I first heard about jun kombucha shortly after I started making regular kombucha. It was always mentioned as 'secret' and 'special' the 'champagne of kombucha'. I couldn't really imagine how different it was until I started to make Jun. After sharing it with one friend she said it was like sauvignon blanc!
I love jun for the smooth gentle taste, the slight effervescence and the fast brew time.
Here are a few ways jun kombucha is different from regular kombucha:
Uses a jun SCOBY
Made with green tea and honey
Ferments at a lower temperature, 18-20 C
Takes approximately 4 days to ferment
The jun SCOBY is very white and smooth, can take longer to develop thicker and can be slower to make 'babies'
Uses a kombucha SCOBY
Made with black/white/green tea and sugar
Ferments at a warmer temperature, 21-28 C
Takes approximately 14 days to ferment
Sometimes fizzy, sometimes flat
The kombucha SCOBY varies from white to brown and easily becomes thicker and easily makes 'babies'
Please adjust the amounts based on the size of your fermenting jug, I use a large jug! The amounts are flexible so a bit more or less will be fine, just be sure your 'tea and honey' tastes sweet.
You can easily reduce this recipe for a one liter jar**
- 1 x jun SCOBY - any size, it will grow to fit your container
- 6 liters of boiled water
- 1/4 cup of green tea leaves
- 1.5 cups of raw honey (do try to use raw honey, if not use the most natural honey you can find)
- 1 cup (or more) of jun kombucha or apple cider vinegar for a starter for your first batch (approx 20% of the amount of liquid you are making)
- In a large pot boil 6 liters of water
- While the water is heating, put 1/2 cup of green tea leaves in a tea ball, nut milk bag or Chinese soup bag. If you are using tea bags, then just leave them in the tea bags.
- As soon as the water boils, turn it off and soak/swish the tea leaves/bags in the just boiled water for 1-2 minutes. (You can opt to leave the tea in much longer, both long and short times work, so try both and see what you prefer taste wise.)
- Take out the tea leaves after 1-2 minutes.
- Cover the pot, and let it sit to cool to just above room temperature.
- When the water is still warm, but not not, add the honey, you will need to stir a lot to be sure it is melted and mixed in well.
- Taste the mixture - it should taste sweet from the honey.
- Gently pour into your fermenting jug or jar
- Add the 'starter' - either jun kombucha or apple cider vinegar
- Add the SCOBY
- Cover with a muslin or cotton cloth and tighten with a rubberband (to keep bugs out!)
Let it sit somewhere it will not move. All kombucha hates to be moved - a very solid kitchen counter, a shelf that is part of the foundation of your house, a very stable shelf that does not shake when touched. Keeping it still especially helps the SCOBY develop nicely.
Taste after 3-4 days, it should be ever so slightly effervescent and slightly sour. Leave for another day if still sweet.
HINT: After the Day 3, check often. Jun often becomes 'perfect' at somewhere between Day 3 to Day 4, and it goes from perfect to 'a bit too fermented' very quickly. So if you taste it and it is 'perfect' do bottle it at that point. If you have some that is 'a bit too fermented', don't worry, just dilute it a bit when you drink it, it's still delicious!
Enjoy straight up, flavor with a 'second ferment' or diluted with your favorite drinks.
Many people enjoy the taste so much they don't do a 'second ferment', but do experiment to find how you like to drink it.
Remember not to drink it all, save 10% to use as a starter for your next batch!
These are the amounts for one liter
1 x Jun SCOBY
1 liter of boiling water
2 teaspoons of green tea (or two tea bags)
4 Tablespoons of raw honey
100 ml (or more) of starter (jun kombucha or apple cider vinegar)
Jun SCOBY - if you can't get one from someone near you, try Brooklyn Kombucha, they describe it fabulously in this article, which also has links to the kits they sell:
Local Honey in Hong Kong:
Local Honey in Thailand:
Raw Organic Honey from iHerb, shipped globally:
YS Organic Bee Farms Organic Raw Honey
The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz