Ever wonder what it would be like to taste a tree? Next time you’re in the woods, gather a few stray Douglas-fir branches and take them home to make a savory, fir-needle tea that is wildly delicious!
What to do: Remove any cones that might still be attached, and thoroughly rinse Douglas-fir needles and stems in cold water.
Chop the twigs (use ones no bigger than a pencil’s width) and needles into quarter-inch sections. Put one cup of the Douglas-fir pieces into a pitcher and pour boiling water over them. Keep in mind, the more needles, the fuller-bodied the tea. Let steep 10-15 minutes. Strain liquid through cheesecloth, into a second pitcher; discard cheesecloth, needles, and stems.
Result: a fragrant, amber-green tea with a mild, spicy flavor and a helping of vitamin C. Sweeten with sugar or honey. Serve hot or cold.
Guidelines: Look for downed Douglas-fir branches after a big wind. Collect fresh branches on the ground with green needles only. Tea can be stored in the refrigerator for as long as a week. There are no poisonous look-alikes, and the needles are available year-round.
Grab A Branch, It’s Tea Time has appeared under the following titles in the following publications:
Pour Me A Cup Of Douglas-Fir, The Mountain Times, 1999.
Nature’s Cold Cure, East Clackamas County Gazette, 2004
Article and illustration as it appeared in The Oregonians “The Source” Better Homes & Gardens, 2008. (Also put on display at the Better Homes & Garden show 2008—Portland, Oregon.)
Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.