Review: Bambucha

Posted: Aug 09, 2021 at 1:50 PM (Last Updated: Aug 11, 2021 at 7:59 AM)

Covers Products: Blueberry Tart (2021), Guava Punch (2021), Mango Masala (2021), Thai Ginger (2021)

Bambucha is a line of “chef crafted” raw kombucha beverages that are brewed in San Diego, CA. The products are packaged in 12 ounce cans, are USDA Organic certified and contain live kombucha cultures.

For this review, we sampled four flavors, including Guava Punch, Thai Ginger, Blueberry Tart and Mango Masala. According to the company’s web site, there is one other flavor, Hibiscus Rose, but we didn’t get a chance to try it. 

All four flavors are formulated to have 70 calories per 12 ounce can along with 12 grams of sugar. The products are made with a base of organic live kombucha and then flavored with other organic ingredients and natural flavors. 

For a product that markets itself as “chef crafted,” we had high expectations for the flavor of these drinks. Fortunately, Bambucha delivers. 

Our favorite flavor of the lineup was Thai Ginger, which is a riff on the classic lemon ginger flavor that’s found in almost every kombucha brand. In this case, they’ve replaced lemon with lemongrass and lime leaf which results in something that tastes a bit more sophisticated.

Mango Masala is another very clever and enjoyable creation that blends mango, lime, ginger, and cayenne to create something that’s sweet and spicy with a tangy kombucha finish. Blueberry Tart, which pairs blueberry, vanilla extract and almond extract (a pretty unique ingredient as far as kombucha is concerned), tastes like it was inspired by a fruit tart. Finally, there’s Guava Punch, which has notes of guava and pineapple to give it a tropical flavor that’s sure to be a crowd pleaser. 

As for the packaging and branding, each flavor has its own uniquely colored background and accent color rings (found around the top of the can) as well as a brightly colored illustration that features the core ingredients of the particular SKU.

The label copy reads hierarchically from top to bottom and it’s fairly easy to quickly scan the can to get the gist. The only piece of copy that gave us a slight pause is the word “big” in the brand’s “organic big kombucha” tagline. There’s no front-of-can explanation for this and it immediately made us wonder if this was a hard kombucha (it is not, of course). On the back of the can, you’ll find an explanation of both this and the brand name: the “big” is their way of saying that the drink has “big flavor” -- this is something that we’d suggest a different approach to conveying on the front panel. 

The above being said, the product is definitely straightforward and ticks all the boxes in terms of how it communicates what the product is, its flavor, and its core attributes, including vegan, non-GMO, and its USDA Organic certification. And we think a 12 ounce can is the right package choice both from a convenience and portion size standpoint. 

However, the Bambucha brand does feel like it needs a bit more flash to keep up with its larger and more mature competitors. This isn’t something that is likely to be an immediate issue, but is something that we think Bambucha should address as it grows.

In the end, we think that Bambucha is a worthy player in the kombucha space given that they’ve successfully created flavors that are original and extremely enjoyable. The branding is definitely something that we’d like to see evolve, but where it’s at right now is good enough for the brand to establish itself.

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