Bush Tea

I have spent months at a time in the middle of the forest. No one for miles around. The only sounds are that of nature. It is usually cold in the mornings and at night so I always make tea. I have been making tea from plants and trees for as far back as I can remember. Now it is the only tea I will drink. The secret to making a great bush tea is to never boil the water with the ingredients in it! Boil the water first. Then add a small handfull of whatever it is you will be steeping. My favorites are white pine, balsam fir and wintergreen. The best needles to use from the tree are the light colored new growth but any will do. Not only are they refreshing they are agreat source of Vitamin C. Wintergreen contains many of the same chemicals as aspirin so it can also be used to relieve pain or headaches. You can also make tea from raspberry leaves just be sure to use very fresh or very dry leaves. Do not use wilted leaves. Sweet fern also makes a great spicy tea. Alsike clover (pinkish purple) flowers also makes a tea but I find it a bit too mellow tasting but feel free to add it to the other teas to give them a sweeter taste.
If you are looking for an cold bush drink try steeping wood sorrel (commonly called shamrock) and then letting it cool. You now have a natural lemon flavored drink. The leaves are also great to eat fresh.
I have all kinds of ways to enjoy nature in my book. “How to camp for free and enjoy the Wilderness”. To get a preview you can go to my website. www.freecamping.ca
I would love to hear everyones favorite bush recipe.
Cheers!

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Comments (4)

  1. Thank you for the awesome info Erik. I have never tried to make tea this way. I will now. I want to try some tea from Pine needles, if I read that correctly, I just boil the water and steep some needles? that is awesome. When I purchase your book at http://www.freecamping.ca do I get a downloadable eBook or do you mail out a copy?
    I’ll post here after I try my first cup of Bush Tea this weekend!

  2. Thank you Clayon.

    Directions:
    Boil 2-3 cups Water
    Add needles or leaves or flowers
    Steep for 5 minutes
    Use a fork to remove needles or leaves. If you have a coffee filter even better.
    You don’t have to strip the needles off of the branch just use the small twigs. (easier to remove from the water)
    The tea is even better with a little sugar. Thats my preference, I like my tea sweet.

  3. Bush Tea Man! I finally tried a bush tea on a camping trip. We were up in the Okanagan Highlands yesterday and my friend picked some nice young pine tree needles. As he was showing us what to pick he mentioned a noteworthy practice – always pick the boughs high enough so there is no chance they have been urinated on. haha

    Anyways – to start the bush tea he had the green portions of the boughs broken into small pieces, boiled them for 10 to 20 min and then let it steep with a couple of tea bags of regular tea.

    Bush Tea is great! After adding a little suguar this was probably the best cup of tea that I’ve had. While at Mile Zero on the High Rim Trail, I grabbed a few cedar boughs to make when I got home and I am drinking that now. While this Cedar bush Tea is great, I still really like the pine bush tea better.

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