Jun. The newest and coolest fermented beverage that you may never have heard of.
This post comes to us from Meredith Baird…
If kombucha had the spotlight in 2015, 2016 might be the year for Jun. I like to think of it as the Champagne of fermented beverages, which makes January the perfect time to celebrate this unique elixir.
I first learned of Jun while browsing the internet. I was shocked that I had never heard of it , and it didn’t seem to be mentioned in any of my go-to resources on fermentation. The mystery kept me intrigued. Why is kombucha everywhere and Jun a complete mystery!? Perhaps because the ingredients are higher-quality and more expensive? That’s possible. Or maybe I actually discovered something that is relatively unknown.
Jun is a fermented tea beverage similar to kombucha. Tart, subtly fizzy, with a slight sweetness on the backend — a bit milder than kombucha with a lighter, less vinegary tartness. Unlike kombucha, which is fermented with cane sugar and black tea, Jun is made with raw honey and green tea. Because the flavor of Jun is naturally more palatable, the amount of sugar needed to make it taste good is much less. I find that fermenting with honey instead of sugar creates a much cleaner-tasting product.
Like any ferment, Jun is a great aid to the digestive system and provides the body with beneficial bacteria, while also possessing some exclusive benefits.
Jun is said to improve eyesight, boost metabolism, improve allergies (due to the raw honey) and build defenses against cancer. Jun also contains a multitude of live enzymes and acids and loads of B vitamins essential to healthy and energy.
The origins of Jun are surrounded by myth and mystery — no one really knows of the culture’s start. Legend has it that Jun originated in the Himalayas, brewed by monks and spiritual warrior nomads. Some say that Jun is more than a fermented and probiotic-rich beverage, but also an ancient spiritual elixir. It is recommended that you play music, chat, burn sage and bless your Jun while making it.
A mythical, magical, mystery potion that you can make in your own home with tremendous health benefits? Sold.
Jun is very easy to make. I ordered my scoby (starter culture) from Kombucha Kamp. The quality of their products is great, and the scoby comes with clear directions. Making it once was enough to see how easy it is. It isn’t nearly as finicky as kombucha or some other ferments.
If fermentation intimidates you, Jun is the perfect recipe to try.
How to make Jun
For 1 small/medium scoby use:
1 gallon of filtered water
8 organic green tea bags (or 8 teaspoons of loose leaf green tea in a sachet)
1 cup raw honey
Bring water to a boil. Steep tea for at least 5-10 minutes (I like a strong brew on mine).
Once water has cooled to slightly above room temperature, stir in raw honey to dissolve. It’s very important to NOT add honey when the water is piping hot — the heat will kill the honey’s “life” and the culture will have nothing on which to feed. Let cool completely. Dump scoby into tea + honey brew. Allow to ferment at room temperature for at least three days — it can go much longer. The longer the ferment, the less sweet the result. I’ve fermented mine for up to a week.
You can ferment in a tightly sealed container. (This is what I have done because I have pets and want to keep the environment clean) or you can ferment with the vessel lightly covered.
Once jun has reached your desired flavor profile, be sure to decant, refrigerate and chill.
Makes 1 gallon
** As my culture has grown (it’s huge now!), I’ve expanded the recipe without any issue. My culture is now approximately 4 times the size of the original, so I’ve increased the recipe accordingly without any problem.
Drink and enjoy. I personally think that believing in the magic of Jun makes it taste that much better.