We are tea lovers. Ed cannot start his day without his pot of tea. Sweet and light is how he likes it. Tricia steers away from caffeine so her preferences are Rooibos, Fruit and Herbal teas. Although she will have an occassional caffeinated tea if the flavour sounds yummy.
Living in the bush has offered us a new tea type - Nature's Tea. While there are many options available, the more you look, a couple of our favourites are Cedar tea and Pineapple Weed tea.
Cedar tea many people know about. You can gather the amount you need from a local bush. Watch that it isn't close to traffic or in an area that is sprayed. Natives will suggest you offer tobacco to the tree in thanks. We were happy to learn that Cedar is a good source of vitamin C and when you are trying to eat local in the dead of winter that is just as comforting as the warmth of the tea itself.
Be aware of the possible toxic effects of drinking too much Cedar tea. Cedar is not dangerous topically (Cedar bathes and using cedar as an insect repellant) but limit yourself to one cup per day of tea as there is a substance call Thujone in Cedar which in small doses is fine however in larger doses it causes damage to brain, kidney and liver cells, causes convulsions, and can be lethal. Do your own research.
Here is a simple Cedar tea recipe which you can reduce for smaller quantities.
Take 2-3 branches (approx. 150-250g) and boil in about 4 liters of water for ten to twenty minutes. Pour out the first boil, and fill with the same amount of water. Bring to a boil for five minutes, then simmer on low heat for another five minutes. Remove the Cedar.
Once boiled a first time the tea is safe because most of the oil and dirt have been removed. You can reuse the same cedar over again up to four times. After four times the tea is too weak for a medicinal effect but you may still enjoy the flavour.
Pineapple Weed tea was something we had never heard of prior to moving up North. The weed is abundant but you may have just over looked it. The flower heads really do look like little pineapples. And they smell yummy when you crush them between your fingers.
The first time Tricia tried making it she collected the weed not knowing that it was only the heads that were used for the tea.
It doesn't take much to make yourself a cup or two. A small handful will easily brew a couple of cups or half a pot.
Just let them steep in freshly boiled water until the flavour you desire is reached. Think of Chamomile tea, it is that mild if only steeped briefly.
The colour is as light as the flavour but Tricia found that she enjoyed leaving it steep until it was cold and said the flavour, although definitely tasting 'green', was very nice.
Have you tried other teas from Nature? Let us know in the comments and if you too are a tea lover send us an email message Northerndirtbags@gmail.com as Tricia has a special note for you.