Ever wondered how to make jun tea? If you have, then the good news is, it’s ridiculously simple.
Jun is an effervescent, probiotic-rich drink and a hands down favourite for me. Its delicate flavour reflects the quality ingredients used, which are green tea and raw honey. This makes it much more floral and far less tart than its similarly fermented counterpart – kombucha.
A little background on jun
The origin of jun is largely unknown, though many believe it may have originated in Tibet. When consulting my go-to fermentation bible – The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz – Sandor notes a lack of credible information on its history. He has surmised however, that it is likely ‘a recent divergence from the kombucha family tree’.
If you’ve made kombucha before, the process for making jun tea is really no different. It’s simply the ingredients that have a slight change. Other than that there are only three main steps to remember, which are:
STEP ONE – Prepare the green tea.
Put 1.5 tablespoons of green tea (or 2 tea bags) in 250ml of water that was recently boiled (never pour boiling water straight onto green tea so as not to scorch the leaves).
Leave to steep for 3 minutes then strain off and keep the liquid (you can put the tea leaves out in the compost).
STEP TWO – Combine the ingredients.
In a large jar, combine the 250ml of just-made green tea, the remaining 750ml filtered water, the raw honey and the mature jun….
….then stir well to ensure the honey dissolves completely.
STEP THREE – Add in the SCOBY.
SCOBY stands for symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast, and this is the most important element that helps fermentation occur.
Cover the jar with a cloth, secure it with a rubber band and sit on the bench out of the sun. Leave to ferment for 3 – 7 days. That’s it!
How quickly or slowly the jun will ferment largely depends on the temperature in your home. Check in on it after 3 – 4 days and you should see bubbles rising to the surface. If not, just leave it another day or perhaps a few if needed, but not much longer or it will start to get too sour.
Once the tea has matured, you can add things to the mix during a second fermentation to give it a variety of flavours. See my post on how to make my favourite flavour combo – blueberry and lime!
What are the health benefits of jun?
The jun SCOBY is brimming with Lactobacilli along with several other species of beneficial bacteria. This is why adding the SCOBY from one batch to the next – along with some of the mature tea – helps to kick start the fermentation process. The probiotic-rich drink that’s produced can help to nourish and replenish friendly gut bacteria. It is also a great digestive aid.
Additionally, we also enjoy the health benefits both the green tea and raw honey bring. Making jun high in antioxidants and prebiotics along with having antimicrobial and antiviral properties… amongst many other things.
It’s thought that jun may in fact be more therapeutic than kombucha with a higher volume of probiotic bacteria being present. The explanation for this is the use of raw honey in the fermentation process as opposed to sugar. It’s also the reason jun has a slightly higher alcohol content.
Where can I get a jun SCOBY?
The jun SCOBY can be a little hard to come by however, I have a few options for those in Australia. They will be for sale in my store when stock is replenished, or they can be purchased from The Fermentary and Holly Davis. If you find somewhere else to buy from just ensure they are sending a little mature tea with the SCOBY.
I have no doubt you’re going to love making jun as much as I do. Have any other favourite flavour combinations? Let me know in the comments.
How to make jun tea
- Large jar (at least 1.5 to 2 litres)
- Tea towel
- Rubber band
- Small saucepan
- Fine mesh sieve
- 1 jun tea SCOBY
- 1 litre filtered water
- ½ cup mature jun tea
- ⅓ cup raw honey
- 1.5 Tbsp green tea (or 2 tea bags)
- To make the green tea – boil 250ml of water, let it sit for a few minutes then add in 1.5 tablespoons of green tea (or 2 tea bags). Leave to steep for 3 minutes, then strain off and keep the liquid.
- Add the 250ml brewed tea, honey, mature jun tea and the remaining 750ml filtered water. Stir until the honey has completely dissolved.
- Add the jun SCOBY to the mix, cover the jar with a tea towel, secure with a rubber band and sit on the bench for 3 – 7 days to ferment. You should be able to see the bubbles rising to the top of the jar. If not, leave it for another day or perhaps a few – but not too much longer or it will start to become too sour.
- Once this batch has finished fermenting, set aside 1/2 cup of the mature tea and the jun SCOBY for your next batch.
- Serving Suggestion: Decant the remaining jun into a swing top or capped bottle. You can drink it as is or do a second ferment adding in your flavourings of choice. See my blueberry and lime jun recipe for instructions on how to do a second fermentation.