A self-proclaimed plant nerd, Bryon White, 34, had been moving up the ranks in his law enforcement career when a Yaupon Holly plant near his Florida home captured his interest.
A book by anthropologist Charles Hudson revealed that Yaupon Holly was not just the only naturally caffeinated plant to grow in North America, but its leaves had been used by members of Indigenous Tribes to create an energizing drink and for ceremonial purposes for thousands of years.
“I stumbled upon a rabbit hole of ancient history and it was totally fascinating,” he says.
Thinking that it must not taste good or someone would have capitalized on it, White made test batches of Yaupon Holly tea for his friends and family. Everyone liked it.