Kefir vs Kombucha: What, Why & Where to Buy

It’s the start of the year, so of course, we’re all about kicking it off right. Whether your New Year’s resolution is about finally keeping to that gym schedule or learning how to meditate and focus on more ~me time, tons of people are seeing 2019 as the year of wellness.

RELATED: 6 Ways You Can Live In The Moment This 2019

Breathe in, breathe out!

As how you treat your body externally is just as important as how you treat it internally, two trendy nutritional drinks that have been popping up on the food scene—kefir and kombucha—might be something you should consider adding to your daily diet. But before you go, k what?, let’s break down everything you’ll need to keep up with what kefir and kombucha even are.

“What are they & why the fuss?”

Water kefir (Image via

Essentially, kefir and kombucha are both fermented drinks. Before you go eew, you might actually already be acquainted with and even be a fan of other similar foods that are fermented like kimchi and sauerkraut.

Kombucha tea (Image via Toby Murphy)

In the past few years, fermented food has slowly been stealing the nutritional spotlight as due to the fermentation process, these food grow healthy, ‘friendly’ bacteria, otherwise known as probiotics. Probiotics are incredibly helpful in improving your intestinal tract, which can lead to less bloating, curing indigestion and even aids in preventing certain diseases. Essentially, you’re getting a bunch of good stuff, all in a few sips!

“Okay, but what’s the difference?”

The base….

Kefir can be made from any sort of liquid and there are two main types—water kefir (made from sugar water, coconut water et cetera) and dairy kefir (made from milk). In contrast, kombucha is formed from any type of tea.

The process….

To start making kefir, you’ll need kefir grains which are actually just clumps of bacteria and yeast. These grains are added to your sugar-water or milk and left outside for 24 to 48 hours to ferment, the liquid is then strained and there’s your kefir.

To make kombucha, you’ll need tea and a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast). Don’t be fooled cause even though the SCOBY looks slimy and a little jellyfish-like, it’s actually the magical ingredient that forms your kombucha. Leave the tea with the SCOBY to ferment in a cloth-covered jar for up to 30 days and you’ve got yourself some kombucha.

And… the taste!

Water kefir has a slightly sweet taste due to the fermentation while milk kefir might remind you of tangy greek yogurt.

Kombucha has a little sourish taste and might remind you a little of apple cider vinegar. It also tends to have a little fizz to it.

“But where can I try some kefir or kombucha?”

Due to their increasing popularity, you can now easily find kefir and/or kombucha at most health markets or organic shops. Some major supermarkets might also sell them—you can find ready-made kombucha in Jaya Grocer and Village Grocer also stocks ready-made milk kefir. Alternatively, you can look out for local artisanal vendors like Wise Crafters that make fresh water-based and milk-based kefirs.