The Kombucha Research Lab at Oregon State University, headed by Dr. Christopher Curtin, is conducting a new experiment to develop standards of identity for Kombucha products. With an increasing assortment of flavours and brands, the range of Kombucha products has been ever broadening. Kombucha Brewers International in collaboration with the Curtin Lab is determining Kombucha styles based upon organic acid and metabolite byproducts. Finished products as well as information regarding tea type and juice additives will be collected to construct a network of Kombucha composition. Nuclear magnetic resonance technology will be used to produce individual reports as well as to fulfill the study’s objective. 

What is the goal of the study?

  • ​Analyze finished products to determine amounts and types of analytes present
  • Use known properties from analytes to correlate to flavor profiles
  • Test TA/Brix to determine Kombucha Sourness Unit (KSU) scale – intended for consumers
  • Offer DNA Sequencing as an additional opportunity for those wanting more insight into which organisms are in their products at an affordable price

What is needed for participation?

In order to participate in the study, a finished product must be mailed to a laboratory personnel COLD (if possible, or room temp if too cost prohibitive). A brand may submit one or more samples for the study. For each sample submission, a questionnaire is to be filled out, containing information about tea type, flavor, juice additions, sweetening agent, and descriptors of flavor. The questionnaire must be completed for sample processing. 

When do you need to receive samples?

Sample collection begins May 25th and runs through July 30th. 

Results will be presented at Virtual KombuchaKon (VKK) – Sept 17-18, 2020 – individual results will be shared prior to VKK

How does my brand participate?

  1. Decide how many samples you’d like to have analyzed.
  2. Purchase that number of tests.
    1. KBI members = $125 per sample
    2. Non KBI members = $250 per sample
  3. Decide whether you want one or more of your sample(s) DNA sequenced, and purchase that number of tests (you will indicate which samples to DNA sequence in your questionnaire).
  4. Fill out Questionnaire (which will be emailed to you following your payment) – MUST BE COMPLETE IN ORDER TO RECEIVE REPORT – no refunds will be issued for incomplete questionnaires.
  5. Send samples on ice (if possible).
  6. Wait for results.


We need at least 35 brands to participate in the DNA Sequencing portion in order for the Curtin Lab to be able to run the tests. To help with that aim, we’ve extended the dates for sample collection. And if 50 samples or more are tested, the cost goes down (and KBI will refund excess payment).

​DNA Sequencing Cost per sample
​35 samples = $225 KBI members; $350 non-members
​50 samples = $165 KBI members; $260 non-members – SIGNIFICANT SAVINGS
​100 samples = $125 KBI members; $180 non- members – BEST PRICE

Sample Report


KBI Style Study

Choose your status

After you have indicated your member status and selected the number of samples you will be submitting above, choose whether to add DNA Sequencing to your sample(s) below.  DNA sequencing is an add-on to the Style Study only.  You may not select DNA sequencing, without also participating in the Style Study, but you may choose to DNA sequence just one, or a selection of, the samples you submit.  You will indicate which sample(s) you would like DNA sequenced when you complete the questionnaire you will receive after you are confirmed.

DNA Sequencing

Choose your status