Juniper Berries

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Fruit Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Dylan Oxford
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Boiling 8 min or more

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  • “It seems like every time I write one of these ‘Hey, let’s try different ingredients!’ reviews, I walk in with some level of expectation that needs to be beaten with a stick. Inevitably, I write...” Read full tasting note

From Mountain Rose Herbs

The juniper is an evergreen tree native to Europe, Asia, and the northern parts of North America and it is especially abundant in central Texas and Eastern Oregon. The history and folklore concerning the juniper tree is long reaching. The first recorded mention of use is in an Egyptian papyrus from 1500 B.C.E. that tells of its use in treating tapeworms. Juniper was the symbol of the Canaanites fertility goddess Ashera. The Romans used it for all types of stomach ailments, and noted herbalist Nicholas Culpepper wrote that it was used in a treatment for flatulence. Native Americans of the northeast used it to relieve infection and ease the pain of arthritis. The Hopi boiled the berries and parts of the tree and consumed it to treat stomach disorders. Western European folklore tells that is a juniper tree is planted by the door to your home, a witch cannot enter. Juniper incense has also been used by the Scottish to ward off the evil eye, and by the Tibetans to remove demons. The purple, blue, violet, or blackish-brown fruits are harvested in early autumn for culinary and medicinal use.

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1 Tasting Note

185 tasting notes

It seems like every time I write one of these ‘Hey, let’s try different ingredients!’ reviews, I walk in with some level of expectation that needs to be beaten with a stick. Inevitably, I write some version of “I expected this, but got that”.

Without further ado, I bring you Juniper.

Missy and I spent a little bit discussing how strong to brew this for a 12 oz glass. Originally, I was thinking we should go a little light. This is what I would refer to as ‘being scared’. I didn’t want to down a cup of Pine-Sol. We settled on full strength. At least then I would know exactly what kind of impact the berries would have on any future blends.

At one point during the steeping process, Missy hesitantly asked me whether she really should go with the full 8 minutes that we normally brew herbals at, but we carried forward.

So, after a prolonged period of anticipation, Missy sets a cup down next to me… and…


It looks like water. Honestly, it’s only a shade or two of yellow off from perfectly crystal clear. If it was in anything other than a clear glass mug, you might think that you had a cup of water.

It does have an aroma, a somewhat sweet pine spicy fruity-ness to it. It’s actually a really interesting and pleasant scent. I’m growing more fond of it by the minute.

So how does it taste? Well, still kind of like water. It has an extremely subtle-but-apparent flavor to it, that may or may not actually just be the scent working it’s way across my tongue. You feel the almost tangy pine flavor in your jaw more than you really taste it on your tongue. There’s a light sweetness to it as well.

It really seems like a lot of work for a flavor that would be eclipsed by ice-water-with-lemon. What I definitely do know now, is that I don’t have to shy away from the juniper berries in any mix I might toss together. They’ll add more to aesthetic value than they would detract from flavor.

So, all in all – I expected a purple cup of pine-death, but ended up with a faint but pleasant scented water. I’ll chalk that up as a win.

Boiling 8 min or more

this made me lol Dylan.


Haha too funny :)

Dylan Oxford

Violet! You’re turning violet, Violet!

Terri HarpLady

My midwife used to have me drink a blend of Juniper berry & Hyssop for kidney problems. They were helpful & not unpleasant to drink. Once I gave up dairy, the problems went away. I haven’t used juniper yet, but I know people who use it in the veggie cultures (think sauer kraut), & for culinary purposes.

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