Hello everyone, I hope this beautiful Sunday finds you in great health and spirit.
Today I want to talk about a different kind of tea. Well, not regular tea exactly but herbal tea, tisane.
Few days ago while watching one of the videos on YouTube I was surprised to find out that some people use pine needles to make tea. I was intrigued by that from the start and decided to try it myself. I have some beautiful pine trees in my backyard and so it was very easy to get my hands on couple of twigs.
I actually made this tea for the first time last night and waited till this morning to see if I won't have any unpleasant side effects. Upon waking up in the morning I went out and gathered few more twigs to make another cup. As you can see I'm still here writing my blog post and I've never felt better.
Pine needle tea has some great benefits apparently. Pine needles are extremely rich in vitamin C more so than orange juice, vitamin A as well as various minerals. It is said to be a great decongestant and helps treat colds and coughs. European settlers when they first arrived in North America, were introduced to pine needle tea by Native Americans who were drinking this wonderful tea for generations. There is a wealth of information on the web concerning pine needle tea and I'm really surprised that I haven't heard about it until now. This makes me wonder what else is out there for our free taking. :)
Back to steeping a mug of fresh pine needle tea.
I grabbed couple of twigs and removed the needles from stems. It wasn't easy to do it by hand so I used scissors and simply cut them out.
I poured a boiling water over and steeped the needles for 7-10 minutes. When all the needles sink to the bottom, the tea should be ready.
The ready tea was aromatic and quite tasty. The liquid was almost clear in colour but the taste was there. I've read someone's suggestion on the web to add couple of drops of lemon to accentuate the taste and I did just that. I have to say it was delicious.
Some people said to experiment with different pines because they all have different taste. I will definitely do that. It will give me a chance to familiarize myself with different types of pines and learn to recognize them all. I have to say at this time also, that you have to exercise some caution. First, while all pines are wintergreens, not all wintergreens are pines. Second, There are some pines and other wintergreens out three from what I know that are toxic and should not be consumed. Ponderosa Pine, Lodgepole Pine, common Juniper, Monterey Cypress, common Yew, and Norfolk Pine are all off the table. Just like with everything you pick in the wild, you have to do your homework and make sure you pick the plant that is edible.
Apparently the best pine needles to use are the young growth in the spring. I always marvel in the spring when I see the brand new needles popping out. They are so soft and beautiful and this year instead of just admiring from the distance, I'll be able to try some of them out in my tea. Yum!