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.
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.