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Winter Wild Treats: How to Make Pine Needle Tea

Elizabeth Deveraux has spent 8 years of research studying the benefits of herbs and natural remedies and how they impact our lives.

Pine (coniferous) needles for tea. Packed with nutrients, one of which is Vitamin C, making the needles smell similar to oranges

Pine (coniferous) needles for tea. Packed with nutrients, one of which is Vitamin C, making the needles smell similar to oranges


I call them Pines because that is the term that most people use when it comes to coniferous trees. What most people don't realize is that there are many different species of coniferous trees other than pines. So, before heading out to forage for pine needles, take the time to read which three poisonous coniferous trees to avoid and how to identify the three most common edible ones.

Pine Needle Tea

I've always loved the resinous smell of the pine forest, the look of the green needles creating a perfect bed under the freshly fallen snow, and the pine cones strewed across the forest floor. I remember, as a child, being amazed at the fact that a tree could have needles and these needles could stay alive and green all winter long. It's only in my adult years that I learned that you could make tea from these wondrous needles. To tell you the truth, it is now one of my favorites! Cutting the needles from the branches, the citrus aroma that is contained within, the flavor being exactly as it smells, I love it all.

As I mentioned above, not all coniferous trees are Pine. There are three main edible trees - the Pine, Spruce, and Fir. My favorite is the Fir, it seems to be the most aromatic and sweetest, but any can be used in the recipe below.

Pine, spruce, fir needle tea

Pine, spruce, fir needle tea

Pine, Spruce, Fir Needle Tea

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

10 min

20 min

30 min

12 cups


In this recipe, I use my coffee maker. If you are making a smaller batch, use one tsp of pine needles per cup of water.


  • 1/2 cup Pine, Spruce, or Fir needles, fresh
  • 12 cups water


  1. Fill the coffee maker to the 12 cups mark with water. I prefer using my own filtered river water.
  2. Add herbs inside the coffee pot (not in the top where you normally would put coffee).
  3. Turn the coffee maker on and wait for it to beep. Once done, turn the machine off and let steep for 20 minutes.
  4. Sweeten to taste with the sweetener of your choice.
  5. Store all leftover tea in a pitcher in the fridge for later use. You can either drink it cold or reheat it.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.