A kombucha starter kit is just what you need if you are starting to dip your feet into the world of home brewing kombucha. While there are many kits out there, you can certainly put your own together without any problem.
Most of the items in this article will be available in any grocery store, but can also be bought with one simple click. Some of these items will come in handy even after you make your kombucha.
Don’t worry about anything just yet, make sure to read through this list and pick the choices that work best for you. And if you are still not confident, try one of the pre-assembled kits we share at the end of this article.
Here is all you need to know about the best kombucha starter kit
Item #1: One-gallon glass jar
This item is essential in brewing kombucha, so you want to pick a glass jar that is durable and BPA-free. This Paksh 1-gallon jar has a wide mouth, and it is dishwasher safe.
You can try one of these 4-pack 1-gallon glass jars, which are also durable and resist up to 350 degrees F. This set of jars also comes with an airtight and leak-proof plastic lid.
Item #2: French Press
While not necessary, a French press is a great tool to have around if you are looking to make kombucha and want to make things easier. A French press will allow you to steep the tea without having any leaves to strain.
This Café Du Chateau French press has a 4-level filtration system and is stainless steel, which makes it durable. While it is not necessarily a cheap tool, you can use this French press to make coffee as well.
You can also try this Mixpresso stainless steel French press that can hold up to one liter. This press has a 3-layer filter that traps small coffee and tea residue, making it perfect for your kombucha brewing needs.
Item #3: Cotton Cloth
When you are making kombucha, you will need to cover your jar with some material. We suggest you go with an unbleached cotton cloth, but you can use other things, such as an old t-shirt or coffee filter.
This unbleached cheesecloth is a great choice when it comes to kombucha fermentation, and it is very durable. You can also try these cotton cheesecloth options that are reusable and washable, which works great for fermentation.
Item #4: Rubber Bands
Since you need to cover your kombucha jar with a cloth, you will also need some rubber bands to keep it in place. Those grocery store bands that come with vegetables tend to be sufficient, but you can also get some in bulk for future projects.
This one-pound bag will do the trick, as it has about a 40 count and the rubber bands are thick.
Item #5: Thermometer
You may already have a kitchen thermometer that can do the trick, but it is always good to have one around so that you can measure the temperature in both the kombucha and the vessel where it will ferment.
This ThermoPro digital thermometer is a good option because it has a long stainless steel probe. It is also completely digital, which makes it easier to read and accurate.
If you want a cheaper version, this meat thermometer can do the trick, and while the probe is shorter, it still has a digital reader.
Item #6: Flip-top Bottles
When it comes to the second fermentation process in kombucha brewing, you need flip-top bottles, so picking the right kind is important in ensuring you have a good final product.
These Otis top glass bottles with lids come in a set of six and have a secure and leak-proof seal. These other Chef’s Star bottles also come in a six-pack and can hold up to 16 ounces of liquid.
Item #7: Tea
To make kombucha, the first thing you should think about is the tea that you will be using. While various teas can work, plain black tea is the best option in terms of flavor.
You can try this: TIAN HU SHAN black loose tea is a delicious option that is affordable and organic. This English breakfast from Vahdam teas is a bit pricier, but extremely high quality, which makes it the perfect option for kombucha. For an intermediate choice, you can try using Stash tea, but make sure you pick the English breakfast one.
Item #8: Cane Sugar
Using cane sugar is the only option when it comes to brewing kombucha, but you can choose either the organic or regular version. This Kirkland signature organic cane sugar is a good, affordable option for brewing kombucha. You can also try Wholesome sweeteners’ organic cane sugar, which is a bit more expensive, but worth the money.
If you want to save some money but still go with a high-quality option, try this Barbados raw cane sugar, which comes in a resealable bag and is unrefined. For an affordable and good quality sugar, try GrainBrain pure cane sugar that is unrefined and all-natural.
Item #9: SCOBY
If you want to make kombucha you need to have SCOBY. There are many ways to acquire it, though. You can start by using your own from a store-bought bottle of unflavored kombucha,
When you need to buy your own SCOBY, there are some options online. However, be careful with online sellers, especially those that will try to sell you dehydrated SCOBY. While it is possible to use dehydrated SCOBY, you should be able to find fresh SCOBY, and the dehydrated kind takes much longer to wake up and work. The fresh kind of SCOBY will also be stronger, ensuring that there is no risk for mold growth in your kombucha.
Another point to keep in mind is that the amount of SCOBY you use is not as important as the strength and volume of your starter tea. You can use a small amount of SCOBY, but if it is strong, it will do the trick.
If you need to search online, this Fermentaholics organic kombucha SCOBY is a good choice that will render a one-gallon batch. The Kombucha Company SCOBY also makes one gallon, or two cups of mature starter tea.
Item #10: pH Test Strips
pH test strips are not a must, but they are handy when making kombucha. These pH test strips are cheap and easy to read, which allows you to make sure that the kombucha is ready. This other set of pH test strips are a little more expensive but very reliable and they come in 200 counts.
Item #11: Strainer
You may not need a strainer at all if you use a French press. However, having a strainer can be a great tool for taking the yeast pieces out of your brew before you have to bottle it. You can use this durable strainer to remove SCOBY and other imperfections. You can also use this set of strainers that come in various sizes, making it useful for when you bottle your kombucha or transfer it from one container to the next.
Item #12: Blender
This is purely a choice, but if you want to add fruit to your kombucha, the best way to do so is by blending or pureeing the fruit.
This Ninja professional blender is pricey but extremely useful, and it can help blend almost anything. If you want a more affordable option, try this Hamilton Beach blender for crushing, pureeing, and blending any foods.
What if I need more help?
Not that it is too hard to put together your kombucha kit, but there are many moving parts to the equation. If you want a simpler choice when you start brewing your kombucha, then using a pre-made and pre-assembled commercial kit is not a bad choice. It is important, however, that you keep in mind all the parts you need and what they offer, as some commercial vendors will try to sell you unnecessary things and charge you more than you need to spend.
Here are some of the options out there for pre-assembled kombucha kits:
Kit #1: The Kombucha Shop Starter Kit
This 1-gallon brewing kit is very affordable and it includes everything you would need to start making your kombucha at home. This kit includes a one-gallon brewing jar, pH test strips, a temperature gauge, a step-by-step guide, organic black and oolong tea, a reusable cotton bag, a cotton cover and rubber band, organic cane sugar, and your kombucha culture and starter.
The culture used in this kit comes from a brewery in Madison, WI where it is made using filtered water, sugar, and loose tea. If your culture doesn’t start or work properly, you will get a free replacement.
Kit #2: Bucha Brewers Kombucha Starter Kit
This starter kit comes with a 1-gallon jar, a plastic lid, a SCOBY with strong starter tea, organic cane sugar, an 80-pack of pH test strips, a thermometer, black tea blend, cotton tea bag, coffee filters, rubber band, and instructions. When you purchase this kit, you also gain access to the Bucha Brewers community, where you can exchange tips, guides, recipes, and more.
While you may be hesitant to go for the coffee filter, this kit uses it because it has been proven to work just as well as cotton cheesecloth. The coffee filter in this kit is designed to prevent any impurities from filtering through, but also helps with optimal airflow.
Kit #3: Joshua Tree Kombucha Complete Starter Kit
This kombucha starter kit comes loaded with everything you need for your first kombucha brewing adventure. This kit includes your kombucha SCOBY and 1.5 cups of starter liquid, organic black and green tea, cane sugar, a 1-gallon glass jar with a plastic lid, a cloth cover, secure band, pH test strips, and adhesive temperature strips.
When you purchase this Joshua Tree kombucha kit, you get access to recipes and easy-to-read instructions. The SCOBY in this kit is grown in small batches, using high-quality ingredients, and the starter tea has been fermenting for over six weeks.
Kit #4: Craft A Brew Starter Complete Kombucha Making Kit
For a very small outlay, you can get this Craft A Brew Starter Complete Kombucha Making Kit that comes with a 1-gallon glass jar, cane sugar, black tea, a weaved cloth, rubber band, step-by-step guide, and SCOBY. After two weeks and only four steps, you will get delicious homemade kombucha.
This kit is assembled in Orlando, FL, and contains sustainable ingredients and materials. The SCOBY in this kit is supposed to last a lifetime, giving you an endless supply of kombucha to make at home.
Kit #5: Grow Your Pantry Kombucha Starter
This affordable starter kit is perfect for beginners and includes everything you could need. The package contains a one-gallon glass jar with lid, SCOBY starter culture, cane sugar, a tea bag with black and green tea, pH test strips, one pipette, a funnel, a liquid thermometer, mesh lid, logbook, and a metal sieve.
When you buy this kit, you also get a foolproof illustrated guide and an ebook with over 100 kombucha recipes. You can also use the logbook to keep track of your progress and make sure you are following the steps correctly. Each one-gallon brew of kombucha in this kit can give you about 15 standard-sized bottles. You can also access the Grow Your Pantry community and exchange messages with others about your kombucha brewing journey, advice, and recipes.
Let’s make some kombucha!
Now that you know exactly what a kombucha starter kit should look like, you are ready to embark on the journey of fermentation and home brewing. Make sure to buy your materials with enough time and read reviews on each product, as you don’t want to mess things up by using low-quality items.
Enjoy your homemade kombucha for a boost in prebiotics, immunity, and nutrients! Who knows, you may become an expert brewer sooner rather than later! Time to get your brewing skills on and start making this delicious drink at home.