Basic Jun Tea Recipe

Light, lovely, and effervescent, high-maintenance Jun is worth every extra effort to ferment properly and enjoy endlessly.

| Fall 2019

Getty Images/Premyuda Yospim

Jun (pronounced to rhyme with nun or noon depending on who you ask) is a relative of kombucha that’s adapted to eat honey instead of sugar. It’s generally rarer to find than kombucha (both the SCOBY, or “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast,” and the brewed drink), for reasons you’ll see below, but it’s having an uprising of popularity now. Jun has an air of mysticism around it; it’s said to be what Tibetan monks drank to stay alert during morning meditation. There doesn’t seem to be any mention of Jun in ancient Tibetan texts, so perhaps it was a well-kept secret, although some think that the Jun SCOBY is a modern genetic version of kombucha.

Jun first came into my world when my friend Cierra started brewing it. Cierra was one of my earliest fermentation workshop students. She became, first, an avid brewer of kombucha; with half a dozen flavors available to friends and housemates at all times, her brew setup was glorious! On one visit to her community house, I saw various jars with SCOBYs floating in them, each jar covered in writing. As words of positivity guarded and infused the kombucha, each jar was being imbued with intention and good vibes. This was the perfect home for Jun: one that takes great care and brings positive intention to the brewing process.

Adobe Stock/Ruslan Mitin

Many years later, Cierra has brought her love of Jun to the world. She co-founded a business called Unity Jun that distributes rainbow-hued, sparking elixirs locally on Vancouver Island. Her title is “Captain and Brew Mother of Unity Jun.” I love it!

I obtained a Jun SCOBY from Cierra’s lineage and brewed for a while. It’s truly a clean and lovely drink. But compared to kombucha, it’s quite “sensitive,” and because of its taste for local, raw honey, it’s also more expensive to make. I’ve found that the rhythm that Jun prefers doesn’t fit well into my weekly projects schedule, so I’ve left the brewing to folk who can really give Jun the care and attention it needs to thrive.



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