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JING Jun (Recipe by Iris Surrland)
We all know kombucha, but today I want to introduce his slightly sweeter sister. Meet Jun, also called the champagne of Kombucha. Just like kombucha, Jun is a fermented tonic, but made with organic green tea and raw honey instead of black tea and sugar. She is less popular and originates from ancient Chinese culture. Raw honey is the real distinguishing character of Jun. Unrefined honey brings health benefits of its own. This is the perfect drink to start drinking at the end of Winter and going into Spring, because the honey helps easing allergies. I still love kombucha, but there is just something special about a drink fermented from beautiful golden raw honey.
The process for making Jun is simple. You begin by boiling filtered water, allowing it to cool a bit, and then add the honey. Once the honey dissolves, add the green tea and steep for about 10 minutes. When the tea is at room temperature you can add the jun scoby and cover the jar with a cloth and rubber band. Once you introduce the scoby the bacteria and yeast will reproduce and culture the tea. In this process, they'll produce a lively, probiotic elixir that tastes slightly tart and slightly sweet.
A little note about the scoby. In theory a Jun scoby is the same as a kombucha scoby. However, you do want to buy a Jun scoby when you start brewing this beautiful tonic. A Jun scoby was cultivated and grown with green tea and raw honey. The yeast and bacteria are slightly different from a kombuch a scoby. Ideally you would get a scoby from a friend who is already brewing, but you can also purchase on via Raw Brewing, which is where I got mine.
Allow the mixture to ferment for about 3 to 6 days, and then strain out the scoby before bottling. Once the Jun is bottled, enjoy it chilled or at room temperature. You can also use it as a base for mocktails or cocktails. For a refreshing beverage, mix Jun with sparkling water, lime juice, and a sprig of mint. Or, for a special treat, add some of your favorite tonic herbs to your second fermentation. Here is how I love to brew mine, with the beautiful tonic herb blend, JING.
Here are some things to keep in mind before you start brewing.
- If you order your scoby online, don’t disregard the liquid it comes in. This is your starter tea and needs to be added to your first batch. Shake the scoby package, the sediment at the bottom is yeast, and it’s important for your brew. Dump entire contents into your brew.
- Never use metal in your brew or in your jars. Clean your hands and plate with some raw apple cider vinegar before you touch the scoby.
- You can play around with flavors during your second fermentation only. Make sure to check (and burp) your bottles once a day.
Get connected with Iris Suurland, Founder and Creator of Nabalo:
- 1/2 teaspoon SuperFeast JING Blend
- 8 cups water
- 2 teaspoons organic green tea
- ½ cup raw honey
- 1 Jun Coby
- ½ cup Jun tea from a previous batch (first one comes with the scoby)
- flip top bottles
- ½ gallon jar
Step 1Bring water to 76.7 C (170 F) in a pan. While the water comes to temperature, sprinkle the loose leaf green tea into the water and let it steep for up to 5 minutes.
Step 2Strain the tea through a fine-mesh sieve into your jar, add the honey and then let it cool to room temperature (18.3-23.9 C). Once the tea is cooled to room temperature and mixed with honey transfer it to a jar.
Step 3Add your scoby and ½ cup Jun tea from a previous batch. Cover the jar with cheesecloth or butter muslin, and let the jun culture 3 to 6 days, or until it smells pleasantly sour and faintly sweet.
Step 4Carefully remove the scoby and set it on a plate. Stir the remaining jun tea, and reserve ½ cup tea for your next batch. Prepare a fresh batch of tea right away, or store the scoby and reserved tea in a jar up at room temperature up to 1 week.
Step 5After reserving the scoby and ½ cup tea, stir the jun once more, and then pour it into pint-sized flip-top bottles and 1/2 tsp of JING powder. Let them culture at room temperature 2 to 3 days, then enjoy immediately or transfer to the fridge where they'll keep up to 3 months. Add 1/2 teaspoon of honey to the bottles for extra fizz.
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