Pine needle tea

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Pine needle tea

Postby Woodsman » Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:31 pm

Have got my first experiment of making my own tea using pine needles, red pine ones, which have vitamin A and C in them. Haven't tasted it yet, is still steeping, and not boiling so as to hold in the vitamin C. How am I going to filter out the needles? Maybe I'll just use the lid to pour the tea into a cup, or use a strainer. I've got some honey. The tea can steep for hours, and it's been an hour and a half, so. I'm ready. Ok, here I go. I'll be back to let you know the flavor.
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Re: Pine needle tea

Postby kirtu » Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:16 pm

Woodsman wrote:Have got my first experiment of making my own tea using pine needles, red pine ones, which have vitamin A and C in them. Haven't tasted it yet, is still steeping, and not boiling so as to hold in the vitamin C. How am I going to filter out the needles? Maybe I'll just use the lid to pour the tea into a cup, or use a strainer. I've got some honey. The tea can steep for hours, and it's been an hour and a half, so. I'm ready. Ok, here I go. I'll be back to let you know the flavor.


I was taught this many years ago during SEAR training in the Maryland National Guard before going on active duty. Generally we steeped the tea for less than 1 hr but the context was also survival training and evasion. Steeping the tea for several hours should work nicely.

However I was told later that this is also how turpentine is made.....

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Re: Pine needle tea

Postby Woodsman » Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:57 pm

Just don't boil it, until turpentine is needed, and won't have to stain the outside deck till this summer, so until then just more pine tea... white pine tea is next. This is a great discovery! :stirthepot:
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Re: Pine needle tea

Postby catmoon » Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:55 pm

Technical notes: Turpentine is made by the distillation of pine resin or sap, a process involving temperatures well above the boiling point of water. Turpentine is also quite volatile, and ought to evaporate from the tea quickly. The Vitamin C is easily destroyed by boiling temperatures, and the destruction starts at about 70 deg. C.

The chemical composition of turpentine is quite variable, depending on the species of tree used. But I don't think much will find its way into tea, unless it is left boiling on the fire.
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Re: Pine needle tea

Postby Lhug-Pa » Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:49 pm

So then maybe bring the water to a boil, lower the stove setting to the lowest possible setting, and then add the pine needles and let them steep for a couple hours on low (which on most stoves should be just below boiling point).
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Re: Pine needle tea

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:17 pm

Pine needle tea is for woosy teatotallers, I prefer the hard stuff (68% alcohol) myself!
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Re: Pine needle tea

Postby Woodsman » Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:51 pm

Whoah, I just got called on, by the wif, for leaving a pine residue on her stainless steel pot. Oh well, I'll just eat an orange fir vits, until I have to make my pine Tree! Or pine T, or tea, hee hee... vitamin See?!!! :rolling:
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Re: Pine needle tea

Postby catmoon » Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:41 pm

Lhug-Pa wrote:So then maybe bring the water to a boil, lower the stove setting to the lowest possible setting, and then add the pine needles and let them steep for a couple hours on low (which on most stoves should be just below boiling point).


I think 2 hours just below boiling point would destroy all the vitamin C. You'd really need a thermometer to ensure you are under 70 C. But consider: Vitamin C has a solubility of 33 grams/100ml water at room temperature. That's huge, there is no need for heat at all. Just breaking up the needles and soaking should do it. Run it through a coffee filter and you'll probably get some, maybe even most of the terpenes out, along with dirt and old needles.

Should work, assuming the tree hasn't done something sneaky to retain the vitamin. If it isn't working, the solution won't be sour.

You can test your extraction efficiency too. If you resoak the same needles and get no sourness, you're getting most of it on the first pass.
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Re: Pine needle tea

Postby catmoon » Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:45 pm

Woodsman wrote:Whoah, I just got called on, by the wif, for leaving a pine residue on her stainless steel pot. Oh well, I'll just eat an orange fir vits, until I have to make my pine Tree! Or pine T, or tea, hee hee... vitamin See?!!! :rolling:


That residue should come right off with an inorganic solvent. Say a gasoline soaked rag if you're brave. You'll still need soap and water after though, and the rag might spontaneously combust if left in a corner somewhere.
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Re: Pine needle tea

Postby Jikan » Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:46 pm

catmoon wrote:
Woodsman wrote:Whoah, I just got called on, by the wif, for leaving a pine residue on her stainless steel pot. Oh well, I'll just eat an orange fir vits, until I have to make my pine Tree! Or pine T, or tea, hee hee... vitamin See?!!! :rolling:


That residue should come right off with an inorganic solvent. Say a gasoline soaked rag if you're brave. You'll still need soap and water after though, and the rag might spontaneously combust if left in a corner somewhere.


For pine & fir sap, peanut oil works. I don't understand the chemistry here, but it works. Peanut butter in a pinch.
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Re: Pine needle tea

Postby Woodsman » Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:31 pm

I did a bit of web searching and looks like peanut butter or olive oil may be the best pine sap solvents for the tea sap. Then I looked at a site that sells red pine needle oil... a 2 oz. bottle goes for... $85.99. Wow, that would but a lot of peanuts! Maybe I'll be makin' pine sap and peanut butter sandwiches.
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Re: Pine needle tea

Postby Jikan » Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:40 pm

Ha! Well if it's any comfort, you'll have a celebrity endorsement:

http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=3977861
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Re: Pine needle tea

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:56 pm

Woodsman wrote:I did a bit of web searching and looks like peanut butter or olive oil may be the best pine sap solvents for the tea sap. Then I looked at a site that sells red pine needle oil... a 2 oz. bottle goes for... $85.99. Wow, that would but a lot of peanuts! Maybe I'll be makin' pine sap and peanut butter sandwiches.
Maybe just buy a cheap pot solely for the purpose of making tea and let the resin build up anyway without promoting the ire of your better half! It'll be a sight cheaper than paying out $85.99.

I was wondering, do you get the same nutritional content from the sap/resin? Like maybe it would be easier just to collect and boil the resin rather than the "leaves"?
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Re: Pine needle tea

Postby Woodsman » Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:24 pm

I'm going to try sap next then bark. First I'll have to do some more research, and tonight I have to work. I need to find a good book on the topic of living with nature.
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Re: Pine needle tea

Postby catmoon » Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:02 am

If you collect the sap/resin and boil it, now you are really making turpentine. The turpentine will boil off, making large volumes of extremely flammable vapors that can easily accumulate then detonate.

When process is finished, you will have a viscous liquid in the pot that will cool and set hard. This is rosin, which can be ground up and used on your violin strings, on which you can play a sad tune as you contemplate the smoking rubble of your house.
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Re: Pine needle tea

Postby Woodsman » Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:09 pm

I can still sit under the pine tree, lay and sleep between the roots, and climb up it to see the stars, after I built a tree fort up there, with a window in the ceiling.

I can make a mattress out of pine boughs.
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Re: Pine needle tea

Postby catmoon » Sat Mar 17, 2012 5:11 pm

Woodsman wrote:I can still sit under the pine tree, lay and sleep between the roots, and climb up it to see the stars, after I built a tree fort up there, with a window in the ceiling.

I can make a mattress out of pine boughs.


Well, actually no you can't. There are actually few things more uncomfortable to sit or sleep on than tree roots, they are much worse than stones. After you have blown your house into the next incarnation, you won't be climbing much of anything really except possibly the stairs in front of the hospital. Your intention to build replacement housing is laudable, but they have these things called building codes and they are particularly finicky about skylights.

The pine bough mattress does sound attractive, never mind that some pine needles can pierce a quarter inch of Sheffield plate steel armor, that the boughs will be swarming with insects, mites, beetles and borers which will be crawling all over you all night long, and of course when you awake you will be covered from head to foot in sticky pine pitch, which will be studded with dead and/or dying remains of all the aforesaid bugs that got stuck in it and for whom you will have to bear the karma of killing which will surely land you in the lower hell realms without undue delay. But aside from that its a great idea.


Sorry if I seem a bit obstructionist.... :shock:
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Re: Pine needle tea

Postby Woodsman » Sun Mar 18, 2012 12:01 am

I guess I'll go back to store bought green tea, and eat an orange for the C's 'n A's, again from the store god.
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Re: Pine needle tea

Postby catmoon » Sun Mar 18, 2012 3:43 am

You could buy your very own pot and reserve it for making pine tea.

Greg likes retsina, maybe you could invite him over for erudite advice.
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Re: Pine needle tea

Postby Woodsman » Sun Mar 18, 2012 3:42 pm

Took down a monster-sized white ash tree with the boys yesterday, had to winch it away from falling on the garage. At one point I had almost given up, but then found some metal wedges that I drove into my back cut, and after about 20 strikes from the sledge hammer... momma linguine the ash fell with a rolling thunder, away fro my garage. The center of big ash was completely rotted, my son and I so far have shoveled out two waist high cans of peat! Off to the garden we go, unless one can make some peat tea. I'll look it up!

At one moment I felt myself silently asking nature for help with the tree fall. And when it did go the right direction I felt nature had heard me.
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