Day 5 – Jun or “Xun” the drink

Jun is a fermented health beverage much like it’s sister Kombucha, but the fermented tonic is instead made with green tea and uses raw honey rather than black, green or white tea and concentrated sugar.

There is a huge difference in taste though in my opinion, The Jun I’ve tried is a bit more sweet and less carbonation much like a wine but i’m told it can have a lot more carbonation like a champagne, but it’s taste can also depend on the said raw honey used, whatever the bees used to make the honey will reflect in the smell and taste of the Jun. the smell is also that of a honey mead but that makes sense since it’s alcohol content can be much higher then Kombucha, Jun ranging from 2% – 7% and Kombucha being at it’s highest 0.5%

When brewing I’ve learned it prefers a lower temp of 70 – 75 degrees F when fermenting and  Jun can take 3 – 7 days where Kombucha takes more like 5 – 8 days and prefers around 80 – 85

Jun like Kombucha is a probiotic drink due to the lactobacillus and other beneficial bacteria present in the SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) used in the brewing

Jun’s origin is unclear. It is thought to have originated in northern China and Tibet; many brewers and distributors claim stock originating from imported heirloom Chinese or Tibetan jun cultures and/or openly confess stock to have originated from contraband. According to food writer Sandor Katz, “The lack of credible information on the history of Jun leads me to the conclusion that it is a relatively recent divergence from the kombucha family tree. Some websites claim that it comes from Tibet, where it has been made for 1000 years; unfortunately, books on Tibetan food, and even a specialized book on Himalayan ferments, contain no mention of it… The culture is somewhat obscure and hard to find, but its epicenter seems to be the Pacific Northwest, where the Eugene, Oregon-based Herbal Junction Elixirs produces it commercially.” Despite Katz’s profession of a paucity of evidence for Jun’s history, the oldest Tibetan tradition, the Bon, still today cultivate it. Katz’s conjecture is also contravened by Chris Straight’s observation that a refined ingredient like cane sugar, unavailable in the distant past of Jun’s ostensible origin, couldn’t plausibly be the original ferment’s recipe, whereas raw honey is—as has it ever been—ready to use straight from the hive. Straight does note that today’s commercially produced raw honey if unstrained has the potential to introduce contaminants such as bee parts but given honey’s strong antiseptic properties notes his years of experience have never yet yielded a compromised batch (reputable suppliers of still raw but filtered honey are readily available for generally an only slight price premium over unfiltered raw sources).

The obscurity of Jun is partly due to the ethos surrounding its origin as a beverage to aid enlightenment: commercial transactions of Jun culture are viewed by its creators to violate its intent, and many brewing practices common amongst other fermentations may be viewed by many of Jun’s most venerable brewers as confounding conditions considered prerequisite to obtaining Jun’s greatest potential. Jun’s origins’ obscurity may partly be a function of its embracing local ecologies, similarly to Japanese koji culture (Aspergillus oryzae) which starts simply from rice thrown onto healthy soil, making Jun more accurately considered a genre of ferments rather than being capable of codifying a definition as any specific sampling from amongst myriad suitable sources.

hope everyone is doing well this morning and has a great day!

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