Islam and the Quran

Is drinking kombucha permissible?

Question: Is drinking kombucha permissible?

Kombucha is any of a variety of fermented, lightly effervescent sweetened black or green tea drinks that are commonly intended as functional beverages for their supposed health benefits. Kombucha is produced by fermenting tea using a “symbiotic ‘colony’ of bacteria and yeast” (SCOBY).  The alcohol content of the kombucha is usually less than 1% but increases with fermentation time.[1]

Alcohol naturally emerges in vinegar, grape juice, pickle, boza, bread and other fermented bakery products due to fermentation. In bread, alcohol on the crust evaporates by heat. However, significant amount of alcohol still remains in bread. In these products alcohol rate is usually 2-3%. At the same time, natural products such as orange, lemon, mint contains 2-3% alcohol. However, none of them intoxicates.

Accordingly, the alcohol that naturally emerges in kombucha will not intoxicate the drinker. It is not objectionable to produce, sell or drink it.