How to pronounce Kombucha – the debate
It may sound hilarious, but there is a genuine debate right now about the correct pronunciation of ‘Kombucha’ that riles up ‘booch lovers around the globe. We investigate and conclude the correct way to say it once and for all!
A modern debate for modern times
Most people would consider something as trivial as the pronunciation of kombucha to be such a non-issue that the thought of even suggesting it would trigger debate an oddity in itself. Yet, the internet provides a platform for fervent disputes, and alas, here we are.
In order to solve the debate on pronunciation, it’s first important to at least establish a baseline on the syllables in the word itself. Yet this also remains a contentious issue: some say two, others three.
At the very least, we can agree that the word itself is generally split into two segments: kom-bucha. Agreed? Well, we need to start somewhere!
Part 1: How to pronounce ‘Kombu’
There are two trains of thought here:
The first is that it’s as it appears: ‘kom-boo’. Similar to “”Kombu”, the brown seaweed used in Japanese cooking (which has nothing to do with kombucha, however).
The second puts a more Northern English twang on the pronunciation: “Kom-buh”, with the letter ‘u’ emphasised as a lower case pronunciation.
Part 2: How to pronounce ‘Cha’
This is where it gets a little more contentious and fiery.
Again, there are two trains of thoughts here. The first is as it appears: “Cha”, with the ‘Ch’ being emphasised in a traditional pronunciation.
The second is pronounced with a silent ‘h’: “Ca”, as in “Cah”.
Putting it all together: Kom-bucha
Let’s go back to the first stage for a second.
If you’re going to say “Kom-boo”, then “Cha” and “Cah” are interchangeable and won’t affect which variation you use.
However, if you’re starting with the Northern English-style “Kom-buh”, then only a strong ‘Cha’ ending will be acceptable (without sounding excessively weird).
Overall, you end up with 3 variations on pronouncing Kombucha:
The correct pronunciation of Kombucha
We’re more passionate about spreading the love for ‘booch itself rather than squabbling over the correct pronunciation. But for what it’s worth, our team typically opts for #1 on this list!
Whatever rolls off your tongue best, feel free to go ahead and say. We won’t be discriminating against spreading the Elixir of Life based on your articulation 🙂