Is Yaupon better than coffee? Yes!.. and here’s why.
First, let's start with why people (typically) drink coffee.
When considering coffee alternatives, Yaupon checks all of these boxes and more!
Caffeine:Yaupon contains three primary stimulants; caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline. Typically, a brewed cup of Yaupon contains around 60mg of caffeine, about 1/3 less than coffee. Similar to its tea-cousin, Yerba Mate, Yaupon delivers a ‘jitter-free’ caffeine quality.
Coffee can sometimes have a bitter taste to it. Brewing coffee is considered by some to be an art form and bitterness can be caused by a multitude of reasons, the most common being:
Don’t be bitter. Here’s the thing about Yaupon - Yaupon doesn’t have a bitter taste due to its natural lack of tannin. It’s better because:
A Social Drink
The origins of Yaupon stem from thousands of years ago, when it was at the center of every-day life for the indigenous tribes of what’s now the South East United States. That aside, tea is the second most commonly consumed beverage in the world. One could argue that it’s still at the center of civilization, it just lacks some of the ritualistic purification through purging and Spanish moss loin cloths of centuries ago. Though, to be honest that may make Starbucks visits slightly more entertaining.
To say Yaupon tea is a coffee equivalent, actually does a disservice to Yaupon. Some additional characteristics of this little-known plant species include:
Yaupon was used as a coffee alternative during the American Civil War. When supply chains were disrupted, Southern soldiers turned to Yaupon as a coffee alternative. After the war, when tea and coffee became available again, people associated Yaupon with poverty, war, hunger and defeat, and Yaupon lost (once again) in the eye of public opinion.
At Yaupon Brothers, we are trying to revive this native industry – and we believe that Yaupon IS simply better.
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.