Kombucha and jun are popular Asian and Eastern European fermented drinks made with sweet tea and a “mother” or SCOBY, a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. The “mother” ferments the tea and creates a delicious and healthy probiotic-filled beverage. Kombucha is a specific type of mother that ferments in black tea and sugar, while jun is a sister SCOBY that has been bred to develop in green tea and honey. You can typically find a mother in your local health food store.
This recipe (& many others!) can be found in my book Go with Your Gut.
Kombucha or Jun
Makes 1 quart
- 3 cups filtered water
- 1⁄4 cup sugar (for kombucha) or honey (for jun)
- 1 tablespoon loose black or green tea or
- 3 teabags (black for Kombucha, green for Jun)
- 1⁄2 cup mature beverage (from previous batch or wherever you obtain mother from) kombucha or jun mother
- Bring the water and sweetener to a boil in a small cooking pot.
- Turn off the heat, add the tea, and let it steep about 15 minutes.
- Strain the tea into a wide mouth vessel (I usually use a pitcher) and allow the tea to cool.
- Add the mature beverage and mix.
- Place the mother on top of the liquid with the opaque side up. Cover it with a dishtowel and allow it to sit in a room temperature spot to ferment. Do not mix the beverage once you add the mother (she likes to be still).
- Let it ferment anywhere between 1 and 3 weeks. The longer it sits, the more acidic it will become. Taste your beverage and, when it reaches a flavor you like, strain it into jars and place it in the refrigerator.
- You’ll have two mothers left behind: the one you started with and the skin that formed during the fermentation process. You can use the new or old one again and give the other one to a fellow Go with Your Gut girl or compost it. Each time you make a new batch, you will have a new mother and the original mother will thicken.
Note: Storing your SCOBY. If you need to take a break in between batches you can allow the last batch of tea to ferment on the counter up to 6 weeks. After 6 weeks add a quarter-cup sweetener, cover, and place in the fridge. Every 4 to 6 weeks you’ll need to add more sweetener and ideally some new brewed tea (pour off a little of the last batch) so your SCOBY gets the nourishment it needs.