It is here at long last. Another delightful energizing herb, this time straight from our own backyard in Texas on the outskirts of Austin. Yaupon has been a bit of a thorn in the side for most farmers and ranchers in central Texas. It has been considered a tenacious weed; it's wonderful taste and clean energy almost completely forgotten. It is only when our search began to increase our line of caffeinated herbals (yerba maté, guayusa, coffee cherry) did we stumble upon a great local source of this wonderful tea. Completely hand harvested and processed, this native holly is as smooth as guayusa, with perhaps a bigger pick-me-up and a similar nutty, sweet, and very round mouth feel and clean finish. It is enjoyable to drink straight!
Texas yaupon is super high in antioxidants, up there with blueberries, and contains theobromine, known to chocolate lovers around the world as a blood pressure lowerer, and mild stimulant/pleasure creator.
A traditional Native American drink now recently rediscovered for our drinking pleasure and overall health and wellness.
2.0 oz Pouch $17.95 - 30 servings 64¢ per cup | 2.8 oz Tin $27.95 - 53 servings 71¢ per cup
Water: 208°F | Leaves: 1.5 tsp per 12 ounce cup | Infusion Time: 4 - 7 minutes
Basic Steeping Tips
- Use filtered or spring water, whenever possible
- Don’t over-boil water
- Remove leaves after recommended time (adjust to taste)
- If you want stronger tea, use more leaves instead of steeping for a longer time. Although, you can steep yaupon as long as you want with no bitterness.
Yaupon contains caffeine – more than other teas but a little less than coffee. One cup of yaopon offers about 120 mg of caffeine. Interestingly, yaupon also contains other stimulants in the same family as caffeine, known as methylxanthine alkaloids. Theophylline is a clarifying and uplifting compound also found in green tea. Theobromine is the stimulant found in dark chocolate that offers that pleasant whole body feeling many are familiar with. Theobromine is known to offer a settled and bodily energy. Yaupon's unique mix of caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine is what gives the balanced energy effect without any jitters, crash, or jolted buzz.
Yaupon has been thriving for many centuries in the United States, only to be recently rediscovered Yaupon Tea. Essentially, Native Americans benefited from Yaupon Tea, and we moderns forgot about it.
Widespread yaopon holly consumption along the Mississippi River dates back to about 1050. This fact has recently been confirmed by recent archaeological discoveries. 17th century records demonstrate numerous trade agreements, cultivation, and preparation methods of Yaupon Tea among the native people and the Spanish explorers, missions and outposts. Yaupon Tea was exported to France by the name "Appalachina" and to England by the name "Cassina" during early Colonial times.
Over time, coffee and Asian tea imports increased in the young United States. Serving imported tea came to be considered an act of high society and misunderstanding about the Native American ceremonial use of Yaupon Tea was widely circulated.
Recommended as a commercial crop in 1919 and 2009 in Journal of Economic Botany articles, Yaupon Tea was an imported tea and coffee substitute during American Civil War blockades. Yaupon Tea was later promoted in a United States Department of Agriculture study to counter the caffeine shortage and promote the World War II effort.
Did you know that caffeine serves as a natural insect repellent? Botanists believe that plants first produced caffeine in order to give insects an unpleasant jolt to their nervous system when they eat a plant’s leaves. We strange creatures find it pleasant.