The combination of herbs that we select for our jun is no coincidence. Our specific herb blends work synergistically, especially when consumed with probiotics. Whether you’re looking for something that might help calm you down, or enhance your focus, we’ve got some jun that is powered by just the herbs to do so.
As an introduction to our assortment of jun-kombucha offerings, here are the herbs that we utilize, and why we choose them. All of these herbs are organic and fair trade.
Our “Tranquility” blend features two fantastic herbs that work quite well together, holy basil and lavender. Not only does this powerful combo taste great, but also has an impact on your mood and adrenals.
Holy basil (aka tulsi) is native to the Indian subcontinent, and is cultivated for both religious and traditional medicinal purposes, as well as for its essential oils. Another common use for holy basil is within herbal tea, as it helps release cortisol and offers anti-stress qualities to those that consume it. The use of this herb offers healing and rejuvenation benefits, as well as adrenal support. The holy basil that we use is in our jun is grown and sourced in Oregon.
The second herb featured within our “Tranquility” blend is lavender, which acts as both a mood elevator and a calming agent. The effect that lavender tends to have on the body is generally calming, as it alleviates pressure applied to your nervous system. We source our lavender locally in Oregon as much as possible when it is in season and available.
Rose petals are front and center when it comes to our “Venus Rose” blend of jun. These petals contain some vitamin C, and have been used to support digestive issues, as well as abdominal pain.
For our “Venus Rose”, we also source yerba mate from Argentina, which is where it is typically cultivated. During the harvesting process, yerba mate branches are dried by a wood fire. This process leaves the herb with a wonderful smoky flavor, and varying levels of caffeination.
Our third ingredient in this blend is Guayusa tea, which is sourced from Ecuador. The yerba mate in combination with Guayusa tea boosts focus, brain function, and energy. These herbs both have caffeine, which is slightly nullified due to the high antioxidant qualities that guayusa and rose petals produce. This in turn offers a uniquely focused level of brain optimization.
Hibiscus has been traditionally used as a medicinal plant for many years. It is utilized for balancing blood pressure, helping with high cholesterol, and inflammatory issues. We also like it because it is high in vitamin C and antioxidants. All of these attributes make it a great herb when it comes to the heart.
The second herb featured in our “Heavenly Hibiscus” blend is lemongrass, whose leaves and oils are also utilized for medicinal benefits. This herb offers relief to those dealing with stomach aches and digestive tract spasms, as well as those with a cold or fever.
This powerful combination of hibiscus and lemongrass provides a boost to your immune system and an overall calming effect.
These choice combinations of herbs are enhanced when combined with probiotics. There is also something to be said about the effects of herbs when combined with raw honey, which our jun incorporates. The medicinal qualities of the honey, herbs, and jun make it a powerful complete beverage, and a tasty one at that.
If you are interested in learning more about our herbal blends, flavor profiles, and brewing process, join us at one of our brewing classes!
There are quite a few people making chocolate these days, and with them come a variety of ways to produce the chocolate. All of these unique takes can essentially be reduced to two different overall categories. There are chocolate makers and then there are chocolatiers.
While the traditional chocolate maker creates their product directly from cacao beans and other ingredients, chocolatiers create confectionery from chocolate that is already produced. We here at Sacred Summit are chocolate makers, and we specialize in bean-to-bar chocolate. The essence of bean-to-bar chocolate can be unlocked by understanding the specific process that is required for its production. To understand this process is to understand bean-to-bar chocolate.
Sourcing the beans is the first step in the chocolate making process. We source nothing but organic, fairly traded cacao from co-ops in distinct regions from an array of countries. The climate, soil, fermentation process, and variety of cacao all effect the end product. Our favorite beans are Criollo and Trinitario, which each offer unique attributes and flavors. The sourcing process is vital to the end product, as a bad bean will reflect in the flavor of the chocolate that it produces.
Once the beans are sourced they must be sorted. This process is rather self explanatory. The chocolate maker sorts beans by size, and removes debris as well as the poor-quality beans.
This step involves a series of chemical reactions that allow the flavor of the bean to develop, as the more bitter attributes of the cacao bean simultaneously dissipate. Every bean requires its own nuanced approach in order for the flavor profile to really take hold. Additionally, the roasting process curtails the moisture within the bean, and begins to liberate the husk from the nib.
Cracking or winnowing refers to the process of removing the husk from the bean after it has been roasted. By this point the bean has cooled down after being roasted, and we begin to crack the bean into petite pieces. With the help of vacuum pressure, we extract the husk off of the nib. If the entire husk is not removed adequately, the flavor of the chocolate will suffer.
Now that the nibs are free of the husk, the true metamorphosis into chocolate begins. We start this process by grinding the nibs, which reduces the size of the nib and starts to release the cocoa butter. The result is referred to as chocolate liquor, which is mixed with sugar and ground even further.
This step in the process is where the coarse aggregate of chocolate is reduced into a smooth paste. As this step occurs, the surfaces of our broken fragments become coated with cocoa butter. The milling process leads to the refinement of microns which ensures that your tongue doesn’t distinguish any grittiness within the chocolate. We aim for .15 microns in order to achieve chocolate that is incredibly smooth and creamy.
Conching refers to a prolonged period of stirring or aeration that takes place under heat. This allows for the flavor to develop. Typically this process takes somewhere between 24 and 72 hours, however it depends heavily on the chocolate being conched. After this step is complete, the end flavor of the chocolate is almost fully achieved, and the appearance becomes glossy and polished.
Before this step occurs, we usually allow our chocolate to rest and cultivate a bit. The changes in flavor occurring during this period of rest are very faint, but important. Once the chocolate is given the opportunity to rest and develop, we then melt it down and begin the step of tempering. This process is quite complicated, but the goal is to pinpoint a structure that provides chocolate with it’s snap and melt properties, as well as its pretty shimmer. Once the desired result is achieved, we place the chocolate into our custom molds and vibrate. Vibrations remove bubbles from the chocolate as it settles into the mold. After the chocolate hardens, we package it for distribution.
So there you have it. These 8 steps all create the process that leads to bean-to-bar chocolate. If you are interested in exploring our unique brand of bean-to-bar chocolate, check out our delicious bars here.
At this point in 2018, Kombucha has cemented itself in the mainstream as a common household beverage, but what about its distant relative Jun? Jun and kombucha are related in some ways, but differ in a few key areas including origins and ingredients.
Kombucha originates from China, and can be traced back as far as 220 B.C. Jun’s lineage however is a bit more mysterious, although as the story goes it emanated from high in the mountains of Tibet. Jun’s Tibetan roots have naturally led to its ability to adapt and thrive in colder climates, while Kombucha does not perform as well in these conditions.
The ambiguity surrounding Jun and its origins is in large part due to the lack of reliable information on its history, and when exactly it diverged from Kombucha. Some experts claim that it has been made for a thousand years, while books on the subject of Tibetan food and Himalayan ferments don’t seem to mention it.
American food writer and activist, Sandor Katz, theorizes that refined ingredients such as the cane sugar utilized in Kombucha were unavailable to those in the distant past. This lends some credence to the belief that Jun has been around for an extremely long time, as it incorporates raw honey, which has been sourced from hives for centuries.
As we mentioned above, Jun loves raw honey, and nothing but raw honey. This in turn reflects in its array of flavor profiles, as raw honey runs a much wider spectrum of flavors than those derived from concentrated sugars.
The type of tea that Jun incorporates also differs from Kombucha. One could say that Jun likes green tea and nothing but green tea. Kombucha on the other hand prefers black tea or Oolong, which contains more tannin.
Traditionally Jun was blended with an assortment of medicinal herbs, and utilized as an elixir for both energy and health. The glorious combination of acidity and honey all blend to create the perfect catalyst for herbs to sit and activate in order to utilize the herb’s chemical constituents. Jun’s cultures are also probiotic, which is similar to those of Kombucha.
As the differences between Jun and Kombucha become clear, we would love to invite you to try our unique small batch Jun elixirs if you haven’t already. Additionally, if you are interested in joining us for a Jun brewing workshop, click here to explore our upcoming classes. At Sacred Summit we utilize traditional brewing techniques and focus on incorporating medicinal herbs. A majority of the the herbs are locally harvested within the Pacific Northwest, our raw local honey is provided from ethical beekeepers, and our organic teas are sourced from local fair-trade vendors.