Benefits of Unpasteurized Kombucha vs. Pasteurized

Traditional Kombucha Brewing Method

During traditional fermentation, yeast and bacteria transform tea into kombucha and produce a SCOBY. This is the basis of raw and unpasteurized kombucha, which is alive with probiotics and everything that promotes gut health and a strong immune system.


Pasteurization of Kombucha

Pasteurization is the process of killing off microorganisms by applying controlled heat. Pasteurization is effective for keeping food edible for longer, but isn’t necessary for fermented foods, like kombucha or kefir soda (and can be detrimental to the beneficial organisms present).

While other brands may pasteurize their kombucha and utilize non-traditional brewing methods, it does prolong the shelf life, but it also means it is no longer a traditional raw kombucha which develops its probiotics naturally through fermentation (pasteurized kombucha lacks diversity in the digestive enzymes and active cultures).

Companies choose to pasteurize their kombucha to speed up the fermentation period and gain a longer shelf-life, which means it’s cheaper to produce, store, and ship. RISE Kombucha uses living cultures and raw, organic ingredients to create delicious flavours to support a strong, fresh beverage that understands the complex ecosystem of our bodies.

Our products are always unpasteurized, and this means RISE Kombucha can contain small traces of alcohol. For this reason, it is always important for pregnant and breastfeeding people to consult their doctor on any health-related inquiries, including whether or not to consume kombucha.


Why Companies Choose Pasteurization

One of the main reasons why kombucha brewers like to pasteurize their kombucha is so that they can sell it unrefrigerated, or have a longer shelf life than raw kombucha. However, unpasteurized kombucha, when left out of the refrigerator, will keep on fermenting and become sour. This is why RISE Kombucha needs to stay refrigerated at 4 degrees. Refrigeration creates a pause in the fermentation process and ensures that additional pressure and alcohol aren’t generated inside the bottle.

While pasteurizing kombucha is beneficial for the business, it is the consumer who loses out by drinking kombucha which has been stripped of all of its probiotics. Drinking pasteurized kombucha is similar to any other fizzy soda, but it doesn’t have the probiotics we generally drink kombucha for.


Benefits of Unpasteurized Kombucha


Live Probiotics and Enzymes

When Kombucha is left unpasteurized, all of the enzymes, organic acids, antioxidants, and good yeast and bacteria are left intact. These properties are what make kombucha such a healthy beverage choice for your gut and immune system.


Many More Health Benefits

One of the main substances produced during the fermentation of kombucha is acetic acid, which can also be found in vinegar. Like the polyphenols in tea, acetic acid is able to kill many potentially harmful microorganisms. Kombucha made from tea appears to have strong antibacterial properties, particularly against infection-causing bacteria.

Antioxidants are substances that are extremely prominent in raw kombucha and fight free radicals, reactive molecules that can damage your cells. Antioxidants from whole foods and beverages are better for you than antioxidant supplements.

During the raw kombucha brewing process, bacteria and yeast form a mushroom-like film on the surface of the liquid. This blob is a living symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast, known as a SCOBY, and can be used to ferment new kombucha. A large amount of bacteria grow in the mixture. This means that raw kombucha contains several species of lactic-acid bacteria, which may have a probiotic function.

Probiotics provide your gut with healthy bacteria. These bacteria can improve many aspects of health, including digestion, immunity, and inflammation.


Deeper Taste

Kombucha tastes how it does due to the balance of sweetness and tartness. The fermented taste gives a certain depth to the flavour of Kombucha compared to other drinks like sugary sodas. It is brewed similarly to tea, so they share similar flavour profiles. Of course, with RISE’s broad range of flavours, not every kombucha tastes the same, but they do all have depth and taste delicious.


How To Know If Your Kombucha Is Pasteurized Or Unpasteurized?

Besides the taste and amount of health benefits, the best way to tell if your kombucha is pasteurized or unpasteurized is to look at the labels, shelf life, and whether it requires refrigeration. With RISE Kombucha, you can always rest assured that it is unpasteurized, as we want you to experience the full health benefits of kombucha.



Usually, unpasteurized kombucha producers mention “living cultures” on their labels, and the cost may be a bit higher as you are paying for a higher quality product that has flavour with more depth and significant health benefits.


Shelf Life

If the shelf life of your kombucha is above 6 months, it is a clear sign that the kombucha is
pasteurized. Natural, organic foods and beverages expire at natural speeds.


Kombucha Requires Refrigeration

Like dairy items, meat, and juice, raw kombucha needs refrigeration to maintain the live and active cultures. When kept at room temperature, the live cultures are more active, resulting in excess carbonation, a tart taste, and the production of alcohol.


Raw vs. Pasteurized Kombucha

To conclude, pasteurized kombucha is closer to sugary soda than natural kombucha, like RISE, is, and you should always choose the raw/unpasteurized kombucha, so you experience an authentic taste and the full health benefits. RISE Kombucha guarantees the full taste and benefits of raw kombucha while offering 10 delicious flavours, as well as our low sugar RISE 1g options.