Is anyone else curious about the currently popular GTS Organic & Raw Kombucha at Costco?
This review was originally done as a guest post for the amazing Costco West fan blog. Please visit this website to see Costco deals in Western Canada or even if you're just curious about the different products Costco currently is offering!
Please note that this review was not paid for or sponsored by any third party. I purchased this product with my own money and the opinions in this review are strictly my own. I am not affiliated with Costco or any of its suppliers. I am just a fan of the company. I write these reviews to help my fellow shoppers.
There has been a lot of talk about Kombucha recently, particularly the health benefits people gain from drinking it. Kombucha has actually been around for a really long time and is most famous for improving gut health. I had to do some research to find out what Kombucha actually is so I could share that information with you.
Costco’s GTS Organic & Raw Kombucha is basically fermented black and green tea as well as enzymes, so like other fermented food it is full of healthy probiotics. It also contains polyphenols, active enzymes and amino acids (things that help healthy digestion and are good for your stomach). A lot of individuals with digestion issues claim this has really helped them feel better and improved their overall wellbeing. The articles I have read on Kombucha claim it can boost energy, speed healing, reduce glucose levels after a meal, prevent cancer, improve arthritis and inflammation, reduce risk of heart disease and even aid in weight loss. I’m a food reviewer, not a scientist, but I wanted to provide some background information!
GTS Organic & Raw Gingerade Kombucha bought at Costco is not cheap. I have coworkers that have decided to replace their morning coffee with Kombucha since it has caffeine. If your morning coffee is usually $3 to $5, then I suppose doing that would offset the price, but for me this was definitely a more expensive purchase. I purchased these at Costco for $18.99 Canadian (which is full price). For $18.99 you get 6 bottles that are 480 ml each. I also had to pay a deposit which added to the cost. Not cheap. If I could buy these on sale I think I would feel a lot better about the cost. At farmers’ markets and smaller specialty stores, Kombucha can either be cheaper or less expensive than Costco; I’ve seen it at prices ranging from $3 to $7 dollars per bottle. Based on that, Costco is possibly a cheaper option for purchasing Kombucha, especially if it is on sale.
In brief there are a ton of claims about the huge health benefits related to drinking Kombucha. Nutritionally each bottle has 60 calories, 0 grams of fat and 4 grams of sugar. The ingredient list is super short: water, Kombucha culture, black tea, green tea and ginger juice. If you were thinking about replacing your morning iced frappuccino with this, it would be a healthier option, but it still does have sugar from the ginger juice. If you are pregnant, breast feeding or not able to have caffeine it’s recommended that you do not consume Kombucha.
The tea comes in a sealed box that has separations in the box to protect each bottle. Basically you just swirl the tea a few times to mix it up and drink it (side note: do not shake it as it will explode). The tea is convenient in the sense you don’t need to add anything to it. However, the box is quite heavy and large which makes it less convenient. It comes in glass bottles that are heavy and more prone to breaking. Also, there is an expiry date on the box (about two months), so if you’re like me and leave things in your fridge for extended periods of time before consuming you may want to think twice before spending 20 dollars on a case.
GTS Organic & Raw Gingerade Kombucha tastes very gingery, so if ginger is not your thing, you probably won’t be in love with this. This definitely does not taste like a soda or a sweet juice. It is a “live” beverage so the bottles had a few live active culture floaters in it from the bacteria culture. It is quite fizzy, not very sweet at all, just a slight sweetness from the ginger juice. It tasted more like green tea than black tea to me. It definitely has a little bit of acidity and a slight vinegar taste. Overall, it’s actually quite refreshing because it isn’t sweet. I think it’s always fun to be adventurous and try new things!
Overall I probably won’t purchase this Kombucha again. I didn’t love the taste and I have a hard time justifying the cost. I didn’t notice numerous increased health benefits personally (other than increased energy after consuming, most likely from the caffeine. I generally don’t have any digestive concerns, but if I did I would definitely consider committing to drinking a bottle a day for at least two weeks to see if my condition would improve. I think I would prefer a mango or raspberry flavored Kombucha as ginger isn’t my favorite, but if you like ginger and have gut health concerns or just want to be adventurous, I recommend trying this! The taste was fine and for 60 calories it is a refreshing, fizzy beverage that makes you feel like you’re doing something healthy for yourself.
Cost: 3/10 (not cheap)
Have you had Kombucha before? Do you like it? Anyone notice the health benefits from it?