It's time to present a different type of Kombucha.
The so called Jun, or Jun Kombucha.
This is a less known and for that reason a less popular version of Kombucha. And it is also the one that is veiled in a lot of mystery.
If you try to find out about the origins of this brew, you will find a lot of stories about it. Unfortunately, almost all of them not backed by any sources.
Supposedly Jun comes from Tibet, but again that is not substantiated by Tibetan sources.
However, here a thing that is worth of mentioning: Chinese name for Kombucha is "Hongchajun" 红茶菌, with Hong Cha also meaning a Red Tea. "Jun" part translates into "bacteria".
So what exactly is Jun. Jun, just like any other Kombucha, is a fermented tea drink.
So what is the difference between Kombucha and Jun?
Kombucha can be made with any type of tea, Jun on the other hand can only be made with white, green tea or green Oolongs.
The second difference is that, as opposed to regular Kombucha, which is traditionally made with sugar, Jun can only be made with honey, and that honey should be raw.
In other words, raw honey that has antiviral and antibacterial properties does not cause any problems for the real Jun Scoby.
The same can not be said about raw honey and a regular Kombucha Scoby.
The third difference between those two is this: Jun fermentation takes only about half of the time that is required for Kombucha fermentation.
So, if you would ferment Kombucha for 6-7 days, it would only take 3 days for Jun.
And that's because honey is a form of simple sugar, so it is much easier for the Jun Scoby to break it down.
Speaking of Jun Scoby. If you need one, you can get one through our online store:
Now, back to our Jun.
We've been making it for almost as long as we make our regular Kombucha.
Almost, as we started with Jun about half a year later.
Here's one of the first pics of our Jun, with what was then our first Jun labels:
As you can see, Jun is usually lighter looking than regular Kombucha.
It also has stronger natural carbonation. Because of that, Jun is sometimes called the "Champagne" of Kombucha".
Let's take a look at the production steps for our Jun.
Our Jun now is made with a single tea, just like the rest of the Kombucha in our Premium Line.
The tea of choice for Jun is the Dragon Well Tea, also known as Longjing (or Lung Ching, here in Germany).
To find out more about this wonderful green tea, please check our post about Longjing Bärbucha Kombucha
The good tea choice is very important for the final outcome of Jun. But the truly defining agent is the honey. Honey can either make it or break it.
Honey can vary in sweetness a lot, as well as in the strength of the flavor. When the honey is very defined, dark and strong in flavor, it can overpower the fine notes of the tea.
We use a local, raw and unfiltered honey from apiary located about an hour away from Berlin.
This honey is not overly sweet, and it has nice and delicate floral notes.
The other two ingredients are: filtered and revitalized water, and the Jun culture with the starter liquid.
So first, we steep our tea. The proper temperature is very important. If the water is too hot, it ruins the tea flavor, making it bitter.
And here's another shot of the Dragon Well tea, after it is strained.
Once the liquid is at room temperature, we add our raw honey.
And then comes the happy Jun Scoby.
Three days later, and our Jun goes into bottles.
After bottling, it usually goes straight into fridge.
After about a week inside the fridge, the carbonation builds up nicely inside the bottles.
Then it is ready for drinking.
Since Jun is, by nature, quite bubbly, it is often used as a replacement for Champagne by people who choose not to consume alcohol.
Also, even though it is made with honey, Jun is really not any sweeter than a well made Kombucha. It actually tends to get drier with age.
So, in Summer, it is a great refreshment drink.
Here's the label.
Ingredients: Filtered and Revitalized Water, Live Jun Cultures, Local Raw Honey, and Longjing Green Tea
You can also check our other blog entry about our seasonal Elderflower Jun Kombucha
To find out more about green tea and honey, please check out our next blog post..
Jun Kombucha is only available at our Café.