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The Great Oregon Kombucha Taste Test – Round One

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Kombucha is getting to be a big deal. Well, at least in the corner of Oregon I live in it’s a pretty ubiquitous beverage. There’s spicy kombucha, there’s sweet, there’s seasonally themed, there’s therapeutic, and more – but which one’s are good? And what constitutes a good kombucha?

If you have ZERO idea what kombucha is, or how to pronounce it for that matter, click HERE.

My definition of a good kombucha is one that is refreshing (because to me beverages with bubbles should be refreshing and bright), slightly complex – but not so complex they’re confusing, and overall, pleasing to the palate.
So, in an investigative fermentation spirit, I’m embarking on a quest to try as many locally produced (Oregon) kombuchas. Here we go!

{this is not a sponsored post – all opinions regarding these kombuchas are my own}

dr. brew and humm kombucha
Superberry, White Rose, Blueberry Mint, and Lemon Ginger

For this first round I grabbed 4 bottles of the most widely available local Oregon kombucha brands (at least in Eugene): Townshend’s Brew Dr. Kombucha (a Portland company) and Humm Kombucha (a Bend company). The flavors I snagged simply sounded good/interesting. So, if these flavors don’t appeal to you, I guess the takeaway from this post will be more general observations regarding the brands.

mason jars on wood in the sun
Let’s get this straight – I like my kombuchas over ice. I’ve even been known to add seltzer water to my kombuchas. I’m a heathen like that!
little mason jar full of kombucha
Let’s get this kombucha party started!
Townshend's Brew Dr. White Rose Kombucha
Brew Dr. White Rose

First up is Townshend’s Brew Dr. White Rose. 

Ingredients: white peony tea, cane sugar, rose petals, and wild rose. 10 grams of sugar for the 14 fl. ounce bottle. Sugar content is something I look for as I don’t love drinking all my sugar and would like to keep my sugar intake on the DL. 10 grams for the 14 oz is pretty chill compared to some other kombuchas – and REALLY chill compared to big brand juices and big brand cola companies.

Flavor: Overall, a pretty mellow tasting kombucha.  Almost like a really light hard apple cider.  The rose flavor is there, but it’s not strong. This is a pleasing kombucha, and is very nice over ice with a slice of lemon. I would definitely recommend this one to a kombucha newbie.

superberry kombucha
Brew Dr. Superberry

Next is Townshend’s Brew Dr. Superberry.

Ingredients: oolong tea, cane sugar, currants, elderberry, hibsicus, and rosehips. 10g sugar for full 14oz. It’s to be noted that both of these kombuchas are certified organic.

Flavor: was kind of a let down. The “berry” taste is closer to medicinal than summer berry-ish. Which is totally fine, I mean, elderberries duh, but it tasted flat, and almost boring. I wouldn’t purchase this one again.  Not because it’s terrible or disgusting, but just because it’s unremarkable.

*All of the Townshend’s kombucha bottles are pop tops.  This means that they’re difficult to drink a bit now and save some for later as the carbonation will be nonexistent when drinking later. So, there’s that.

*With Townshend’s, I appreciate the use of distinct teas per each flavor of kombucha – but on a whole, I found they’re kombuchas to lack that zing.

kombuchas in mason jars on a wood place setting
Onward…
Humm kombucha
Humm’s Lemon Ginger

Here’s Humm’s Lemon Ginger kombucha.

Ingredients: organic raw kombucha (purified water, organic evaporated cane juice, organic green tea, organic black tea, and live kombucha culture), organic lemon juice, organic ginger juice. 14 grams of sugar per 14 oz bottle. A bit higher on the sugar than Townshend’s.

Flavor: Now, I’m not usually a fan of ginger anything, but Humm’s lemon ginger is just darn good. Granted, I enjoy my lemon ginger over ice, and I 1/2 and 1/2 my glasses with seltzer water, but it’s a SUPER refreshing summer drink. The lemon/ginger flavor profile is assertive but not overpowering.  I really enjoyed this one and would purchase it again.

Humm blueberry mint kombucha
Humm’s Blueberry Mint

I’m saving the best for last, or at least I think so, with Humm’s Blueberry Mint kombucha.

Ingredients: organic raw kombucha (purified water, organic evaporated cane juice, organic green tea, organic black tea, and live Kombucha culture), organic blueberry juice, mint tea. 12 grams of sugar for the 14 oz bottle – less than the lemon ginger, but still more than Townshend’s. This one is my favorite of the four from this taste test. Even my 6 year old daughter LOVED this kombucha. Again, I cut with seltzer water and ice, but a thoroughly enjoyable fizzy beverage without all the crap that traditional soda-pop contains.

*All of Humm’s kombuchas are screw-top bottles, which is nice. I approve.


Finishing thoughts: that all of these kombuchas are very palatable, but personally, I preferred the Humm flavorings more than the Townshend’s. What are your favorite kombuchas? Do you buy or brew your own? Do share your kombucha story!

I’ll be back with more kombuchas to taste test – and maybe even my own brews to try!


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