Truly raw and naturally effervescent, jun [j-oon] is a probiotic tonic promoting alignment of the mind, body, and spirit.
A kissing cousin of kombucha, jun is a traditionally fermented beverage with a mother, aka SCOBY, aka symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. The true difference between the two fermented teas lies in the ingredients; instead of the black tea and refined sugar used in kombucha, jun is brewed with green tea and honey. This gives jun a more distinct crisp taste and improves the health benefits of the brew. Because jun ferments with honey, it offers a dynamic bacterial complex and is not only considered to be more safe but also a powerful healing tool for those with digestive concerns, like candidiasis or dysbiosis.
Jun is consumed to achieve a conscious connection and, ultimately, overall wellness within the body. It has been known to support the immune, digestive, and cognitive systems and provides sustained energy, mental clarity, and digestive ease when consumed regularly. Not only does jun contain a large amount of beneficial bacteria and yeast, but honey also plays an integral role in its potency. Filled with digestion-enhancing enzymes, essential minerals, and anti-inflammatory properties, raw honey is a prebiotic containing all nine essential amino acids, known to stabilize blood sugar levels.
Not all fermented beverages are created equal! Many options on the market nowadays have been known to be pasteurized, force-carbonated, and/or full of refined sugar. Force-carbonation stagnates the bacteria and yeast, rendering it less bioavailable than if it were naturally carbonated, while pasteurization—to ensure shelf stability—is known to wipe out some of the living bacterial cultures.
Because jun is considered to be the "Champagne of kombucha" with its natural effervescence like that of Champagne, you can drink it raw, knowing it is most potent and healing to the body. Consider jun to be more like a probiotic supplement than a fizzy beverage. And when you provide the body with gut-nourishing bacteria and yeasts, it crowds out the body-harming kind. And a thriving gut is one that has a strong digestive fire and smooth movements. Our guts are also directly connected to not only our brain but our immune system, too. Benefits of drinking jun include sustained energy, mental clarity, and stress reduction. It also contains essential B vitamins like B12 and organic acids that are required for the production of blood and neurotransmitters. The healing properties of jun reach far beyond the digestive system.
If you're interested in brewing jun at home, you'll need a jun-specific SCOBY. Similar to how you'd grow a kombucha mother from a bottle, you can easily grow a jun culture by simply leaving 10 percent jun liquid in the bottle with the cap removed and a piece of breathable organic material sealed with an elastic on top. Set at room temperature for one to three days and a new culture will form. This is when you would move it to a larger glass jar or fermenter.
The jun fermentation process is identical to that of the kombucha process with two exceptions: replacing refined sugar with raw (local, if possible) honey and brewing the first fermentation for less time, only about three to five days.
Some of my favorite homebrew jun infusions include:
- Lavender and blueberry
- Elderflower and lemon
- Raspberry, rosehip, and hawthorn
- Ginger, lemon, turmeric, and black pepper