The main difference between kombucha and kefir is that kombucha is a fermented drink made with tea while kefir is a fermented drink made with milk.
Both kombucha and kefir are fermented drinks that have various health benefits. However, there are several differences between kombucha and kefir based on their ingredients and fermentation process.
Key Areas Covered
Kefir, Kombucha, Fermented Drinks
What is Kombucha
Kombucha is a sweet and sour tea made using bacteria and yeast. In fact, this is a type of fermented drink. We can trace the history of Kombucha to China. From China, it spread to Japan and Russia. Kombucha became popular in Europe in the early twentieth century.
The fermentation process of kombucha involves adding a combination of beneficial bacteria and yeast (SCOBY – “symbiotic ‘colony’ of bacteria and yeast”) to sweetened tea. Then this mixture is allowed to rest for 7 -21 days. This fermenting process is similar to how milk turns into yoghurt or cabbage turns into kimchi.
Kombucha has a somewhat sour taste, similar to a pungent sparkling apple cider. Since we make kombucha using tea, it is a rich source of caffeine. Kombucha has many health benefits, including detoxifying your body, helping in digestion, and boosting energy. Kombucha is rich in B vitamins and probiotic bacteria and acts as a digestive aid.
What is Kefir
Kefir is a fermented milk drink with a sour taste. It’s a yoghurt-like drink with a taste similar to buttermilk. Kefir is made by combining milk (milk from cows, goats, sheep, or camels) with a live culture of kefir grains, a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts. The milk is then allowed to ferment for 24 – 48 hours and is poured through a sieve to remove the kefir grains from the milk. Before consumption, we can also flavour the kefir with fruits and sweeteners. The following image shows kefir drinks flavoured with strawberries and kiwi.
Kefir has a wide range of probiotics and can act as a digestive aid. It also strengthens your immune system. Kefir is also a rich source of lactic acid bacteria.
There is also another type of kefir as water kefir. It contains non-dairy liquid like coconut water that has undergone fermentation. Water kefir is sweeter and cleaner tasting than milk kefir.
Difference Between Kombucha and Kefir
Kombucha is a sweet and sour tea made using bacteria and yeast while kefir is a fermented milk drink with a sour taste.
While kombucha is made with tea, kefir is made with milk.
Moreover, kombucha undergoes fermentation for 7-21 days, while kefir undergoes fermentation for 24 – 48 hours.
Kombucha is fermented using a SCOBY, while kefir is fermented using a live kefir grain culture.
Kombucha has a sweet and tart taste whereas kefir has a tangy and milky taste.
In addition, kombucha contains caffeine, but Kefir doesn’t.
Moreover, kefir is a richer source of lactic acid bacteria than kombucha.
Another difference is that kefir contains a considerable amount of calcium than kombucha.
Both kombucha and kefir are fermented drinks that have many health benefits. The main difference between kombucha and kefir is that kombucha is a sweet and sour tea made using bacteria and yeast while kefir is a fermented milk drink with a sour taste.
1. Nazario, Brunilda. “Kombucha – Ingredients, Health Benefits, and Risks.” WebMD, 14 Aug. 2020, Available here.
2. Glassman, Keri. “Kefir: A Tangy Yogurt Drink Great For Your Stomach.” WebMD, Available here.