Distinguishing Kefir & Kombucha: A Comparison

Key Difference – Kefir vs Kombucha

The primary distinction between kefir and kombucha lies in their base; kefir is typically made from milk, while kombucha is tea-based. Both are fermented drinks, rich in organic acids, enzymes, beneficial microflora, and vitamins, and are known for their various health benefits.

Key Takeaways

  • Kefir is made from water or milk, while kombucha is made from green or black tea.
  • Kefir is fermented using kefir grains, while kombucha is fermented using a SCOBY (symbiotic ‘colony’ of bacteria and yeast).
  • Kefir doesn’t contain caffeine, whereas kombucha does, as it is made from tea.

What is Kefir?

There are two types of kefirs: milk-based and water-based kefir. Most people know kefir as a milk-based product, made from cow, goat, sheep, or camel milk. Water kefir contains non-dairy liquid, like coconut water, which has been fermented. This beverage is made by combining milk with a live culture of kefir grains, a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts. The milk is allowed to ferment for 24-48 hours and is poured through a sieve to remove the kefir grains from the milk. Water kefir has a sweeter and cleaner taste than milk kefir, which has a sour flavor, similar to buttermilk. Kefir can be flavored with fruits and sweeteners before consumption. Kefir has a wide range of probiotics and can act as a digestive aid, strengthen the immune system, and is rich in lactic acid bacteria.

What is Kombucha?

Kombucha is a fermented sweetened green or black tea. The fermentation process involves adding a combination of beneficial bacteria and yeast (known as SCOBY) to sweetened tea. This mixture is then allowed to rest for 7-21 days. Kombucha is a sour, effervescent beverage, tasting similar to a pungent sparkling apple cider. Since it is made of tea, it is a rich source of caffeine. Benefits of kombucha include providing B vitamins, probiotic bacteria, and helping to detox the liver. It also acts as a digestive aid.

What is the difference between Kefir and Kombucha?


  • Kefir is made from water or milk.
  • Kombucha is made from green or black tea.

Fermentation Process:

  • Kefir is fermented using kefir grains.
  • Kombucha is fermented using a SCOBY.

Fermentation period:

  • Kefir is allowed to ferment for 24-48 hours.
  • Kombucha is allowed to ferment for 7-21 days.


  • Kefir doesn’t contain caffeine.
  • Kombucha contains caffeine since it is made from tea.

Lactic Acid:

  • Kefir is a richer source of lactic acid bacteria than kombucha.
  • Kombucha has fewer amounts of lactic acid bacteria than kefir.


  • Kefir contains a considerable amount of calcium.
  • Kombucha does not contain calcium.
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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