Healthy Jun Tea

As a die-hard nutritional health and environmental aficionado, I research and try most everything I hear of being healthy and environmentally friendly.  I like to find the “why” behind the health claims. Is the product actually good for me and eco-friendly or just great marketing?  I then see if the product or idea works for my life.  When you find a product or idea that lines up with everything, it is like hitting the jackpot.  For me these finds have included pilates, my garden, making my own dog food out of scraps, community supported agriculture (CSA), solar power and most recently Jun tea!

A Week’s Jun Yield!

Jun is essentially improved Kombucha.  Kombucha utilizes a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY), black tea and sugar to produce a tea-based, strong beverage raved about for its unproven, but centuries-old claims of detoxifying and energizing effects.

Jun is the same idea with the same use of a SCOBY, but with green tea (in lieu of black tea) and honey as the sugar source.

A few months ago my friend Alyson brought me a SCOBY culture (go to www.iloveyouproject.net to learn more about awesome Alyson’s latest win-win project!).  It has grown, thrived, produced its own SCOBY baby (often called a “mother”) and a weekly supply of the delicious and refreshing Jun.  Think of a sparkling, light apple cider vinegar-ish drink that makes you pucker and honestly “feels” alive!  That alone probably isn’t selling you on this.

Although information online is scarce, there are a few YouTube videos that give some additional information.

Here are some additional facts:
-    No waste is produced. I compost the used two leaves and a bud green tea leaves (typically jasmine or organic orange sencha).
-    The honey is local and the jar is refilled when empty.
-    I am utilizing old Kombucha containers and a sweet old vodka bottle to store and enjoy the Jun.
-    Enjoy health advantages of eating fermented foods. (www.wildfermentation.com)
-    The Jun contains a multitude of live enzymes and acids and loads of B vitamins essential to healthy and energy.
-    The cost of this beverage is minimal on my pocketbook and on the earth, no liquids shipped around or waste!
-    Jun is said to be very detoxifying, I have read to start drinking it slowly to take it easy on your liver!
-    A small amount (1%) of alcohol may be produced in the fermentation process.  Not enough to taste or have much of an effect.

Two Leaves Loose Tea Steeping in a Pan

How I make the Jun:
1.     Start with a SCOBY either getting one from someone already making Jun or  Kombucha or google how to start a Kombucha scoby!
2.     Every 10 days I taste the Jun, if it is great I bottle what is in the container.  If it isn’t yet great, wait another day or two and try again!
3.    Remove the SCOBY mother.
4.    Pour the contents into jars.
5.    Prepare new green tea, this batch is using two leaves and a bud jasmine, nice light and
floral.  I make about 1.5 gallons in a large pan with 8 teaspoons of loose tea leaves. More or less tea can be used based on your preference.  You can also use various flavored green teas.
6.    Add honey to the tea, about ½ cup is my preference.  This will provide the sugar for the fermentation
7.    Let this mixture cool.  Hot water can harm a healthy SCOBY! Mine is still thin in a spot where tea that was too hot was poured.
8.    Add cooled tea to the container and replace the SCOBY. Store this in a dark, dry place with cheese cloth over it to allow breathing but nothing else in!
9.    Repeat the process. Enjoy your Jun throughout the week while your new batch is fermenting!

Fermenting your own delicious Jun tea may not be for everyone, but for me this is one of those rare jackpot finds that combines a healthy product with a truly environmentally-friendly one.

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