Let me be direct: I have a very deep appreciation for Jun tea. I love the folklore surrounding it. I love the proclaimed benefits of drinking it. Most importantly, I love tasting it. This said, I have no idea if the historical claims and health benefits are legit. The history is a muck with varying claims of origin. I’ll get to that in a future post. First, let’s dive right in, shall we? Let’s talk about making Jun tea. Then we can tango about its history afterwards. The process is one of constant tweaking and, at least for me, no real consistency: but, as with everything, there is a technique.
1 container to brew tea in with a lid
1 jar (minimum)
1 holding jar for subsequent brews
1 Jun Pellicle
1/2 c Jun tea
Honey (go local, go raw IMHO:)
This is so simple.
1.) I brew a concentrated batch of green tea (type varies).
2.) I add cold water to bring the temperature down.
3.) I add my honey. At minimum, I add 1/2 cup to 8 cups tea, but each SCOBY is different. Add a lot of honey. See what happens. My Jun SCOBYS are very hardy. They’ve produced lots of babies and survived multiple experimentations.
4.) Allow tea and honey to cool down to room temperature (my kitchen is around 68). Jun brews best in colder environments than its relative, kombucha.
5.) Gently place your Pellicle (have you named it? My mother is Rose) into your brewing vessel.
6.) Cover. Some folks cover with a cloth or paper-towel. I’ve also heard folks insist Jun SCOBYs do not need oxygen to brew. I personally use lots of small mason jars with paper towels and have excellent results, but I want to try this anaerobic method. Why not?
7.) Wait 3 days minimum. Some histories recommend playing music or gongs to your brew during this time. I say, if it makes you happier: DO IT. I know that treating my brews with a nice ounce of respect makes the process fairly pleasant for me.
8.) After day 3, begin tasting your brew every day until you’re happy– because that’s what’s important.
9.) So once you’re ready, strain your brew (I’ve been told not to use metal, because it harms the live cultures). Strain them into whatever you’d like. You can even put it into flip bottles (the kind you use for brewing beer) for a 2-3 day secondary fermentation if you want to increase your bubbles. I love the bubbles. You should place your SCOBYs and their babies in a separate holding jar with a 1/2 of your Jun tea brew.
10.) Drink your Jun tea while starting the whole process over again.
HOORAY! Jun tea!
After my brew is done, I leave some in a flip bottle for secondary fermentation, I set aside some more for smoothies, and I place one container in my fridge where I add different fruits and syrups. Variety is nice, you know? A word of caution, do not leave your bottles to ferment sealed for too long. Explosions can happen. Actual. Explosions… or so I’ve read.
Over at the Nourished Kitchen, the author, Jenny, suggests 3 days to brew. Her post and the comment section following it are very informative, so check it out. However, I let my Jun tea brew for varying times–4 days minimum. I honestly just use a clean eyedropper and taste the brewing batch every day past day 4 until I like the taste or just want more Jun tea. I feel like the process, which is clearly quite organic for me, lasts a week.
That’s it for this segment. My next post regarding Jun will explore the origins and composition of kombucha and Jun. My goal? To see if the timelines add up. If sugar wasn’t introduced to China until the mid 7th Century CE, then kombucha, as we know it with black tea and sugar, was probably not invented in China before that time as some legends claim. Facts and speculations like this are all over the place next time!::
Feel free ask any questions about the process, by the way. Happy to help where I can: