American Bushman

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing." —Benjamin Franklin

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Spruce Tea

One of the tastiest treats I can think of in the woods is spruce tea. It's dead simple to make, tastes of the outdoors, and is high in Vitamin C.

Here's my simple recipe:

Find one of these. This particular species is the Sitka Spruce--State Tree of Alaska.
Collect some of these. A small handful will be more than enough.
Add some of this... one of these. I use the US Military Canteen Cup.
Bring to a boil using a campfire or other means.

Let this concoction steep for a few minutes until the water turns a caramel color, pull out the spruce needles, and either strain the remaining liquid into a cup or drink straight away.

Easy peasy.

Thanks for reading,



At 4:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At this very moment I am drinking my first cup of spruce tea. Its not bad at all. I sweetened it with sugar, but i think it may have been better to have gone with honey. I will try that next time. It just boggles my mind to think that all of this wonderful vitamin C has been growing in my back yard for all these years.....I wonder how much money I have spent on vitamin C capsules in my lifetime?

At 1:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

try it with Maple Syrup to add a more woody flavor and hint of canada :)

At 5:39 AM, Blogger Ivan said...

Hi, have just made my self a cup of spruce tea and i wonder.. is it more vitamin C in spruce than pine?
Also, i think its nice to cut of the needles and also cut the in small pieces, then you get more out of it and it does not need any sugar or sweetener actually but sometimes i will use honey.
Sugar is no good, your body will use vital energy to get rid of it due to its a poison for the body...thats refined sugar not natural sweetener like stevia and birchsweet and such.

Have a nice cup of tea and healthy body and soul =)

At 2:08 PM, Blogger American Bushman said...


Thanks for your comment.

I don't know if spruce and pine are comparable or not on their Vitamin C content but I suspect they're close. I have spruce here so that's what I use.

I like to chop up the needles some of the time too. It's just so easy to pull a few of the tips and drop them in some boiling water though and if I steep it long enough it has plenty of flavor.

Ooh, if you want to sweeten it and can find it, birch sap is fantastic and really adds to the flavor of a cup of spruce tea. I'd use maple sap here just because there's plenty of sugar maple trees in the area.

Thanks again,


At 8:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The best spruce needle tea is gathered in the spring from the new growth. You will see the bright green tips on the branches. This is what you want to pick, wash it and then dry it out completely.
If you are in a hurry you can dry it in the oven at a very low temperature. You should gather enough to last until the next spring.
No need for sugar if you pick the fresh, new growth tips. Very fragrant.

At 7:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're also suposed to only drink spruce teas in moderation!


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