Kombucha - How Much Does it Cost?

By Ariana Estelle-Symons, Ph.D., Copyright 1998
From the March, 1998 issue of the

If you are living on a budget - you have lots of company. You know the sayings; `times are tough' and `money is tight'. You've already made the decision to take your health into your own hands, and after much research, you've decided that Kombucha is good `tonic' and you want to begin drinking it. You just don't feel that you have the time (or the motivation) to brew it yourself, so you inquire at the local health food store and discover that you can purchase `pre-bottled, ready to drink' Kombucha Tea, the average price being \$10.00 a quart, although some are as much as \$29.95 a quart. The question now is: can you afford Kombucha?

Okay, let's take a look at this. The typical amount of KT consumed by most people is 4 ounces a day (and this is a low estimated amount, since many people drink as much as 24 ounces a day or more).

If just one person in your household is drinking KT at the rate of 4-1/2 ounces a day, that one quart bottle will last 7 days. That's one week's supply for \$10.00. Now, let's go a little further and extend that out for a month.

One person drinking 4-1/2 ounces a day for one month (28 days) = \$40.00.
One person drinking 4-1/2 ounces a day for three months = \$120.00
One person drinking 4-1/2 ounces a day for one year = \$520.00

Multiply the above figures by 2 to include the second person consuming KT, and it begins to look a little pricey. Two people drinking 4-1/2 ounces each per day for 1 year = \$1,040.00

Now, what if you decided to brew Kombucha yourself? Chances are, you have a friend or know someone that will be willing to share with you, and will give you a Kombucha colony at no cost. Let's look at the high end of what this could cost you.

One gallon of bottled Spring Water will cost anywhere from 50 cents to \$1.00. You only need to use 3 quarts + 1 cup of this water (and you can drink the rest).

Cost of water for one 3 quart batch = roughly 50 cents.

A 4 lb. Bag of white granulated sugar will cost approximately \$1.50 (our local markets no longer carry 5# bags of sugar). There are approximately 64 ounces, or 8 cups in a 4# bag.

Cost of sugar for one 3 quart batch = roughly 20 cents.

A box of Luzianne or Lipton, or other popular brand of 100 tea bags will cost about \$3.00. You will need to use 7 of these bags to equal the 15 grams of tea used to brew a 3 quart batch of Kombucha.

Cost of tea bags for one 3 quart batch = roughly 21 cents.

If you are using a high quality loose leaf tea, (obviously the better choice for something as important as a `health tonic'), let's use a high estimate of \$25.00/pound.. You can make approximately 25-26 batches of Kombucha with a pound of tea. 15 grams at this price is approximately 93 cents.

Cost of high quality loose tea for one 3 quart batch = roughly 93 cents.

Okay, let's use a high average of \$1.50 for each batch.
What we're looking at now is:

One person drinking 4-1/2 ounces a day for one month at \$1.50/week = \$6.00
One person drinking 4-1/2 ounces a day for three months = \$18.00
On person drinking 4-1/2 ounces a day for one year = \$78.00

Multiply the above figures by 2 to include the second person consuming KT, and it looks even better.

Two people drinking 4-1/2 ounces each per day for 1 year = \$156.00

Let's assume that you decide to go out and purchase a really good stainless steel pot to boil the water in. Let's say you go overboard and spend \$75.00 for that pot. Go ahead and buy separate utensils to use for brewing, i.e., glass measuring cups, plastic strainers, plastic or nylon spoon, and glass jars to store in. You will probably spend no more than \$100 - more than likely only \$50. Still a great savings, don't you think?

COMMERCIALLY BOTTLED KOMBUCHA

1 person/1 month \$ 40.00
1 person/1 year \$520.00

HOME BREW KOMBUCHA

1 person/1 month \$ 6.00
1 person/1 year \$ 78.00

Now to really break it down - remember that after brewing Kombucha, you end up with approximately 2-1/2 quarts of ready to drink, fermented KT. So... you could divide
the `home brew' figures by _ - in other words, enough KT for one person would cost about \$3 - two people could be drinking 4-6 ounces a day for \$6/month or \$78/year.

The question now is: Can you afford NOT to brew Kombucha?

This publication is copyrighted and the publication or portions thereof may not be used in any way without written permission from the author. All rights reserved.

Health/Happiness/Harmony
Ariana