Kombucha is fermented tea packed full of probiotics, beneficial enzymes, antioxidants and other health-promoting nutrients. But did you know that there are actually two styles of kombucha? One is what I like to call original style and the other is called jun style or just jun.
Read on to find the difference between the two and which one is right for you!
What is kombucha?
Regardless of the style, kombucha is made from sweetened tea. A starter culture called a SCOBY then ferments this sweet tea into bubbly kombucha. This process takes anywhere from 4-14 days. At this time you would bottle your kombucha, make a fresh batch of sweet tea, transfer your scoby to the new batch and repeat. Once your kombucha is bottled, you can add custom flavours and let it undergo a second fermentation. I teach you how to do this whole process (plus so much more) in my Homemade Kombucha Made Easy course. For more information on the potential health benefits of drinking kombucha, please read my blog post here. In addition, you can read my blog post '5 Reasons to make your own kombucha at home' here.
Original style kombucha
Original style kombucha is made with black tea and sugar. The origins of this kombucha seem to be the Ural mountain range and references to drinking kombucha have been made as far back as biblical times. Original style kombucha requires a warm place to ferment (around 21-27C/70-80F) and the fermentation time takes about 7-14 days. Original style kombucha has a bold taste, is usually brownish colour and is slightly effervescent. Fizziness can be increased with a second fermentation.
Jun style kombucha
Jun-style is made with green tea and honey. Its scoby is uniquely adapted to fermenting honey, giving it a milder taste. Jun is often referred to as the champagne of kombucha! The origins of jun seem to be also from Asia but it appears to be a more recent addition to the kombucha making community. That being said, it may very well be hundreds of years old, whereas original style seems to have been around for over two thousand years. Jun style kombucha requires slightly cooler temperatures to ferment (around 18-23C/ 64-74C) and also ferments in just 4-7 days. It has a lighter colour, mild, complex taste and tends to be naturally more effervescent than original style kombucha.
Which style of kombucha is right for you?
There are several factors to take into consideration:
1. The original style scoby is more common and easier to find. If you have a friend making kombucha, he or she is most likely making original style kombucha and could share a scoby with you. However, professional suppliers like Cultures for Health (affiliate link) do carry scoby’s for both styles.
2. The base ingredients for original style are cheaper. Black tea and sugar, even if it’s organic/unbleached, is cheaper to buy than green tea and good quality raw honey (which you should always use for making this health-promoting drink).
3. Original style requires warmer room temperatures for fermentation. For northern climates, jun might be a better option, especially if you keep your house on the cooler side. Otherwise, original style kombucha may require the use of a heating pad.
4. Jun-style kombucha ferments quicker than original-style so it will have a faster turn around time. While this gives you freshly fermented kombucha more often, you also have to make more sweet tea and bottle the finished product more often.
5. Taste is another factor. Some people love the strong bold taste of the black tea base while others much prefer the milder, more intricate taste of the green tea and honey base. If you get the chance, try both styles and see which one you like better!
Which one do I brew?
I have been making my own kombucha since 2008! While I started out making the original style kombucha, I now only make jun. I love its flavour and the fact that I can brew it with green tea and raw honey.
Want to learn how to make either original style or jun-style kombucha?
Great! In my course, Homemade Kombucha Made Easy, I teach you how to make BOTH! So you can decide, or try one and then the other. It’s totally up to you. For more information on my all-inclusive, self-paced course, click the button below.
If you have any questions about either original style or jun style kombucha, please leave me a comment below.
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