Synergy Kombucha Review

by Ann on April 22, 2009


I’m always on the lookout for healthy additions to my kitchen.  I decided to try Kombucha after hearing and reading so much about it.  Kombucha is fermented tea, therefore, there is a slight amount of alcohol in it.  There are two main types - you can buy the kind with green tea, which is supposed to have some added green tea benefits, or black tea, which is the traditional kind. Like usual, the CDC and the Mayo Clinic advise against it until studies are done proving the potential benefits.  Kombucha makers and drinkers say that kombucha  helps the body with digestion with probiotics, its natural detoxification process and helps stabilize PH levels.  Also, there are die hard Kombucha fans out there that claim a myriad of benefits.  You get the idea, many of the natural health community think it’s fantastic.  You can make Kombucha at home but you first need a starter culture to make it and then be very careful so you don’t contaminate it and make yourself sick.  The best choice for me was to try what our Local Whole Foods carries -  GT’s Kombucha.  Their website shows the potential benefits.  I chose Syngergy because it has fruit juice added and since I read about it before I bought it- I was expecting a vinegar taste…definitely want to decrease the vinegar flavor with juice!   I was also aware that it has a natural carbonation - so don’t shake it up!  The bottle warns you but if you’re not expecting it and don’t read the fine print on your bottles, you’ll notice the bits floating around on the bottom of the glass and be tempted to shake it.  Don’t!  Mine shook slightly in the process of buying and and walking to my car and it sprayed a tad bit.  I can imagine if you give it a good shake!

Whole Foods had many different flavors and of those I purchased three: Divine Grape, Raspberry Rush, and Trilogy (raspberry, lemon and ginger).  I first tried Divine Grape because the guy at Whole Foods said that was the most well-liked flavor.  He also had a little wild look in his eye and wanted to know if I had ever tried it before.  “No.”  He smiled and said, “It’s really an acquired taste and it’s okay if you want to return them.  I like them and think they’re great.  Kombucha is really good for you.  But, it’s okay if you want to return them.”  Of course, this made me very excited to try it as soon as possible so I opened up the grape flavor right away - with a little spray like I said before since I’m not too graceful.  I took a BIG whiff- whoah!  Vinegar!  The first sip actually wasn’t as bad as I was expecting.  It almost felt like I was drinking a grape vinaigrette.  Weird, but not bad.  I could only drink half of the 16oz bottle.  I put the rest in the fridge when I got home because they’re pretty expensive!  I can’t say that my stomach felt any better afterwards, but I did feel a slight burst of energy with a little better focus than usual… I tend to get easily distracted usually.  My next try was the Trilogy flavor - this was the day after too much wine the night before.  I’m thinking it’ll help with digestion and energy so what a good thing to drink.  I picked the wrong flavor for my tastebuds!  Honestly, it was pretty bitter and although it’s not pretty to picture it, it made me belch.  Burping up the lemon ginger (I didn’t taste raspberry in it) bitterness is not good when your stomach isn’t right in the first place.  I drank a quarter of the bottle and gave it to my dad, who gave it to his trainer after a few sips.  Now I’m drinking the raspberry - which doesn’t remind me as much of a viniagrette so much as the grape, and had the most subtle of the vinegar flavors.  I want to make clear that the vinegar flavor really isn’t as bad as it sounds!  But you need to know that before you try it because the smell and flavor are pretty obvious.  I semi-enjoyed raspberry one, despite the vinegar flavor.  With all three, I never drank the whole bottle all at once, it probably depends on the person, but 2-3 times per bottle worked for me.  Make sure you refrigerate the bottle between drinking.  

I thought it would be fun to do a completely non-scientific test on my pH level.  I have some strips that you place under your tongue to test your pH level - so I had just eaten some hazlenut wafers and tested slightly acidic at 6.2… I usually am much higher than that.  A general balanced acidity level is between 6.4 to 6.8 and generally the higher the better, which is more alkaline.   After drinking almost half a bottle of the Raspberry Rush and almost an hour later, I tested at 6.4 which is a slight improvement.  Did I give myself enough time for the Kombucha to take effect?  I don’t know.

a note…  after performing a spellcheck on this post, the beginning half had lots of spelling errors and the lower half had none.  Conclusion: Kombucha made me spell/type better.

Update: I have purchased it again because I really liked the energy boost, but I’d probably have to be committed for awhile to determine if the other said benefits hold true for me.  After each try, I did feel an energy rush.  Not the jittery rush like you get with too much caffeine, but just a nice flow of energy.  However, with the high price and the crappy economy, I do feel guilty buying such an expensive drink!  And the fourth bottle (well…third since I didn’t really drink Trilogy) is the charm!  I guess I got used to the vinegar flavor and it wasn’t near as surprising of a punch as before.

Update again 2/2011!  I see lots of people find this review - but since GTS Syngergy Kombucha took a little break while Honest was making their kombucha (Hibiscus is awesome) and now GTS has been back for awhile, they changed their flavors.  The flavor that I recommend and can’t seem to get enough - Guava Goddess!

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

1 jennk/cinnamonquill May 11, 2009 at 5:05 pm

Ok, another comment because I am going through the archives now that I’ve found your site. I too am a recent convert to kombucha (GT Dave’s specifically), and I feel terribly guilty paying $4 a bottle. Yesterday at the grocery I said to my husband, can you even believe I am buying this stuff for that price? I raaaarely buy any kind of expensive drinks. I was curious about making my own but today I did a lot of reading and I’ve decided it is too risky for me to do. There are some scary “warnings” floating around about kombucha, but I figure as long as I am not drinking huge amounts every day, I am probably not at toooo much risk. The allergic reactions reported are a bit unnerving, but then again, allergic reactions happen with all kinds of foods/drinks.

Anyway, I enjoyed reading about your kombucha experience. My favorite flavor thus far is the guava, it’s groovy 🙂

2 Ann May 11, 2009 at 6:18 pm

Thanks for the suggestion, I’ll try guava. Another friend likes strawberry. I also thought about making it but am too unsure for the same reasons. However, I know of two people locally that have been making it for years without problems, so I may sign myself up for a class with them:) Or…just invite myself over for a drink!

3 Lora September 21, 2009 at 10:57 am

I just tried Strawberry and liked it a lot… it is a bit strong, but still nice and I was not expecting all the fizz. WOW… good thing I didn’t give it too much of a shake, as I saw the floaty bottom and thought you were suppose to and almost had an overflow, but was able to catch it.

4 Steve April 26, 2010 at 11:10 pm

Ummmmm……this stuff is AWFUL! Seriously, it tastes like straight vinegar. I was hoping that the addition of Mango (the one I tried) would make it kind of sweet and fruity. It was neither. Very strong flavor and I thought it was nasty.

5 Ann April 27, 2010 at 2:31 pm

That’s funny. Note to self, do not try Mango. I think it’s an acquired taste (I do enjoy vinegar based dressings so maybe that helped?) but some flavors do taste wayyyy better than others! Having said that, I still buy it only once in a blue moon. Never quite acquired a taste save for a few cravings here and there - grape flavor only.

6 wilburlou January 30, 2011 at 12:51 pm

Okay, I have read the comments….I just made my first Kombucha and let it ferment for 7 days. That was toooooo long for me, the taste was straight up apple cider vinegar. I made a second batch and let it ferment for 4 days…perfect. It taste like a wine spritzer. Delicous and I got an incredible buzz…lots of energy and a feeling of being very alert! Love it and all the other comments to the negative go away with the knowledge of the benefits and the increased energy. Easy to make.

7 Mike April 27, 2011 at 8:06 pm

I love Kombucha but have a hard time with the GT’s. It’s definitely a taste I had to learn to tolerate for the health benefits and energy rush. However someone recommended a Kombucha called Buchi, brewed in Asheville, NC. They are a small family owned organic farm in the mountains and it tastes GREAT! Much smaller circulation but if you happen to be near Asheville or an Earth Fare (and a few Whole Foods) you should try their limited edition. I think it tastes amazing and works better too 🙂

8 Meli November 15, 2011 at 5:01 pm

This is a great review! I discovered this line of drinks for the first time today at my supermarket. I tried the Cosmic Cranberry and LOVED it! I’m going to pick up a few more flavors. Thanks again for sharing your experience with these drinks!

9 Linda December 17, 2011 at 1:23 pm

Did anyone have digestive side effects from the synergy chia kombutcha? I’ve tried two new things recently, Coco Probiotic Milk and the Synergy Chia. My intestines are rumbling like crazy.
Has anyone had detoxing side effects?

10 Ann December 17, 2011 at 10:25 pm

I’ve never had any noticeable difference after kombucha- haven’t tried the chia one though. Except if I’m already feeling bad and the smell gets to me… 🙂

11 Caryl February 25, 2012 at 8:31 am

I tried Kombucha yesterday for the first time. I started with the Gingerade…I thought the taste is okay, but I think I made a mistake in trying to drink the whole bottle. I ended up being very bloated and that didn’t feel that great. How much should you drink at one time and what is the best time of the day to drink it? I have two more bottles to try Superfruits and Citrus, it sounds like the Grape on is the one to go with.

12 Ann February 25, 2012 at 1:00 pm

I recall drinking 1/3 bottle at a time - a year ago or so- you couldn’t buy synergy Kombucha anymore and had to buy Honest instead - the Honest Hibiscus flavor was my favorite of all! I don’t know if this is correct by any means - but a Whole Foods rep told me they shared a manufacturing facility and take turns using it so they don’t have their product out at the same time. Whaaat? Weird- so when Honest went away and Synergy came back- the flavors were all different! Very frustrating- I tried a couple and gave up. What in the world does botanical mix taste like- no description. You build a customer following and then change everything? Did I say frustrating? The ginger version whenI originally tried it was NOT my favorite either! 🙂

13 hazel odonnell March 16, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Would someone please tell me how you make Kombucha. thank you.

14 cari April 1, 2012 at 8:08 pm

I tried the synergy cosmic cranberry and it tastes like cranberry soda to me >> 3oz at a time is a treat !

15 Lily December 3, 2012 at 6:14 pm

I just tired Synergy Chia this weekend and i had an allergic reaction to it 😡 it was bad itchy, burning and swollen all over my body and its horrible. so not worth it, just do juicing (freshly made/evolution juice) or eat more healthy food cause drinking Synergy Chia is waste of money and my health! yicks

16 Kayla Ann April 19, 2013 at 4:48 am

I went to my local Co-op market last night and pick up a bottle of Synergy. They had a co-owners sale going on for 2 for $5. With a deal like that i couldn’t pass it up! I picked up the Guava Goddess flavor and the ginger. I tried the Guava Goddess and all i have to say is OMG! I love the flavor. I am a big fan or sweet/bitter wine and it kinda gives a similar taste in comparison. I haven’t tried the ginger yet and i am hoping i get a positive result since i love ginger.

17 Mario Savioni March 13, 2014 at 12:00 am

I swear someone is coughing up a giant loogie and launching it in my “Synergy - Organic and Raw Kombucha.” It’s the only company that comes with loogie-like material in the bottle, third time. This time I looked and retrieved it at the outset and threw it in the sink. Where’s the Harbin product that never had that?

Anyway, I’ve been drinking Kombucha after watching an infomercial about Candida and its take-over of the stomach, where an 80-20% ratio over good bacteria is said to have occurred because of the American diet, which is basically various kinds of sugar, which over-produces fungus in the gut and allows food products (pieces) in the blood and, I believe made me sick, coupled with a wheat allergy and perhaps a response to dairy products. Debbie gives a list of symptoms that she attributes to a Candida over-taking of good bacteria in the stomach, where the ratio should be 20% fungus and 80% good bacteria (See:

Anyway, I fell off my bike a couple of years ago and was in very good shape up to that point. Over time I fell out of shape riding my bike say once after about two years.

I grew a belly and ate crap (so-called “comfort foods”). Since employing Debbie’s diet and drinking Kombucha, I’ve notice a change. Just the other day I went riding with a buddy and I always felt terrible, short-winded, lethargic. There was a threshold that I kept meeting. Then one day, about a week ago, correlated, I think, with my close adherence to the diet, I went riding and did not have a threshold, but left my friend in the dust as well as passed everyone else on the bike trail. I called my friend, where I had basically gone the entire distance we usually travel and he was probably half the distance, while I was arriving home.

Today, for example, I just said I would climb Mount Diablo, a 3800 foot mountain in the Bay Area of California by bike. I left at 2:38PM from my house and returned at 7PM, 18.7 miles one way. I am a 53 year old man.

I have never felt better. Kombucha and a diet like Debbie’s may save us all from the American diet.

18 Brenda March 18, 2014 at 6:28 pm

Love Cherry Chia ….. Tiny gelatinous seeds in a mix of cherry juice and kombucha.. and my hubby and I consume no more than 1/2 bottle each day. Seemed to balance out our digestive and kidney tracts. Chia gives a balanced added energy.

19 Kelsey June 24, 2014 at 3:07 pm

Thanks for the post. I had my first sip of the Raspberry Chia and was ready to throw it out thinking it was rotten! Now that I know it’s not, I’ve allowed myself to actually enjoy the drink.

20 Shelley Ryan September 3, 2014 at 6:53 pm

Where can I find your brand of Kombucha I live in Amsterdam NY right outside of Albany. Does Hannaford carry your brand?

21 Mario J Savioni October 4, 2016 at 5:22 am

I need to follow-up on some things I said earlier, more than two years ago. I haven’t drank Kombucha for a while. Someone mentioned that it affected stomach lining, which of course I have no facts to confirm or deny that assertion. I had a heart attack in March of this year, exactly two years after I said I did well having drank the beverage and climbed Mt. Diablo. I have yet to climb the mountain since my heart attack. The idea seems daunting. I don’t know anymore about what helps or hinders you. Turns out my genes had their own ideas.

22 organic raw kombucha tea May 11, 2018 at 3:48 am

great post

23 marilyn gri July 4, 2018 at 1:37 pm

The worst tasting product and when opened fuzzed over and made a huge mess in my new car ….everytime I re-opened it, it blew up again and I was very careful not to shake it when I bought it … a terrible product, tasting and otherwise

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