Organic Kombucha

Kombucha Tea, Cultures, Benefits and Hazards

The real reason kombucha has been removed from Wholefoods… June 28, 2010

Filed under: dave,Getting Cultured — dlindy2730 @ 5:46 pm

Below is what one of our kombuchaholics wrote me and with her permission I am sharing it with the rest of you!! Thanks Vicki!


I am in the food manufacturing business. This sounds like one of those silly
regs that makes manufacturers crazy. So, they now have a huge expense in
that none of their existing labels are any good (very expensive, all those
colors and they have to toss them) and they have to make new labels. They
had to ship back product and reship to the store plus the loss of sales
while it’s off the shelf. This is a really big deal for all those Kombucha
manufacturers. Of course, if they were smart, they have insurance and it
should cover the recall. This shouldn’t affect you in any way what so
ever, this is just a glitch and my guess is, the Kombucha will be back on
the shelves fairly quickly with the revised label.

All that said, thank goodness we have our home brewing system! We actually
started a second brewer with one of the baby scoby’s so now, we have as much
as we can possibly drink and we owe it all to you! Many thanks,



Vicki then wrote to us today the following…


Found out more about the pulling of the Kombucha. I was in my health food
store today and they are still carrying. The letter she got from the FDA was
about alcohol content and EXCISE TAXES! We should have known this came down
to money. The FDA is testing Kombucha to see if there is enough alcohol in
it to warrant the special labels and the alcohol tax-plus the stores would
have to have a license to sell it! If it has less than non-alcoholic beer,
hopefully it will pass the test. In the meantime, you may see sales shoot


========= Dave’s Response ==================

First off it is so awesome to see other people (especially from our kombucha community), get so involved. Secondly.. yes! sales have been off the charts.. and we are BACK ORDERED for about a week or two. Please still order as we are fulfilling the orders on a first come first serve.. so if you keep waiting it will only be longer.. that said I refuse so ship out anything (especially cultures) until they are full grown and super hero healthy!! I do not care if I loose sales.. as I know I will gain long term awesome loyal customers (just go ask the crazy kombuchaholics that have been with me since the get go.. YOU. GUYS. ROCK!).


11 Responses to “The real reason kombucha has been removed from Wholefoods…”

  1. Marah Smith Says:

    Hi thanks so much this is awesome just finished my 6 days and bottled my first batch my ‘mother’ is looking like jelly and growing fast 🙂 i am so excited. I did have to re attach my spigot – which was fine (i think) i put my scoby in my stainless steel pot with lots of starter tea while i cleaned up my porcelain jar and reattached the spigot – i found the instructions on the website much clearer than the instruction on the pamphlet that
    came with the spigot … huge difference.
    Thanks Dave this is a great contraption

  2. Dave,

    It may not be that easy. Enjoy your direct sales while you can, because last time I checked alcoholic beverages cannot be sold through the mail. And make no mistake, the TTB will be classifying ALL kombucha as an alcoholic beverage. From my understanding, all kombuchas are testing at above .5%, whether brewers do a 2nd ferment or not. And in my discussions with the TTB, when they test samples they will be allowing the samples to “cook” on the shelf for a few days, out of the cooler, pretty much guaranteeing a result over .5%. (In their mind Joe Consumer may leave theirs out of the fridge and in a bottle so it could very well turn into an alcoholic beverage).

    Just a head’s up from someone keeping very close tabs.

  3. Theresa Says:

    Dave,I agree with, Vicki..All they want is money.I buy kombucha .I don’t make it ..Theresa

  4. linda n. Says:

    I love kombucha have been drinking one bottle a day for over 3 yrs now and its a huge plus in my life. I have RA and I swear it helps. For one I think it has really helped in my platlett count which was always always very low. Well now its just slightly under normal. My dr. said I’m crazy. maybe I am but I really think this stuff is great…Wish we could get an email giving us a heads-up on the return to the shelf thanks alot linda

  5. Susan Says:

    I am glad I discovered the art of brewing my own- just in time. I just successfully brewed my first batch, on my first try and got a beautiful “scoby” to boot! I am waiting to set up the new system – I have to go away for 5 days in about two weeks. But I have a batch brewing now- so everything is timed right for going away. I have friends on my scoby waiting list too- LOL! People need to get back in touch with their food- and brewing Kombucha is a great way to do it! Peace, Susan

  6. Julia Ann Faulkner Says:

    I have only ordered 1 bottle and was trying to order another just last night and I couldn’t get it to go through. Guess this is the reason. I don’t know why when I finally get something that is good this seems to happen. I am very upset about the whole thing…..Julia Ann

  7. Barbara Says:

    My local market has also taken Kombucha off their shelves. Posting the same reason Whole Foods used. I hope it will back on the shelves soon.

  8. Bill Says:

    I turned out my first batch today and my wife and I experimented with tastes:

    – cherry from crystal light – not too cool
    – pomegranate from crystal light – ok
    – pomegranate/lime combo from Trader Joe’s – good
    – cranberry from crystal light – good

    So many experiments, so little time.


  9. Jo Porter Says:

    I have quite a tale of misery with seasonal allergies. Middle of May I feel it creeping in, you know, itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing and swelling face….and true to my personality, I wait, hoping it won’t happen. Then when I know I had better start pumping “Flonase” before it hits the fan, I shell out the $80.00 per bottle and off we go. Been like this from age 45. I am now almost 53. So, I discovered GT Daves kombucha at our local health food store and rather liked the unusual vinegar like flavor. Tried them all…I was so happy to find a refreshing, tasty, low-cal and seemingly REALLY good for you drink! I started to drink 1-3 a day for about 3 months or so before May. Well, May came and went without the usual signs of the impending allergy attack. June, same…..I was so happy to find this kombucha stuff to be available in all our local supermarkets, not just at the over-priced wanna be hipster “health food stores” here in Bellingham. Washington, that is. So, when the product went on “sale” I was elated as the price per bottle averaged $3.25 and now I was paying as little as $2.00. Naturally, I bought as much as I could find. Then It’s gone. Poof! no explanation. One retailer posted a flyer from it’s distributer that was unclear..anyway, I thought it would be a very temporary shortage….not to be. Long story short, I had no kombucha for about 3 weeks. One sunny day I was minding my own business, happily riding my lawn mower when I started to feel that tell-tale itch, sneeze…scratch….AHHHHHHH!!! Mind you, I always wear a surgical mask when cutting the grass. (habit) I took a shower and forgot about it. Long about 3am I awoke to the most severe alergic reaction I had ever experienced. The itching was untouchable. My face was swollen like a football, my neck, the same. My eyes were slits and the red welts everywhere resembled being in the boxing ring with Ali 10 rounds, sans the blood! The itching was intolerable. (you can imagine the redness and not to mention the rawness from scratching) The swelling was impressive. I pawed through my cabinets and found some 3 year old Benydrill and too 3. It allowed me to sleep. But not for long. Not having a Dr. I walked into the local walk in clinic, (which I prefer much more than an MD’s office) And was seen in 10 minutes…..The Dr. looked at me a quickly figured out what was wrong. Without much ado, he writes a prescription for “Flonase” and hands me a few pills to take now, Benydrill. And I notice a 2nd. prescription he wrote for Prednisone!!!!!!I freaked and told him he could take that one back, I would never take that poison!! He calmed me down and said only for 3 days, after all he said look in the mirror. I relented. So, back on the steroids I go. So, My story is I absolutely believe that kombucha was restoring balance or beefing up my immune system or whatever it does to hold off my allergy’s annual visit!! It is now August 27th. I have my first batch brewing and don’t have a clue what the hell I am doing!! The “baby” or “mother” or “scoby” or whever you call it is growing and there is a 1/2 thick white blob growing on top of my jar. It smells like kombucha….looks a little creepy, but I am afraid to taste it… 😦 HELP!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanx,
    Jo 🙂

  10. Bill Says:

    I have a 2 1/2 gallon bottle of it – the bottle is from Target – and I make a gallon every couple of days. I drink it all the time – my fav is either limes or lemons cut up with some Splenda and a 1/2 tsp of Crystal Lite Cranberry powder. I put that in a quart jar and add the fresh Kombucha and put it in the fridge for a day… yum.

    And to make the K, I brew a gallon of tea and add sugar – a cup or so. Cool. Drain off 1 gallon of K from the 2 1/2 gallon bottle and add the cool tea. Wait 3 – 5 days and repeat. All the K you could ever want.

    I don’t know about the health claims but it tastes great. Pomegranate with lime is also good – and I drink the K over ice.

    Oh yes, I strain the K before adding it to a glass with ice in it.

  11. Clem from Baltimore Says:

    Marah, hey there! Remember our pleasant walking date around Baltimore Inner Harbor with Kombucha and other stuff from Whole Foods? It would be great to get in touch – but I don’t think either of us have the others’ contact info. if you want, email me at my home email of

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