By Bella Wells-Fried, Labeling Bee
From farmer’s markets to events, pitching to new clients and telling friends what we sell, we have answered the question “What is Jun?” more times than you can imagine. We talk to people from all walks of life who are excited and curious and our Hive is always excited to share our knowledge on this sparkling, delicious and healthy beverage.
What We Hear
“So, what is this?” Some people have no idea what Jun is, which gives us an exciting opportunity to bring them into the exhilarating world of fermented beverages. “Is this kombucha (kom-boo-chuh)?”
Some guess that we’re yet another kombucha company, which isn’t too far off.“Is this kom-boo-ki?”
“Is this kam-boo-chi?” “Is this kom-boo-choo?” Some aren’t quite there.
“Is this June?” And some are super close.
Is it Kombucha?
Regardless of how you pronounce kombucha or Jun, “what is Jun?” is a good question. What is Jun? Is it kombucha? That’s a more complicated question than it may seem. By the kombucha definition via a simple google search — “a fermented, slightly alcoholic, lightly effervescent, sweetened black or green tea drink commonly consumed for its supposed health benefits” — Jun could very well be kombucha. However, there’s more to definitions than the dictionary. Most people’s knowledge of kombucha stems from what they know of common kombucha companies and their products, but even these well-known brands aren’t very consistent in their definitions.
Some of these companies define kombucha as broadly as “a fermented tea passed down by centuries of Eastern tradition” (GTS). While others include a little more specificity by saying kombucha is “[the blend of] water, a mix of green and black tea, sugar and a SCOBY” (Health-Ade), but even with the more specific list of ingredients, Jun can almost fit the bill.
What is Jun?
So what is Jun, if not just another name for kombucha? Well, if we refer back to google, it is “an effervescent fermented health tonic roughly similar to kombucha but feeding on a dominant base of green tea and raw honey rather than a dominant base of black tea and concentrated cane sugar.” This is typically the answer we share when asked what makes our drink different from other kombucha products.
Let’s break this definition down a little more. The simplest part of the definition tells us Jun is a “fermented tea beverage.” This fact is shared with kombucha. They are both brewed using a SCOBY which is a “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.” The yeasts in the SCOBY eat carbohydrates that are provided by a type of sugar and convert them into alcohol and carbon dioxide. This is where some of the natural carbonation in these drinks comes from and why there are very small trace amounts of alcohol in both kombucha and Jun. This process is called fermentation.
Where the definition differs is in the specific ingredients. In Jun, the sugars for the SCOBY are provided by raw honey, rather than by the cane sugar used in kombucha. The other big substance difference is that the base tea for Jun is green tea, while kombucha uses black tea. These key ingredients give Jun many additional health benefits.
Both kombucha and Jun have the benefits of providing healthy acids due to the fermentation that helps to detoxify your organs. They also both contain probiotics, which are bacterias, enzymes, and yeasts that are helpful to your gut’s digestive health and inflammation control. In addition to probiotics though, because of the use of honey, Jun contains prebiotics as well, which feed the probiotics and make them even stronger. Honey, and green tea alike, also provide you with helpful antifungal and antibacterial antioxidants, which keep the unhealthy bacterias and fungus out of your system. The green tea in Jun also offers the benefits of bioactive compounds that have a plethora of benefits including lower cholesterol, higher burning of calories, better blood sugar control, and more.
Come Find Out
So what is Jun? It’s a delicious, refreshing, healthy fermented tea beverage that just might be perfect for you. Not quite sure? Come find us at an Asheville tailgate market where we offer samples of our unique flavors. We also can be found at many local retailers. If you are outside of Asheville or prefer ordering online, we’ve got you covered! You can also purchase our 12 packs and Jun brewing supplies right here! We’d love for you to join our community and come try it.