Does kombucha have caffeine or alcohol in it?
These are a few very common questions we receive.
1. Does kombucha have caffeine in it? And how much caffeine in kombucha?
2. Does kombucha have alcohol? And how much alcohol does kombucha have?
Let’s walk through it…
Kombucha is essentially a fermented tea beverage. As we know, tea contains caffeine. Excluding most herbal teas of course. However the level of caffeine found in tea is dependent on the type of tea leaf used to make the tea.
Black tea is significantly higher in caffeine than its green and white tea friends. In tea bags it equates to - on average - about 40-50 mg of caffeine in black tea, compared to 20-30 mg in green and white tea.
At Two Boys Brew we use a blend of green and white teas in our kombucha. This gives a subtlety of flavour to our brew, and reduces the overall bitterness and kombucha caffeine volume. If you’re conscious about your caffeine intake, this is worth keeping in mind when you are choosing your kombucha.
So here’s the deal, fermentation does create a small by-product of alcohol. This occurs because the yeast feeding off the sugars in the kombucha tea convert the sugar into ethanol (and carbon dioxide). This is the case for all fermented products and the process relies on high levels of sugar. So as soon as the sugar in kombucha drops to a certain level, the yeast can’t make any more alcohol and the level plateaus.
We consistently test and monitor our brews to ensure that our kombucha is non-alcoholic, and that as much of the sugar has been eaten by the SCOBY to produce a low sugar kombucha.
Our finished kombucha has a trace element of alcohol under .05% ABV.
That’s considered non-alcoholic kombucha.
Home brewing is another story though. If you’re worried about alcohol levels in your kombucha, we recommend choosing a locally made commercial kombucha brand and not going down the home brewing path. Without strict monitoring there’s no way of knowing if the alcohol has crept in your booch. We’ve heard many stories of someone’s home brewed booch that’s gone awry and accidentally put them on the tipsy train.
So in summary, kombucha does contain caffeine, but ours is lower due to using green and white tea in our brew. Kombucha will have trace amounts of alcohol, but Two Boys Brew kombucha is non alcoholic. Because we make it better.