Yum! There’s something about the flavor of home-brewed kombucha! It really hits the spot, especially during the warmer months. And I’m not talking about any ole’ kombucha either. I’m talking about jun kombucha. Have you heard of it? It’s fizzy, sweet, and full of good stuff for your gut.
A friend recently introduced me to jun kombucha, and I’m so glad she did! I’d never heard of it before, but after listening to her talk about it and trying some, I was hooked and knew that I wanted to switch over from regular kombucha to this delicious variety.
Today, I want tell you a bit about this kind of kombucha as well as why I chose to make the switch. And, I’m even gonna show you how to make it it case you wanna try this deliciously healthy fermented drink too!
What Is “Jun” Kombucha?
Jun kombucha is a fermented tea that’s traditionally made using green tea and honey, and it’s referred to as the “champagne of kombuchas.” Now that’s saying something!
It’s been around for quite a long while, and yes, it does taste a bit different from regular kombucha.
The major difference with jun kombucha, compared to regular kombucha, is that the scoby has been trained to feed off of honey rather than cane sugar.
From my understanding of regular kombucha, when you start out, you’re only supposed to use plain tea (no flavored teas) and use white cane sugar because that’s what the yeast in the scoby is used to. This will produce the best fermentation and really help establish your culture. If you switch and use something right off the bat, you can either kill the scoby or not get the results you’d hoped for. Eventually, you can alter things by using different teas, flavors, and types of sugars to get different flavor results in the finished kombucha, but you have to go about things slowly.
I’m sure the same is true with jun kombucha. You can probably use black tea if that’s what you have, but it will turn out with a different flavor and won’t be a true “jun” kombucha. I’ve also heard of people using herbal tea to make it. I’ve not personally tried that yet, but I’m sure I will at some point.
4 Reasons We Drink Jun Kombucha
1. It’s Good For Your Gut
So the first reason we drink jun kombucha is because it’s healthy. All kombuchas provide your body with quite a bit of healthy bacteria, and I’ve not found any information that says the jun variety is any better than regular kombucha as far as the bacterial count goes.
Having plenty of good bacteria in your gut has not only been linked to improved digestion but a strong immune system and decreased risk of major diseases too.
2. The Kids Like It
The second reason we drink jun kombucha is because my kids love this stuff, and it’s so nice to not have to force them to take something that’s healthy for them.
Are you with me, mama?
My kids are not allowed to drink sodas and pops. I don’t even drink sodas or pops. Occasionally, though, they’re allowed to have a Zevia which is like soda, only healthier and it contains no sugar. Although Zevias are better than regular ole soda, my guess is that they’re not all that healthy for you. I mean, they are pretty processed, and I haven’t seen any Zevia plants growing… at least not here in East TN.
So, the kids love drinking this “healthy pop” as they call it, mostly because it seems to be fizzier than regular kombucha and retains a sweeter flavor after fermentation (regular kombucha can taste too vinegary when fermented too long).
WARNING: I’ve read that jun kombucha has a higher alcohol content (2% compared to the typical .5%) than regular kombucha does. I can’t find any hard evidence or any expert sources to back this up, but I’ve decided to only give my guys small sips of this kombucha each day as opposed to the full glasses they used to drink of regular kombucha.
3. It’s Made With Healthier Ingredients
The next reason we like to drink jun kombucha as opposed to regular kombucha is because jun kombucha is made using green tea and honey rather than black tea and cane sugar. Green tea is well-known for its health benefits, and honey is a natural sugar with good-for-you nutrients.
Regular kombucha is made with black tea, which tastes great, but doesn’t have as many health benefits as green tea, and it’s sweetened with cane sugar which has zero nutrients as far as I’m aware.
Now, I’m not knocking regular kombucha. It’s good stuff, and almost all of the sugar is gone after the fermentation process anyway so it’s not like you’re really drinking a cane sugar drink. However, there is something to feeding the kombucha scoby with natural sugars. I can’t help but think it produces healthier bacteria. Maybe I’m way off… who knows.
It’s also important to know that any kind of honey can be used when making jun kombucha. We use raw honey, but you can use cheap store-bought honey too. Just know that the cheap stuff doesn’t have all the health benefits of the raw stuff. However, honey is more expensive so jun kombucha does cost more to make than regular kombucha.
4. It Ferments Quickly
Lastly, we prefer jun kombucha because it ferments faster. I’ve read that this is because honey doesn’t need to be broken down as much as cane sugar does which leads to the faster fermentation. I don’t really know the science behind fermenting, but if you’re interested, check out The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz.
Okay, so enough about why we made the switch. If you too would like to give jun kombucha a go, let’s get into how to make it.
Are you with me?
How To Make Jun Kombucha
Making jun kombucha is very similar to making regular kombucha.
All you need is:
- a jun scoby (Amazon: here and here – Kombucha Kamp – here) with liquid starter
- organic green tea
- raw honey
- 1/2 gallon jars
- storage jars (I like these flip tops)
Start by making a fresh batch of green tea.
I make a 1/2 gallon of jun kombucha at a time so I use 2 green tea teabags and 1 1/2 quarts of water to make my tea. Double this if you’re making a gallon at a time.
Place water in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Turn heat off, add your tea bags, and let it sit for 10 minutes. If you let it sit longer, it can make your tea bitter. When the tea is finished infusing, remove the bags and pour your tea into a clean, glass jar. Let the tea sit out until it cools down to room temperature. You can refrigerate the tea to make it faster.
Next, add 1/2 cup of raw honey to your tea (3/4 – 1 cup for a gallon of jun kombucha). Mix well using a wooden spoon. DO NOT use metal bowls or utensils with your kombucha.
Next, remove the jun kombucha scoby from your current batch of kombucha. Place the scoby along with 1 cup of your current kombucha liquid into your green tea and honey mixture (2 cups of starter liquid for a gallon of jun kombucha).
Cover your jar with a thin layer of cloth and secure with a rubber band. Let this sit out on your counter or in your pantry for four days before repeating the process.
Storing Your Jun Kombucha
After you remove your kombucha scoby and 1 cup of kombucha from your current batch to feed your next batch, feel free to pour the remaining kombucha into glass bottles and store in your fridge.
You can use flip top bottles, or you can use old store-bought kombucha bottles or quart jars. I feel that the flip top are best as they keep the kombucha the fizziest. No matter what bottles you use, be sure that you open them up and “burp” the bottles every day so they don’t explode in your fridge.
What About A Second Ferment?
A lot of people like to put their regular kombucha through a second ferment to make it fizzier, but I haven’t found this to be necessary with jun kombucha as it turns out fizzier than regular kombucha from the start.
And that’s it! That’s how I came to use jun kombucha, and how I make it. Kombucha of any kind is a great way to add ferments and extra probiotics into your daily life through diet.