Difference Between Kefir and Kombucha

Key Difference – Kefir vs Kombucha

Kombucha and kefir are fermented drinks that are rich in organic acids, enzymes, beneficial microflora and vitamins. Both these beverages are known for various health benefits. The key difference between kefir and kombucha is their base; kefir is usually made of milk whereas kombucha is based on tea. Let’s examine the different features and properties of kefir and kombucha in this article.

What is Kefir?

There are two types of kefirs: milk-based and water-based kefir. However, many people know kefir as a milk-based product. Water kefir contains non-dairy liquid like coconut water that has been fermented. Milk kefir is made from the milk of cows, goats, sheep or camels.

This beverage is made by combining the 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 is sweeter and cleaner tasting than milk kefir, which has a sour flavor, similar to buttermilk. Before consumption, kefir can be flavored with fruits and sweeteners as well.

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.

Difference Between Kefir and Kombucha

What is Kombucha?

Kombucha is a fermented sweetened green or black tea. The fermentation process involves is adding a combination of beneficial bacteria and yeast (known as SCOBY – “symbiotic ‘colony’ of bacteria and yeast”) to sweetened tea. Then this mixture is allowed to rest for 7 -21 days.

Kombucha is a sour, effervescent beverage, and tastes similar to a pungent sparkling apple cider. Since it is made of tea, it is a rich source of caffeine. The benefits of kombucha include providing B vitamins, probiotic bacteria, and helping to detox the liver. It also acts as a digestive aid.Key Difference Kefir vs Kombucha

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 less amounts of lactic acid bacteria than kefir.


Kefir contains a considerable amount of calcium.

Kombucha does not contain calcium.

 Image Courtesy:
“1418212” (Public Domain) via Pixabay
“Kombucha Mature” By Mgarten at the English language Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia