Stone Cold Facts: Jun tea is a fermented bacteria drink like kombucha, but it has several key differences. For one, kombucha is usually black tea sweetened with sugar, while Jun tea is green tea sweetened by honey.
For that reason, the two do not taste the same. Jun is delicate and not as concretely sour as kombucha (Nourished Kitchen).
Jun is also fermented quicker than kombucha and is much more alcoholic.
What to Heal: Since it contains green tea, it has powerful antioxidant powers used to help heal cancers (especially breast, prostate and colorectal cancers) and a variety of different ailments. It also increases fat burning and increases physical performance. It kills bacteria, can help improve dental health and lowers the risk of infection. It also decreases the chances of developing type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Because of all these benefits, it is said to help people live longer (Kris Gunnars, BSc).
Honey is known to be anti-inflammatory and can heal coughs, as well as to boost energy, memory and help with sleep. It also treats wounds and burns (Lizette Borreli).
In addition, the probiotics found in Jun, as in many fermented foods, are substantial. It has been cited and prescribed in ancient Chinese medicine as an herbal elixir that helps restore chi and circulation in the body. It has also been known for supporting digestive and metabolic processes, support to glandular systems and sexual functions.
How to Heal: Like kombucha, Jun tea is brewed. See the recipe detailed below from Nourished Kitchen:
Yield: 1/2 gallon
Jun tea, like kombucha, is an effervescent probiotic drink. Jun is mild and delicate with a pleasantly tart flavor and a mild sweetness. It's lovely served over ice, or with crushed berries stirred in. To brew future batches of Jun tea, reserve 1/2 cup of the finished tea from your first batch and reserve the mother to start future batches of the tea.
1/2 cup Jun tea from a previous batch (It is also available when you purchase your first Jun culture, available here)
Bring water to 165 F in a kettle. While the water comes to temperature, sprinkle the looseleaf green tea into a large jar or pitcher. Pour the hot water over the tea and allow it to steep for 2 minutes. Strain the tea through a fine-mesh sieve into your fermentation vessel (I use this one.). Pour in the honey, and stir it until it dissolves completely in the tea. Allow the tea to cool to room temperature, 65 to 75 F, then dump the Jun culture into the jar and pour in the Jun tea. Allow the tea to ferment for 3 days at room temperature.
After three days, the Jun tea should smell pleasantly sour and faintly sweet. Carefully remove the Jun culture and 1/2 cup Jun tea from the top of the jar, and dump them into a waiting jar. The Jun culture and tea are now ready for you to prepare a second batch of Jun.
Pour the remaining Jun tea into 4 pint-sized flip-top bottles (available here, seal the bottles tightly and allow the Jun to ferment a second time for 2 to 3 days. After 2 to 3 days, your Jun tea is ready to drink. Place the bottles in the refrigerator to chill, or serve the Jun right away. Keep in mind that, like kombucha, Jun will fizz and foam when you open the bottles, so take care to open them over a sink.
History + Lore: Jun tea's history remains largely a mystery. Some Jun dealers claim that the earliest writings about Jun tea date back to 600 B.C. in Northeast China where the elixir was valued for its ability to open chi in the body and increase circulation, but there are no written records for Jun.