Overall, I think Humm Kombucha is on the right track to being extremely sustainable, as well as ethical. I think that Humm has the potential to be a corporate model for many especially in the kombucha and beverage industry. I think it is very admirable that Humm kombucha is certified organic and vegan, but I also think there is more room for transparency with where they are getting the products used and how they are getting to where the kombucha is made. There is not too much information about how the kombucha is packaged and distributed, but this would also play a role in the environmental impact of Humm kombucha. It did not go unnoticed during my research that Humm kombucha is women owned and the company as a whole is very focused on equality and mutual respect. Although this is less related to their sustainability rating, supporting companies that are focused on equity is important to me.
The ingredients in the Humm Zero Raspberry Lemonade kombucha are minimal, which is good to see. The main ingredient listed is organic raw carbonated kombucha which contains filtered water, green and black tea, white grape juice, organic cane sugar, and live kombucha cultures. The other minor ingredients are allulose syrup, monk fruit, and natural flavors. According to their website allulose syrup and monk fruit are the natural sweeteners the company uses. The kombucha is certified vegan as well as certified Oregon tilth organic. This Oregon Tilth certification means that the kombucha was made organically as well as in a socially equitable way, which is a plus. Although there is not much information about where the company is sourcing their produce, such as tea leaves, monk fruit, and natural flavors, the Oregon Tilth certification website leads me to the understanding that Oregon Tilth can provide companies with certified operators and producers of different crops. This makes me very hopeful, as Oregon Tilth seems like a trustworthy company that is focused more locally on companies based in the state of Oregon. That said, I do think that Humm does have room to be a bit more specific with what is in their kombucha and where it is from. I know consumers, like me, would love to know where the tea, flavors, and sweetener is coming from!
According to their website, Humm Zero Kombucha is made by starting with just water, tea, and sugar. They then ferment the kombucha which gets rid of the sugar and produces probiotics. Finally, they add the natural flavoring, then carbonate, and can. Humm kombucha uses a very unique fermentation process compared to the rest of the kombucha industry. Most kombucha goes through extensive processing through filtration to receive a non-alcoholic certification, but Humm uses their own unique technique. The details of how the fermentation and tests are done is not specified, I am assuming because the process is currently patent-pending. I hope that Humm will eventually be open and explain the exact techniques they use for producing their kombucha. Humm kombucha is bottled in glass bottles and recyclable cans, which is very great to see! There is not much information about how the kombucha is actually bottled and produced.
Humm Kombucha began in Bend, Oregon by two women. The Humm brewery is located in Bend, Oregon, as well as a kombucha taproom located in Bend as well. According to their website, Humm is focused on creating a welcoming and safe community for their staff at Humm stores, factories, and more. Humm claims to have “a culture of inclusion and open communication.” Humm has a focus on treating staff and business partners with mutual respect and equality. This is very nice to see. There is not much information about who exactly is making the kombucha within their brewery in Bend, Oregon.