Full of antioxidants and nutritional vitamins A and C (the truth is Four-5 occasions that of orange juice), sworn by as an immune booster and reliever of congestion, pine needle tea has been used for hundreds of years as each a refreshing beverage and a medicinal drink. Within the winter of 1536, the crew of French explorer Jacques Cartier was saved from a disastrous bout of scurvy by ingesting this tea. Later, Cartier would describe the supply of the tea because the “tree of life.”
Thirty-six species of pine are widespread in North America, although not all are nice candidates for pine needle tea. Some species of pine just like the Ponderosa pine, in addition to bushes that appear to be pines, however really aren’t, just like the yew species and the Norfolk Island pine, are literally poisonous to drink. However many others, together with japanese white pine and noble fir (really within the pine household) are scrumptious and protected to drink. Ensure to do your homework on figuring out the kind of pine you’re harvesting earlier than you begin having fun with your tea!
The kind of needles you choose to your tea relies on your intention for ingesting. Older needles have larger concentrations of vitamin C, however style extra bitter. Youthful needles will make a sweeter, extra nice tea for easy ingesting. You’ll be able to differentiate the age of needles by their coloration and placement on the department. Youthful needles are usually brighter inexperienced in coloration, and are discovered on the very ideas of branches. Older needles are darker and are discovered on the base of branches.
Collect a pleasant contemporary department, rinse it off to eliminate any bugs or filth, after which choose the needles clear off the department. For those who’re working with lengthy needles, like these of an japanese white pine, and can be steeping them in a small pot or mug, chop them up into smaller items. There’s no want to cut up smaller needles.
Convey three cups of water to a simmer, flip off or take away from warmth (necessary), and add about half a cup of contemporary needles to the water. By no means boil your pine needle tea. Boiling tends to interrupt down vitamin C and launch terpenes that make the tea extra bitter. If you need a stronger tea, merely add extra needles fairly than growing the warmth.
Let your pine needle tea steep for about 20 minutes, or till the needles sink to the underside of your pot or cup. At this level, you’ll be able to pressure the needles out or depart them in when you drink. For those who plan on storing your tea for later, take away the needles to stop over-steeping.
One other technique is to place your pine needles in a tea strainer, place the strainer right into a mug, and pour scorching water over it. Let steep after which take away the strainer and revel in.
Your completed tea will style citrusy, somewhat resiny, and fairly nice. Get pleasure from it straight in the event you’re within the wilds, or add a squeeze of lemon and/or a little bit of honey to reinforce the style at house.