Pine Needle Tea

Yes you can make tea from pine needles and no it does not taste like floor cleaner. Although technically it’s not a tea but an infusion. To me that’s hippie speak but it seems that infusions steep longer and possibly at lower temperatures. I had seen that you could make a “tea” from pine needles and was a bit hesitant. I’ll tell you why you should be drinking pine needle tea and what i think about it.

I had heard from various sources in the survival community about making teas from pine needles for a few years. My first thought was it will taste like freaking pine sol. This thought kept me from trying it for a long time. Which is odd since I have eaten and drank some odd things, fried grasshopper, beer brewed in a log, pizza made from eggs.

Taste like a hot wings, YUM!

 

I decided to give it a try this past winter when I started having a cold come on. Infusions of pine needles contain 4~5% more vitamin C than that of fresh orange juice. I would rather drink a tea than run to the pharmacy for a cold. Making it filled my apartment with a strong smell of pine. The taste however was rather mild. It did not taste like pine sol and was tasty even without using a sweetener.

To make pine needle tea collect a handful of pine needles.

I give them a rough chop to help infuse the water with their oils.

Next you need to heat up some water. I’ve heard much speculation on how hot it should be, some say around lukewarm to just under boiling. I tend to go with the lukewarm myself.

Add your chopped pine needles to a cup and pour your water over them. Let steep for 5~10 minutes.

I like to strain out the pine needles at this point. Most the needles fall to the bottom so you can carefully drink without straining though.

Here in Tennessee we have an almost endless supple of pine trees. To me this is the solution to not being able to grow any citrus fruits here. So go out and grab some pine needles and make some Pine Needle tea. Have you tried it before? Let me know what you think of it in the comments.

 



   
       

9 thoughts on “Pine Needle Tea

  1. During the 1500’s when Europe was exploring the new world, the French explorer Jacques Cartier explored, claimed Canada for France in 1534. During one of his early voyages to the Canadian provinces he sailed down the St Lawrence Seaway to the Great lakes. He got caught by early winter and was forced to winter over in Lake Huron. His crew was sick with scurvy and crazy with eating canned/ potted meat. (The solder used to seal the cans of meat contained lead).
    With only about 1/3 of his crew surviving the winter and starving, they ventured out into the wilderness across the ice and stumbled into the Native American’s who were thriving. The Natives taught them to use Pine needle tea to fight the sickness known to the Europeans as Scurvy. I think this was the first documentation of how Pine needle tea was beneficial to good health. In a pinch I have used pine needles themselves to munch on while hiking in the deep woods. The needles almost taste lemony on Not like munching on the ‘Air Freshener’ hanging from the mirror in my truck. Surprisingly has good taste.
    Another great source of Vitamin C is to munch or make a tea with wild Rose hips. Those little bulbs of seed that grows just under the rose flower. The rose Hip remains, even into winter after the rose flower has long gone. Rose hip tea is made the same way you would make pine needle tea. I personally like to ‘infuse’ or steep the tea a bit stronger than 5 minutes, (10 15 min.)and the temp isn’t a real factor … Just wait til cool enough to drink … and enjoy.
    TinMan

  2. I have been making this tea for years! When I worked in outdoor education I often taught wild edibles and pine needle tea was one of the most liked foods in the class!

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