Jun, also called “Champagne of kombuchas”, is a honey-based kombucha. Here is a recipe to make your own jun tea at home!
Although it looks like kombucha, jun is not quite the same. This fermented tea needs honey instead of sugar, takes less time to ferment and tastes very different. Jun is milder and fizzier, and tastes less acidic than kombucha.
Like vinegar and kombucha, jun is made using a scoby. The scoby contains a wide variety of yeast and bacteria necessary for the fermentation of honey tea.
Indeed, the jun scoby can digest the wild yeast specific to honey, a feat a kombucha scoby cannot do!
This recipe makes 2 liters of jun. You can produce more or less, by adjusting the proportions. Preparation time is 15 minutes.
Before Starting: Activating Your Jun Scoby
Honey contains a good deal of wild yeast, so it is necessary to lower the acidity and activate the acetic bacteria of the scoby before using it. Otherwise, the honey yeast could take over and harm the flavour of your jun.
This step is only required for the first use and is not required if you are using pasteurized honey (or if you are heating it).
Cover the jar with a cloth and fix with rubber band
Let the jun ferment at room temperature for 10 to 15 days.
After the 5th day, start tasting your jun. Bottle in pressure-resistant bottles when you like its acidity level.
Preserve the scoby and a little bit of jun (about 2 cups) to use as starter for your next batch. Keep in the fridge.
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Step 2: Flavouring (Optional)
Now that your jun is to your liking, you can add flavours to jazz it up. To do so, add up to 20% of ingredients to your jun.
For 2 litres of jun, this represents a maximum of 400ml. You can add: teas, herbal teas, fruit juices, decoctions, whole fruits, peels, etc.
Pear jun: Add 250ml (1 cup) of pear juice in 2L (2 quarts) of plain jun.
Ginger jun: Add 125ml (½ cup) of ginger juice in 2L (2 quarts) of plain jun.
Before bottling, mix the ingredients and jun thoroughly. In some cases, you could add whole fruits or pieces directly into the bottles.
You do not need to filter the liquid beforehand, but you can do it to make the jun more stable and homogeneous.
Step 3: Bottling/Making the Jun Effervescent (Optional)
This step is often called “second fermentation” (F2).
If you want sparkling jun tea, you have to store it in pressure-resistant bottles. Any bottle designed to withstand the pressure will do, but bottles with a swing top caps will give a particularly bubbly result.
Yeast will continue to process the sugar (honey) into CO₂, but the gas will remain trapped in the bottles and will accumulate in the liquid.
Leave the bottles at room temperature.
At the end of the 3rd day, check pressure by quickly opening and closing a bottle.
Put them in a cool place as soon as it is sufficiently effervescent (be wary of the pressure!).
There you go! Your probiotic rich, delicious fermented jun tea is now ready to drink.
Storing Your Jun
While waiting for its first use, we recommend that you keep your jun scoby in the fridge. It will keep for 6 months.
Fermented jun tea can be kept in the fridge for at least 6 months. Note however that with time, the acidity will continue to develop.