Yaupon (Ilex vomitoria) an evergreen shrub native to the southern USA states. The leaves of Yaupon have been used as an infused beverage in North America for over 1000 years. It is the only current cultivated native plant species in North America & the USA to contain caffeine. Therefore our Yaupon is a fully North American made home grown product. Our Yaupon green loose leaf tea is minimally processed and dried at low temperatures for retention of it’s full natural qualities. Prepare your Yaupon as a brewed tea, iced tea, yaupon tea lattes, tea blends, cocktails or other novel recipes.
Utmost care and detail is taken to preserve and enhance the land yaupon is grown on. As native plant to the southeastern United States it can naturally grow and adapt to the local conditions very well. Only water and sunshine are used as inputs, therefore Yaupon is an organic product with no pesticides added. Our Yaupon is grown amongst native plant species and enhances local biodiversity by utilizing regenerative agroforestry processes. Yaupon Berries are toxic to humans, however they provide an important food source for native birds and mammals.
The cultivation and preparation of Yaupon leaves to make a caffeinated infused beverage in North America has been documented for at least 1000+ years. Earliest usage is documented across the southern USA regions. Wide popularity is also documented to exist as early as the 1600’s amongst European settlers and furthermore, exports across Europe throughout the early to late 1800’s. However oddly enough in the early 1900’s widespread use of Yaupon rapidly declined. There is no agreed upon singular reason to why it had diminished so rapidly, however, a contributing factor was the perception of Yaupon being a major threat towards existing green tea traders. Therefore this exceptionally exciting caffeinated beverage native to North America became widely forgotten for over the past century. When looking for a new source of caffeine closer to home we stumbled upon the Yaupon plant. We were surprised yet exciting to see the untapped potential of an ingredient native to North America. LeClair Organics is excited to expand upon the modern revitalization of Yaupon!
Yaupon is closely related genetically to the South American beverage Yerba Mate. Yaupon being “Ilex vomitoria” and Yerba Mate being “Ilex paraguariensis”. Interestingly enough in many South American countries such as Brazil, Argentina or Paraguay, Yerba Mate is the most popular beverage as opposed to in North America it is coffee. The exceptional popularity of Yerba mate is exciting as we see many parallels to the major potential of Yaupon.
Energy & Health
Yaupon has nearly the same amount of infused caffeine as coffee per serving. A unique difference is that Yaupon also contains a balanced amount of Caffeine, Theobromine and Theophylline amongst other healthful compounds for a sustainable energy without a crash. Theobromine is the same energy boosting compound that is also well know to be in chocolate. Yaupon is also considered a strong polyphenol source comparable to or more than green tea.
Green Yaupon is an exceptionally smooth tea and lacks the tannins you would find in a green tea. Over brewing or over extraction of green tea is usually a cause for undesired flavour qualities and bitterness. The tannins are a major component in which makes green tea bitter.
Yaupon overall is an exceptionally versatile ingredient that mixes well with many other flavours and tea blends.
How to Prepare & Uses
There are several methods that may be used to prepare your Yaupon Tea.
Approximate serving size: 4 grams/1 teaspoon per 14 oz/ 473 ml
Add more Yaupon if desired for a stronger infusion.
Infuse as a loose leaf tea in hot water just short of boiling. Brew for 5-8 minutes using your choice of loose leaf tea infusers. Brew using traditional tea infusers such as tea balls or tea brew baskets. You may even use a French press if that is easier.
Place your loose leaf yaupon in a container or pitcher with cold water. Simply place your container in the fridge for 2-6 hours or even overnight.
You may even prefer to brew Yaupon as you would a traditional Yerba Mate by using a gourd & bombilla. Yerba Mate is a relative to the Yaupon plant and similar brewing methods may be used per personal preference or equipment on hand.
*contains theobromine. Similar to chocolate do not feed to pets