Raise your hand if you love Kombucha and Jun Tea as much as we do!
You’ve probably come across Kombucha by now- I’ve noticed our local store stocks different flavours of the fizzy ferment drink now- I never thought I’d see the day it was sold next to the cans of soft drink and bottles of juice in the convenience store fridge down the road! But you may not be as familiar with our household favourite- Jun Tea.
The bubbles, the flavours with just the right level of sweetness, Jun Tea is seriously amazing! To top it all off its super easy to make (once you get your head around it!) and the health benefits have proven to be astounding! Jun Tea is often referred to as the ‘Champagne of Kombuchas’!
Known to our little ones as ‘bubbly juice’, Jun Tea is a light, refreshing drink that we consume regularly- if I can find the time to make more (I’ve been so busy making Eco Food Wraps this month that I haven’t had the time- the topic of this blog is probably telling of just how much I’m craving it lately!). An important part of the process actually involves the very honey we get from our honey bees -if you caught our last post ‘The Buzz on Bees’, you would have seen a photo of our bush hives buzzing with life- and Eco Food Wrap wouldn’t exist without these amazing little creatures.
In fact, there’s a lot resting on these insects and their honey- not only do they allow for most of our crop and consumables to grow through their pollination, but raw honey is an exact combination of fructose and glucose that happens to be perfect for regulating things like blood sugar and blood pressure. It is also a natural antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and there are studies being done to prove it’s beneficial effect on heart disease and some cancers!
This is where Jun Tea differs somewhat from Kombucha, and one of the reasons (besides the taste!) that we prefer Jun Tea for our ferments. Both Jun tea and Kombucha have beneficial bacteria, but Jun tea uses raw honey and green tea where Kombucha uses black tea and sugar. Jun Tea contains a range of vitamins, minerals, probiotics and enzymes that are beneficial to our overall wellbeing and as it contains green tea, there is a huge range of added antioxidant benefits to our wellbeing. While Jun is relatively new in the western world, there are claims that those in Tibet and China have been enjoying the fermented beverage for thousands of years! Another huge benefit? My kids LOVE IT- and I feel so much better knowing they prefer ‘bubbly juice’ over cola drinks or sugary commercial fruit-juices!
If you love the drink but have never made it yourself, I really recommend giving it a go. Perhaps ask a friend for a Scoby, which is an acronym for 'symbiotic culture and yeast and bacteria' and acts as the fermenter in your drink; eating the sugar in the tea and turning it into powerful gut supporting good bacteria. Scobys are the main ingredient in Kombucha and Jun Tea, and you can even buy one online, so that you can make an unlimited amount from the comfort of your kitchen. Better yet, you can tailor your own flavours and fermentation length so you can be in control of the final flavour result. Don’t worry, after all this talk of green-tea-and-honey scoby goodness, I wouldn’t post a blog without including my personal recipe below. Now you can make some yourself and find out firsthand how great these drinks taste and how good you feel after drinking them!
JUN TEA RECIPE
You will need:
1x Scoby 1800ml filtered water
4-8 x Organic green tea bags 2/3 cup raw honey
1 cup Jun tea mixture A Glass vessel (we use jars)
Small Eco Food Wraps (one for each jar)
Bring ½ the filtered water to the boil , simmer for a minute or two and then add the tea bags to steep for 10 minutes
Remove your tea bags. I then add the remaining water as this cools the mixture down so it doesn’t destroy the benefits of the raw honey.
Add honey and if mixture is at room temperature add Jun tea (otherwise known as the starter) and lastly the scoby.
Place eco food wrap over the lid of the glass vessel. You want to cover your fermenting tea with something that lets the ferment breathe (otherwise the gases will cause your jar to explode) yet stops any dust, fruit flies or other insects or unwanted particles from disrupting the process.
Eco Food Wraps are ideal for this! We place one of our small Eco Food Wraps over the jar and using the warmth of our hands, mould it to the jar until the wrap stays in place.
Brew for 4 to 7days. You can check the progress by taste testing it.
After a few days, you prepare the mixture for it’s second brew by removing the original scabby as well as the one that would have formed on top. Place this mixture into bottles as is, or with flavours added. You can use ginger, lemon, lime - be creative! Be sure that your second fermentation is airtight, allowing the glass bottles to build pressure to create the sweet fizz of the Jun Tea.
(I usually allow about 2 days for this- you know you’ve got it right when that first sip produces that ‘Ahhhhh’ when you try it!)
Refrigerate and enjoy your honey-brewed Jun Tea!
If the health benefits of Kombucha and Jun Tea haven’t sold you, then the taste definitely will!
You can get your own Small Eco Food Wrap to brew with at our online store, at one of our weekly market locations, or one of our stockists. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous why not grab yourself a Snack Pack which contains 3 small Eco Food Wraps so you can have multiple ferments going at once!
Be sure to share your favourite Jun Tea or Kombucha recipe in the comments below!
Happy Fermenting Eco Wrappers!