Four Basics About Yaupon
Some common questions we get are what is yaupon and how do I tell others about it? It’s not a tea, but it’s similar. It’s used for lawn decoration and some consider it a weed, but it’s actually delicious. It’s native to North America but was popular in Europe centuries ago. How do I explain this to someone who has never heard of yaupon?
Here are four basics of yaupon to introduce this incredible drink to your friends.
It’s technically an herbal infusion, like its famous cousins.Traditional tea varieties are made from the Asian-based plant, Camellia sinensis, while beverages made from other plants (like yaupon) are known as herbal infusions. Yaupon (Ilex vomitoria) is a cousin of the two famous South American plants yerba mate (Ilex paraguaysis) & guayusa (Ilex guayusa), and all three of these are caffeinated. We were inspired by the indigenous brewing methods of both yerba mate and guayusa while developing our yaupon preparation to remain true to the native culture and bring you the most authentic taste.
Yaupon has gone by many names. It’s long and varied history has gifted yaupon with a number of different names. Yaupon, yaupon holly, black drink, American tea plant, appalachine, Carolina tea, cassina, Christmas-berry tree, coon berry, and South-Sea tea. Since we harvest here in Texas, we know this hardy plant by the name yaupon. Whatever name you prefer, rest assured it is just as delicious by any name.
It was once world-famous. Native American tribes and European traders alike once traded yaupon far and wide. Yaupon followed Native American trade routes to the American Southwest and up the Mississippi River to the ancient metropolis of Cahokia. Through early traders, yaupon traveled to Europe where it was enjoyed across the continent. Though it faded from the public eye centuries ago for unknown reasons, we’re thrilled to bring it back and share globally once more.
Yaupon flourishes.Yaupon grows along the Gulf and East coasts of America, throughout a variety of environments. It’s a large drought-resistant shrub that forms thickets from spreading horizontal roots and rhizomes. You may have even seen it as decoration in your yard. With its spreading roots and durability, yaupon was considered a weed by farmers until its forgotten potential was rediscovered. Now, we wild harvest our yaupon in cooperation with local farmers.
Yaupon, as the only caffeinated plant native to North America, has a lot to offer. Delicious, all-natural, and good for you, it’s hard not to share it once you’ve tried it.
We’re still learning more about this beverage as it rises back into public attention and we can’t wait to see what comes next.