Maybe you're trying to add more fermented foods in your diet. Or maybe you're just into the new, hippest food trends. But when it comes to deciding with kombucha vs kefir, how do you know what to choose? 

These two drinks don't look much alike when it comes to consistency, but they are in the same fermented food group. They both have beneficial probiotics and aren't something you'll see everyday. In fact, I don't know a lot of people who even know what these two drinks are. 

If you're confused about which to choose or just want to know more about kombucha and kefir, then this is for you. Here's a rundown of the two drinks, and what exactly the difference is between them. 

What is Kefir?  

In really simple terms, Kefir is just drinkable yogurt. Doesn't sound too bad, right? You'll be getting all of the beneficial bacteria that is found in yogurt, plus a little more. Kefir is filled with many important vitamins and minerals, and it won't cause problems for your digestive system (if you're trying to watch that). 

Unlike yogurt, all you need to make Kefir are Kefir grains (not actual grains, so it's okay if you're gluten-free). The grains contain a bacteria and yeast mixture that are bound together with milk proteins and complex sugars. Once the grains are used to make a batch of Kefir, they are removed and can be reused again in the future. 

It's all pretty simple. In fact, you can buy the Kefir grains at the store and make your own Kefir at home. All you have to do is buy the grain (which you can even buy on Amazon), and then it add it to a glass of milk. Leave it out for 24 hours, remove the grain from the mixture, and you have yourself a glass of kefir. This would most definitely classify yourself as a cook. 

What is Kombucha? 

juice, jam, sweet, marmalade, gelatin
Sina D'Amico

Kombucha is probably different than most things you have seen before. This tea-based drink is made from a mixture of bacteria, tea and sugar. You might be put off at first because of it's vinegar-like smell, but the taste isn't so bad. Don't be scared away by the live culture that's at the bottom of the bottle - it's supposed to be there (and it's the healthy stuff). 

You can make your own Kombucha if you're feeling adventurous. All you need is a SCOBY (which you can make at home or buy) and some black or green tea. Once you have the SCOBY (which stands for "symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast"), you mix it with the tea and then let it sit for about 10 days. Make sure you add in some sugar if you want to give it a sweeter taste. 

Another SCOBY (which might look slimy and gross) will form at the top of the jar, so take it out and save it for another batch of Kombucha. You'll be left with a healthy, probiotic-infused drink that will help with your gut health. Why wouldn't you want to buy (or make) this drink? 

Are they similar? 

The kombucha vs kefir debate can be solved if you're deciding strictly on nutritional benefits. Both Kombucha and Kefir have many probiotics and help bring healthy bacteria into your gut. This will help your digestive system and even strengthen your immune system. Both drinks undergo the fermentation process and need a starting material to be made (the SCOBY and Kefir grains). 

Okay, but what's the difference? 

There's quite a few differences, actually. First off, the consistency of both drinks are different. Kefir has a creamier taste, while Kombucha is smoother and tastes bitter. Although both have healthier microbes, the ones that each holds are different. Kombucha has more digestive aid bacterias while Kefir has more Lactic Acid Bacteria (because of the milk). 

Kombucha also has some caffeine in it since it's made from tea. Kefir is a good source of calcium, since it's made from milk. Since Kefir is made from milk, it's not lactose-free and can't be enjoyed by people with special diets. Kombucha, on the other hand, can be enjoyed by those with even special diets. 

The kombucha vs kefir debate really comes down to what kind of flavor you're looking for. Since the nutritional benefits are virtually the same for both drinks, it all comes down to taste. I'd recommend stocking up on both so you have them for when the cravings hit.