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Water Kefir vs Kombucha

Water Kefir vs Kombucha

Kombucha is to digestive enzymes what water kefir is to probiotics. That’s right water kefir is rich in gut-loving bacteria. With a market that is growing at 5.4% a year (1) water kefir is the new fermented kid on the block and is here to stay.

This article will outline the key differences between these fermented beverages.

Starter Cultures

Water kefir grains are also a colony of bacteria and yeast, though their appearance is quite different, small and translucent. The term "grains" describes the look of the culture only. Kefir grains contain no actual grains such as wheat, rye.

The Kombucha starter culture is a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY). Its appearance is similar to a mushroom cap, which is why the culture is also referred to as a mushroom, though it is not a fungus.



Water kefir is prepared by adding water kefir grains to sugar and water and leaving to ferment for 24-48 hours.

 Kombucha is prepared by adding starter tea and a kombucha culture (scoby) to sweet tea. The mixture is fermented for up to 30 days. 


Health Benefits

Water kefir is more of a general probiotic beverage. Water kefir contains a greater number of bacteria strains than those found in kombucha. Bacteria such as L. Mesenteroides which is proven to survive intestinal conditions, reaching the gut ‘alive’. Our Madres have billions of live cultures.

Kombucha can be a digestive aid thanks to the enzymes it contains. aid to digestion. In addition to the beneficial bacteria, it also contains some acids and enzymes to aid in the breaking down of food. You will find that kombucha is much more acidic than water kefir.


Kombucha has a slightly sweet, tart zing to it and, depending on the brewing time can range from having a mild taste to having a strong vinegar-like taste.

Water kefir has a gentle yeasty mouthfeel that mimics the experience of an alcoholic beverage without the alcohol. 

In addition, whilst kombucha contains caffeine, water kefir is perfect for people who are sensitive to caffeine or for those who wish to reduce their consumption.

So, next time you’re in need of a gut-health reboot, why not try a lighter, more refreshing Agua de Madre water kefir? It’s the perfect way to rebalance your gut microbiome without the caffeine injection! We Madres promise you won’t regret tasting this ideal invigorator. 

*Kombucha image is from Deanna at Homestead and Chill



El Padrón


20ml Apple-Honey simple syrup*

25ml bourbon

2 dashes bitters

Agua de Madre Elderflower & Apple

Garnish: long orange peel rolled into an orange rose

In a cocktail glass or shaker, combine apple-honey simple, bourbon and bitters. Add ice and stir until well chilled. Strain into a rocks glass with large ice cubes and top up with Agua de Madre Elderflower & Apple. Garnish with the orange rose.

*For the Apple-Honey Simple:

15 dried apple slices

75ml water

75ml apple juice

175ml honeyBrew the apple slices in boiling water for 8-10 minutes. 

Strain 125ml of the liquid into a measuring cup. While still hot, add 175ml honey and stir well to combine. Add the apple juice and stair.

And if he's not a drinker, check out our virgin recipe here

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