“Fermented tea has been consumed in China since 5,000 years ago,” Ella Davar, R.D., C.D.N., told mindbodygreen. And because kombucha starts with a tea base, there will likely be some caffeine in the final product—but there’s a few factors that can impact just how much.
“Unflavored kombucha generally contains a small amount of caffeine per eight ounces,” says Davar—but not all kombucha is left unflavored, nor is it all processed the same exact way, which can impact the final caffeine and nutrient profile. “That’s why the manufacturing technology, it’s microbiota, byproducts, and physicochemical properties are important facts to consider,” she says.
Most importantly, your fizzy drink will not have as much caffeine as the tea it was started with does. The fermentation process will take some of the caffeine with it as it goes, leaving most kombucha with less caffeine than your average cup of decaf coffee.
People who are particularly sensitive to caffeine or who have cut out caffeine entirely may notice the small amounts, but if you’re used to having a daily cup of coffee (or two), the low caffeine level in kombucha likely won’t be noticeable.