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Sparkling Probiotic Water 101

By Rory Streeter

So, what is water kefir?

By now you may have heard of our kombucha alternative Sparkling Probiotic Water. It looks and tastes different, but what is it exactly? Well, Sparkling Probiotic Water is the name we have given to our range of water kefir (keh-feer) beverages. 

Water kefir is a beverage not dissimilar to kombucha in that it is made by feeding a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY) with sugar and letting it ferment in order to develop a vanilla, creaming-soda-like flavour with less than 45 calories per serve. It is a non-dairy alternative to yoghurt kefir, as it is a prime source of the probiotic strains lactobacilli. 

Water kefir is a great choice for those who love the functionality and health benefits that kombucha has to offer, but don’t enjoy the signature sour flavour.

But how is it different?

Water kefir, known traditionally as Tibiscos or ‘Tibi’ for short, is made using a SCOBY. You might be thinking “yeah, so is kombucha - what’s your point?” 

While a kombucha SCOBY is a disc-shaped, jelly-like substance, a water kefir SCOBY is found in the form of small grains. They are called grains due to their small, grain-like shape, despite not containing any gluten. They are translucent and appear similar in colour to an unflavoured gummy bear!

For water kefir, the dominant bacteria strain is lactobacilli, commonly consumed in yoghurt and probiotic capsules. Many people believe this probiotic strain is only found in products containing lactose, however, this is a common misconception. Lactobacilli can be grown on a variety of simple sugars - in our case, we grow our water kefir using a blend of blackstrap molasses and evaporated cane juice.

The end result is a beverage that is extremely rich in probiotics, with over 1 billion probiotic units in each serving of Kommunity Brew Sparkling Probiotic Water.