For thousands of years, Yaupon was a revered and highly-valued commodity for millions of native people. Over time, the Yaupon, and the people who drank it, were maligned, massacred, and forgotten about. For this reason, every step forward for this amazing plant species and food product is a giant leap. Yaupon was the bee's knees for millennia and it's finally coming back, and about damned time. However, none of it would be possible without our incredible customers, partners, owners/employees, and YOU.
Yaupon Brothers had a banner year in 2019, and here's a brief recap of some of the more awesome things that happened:
Summer Fancy Food Show, New York:
Although we've been present at the FFS before, this was our first time as a full exhibitor. New York welcomed us warmly, and we had a great show. Some large distribution is coming from this show which we will announce soon! Our beautiful bar for the show was built by Mark from local Florida Red Cedar.
Yaupon Brothers Lavender Coconut featured in Bon Appétit's Healthyish newsletter:
We were happily surprised to be a featured product in Bon Appétit's Healthyish newsletter back in September. You read the article here.
Yaupon Brothers took over the tea program at Foxtail Coffee Co:
At the end of the summer, we took the reigns for the entire tea program at Foxtail Coffee Co. Since then, Foxtail has continued to rapidly expand and now has thirteen locations throughout the Orlando metro area. Foxtail serves nine Yaupon Brothers blends - five Yaupon blends, three camellia blends, and a non-caffeinated herbal. We are so proud to work with this great company!
We were covered by the Orlando Sentinel:
The Orlando Sentinel wrote a lengthy piece on Yaupon Brothers, and how Yaupon is a good alternative to troubled crops like citrus. You can listen to the podcast here.
We met A LOT of awesome human beings:
We were privileged enough to share the Yaupon with many amazing people. First, we formed a partnership with NATIFS, (North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems), in which five percent of our online sales benefits that charity. NATIFS was started by Chef Sean Sherman, (aka The Sioux Chef), and Dana Thompson. Chef Sean is recreating indigenous food recipes from throughout North America, and they plan to open their Indigenous Food Lab this year in Minneapolis.
Another incredible person we met this year is U.S. poet laureate, Joy Harjo. Joy is Mvskoke, and the first Native American poet laureate, and her work is simply awe inspiring. You can listen to a reading here.
Dr. Francis "Jack" Putz at the University of Floridahas become a real friend. He also helped to inspire Bryon to start Yaupon Brothers by being one of the few academics to champion Yaupon as a food crop. You can find his novella, Yaupon Wins, on our website, along with several of his research papers.
Dr. Roslyn Crowder, professor of biology at Stetson University, found that Yaupon extracts may have cancer-busting properties. We've been ecstatic to assist her important research.
Rob Greenfield, activist and sustainable living advocate, partnered with Yaupon Brothers to help consumers make sustainable choices they can feel good about. You can watch the video we made with Rob here
Anna Eskamani, Florida State Representative for District 47, including Orlando, met with Bryon and stated support for building a sustainable Yaupon industry in Central Florida.
Yaupon Brothers worked with Chris Castro, Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Orlando, to construct a learning garden at the city's Conserve II water treatment facility and learning center. We're building a second garden in 2020 at the UCF Arboretum.
We were featured in the UCF Pegasus, as a UCF Alumni-owned business:
The UCF Pegasus did an beautiful spread on Yaupon Brothers, and the work that we're doing to bring Yaupon back to the mainstream. You can read the article here.
We met Henrietta Lovell, author of Infused: Adventures in Tea, and owner of the Rare Tea Company in London.
We partnered with great businesses like SipsBy, Tomoka Brewing Co., Mother Kombucha, First Magnitude Brewing, and others to bring you exciting Yaupon products.
We got a new partner! Ty Strode of Agristarts in now Director of Horticulture for Yaupon Brothers.
We exhibited at the PDX Tea Fest - Portland, Oregon:
Yaupon made a big splash at the PDX Tea Fest in Portland, Oregon back in July. We had a line around the block to try our organic Florida Yaupon following a lecture by Mark Steele!
2019 was a great year for Yaupon Brothers, and 2020 is going to be even better! Thanks for supporting us! Since you read all the way to the bottom, here's a promo code to save 20% on your next order. Enter NEWYEARS2020 at checkout.
Happy New Year!
No gators were harmed in this photo :)
Yaupon tea was once worshipped as a sacred gift from the god of purity, used as a daily drink, leveraged as the go-to medicinal plant, and carried for hundreds of miles in a vast trade network by Native Americans throughout the United States.
Yaupon tea has since been trashed and forgotten in the modern world, but it was not an accident (dun dun DUNN! The plot thickens)... the demise of American tea was planned and orchestrated in England in 1789. I’m not a historian by training, but I would argue that killing Yaupon (commercially) changed the course of the British Empire, financed the English industrial revolution, and cost 6 million African slaves their lives. Here’s how it all happened...
While we market our organic Yaupon Holly as a tea, it is not actually tea. The tea plant, (Camellia sinensis), is a separate plant species that originated in China. Tea is now grown all over the world, but it is difficult or impossible to grow in most parts of the United States.
Yaupon, on the other hand, is native to the United States from Texas to Florida and on to Virginia. Like the tea plant, Yaupon naturally contains caffeine in its leaves. It is the only caffeinated plant species native to the United States. Yaupon has been consumed as a food, medicine, and ceremonial item by indigenous people for at least 8,000 years.