Profile: Curious Kombucha, Thorncombe, Dorset, UK

Emma Davies founded award-winning Curious Kombucha five years ago. She is based in Thorncombe, Dorset, in the south-west of England.

Emma began her brewing career 20 years ago, producing beer in local microbreweries, where she developed a deep understanding of the craft of beer making. 

In 2018, a local cafe approached Emma about making kombucha for them. She made her first batch in her kitchen and found it significantly improved her gut health. The infinite flavor combinations that enhance and balance the sour, tangy elements of the unfiltered kombucha energized her.

Only three short months after her kitchen experiments, she moved into a purpose-built space connected to the microbrewery where she had previously worked.

Customer acceptance

Her business has grown organically, attracting visitors’ attention at vegan fairs and farmers’ markets. She now finds an increased awareness of kombucha among the locals who have become regular customers and the influx of tourists to this scenic corner of England.

The majority of people I encounter have been trying and embracing it. Word is spreading.

She now produces over 400 liters a week, with 15 different brew tanks, working alone. As demand increases, she hopes to recruit seasonal help and will continue to operate a thriving local business.

I’m a very small outfit. I’m achieving a nice quality of life. I like the flexibility. I’m not in this make a fortune. I’m not an empire builder.

Authentic Fermentation

Emma passionately believes in traditional, authentic kombucha fermentation. She has no interest in scaling up by using concentrates or switching from glass bottles to cans. She shares these beliefs with fellow members of the Fermenters Guild – a group of enthusiasts based in the UK and Ireland dedicated to educating people about the benefits of fermented foods and beverages. In addition to Curious Kombucha, members include Bad Gal Boocha, Boochacha, Booyah Vitality, Buddy Kombucha, Twisted Kombucha, and Zak’s Kombucha. Emma sees the Guild playing a vital role in the UK:

As something becomes popular you are getting the fake and the cheaper versions. As we get bigger and evolve, hopefully, we can influence legislation. If kombucha has been adulterated in any way, the labels should say ‘Acidified Kombucha’ or ‘Pasteurized Kombucha.’


Despite the ingredients for her popular pineapple and ginger flavor coming from overseas, as does the organic sugar she uses, Emma is an avid forager who delights in scouring the Dorset fields and hedgerows for local ingredients: the rosehips, wild nettles, goosegrass, and elderflower that she infuses into seasonal flavors.

She’s now looking into medicinal fungi such as lion’s mane, celebrated for their cognitive health benefits.

The provenance of my ingredients is incredibly important to me. The more local, the better, and the happier I am. These plants have properties that can be incorporated into the kombucha and also make it taste good!

Curious Kombucha has won Gold Medal Taste of the West Awards for her Raspberry & Turmeric Kombucha, Cucumber, Lime & Mint Kombucha, Blackcurrant & Ginger Kombucha, and Pineapple & Ginger Kombucha.

Curious Kombucha is available online and in various stockists across Dorset, including Soulshine Café, Bridport, Washingpool Farm Shop , and The Good Food Store in Lyme Regis. 250ml bottles sell for £3.25. Nationwide delivery is a flat rate of £9 for up to 48 bottles (4 cases).


Listen to the podcast to hear Emma’s story.

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