, such as HIV, kidney disease, or liver disease, should avoid kombucha. This is likely due to the alcohol content (up to 3%) and potential for contamination. Do not imbibe kombucha if the smell or color is off, like if it smells like nail polish. I personally haven't experienced this with my home brews.

As with all wellness-related foods and beverages, check with your doctor first before incorporating something new into your routine.

The bottom line

Overall, the Deluxe Kombucha Brewing Kit is a game-changer. Not only does it provide a more frugal alternative to the pricey options at the local market, but the process is so simple that it makes me want to try brewing and fermenting other beverages.


I also like how easy it is to customize the drink to my tastes, I can make concoctions you'd never find at the store. I strongly recommend The Kombucha Shop's kit to everyone who enjoys drinking kombucha.

Pros: Easy to use, can make batch after batch of kombucha for as long as you want, pays for itself in the long-term

Cons: Kombucha isn't for some people, especially pregnant women, children, people with compromised immune systems so definitely check with your doctor first

Buy The Kombucha Shop's Deluxe Kombucha Brewing Kit on Amazon for $74.99

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