Farmacy Nutrition spent the weekend at California WorldFest in Grass Valley, Ca. What is California WorldFest? WorldFest is one of the largest music festivals held in the state. Individuals from all walks of life join together to celebrate music, to learn about conscious living and to enjoy four days of community and culture.
At WorldFest, I, Alexandra, spoke on two different topics: The Benefits of Fermented Teas and The Benefits of Detoxing the Body with Whole Foods. I am going to recap the latter in a separate post and, today, I am going to give you instructions on how to get started on your own fermented tea journey.
Fermented Teas have been around for ages but have, lately, hopped on the "Trendy Train." Kombucha is a very popular beverage but Jun Tea is another fermented tea that has yet to hit stores.
What is the difference? Kombucha is made from a black tea and pure cane sugar while Jun is made from green tea and honey. Kombucha takes 8-14 days to brew while Jun takes 3-6 days to ferment. Both have many healthy benefits.
Benefits of Fermented Teas:
Detoxifies the body: natural acids help the liver function properly and prevent liver cell toxicity (your liver cells becoming overworked and overwhelmed).
Aids in digestion: Natural acids, as a product of the fermentation process, allow the body to kick start its own acid production when you eat foods. It helps to breakdown food in the stomach. The large amounts of probiotics assists the body in maintaining a healthy gut flora (gut bacteria).
Reduces joint inflammation: High levels of glucosamines assist the body to preserve collagen and because fermented teas have a analgesic (natural pain killer) effects they can ease joint pain.
Boosts energy levels: As a product of the fermentation process, iron and small amounts of caffeine help to boost oxygen in the bloodstream and energy in the body.
Improves the immune system: Due to the antioxidant content in fermented teas, Kombucha and Jun, help the body get rid of free radicals and reduce toxic load.
How to make Kombucha and Jun tea at home:
Supplies: 1/2 gallon glass jar (it can be bigger), black tea and pure cane sugar for Kombucha and green tea and honey for Jun tea, cheese cloth or a coffee filter, a rubberband, SCOBY and starter liquid (See below).
1) Obtain a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) and starter liquid. If you have a friend that brews already, you can ask for one of theirs. You can purchase them online or make your own at home. To make a kombucha scoby, purchase a bottle of kombucha at the store and leave it on the counter (with the lid off) for a 3-4 days. It will form a scoby on its own. Jun tea scobys are a bit harder to find but very doable if you search online. Etsy has quite a few or contact me and I will assist you!
2) Boil or almost boil 1/2 gallon of water.
3) Steep tea for 5-10 minutes. 4-6 bags or 2 tbsp loose leaf.
4) Kombucha: add 1/2 cup pure cane sugar and stir until dissolved. Jun: wait until room temperature (so you don't kill the enzymes in your local, cold pressed honey). Add 1/2 cup and stir until dissolved.
5) WAIT until teas are room temperature to add SCOBY and starter liquid (this liquid is the liquid that comes with your scoby or previously brewed tea). Once both the tea and SCOBY are room temperature, add them together.
6) Cover your glass jar with a cheese cloth or coffee filter.
7) Place in a cool, dark area. (Temperature will effect the brewing time. In summer, your tea will ferment much faster than winter.)
8) Check tea. Kombucha normally takes 8-14 days to ferment. Jun takes 3-6 days to ferment. What are you checking for? A baby SCOBY will form on the top of your tea and there will be a slightly acidic smell.
9) Taste test. The tea should have a very slight acidic flavor but not taste like you are drinking vinegar. If it tastes like sugar, the tea is not complete yet and it needs a couple more days to ferment.
10) When satisfied you can strain and drink your tea right away or second ferment it. Second fermentation involves a couple extra easy steps.
1) Once tea has fermented completely, strain and remove SCOBYs (mother and baby) and set these aside in a glass jar. Cover the SCOBYs with your Kombucha or Jun so that you can preserve them and have starter liquid for your next batch.
2) Add fruit to your fermented tea: it can be any fruit, ginger, tumeric. If you wish to add herbs or fresh mint leaves, wait until about 30- 60 minutes before you are going to drink your tea.
3) Cover with coffee filter or cheese cloth and allow tea to ferment with fruit for 1-3 more days on the counter top.
4) Strain, if you desire, and enjoy!
What do I do with my extra SCOBY?
You can make a SCOBY hotel. Essentially, layer your extra SCOBY in a mason jar and cover with fermented tea. Put them in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them in another batch or share them with a friend.
Dogs love them if you add them to their food or dehydrate them as snacks. Chickens love them, too!