When i arrived at Waag today two beautiful SCOBY’s were waiting for me.


On the right you see a normal kombucha SCOBY, but in the lighter jar on the left sits a jun tea SCOBY. I’ve never worked with a jun tea SCOBY before.

Jun tea is similar to kombucha, but made with honey instead of sugar. Since honey is antibacterial, and a SCOBY is mostly cellulose with yeast and bacteria, a normal SCOBY cannot handle honey. A jun SCOBY is resistant towards the antibacterial characteristics of honey and can ferment honey-based tea. I loosely followed this recipe for both jun and kombucha.

Preparing first batch


3L water

1L starter

15g Gunpowder green tea

320g honey


5L water

1L starter

25g English Melange black tea

300g raw cane sugar

  1. First i sterilized the jars by giving them a good rinse with soap and filling them with boiling water. When the water cooled down i emptied the jars.

  2. I made the tea by boiling 1/2 the water, dissolving the sugar, adding tealeaves and letting it sit for 10 minutes. For the jun i first waited until the water cooled down to 80* before adding honey and tea.

  3. After removing the tealeaves i added the other 1/2 of the water. I waited until the water cooled down to around 30*. I poured the sweetened tea into the jar.

  4. I added the SCOBY and closed the jar using paper and a rubber band.



I measured the sugar content (Brix) and sourness (PH) on several days. There is a big time-gap because i had COVID. I Noticed the values stayed almost the same.

I used a plant-soil PH meter, which probably wasn’t suitable. On day 14 i used PH strips to measure, which gave better results.



X Day 1 Day 2 Day 10 Day 14 Day 16
J Brix 7* 7* 7* 7* 6*
J PH 5.5 5.5 5.5 3.5 3.5
K Brix 6* 6* 6* 6* 6*
K PH 5.5 5.4 5.2 5 4.5

Results and bottling

On the 10th day the Jun looked really cloudy due to the yeast.


I tasted the jun on day 14 and it was already slightly too acidic. I bottled the jun in sterilized glass bottles and left them at room temperature for a second ferment. I forgot to at sugar so after two days there was no carbonation. I added sugar so i hope the jun won’t be to sour when enough carbonization is realized. I made new tea for the jun and refilled its jar.

I bottled the kombucha at day 16. It is not too acidic. I made new tea using a bit more sugar (starting Brix 7*) and added vinegar to the tea to lower the PH to stimulate a thicker scoby to form. (starting PH around 4)


JB1 = Jun tea before bottling

KB1 = Kombucha before bottling

KB2 (upper) = new kombucha tea before adding vinegar

KB2 (lower) = new kombucha tea after adding vinegar

Recommendations after discussing

[Dinner with Darwin

Bill Bryson - Geschiedenis van de keuken

Tasting History]