Kvass & Kombucha: How Different or Similar Are These?

Rohit Panwar

Kvass vs kombucha can be a real challenge of choice. Due to their similar sounds of names and appearance people often think they are the same.

As a nutritionist, I am going to explain the difference between kvass and kombucha. It will assist you to pick the right fermented drink for yourself. 

Kvass vs Kombucha – Let’s Find Out Their Unique Traits

A quick comparative glance to know if kvass and kombucha really same or not:


Rye Bread/Vegetables


Black or Green Tea, Sugar & SCOBY


Sour & Sweet


Sweet & Tart


3-4 days


5-10 days


1 cup


1-2 cups












Very Good








Very Good


 4-6 weeks


 1-3 months





*Source: USDA; Quantity defined is 1 cup

Is Kvass Like Kombucha in Terms of Key Ingredients?

No, kvass is prepared with different ingredients from kombucha. There are two kinds of kvass: bread kvass and beet kvass. Bread kvass is made of mostly rye bread but you can make it with wheat or other grains’ bread too.

As the name says, beetroots are used for beet kvass. You can also find other vegetable and fruit based kvass such as berries, carrot etc.

Kombucha is the mix of three ingredients: black or green tea, sugar and SCOBY. Here SCOBY stands for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. 

These days you can find kombucha in many fruity flavors. Since tea is an ingredient, it contains caffeine.  

How Do Kvass and Kombucha Differ in Taste?

Bread kvass tastes grainy, tangy and mild sweet.  Whereas beet kvass has an earthy and tangy flavor. It is more sweet than bread kvass due to the natural sweetness of beetroots. 

Kombucha is a traditional bubbly probiotic  drink that originated in China. It tastes sweet and tart. Since sugar is also an ingredient, it is sweeter than kvass. If making it at home, you can add less sugar to get a prominent tart flavor. 

Kvass vs Kombucha: Which Takes Longer to Ferment?

You need to ferment kvass for 3-4 days. Whereas, kombucha can be fermented for 5-10 days. Fermentation depends a lot on weather. In winters it takes long but during summers it takes less time. 

You can ferment these drinks longer if you want a malt effect. The longer you will ferment, there will be less probiotics and more alcohol in them. 

How Different Are Kvass & Kombucha in Comparison to Water Kefir?

| Kvass Vs Water Kefir |

| Kombucha Vs Water Kefir |

How Much Kvass or Kombucha Can Be Consumed Per Day?

Originated in Russia and Ukraine, this Slavic beverage is known for its nutritional benefits. To get maximum benefits of it, add 1 cup of kvass in your daily life. 

Kombucha origins are as hazy as the color of this probiotic rich tea. However, it is widely believed that it started from China and reached Europe and Russia via silk road. 

Nowadays, it is loved by many people throughout the world. You can have 1-2 cups per day of this delectable healthy drink. 

Which Has Less Calories: Kvass or Kombucha?

Beet based kvass has 20-25 calories but bread based kvass has up to 74. People who want to limit their calorie intake for the beet kvass is a better option compared to bread kvass. 

Kombucha’s calories depend on how much sugar or fruit juice you add in that. It is mostly between 20 to 50. For a low calorie kombucha, make it at home with less sugar. If you opt for a packed one then try to find the brand which has less sugar in it. 

Kvass vs Kombucha: Compare the Nutritional Diversity

Kvass and kombucha are fermented beverages. Fermented beverages and foods are part of functional foods. Functional foods provide therapeutic benefits and are considered as “superfoods.” 

Bread kvass contains a little amount of protein, vitamin 12, selenium and manganese. Beet kvass has more antioxidants with potassium, vitamins A, C and natural nitrate. 

Kombucha is rich in antioxidants and has some B vitamins. If made with green tea, it contains many bioactive compounds that promote good health.  All these nutrients can help in weight management. 

More Stomach Friendly Option: Kvass or Kombucha

Kvass and kombucha both are loaded with probiotics. These healthy bacteria help to improve your digestion and keep your stomach happy. They help to improve your immune system as well.  

However, kombucha has more probiotics and this makes it a better choice for your tummy. This fermented tea helps to maintain your gut health.

Best Time to Have Kvass Vs Kombucha

Since, kvass and kombucha contain probiotics and are tart in taste, it is better to have both these drinks in the afternoon. 

Most of the people like to have these two drinks post lunch. I won’t recommend having these drinks at night as you might feel discomfort in your stomach. 

Kvass vs Kombucha’s Body Cooling Impact

Having a cup of kvass or kombucha is an excellent way to keep yourself hydrated during hot weather. Both the drinks contain many electrolytes such as potassium, magnesium and manganese. 

These electrolytes help to keep your body hydrated. Besides, they have lots of water to cool you down. Having a cold cup of kvass or kombucha would be a great option for quenching your thirst. 

How Long Can You Store Kvass or Kombucha?

Compared to kvass, kombucha can be stored for longer. Kvass can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 month whereas kombucha can stay for 3 months. 

My personal recommendation will be to have kvass and kombucha as fresh as possible. To get maximum benefits with these super foods, consume them within 4-5 days after fermentation. 

Which Can Be Used in Different Ways: Kvass or Kombucha?

Kvass and kombucha, both have limited use in the kitchen. You can have them straight or add as a base to your cocktails or mocktails. 

In stores you can find many different flavors for both of these probiotic drinks. Although, you must be conscious of the sugar content of the pack ones. 

If you are consuming fermented drink first time, then have in small quantity, They may cause bloating or nausea sensation initially.

More Allergy Friendly: Kvass or Kombucha?

Both kvass and kombucha are dairy free and lactose free. These are good choices for the people who are lactose intolerant and can’t have yogurt or milk kefir. These drinks are environment and vegan friendly as well. 

If you have a gluten allergy then avoid bread kvass. On the other hand, if you are not a caffeine lover then pick kvass instead of kombucha.  

With this I will take a pause. I hope you get all the clarity about kvass vs kombucha after going through my post. 

If you have any other query, do write in the comment section. I will get back to you as soon as possible. 

Rohit Panwar

Hi! I'm Integrated Nutrition Coach Rohit Panwar. I hold twin Certifications from IIN, New York & SAFM, Massachusetts. I am a passionate vocalist of holistic lifestyle and have fully committed the past several years to educate & empower people towards their wellbeing. Despite a successful yet hectic corporate stint of 21+ years, I have prioritised nutriment in my life. I truly hope my personal journey from illness to wellness helps everybody reading this forge their own path.