How to Get A Free Kombucha SCOBY

Kombucha tea with SCOBY
Kombucha tea with SCOBY (Image: kombuchatea-1528419-tn)

Of course you want more kombucha tea - who wouldn't? It's super-healthy, low in calories and experts are touting it as the next super-food. At $4-5 a bottle though, a daily habit can be a major hit to your wallet! Well, you could make kombucha yourself - but kombucha cultures start at $20 for two mushrooms. Why pay for a SCOBY (or Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast, a.k.a. a kombucha starter), when you can easily get one for free? Here's how to get a free kombucha SCOBY:

Science is your favor! Did you know that anyone who brews their own kombucha will naturally have a SCOBY or two sitting around at home? If they can't use these starters, they eventually have to just throw them away. But a lot of kombucha makers want to share the joys and health benefits of this fantastic beverage and hate to see a perfectly good SCOBY go to waste. The easiest way to find a SCOBY is to tap into your friend network on Facebook or MySpace. Just post what you're looking for as your profile message for the day. Depending on who your friends are, you're almost guaranteed a response!

No luck with the friend network? No problem - just expand your search. Try posting a message on, a network where members exchange new and used items in an effort to pass them on to folks who need them. Because Freecycle members are typically very concerned with being green, they're likely to have come across kombucha and its benefits before. If they've got a SCOBY, they'd be happy to give it to you - as long as you promise not to turn around and try to sell it somewhere else. is always an excellent place to get a free kombucha SCOBY. Simply do a general search in your area for "kombucha," or try posting what you're looking for in the Wanted or Free sections, under the For Sale heading.

Ok, it's time to go world-wide with your search! Check out The Kombucha Exchange, a German website dedicated to the exchange of kombucha SCOBYs. Scroll down a bit and select your country, and you'll see a list of people willing to mail you a SCOBY, or let you pick one up at their home. Cross your fingers, and drop someone a line.

Once you've received your free SCOBY, remember the golden rule! Offer up your SCOBYs for free once they develop, and let the health benefits spread. Kombucha for everyone!

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