Kombucha is a very popular topic in the beverage industry these days. While very well-liked, it is also quite controversial. The main reason for this is the many claims of health benefits, arguments over the best ingredients to use, and especially whether “raw” or pasteurized versions are better for you. Don’t let the controversy bother you, though; it is still a beverage that you should be drinking!
The Origin of Kombucha
Kombucha is a beverage made of fermented bacteria and yeast in tea. Its routes have been traced back to 221 B.C. in China, but may go back even further! While the drink is called various things including “Manchurian mushroom,” the tea fungus is not made with any mushrooms. (The reason for this name comes from the appearance that is created during the fermenting process.)
Kombucha has been consumed widely in China and Russia for centuries. Most people prefer to home-brew their own Kombucha in these countries. During the brewing process, the blend of microbial bacteria and yeast floats like a mushroom on the surface of the tea.
While it ferments, a second layer of this mixture forms on top of the first layer. This second layer is passed down from person to person, just like with sourdough yeast, to keep it going for generations. Kombucha finally got its name from Japan when it made its way there around the year 400 A.D.!
Kombucha has been used as a home remedy for centuries. In more recent history consumer drinks hit the U.S. market around 2000, spreading the name and home remedy claims along with it.
When Kombucha became more distributed, more information became available because as each company made their own product, they made various claims about them. This led to studies on the efficacy of these statements. However, since it is not patentable, not nearly enough scientific studies are done on it.
Kombucha has made a huge difference in the health of individuals over the past two thousand years. While Kombucha is now well established, people are starting to learn about something named Jun. The question is: What is Jun and where did it come from?
The Mystery of Jun
Jun is a fermented beverage made of green tea and honey. While Kombucha lines the shelves, Jun is still unknown to most people. Jun enthusiasts say that the Himalayas is the origin of the drink. Here it was brewed by the monks of Tibet (and still is today).
While stories continue to circulate, there’s little information about the history or origins of Jun that can be verified for certain. What we do know is that Jun ferments best in green tea sweetened with honey. Kombucha, on the other hand, ferments best in black tea sweetened with sugar.
Most will agree that Jun is more delicate and can be more tangy Kombucha traditionally. Jun also completes its fermentation cycle faster than does Kombucha and at a lower temperature. While you may need to use heating pads for Kombucha, Jun is a little less temperature sensitive.
At Zama Tea, we like our Jun very tangy, but you should try it yourself to get an idea of your preference!
Where to Find a Jun or Kombucha Mother Culture
Jun is still relatively rare, but Jun mother cultures can be found for purchase at more and more locations each year. Try your local Kombucha/Jun bar. You can buy authentic Jun and Kombucha cultures online (call to order) or at Zama Tea and Kombucha, or if you’re lucky enough to know someone who brews Jun, he or she may gift a culture to you!
Reported Benefits of These Delicious Tonics
Both Jun and Kombucha have some possible health benefits that should be noted:
– They Alkalize (similar to vinegar or lemon juice) which will help your internal pH become more balanced. This is perfect for those prone to upset stomachs from the overproduction of stomach acid.
– The acids present can boost overall digestion and ease constipation.
– They have been shown to relieve headaches & migraines.
– Compounds in the drinks help excrete toxins from the liver which will improve your liver health. The benefits of a healthy liver will be felt throughout your body.
– It can kill h.pylori on contact, which is the main cause of GERD.
– Certain acids present are considered candida-cides. Candida albicans, while present in most humans, can overgrow and cause serious health issues. Controlling their levels will help improve your gut flora.
– They contain antioxidants & polyphenols which are more bioavailable (meaning your body will use it more efficiently) than most other sources.
– They may speed up your metabolism; however, the mechanisms aren’t fully understood yet.
– They have been said to improve flexibility and even the fluidity of your body’s movement, though empirical evidence is still lacking in this area.
– Many people have noted that they receive an energy surge from them, even from drinking low levels of these beverages.
*Other benefits include substituting sugary sodas for them and avoiding multiple cups of coffee for your energy needs. You’ll receive clean energy while lowering your sugar cravings. They also act very well as a snack or to curb your appetite between meals. The possible uses for these beverages are far more than we understand yet, but hopefully, future studies will give us more insight on all of the potential benefits!
How Much Should I Be Drinking?
We suggest you start with just 4 to 6 ounces and then work your way up. You’ll realize as the weeks go by if your body wants more. You may find that your body requires an adjustment period before you can fully benefit from all of the perks of these incredible beverages, so starting slow and working up is the best method.
If you’re interested in trying some delicious Kombucha, try a flight here at Zama Tea located at 434 El Camino Real, Tustin, CA 92780. We have several flavors to try, and if you like what you taste you can take home a growler! If you don’t want to come in lost, give us a call at 714-884-3449, and we’ll answer any of your questions!