As you may have discovered after reading our guide to foraging, nature is a bountiful place! There are so many delicious herbs, plants and flowers to be found in the UK wilds, all of which can be used to create some fantastic foraged dishes and drinks. But there’s one drink no self-respecting hiker would be without, and that’s a lovely cup of tea.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to buy or carry tea bags for your trip. You can find all the ingredients you need for a tasty, healthy brew in nature!
In this blog post, we reveal the wild plants, herbs and flowers to pick and brew in the great outdoors. But first, here are a few words of advice on brewing wild tea from our friends at Eartheasy:
“To extract the most of these marvellous compounds, combine a handful of fresh herbs with 1-4 cups boiled, filtered water. Adjust as needed depending on the strength of the herb and how strong you like your tea. Leave steeping for at least several hours, or even overnight… You can also steep your finds in room temperature water in the sun—known as a sun tea—for several hours or in cold water for several days in the refrigerator to retain the most of the plant’s compounds. Strain and enjoy!”
Next time you go blackberry picking, don’t neglect the leaves. Blackberry leaves make a beautiful wild brew; it’s many foragers’ favourite.
Just take a small handful of blackberry leaves per cup and brew to taste. For the best tasting blackberry leaf tea, choose young leaves that are yet to form thick spines. You can also bruise the leaves before brewing to intensify the taste.
Nettle tea is a surprisingly delicious and refreshing addition to hikes long and short. Thankfully, you won’t find this plant in short supply in both rural and urban locations up and down the country.
When brewing nettle tea, remember the fresher, the better. Steep four rinsed nettle leaves in hot water for five minutes. If you like a strong brew, pick your nettles a few weeks before heading off on your hike to dry them.
Lime flowers aren’t just pretty and heavily fragranced, they’re tasty too. As popular pollinators, lime flowers provide a delicate but interesting and sophisticated flavour, with many drinkers enjoying the aromas of melon and honey.
All you need is two teaspoons of lime flowers per cup for a great brew. These flowers can be brewed fresh, or dried for a more intense flavour.
Pine tree tips
Rich in vitamin C, a delicious drink of pine tree tips is the perfect pick-me-up on hikes. It also provides a zingy, zesty taste that you’re certain to love.
Pine tree tip tea is so delicious that it’s regularly drunk in Scandinavia. The Swedes call it ‘Tallstrunt’ tea, and its fresh pine forest scent is renowned. As well as using pine tree tips, you can use spruce tips to make another tasty wild tea. A word of warning, however, take care not to use yew tree tips as these are poisonous.
Use 15 pine tree tips for the perfect wild brew, steeping in boiling water for at least five minutes.
Here at So Cosy, we stock all the hiking essentials you need to enjoy the outdoors and a decent cup of wild tea! Browse our range of outdoor accessories – which include thermal bottles and camp mugs to keep your hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold – today.