Move over kombucha – jun is here to steal your spotlight.
The original kombucha is a fermented organic tea drink which is served cold. It has a refreshing yet acidic composition and can be considered an acquired taste, but the beverage has a population of dedicated drinkers who swear by it to keep their digestive system and energy levels on track in a natural way.
Jun is a specialty kombucha that possesses a refreshing effervescence, so the title ‘champagne of kombucha’ is very fitting. Jun is smoother, more sweet, and less carbonated than kombucha. The true difference between the two kinds of fermented teas lies in the ingredients; instead of the black tea and refined sugar used in kombucha, jun is brewed using green tea and honey.
After Vancouverite Jamie Lee Mock experienced the magic of her own homebrewed jun (it dissipated her symptoms from chronic candidiasis), she started a conscious brewing company, Moonbrew Tonic Co.
“Jun has a more wild nature than kombucha, it’s this universal healing tool. Because of this, you can expose it to just about any herb out there and make some incredible remedies,” says Mock.
Drinking jun benefits both the mind and body, explains Mock. She says the drink has a colony of beneficial bacteria and yeast that enhances gut, brain, and immune function.
“The honey used in it contains digestive enhancing enzymes, essential vitamins, and anti-inflammatory properties, while the green tea is a powerful source of antioxidants that reduces stress. The wild herbs in jun increase the unique medicinal properties of each brew,” she says.
Mock felt she needed to share this incredible product with the rest of Vancouver, so she left her corporate gig in 2015 to start her own business of locally sourced, organically-brewed jun. Moonbrew is now one of the only jun producers in Canada.
“I forage ingredients with my bare hands and then brew it all myself. I think there’s something to be said there, and that’s some of the integrity I want to keep throughout the whole company as I move forward,” says Mock.
Moonbrew was inspired by an idea that came to Mock during a meditation retreat. The entrepreneur wanted to replicate the clarity and heightened awareness she felt during the time of a full moon and bottle it into a beverage.
Mock now brews jun in a commercial kitchen space on Main and Industrial which she shares with four other local kombucha producers. Currently functioning as a one-woman show, Mock does everything from harvesting, to foraging, to brewing, to sales and deliveries.
Moonbrew currently offers three flavours of jun: Essence Tonic, brewed with West Coast reishi, local ambrosia apples, and whole organic chai spices; Intuition Tonic, brewed with raspberries from BC farms, sage, and rose; and the original Genuine Tonic, brewed with honey and green tea.
The price of a bottle of jun is slightly higher than kombucha because the ingredients tend to be more expensive. You can find Moonbrew Tonic jun in 16oz bottles in Vancouver at the Eastside Flea, The Zero Waste Market Pop-up in Patagonia, Buddha-Full, Home On The Range Organics, and Half Fool, or in North Vancouver at Sprout Organic Market and Athlete’s Only.
Mock is also in the midst of producing ‘mini moons’ – smaller 4oz single servings of jun. Keep an eye on the website for more retail locations and new products from Moonbrew.