Sunday, April 3, 2011

Tallstrunt Tea

I was in the kitchen makin' some pigs in a blanket for Brandon's "poker night" [what a wife, eh?] when Lucas asked me if I'd ever had pine straw tea. Um ... huh? He read about making tea from pine staw in a pioneer cookbook! We have pine trees all around, so we decided to give it a try. After a little research, of course. Apparently there are incorrect ways to do this, but I think I got it just right on the first try, luckily. [before I get started, sorry about my QVC nails ... I give myself a manicure on Fridays and so I haven't painted over them yet! I usually don't wear them so blindingly white!]

The Swedish call this "tallstrunt" tea and it is made with the "ripe" green straw found still on the tree. The cookbook said to just throw it in with some water and boil it down, but I'm pretty sure that when you do that, you're "boiling down" the nutritional value as well. Ancient Romans used pine needle oil to treat a number of ailments including muscle aches and the scent of pine has been an aromatherapy favorite since ancient times as well. Pine straw is packed with vitamins C and A! These are both really important vitamins that we often find ourself scrounging around for in any form. The purest form is always my favorite, so this is definitely going to be a new favorite for me!

You'll need about this much pine straw ... 

... slice off the ends and cut the needles in half ... 

 ... if you place your needles in a glass jar [other than a Pyrex] make sure you use a metal spoon to absorb some of the heat so your jar won't break! [thanks, YouTube]
... pour hot [not boiling] water over the needles and steep for about 10 minutes ...

 ... use a strainer if you don't want needles in your teeth!

... this is how you know you're getting the good stuff! Before and after ... 

... for sweetness, add a drop of honey into your mug, or drop an orange slice like we did. It really is delicious without it, I just enjoy citrus flavors in any tea I drink ...

If you're a hot tea drinker, you will absolutely love this. It is smooth and delicious and really versatile! Getting a ton of vitamin C and A while using the aroma to de-stress is the perfect combination. If you're just warming up to drinking tea [pun intended] you could definitely start with this pine needle tea! Cheers! ♥


  1. That's so neat! I'm not much of a hot tea drinker... just the usual chamomile at night but this sounds pretty decent. I love pine smell!

  2. I was researching information on growing tea in Southern Oregon and stumbled upon your blog. I'd like to put a link to your "tallstrunt" tea recipe in my Josephine County Historical blog post. Would that be okay with you? I think your post was terrific, and am looking forward to trying out your recipe.


  3. Absolutely! No problem! I'm a little bit of a History nerd, I love your site! I'm president of my University's History Club [LSU-Shreveport] so let me know if you ever want to do a "sister club" type thing. Thanks! And e-mail me the link whenever you post if you don't mind.

  4. I live in Northern MS, and I'm surrounded by pines - so tallstrunt was a natural evolution in my tea drinking existence. I do take mine with regular sugar, though.

    It does make for a fairly aromatic tea, though. It's especially nice in the coldest parts of a southern winter, since pines abound and warm drinks are always nice.