Overnight, temperatures plummeted. Although clear skies prevailed this morning, the bone-aching cold had me scrambling to slip on gloves and a toboggan as I set out along an unmarked trail off the side of N.
The sun was just beginning to climb above the ocean. Its warm pinkish glow bathed the island in strips of light that shone through the breaks in the dunes. A small family of tundra swans whistled by overhead making their way toward Bodie Island Lighthouse.
Yaupon Brothers American Tea Co.
Salt marsh crept into both sides of the trail in spots, and the high tide had pushed Pamlico Sound up and over the little berm that I followed deeper into the shrub thicket. After a few minutes of half hiking, half sloshing through the water, the purpose of my rousing from a perfectly warm bed so early in the morning began to materialize. In a wintery landscape dominated by the muted tones of browns and grays that characterize this season on the barrier islands, a dense stand of yaupon holly heavily laden with vibrantly colored berries is an explosion of color that is almost hypnotic.
Fire engine red berries contrast against the deep jungle green of the elliptically shaped leaves of this coastal holly. Cedar waxwings the colors of a rainbow flutter in and out, gorging themselves on this winter smorgasbord. A true visual feast in the monochromatic world of winter. Sprawled out before me along both sides of the trail, these dense stands of yaupon holly hold a fascinating story of life along the coastal plain.
Today, most North Carolinians only know this plant for its use in landscaping.
However, there was a time when this unsuspecting shrub was the basis for extensive trade networks between Native American tribes that stretched from the Outer Banks to the Appalachian Mountains. Archeological digs as far west as the Cahokia Mounds in Illinois have even turned up pottery coated with the residue of this plant. Yaupon holly, pronounced YO-pawngrows natively along the coastal plain of North Carolina down to the middle of Florida and west along the Gulf Coast.
Like the trade networks across the Carolinas suggest, the products of this shrub, despite their geographical restriction to coastal areas, were in high demand throughout the eastern half of the continent. With all of the plants out there that held some sort of ethno-botanical use, what was so special about this species of holly?
As it turns out, yaupon contains a drug that today drives a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States. And much like us coffee addicts today, native tribes would go to great lengths and pay a great expense to appease their addiction.Inwe saw lots of fun new superfood trends take the food and wellness world by storm. From CBD-infused everything to the resurgence of ancient roots, grains, and berries, was an exciting time for superfoods. Here's your guide to the most nutritious, tasty, and versatile superfoods you might want to consider incorporating into your diet this season.
To your health! Note: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. A type of blue-green algae loaded with health benefitswe saw spirulina popping up everywhere in supplements and smoothies in Gluten-free, vegan, and with a fine texture and neutral taste, cassava flour is popping up everywhere as a delicious grain-free replacement to traditional wheat-based flour.
The starch found in cassava helps boost your digestive health while also lowering inflammationmaking it a multitasking superfood. With a whopping 8 grams of easy-to-digest, plant-based protein and 9 grams of fiber per serving, superfood hemp seeds are also a potent source of heart-healthy omegas and fiber.
Sprinkle onto salad, cereal, or granola for a nutritious addition to any snack. By this point, you've likely tried one of the many delicious nut butter varieties hitting the market, but inget ready for seed-based butters to take over.
Look out for alternative allergen-friendly seed butters made from superfood chia, flax, pumpkin, sunflower, and even watermelon seeds to hit shelves in the new year. Gluten-free, protein-packed, and with nearly half the net carbs of traditional pasta, chickpea pasta will continue to be a huge superfood trend in Chances are you've most likely seen, heard of, or tried CBD products in some capacity this past year.
From tinctures and gummies intended to help with anxiety to salves and lotions recommended for physical ailments like arthritis or joint discomfort, CBD is one of the biggest wellness trends right now.
Inwe predict seeing much more superfood hemp products hit shelves. The taste of ashwagandha is quite earthy and bitter, so it tastes best alongside other brewed roots and herbs, especially in tonics with an added sweetener. A scoop of this ashwagandha root powder from Terrasoul Superfoods can be added to your morning cup of matcha or smoothie for a superfood start to the day. This mixture is made with Arabica coffee and only has 40 mg of caffeine, versus the average milligrams of caffeine or more found in a cup of coffee.
You can add this convenient powdered mix directly into hot or cold water for a more mellow start to your morning without the jitters sometimes associated with highly caffeinated beverages. Raw or unprocessed honey is a superfood that packs a long list of health benefits.
It's known for its natural antibacterial properties, its ability to alleviate seasonal allergies, and its use as a delicious natural syrup-style sweetener or spread. This honey comes straight from the hive, without any pasteurization or addition of other ingredients like corn syrup, sugar, or hidden preservatives, so you can feel good about adding a few teaspoons to any dish.
Made by slowly caramelizing fresh garlic bulbs over time, black garlic is not only packed with sweet, savory, and delicious umami flavor, but it's also twice as nutritious. These organic black garlic bulbs sourced from Korea underwent a day fermentation process under high heat to develop their dark hue, soft texture, and sweet flavor.
Reviewers rave about the addictive taste and easy-to-spread texture of this black garlic, especially when used in garlic bread recipes or in party dips. Activated charcoal seems to be popping up in ingredient lists everywhere right now, from tiki cocktails to pizza crust to nonalcoholic juice cleanses. Charcoal has been used for centuries to aid in digestion as a powerful purifying and detoxifying agent, and it's even been proven to help lower cholesterol levels.
This Raw Activated Charcoal Powder by Moody Zook can be used externally in cosmetic applications like teeth-whitening or facial masks, or ingested to help aid in detoxifying the body. Avocados have numerous health-boosting benefits and are full of so-called "good" or monounsaturated fats, which can lower "bad" cholesterol levels.A favorite native landscaping plant is being rediscovered as a caffeinated drink, an alternative to the imported tea that million Americans drink every day.
We are talking about Yaupon Holly Ilex vomitoria Aitona common landscaping plant used to build hedges. This evergreen plant, native to the Southeast, was widely used by Native Americans in various ways including making tea. Showing a Yaupon tree and its characteristically serrated leaves. There are now at least nine small companies in the country that are growing and marketing yaupon as a local, native alternative to tea.
One of those companies is located in Volusia County, Florida. Entrepreneur Bryon White was a native plant enthusiast years ago. He learned about the interesting history of yaupon and decided to experiment with the wild type yaupon. He served it to friends and family and they liked the taste, aroma and the caffeine boost. People would buy yaupon tea if they understood its rich history, and where it is coming from, Bryon thought. Since their certified organic business, Yaupon Brothers, markets its tea to many parts in the country and abroad.
Their market is concentrated in the Southeast through a few big box stores, direct sales through Amazon and independent health food retailers. They also have a strong following locally in New Smyrna Beach, where their company is located. Most of their tea comes from wild yaupon that is harvested following the USDA organic regulations.
They currently have 50 acres of wild harvested yaupon. Bryon believes that yaupon could be a profitable alternative crop for Florida growers, and there is certainly a lot to love about the environmental benefits of growing a native crop. Take for example that yaupon can be grown with little maintenance in the way of fertilizers.
Irrigation is necessary only during crop establishment, as the tree is very drought tolerant. Yaupon is also salt and frost tolerant, as well as pest and disease free; pesticides are rarely needed. This fast growing tree can grow up to 30 feet but keeping the height around 7 to 8 feet is optimal. The trees can be harvested after two or three years, harvest occurs once a year.
The leaves are then washed, dried, cleaned and milled to four to six millimeter particle size. This is then sifted and sold in teabags. Bryon recognizes that there is a lot of unanswered questions about yaupon production. For example, formal yaupon research is needed to figure out recommended density and profitability per area. Despite this, his company is looking for growers who want to grow yaupon, but due to lack of proven profitability numbers, they are hesitant to try.
Bryon is pitching the idea of planting yaupon as a windbreak tree that you can harvest from.
Given the demand that Bryon has seen and how little-known yaupon still is, he believes that the demand for this crop will grow substantially.
It requires a leap of faith, Bryon said, but it is worth trying. It is certainly profitable for me to grow it and sell it. I believe that Yaupon has a bright future in Florida, he said.
Yaupon Holly Plant Profile
Now you have a local, native crop alternative where consumers can learn exactly how we are growing it, harvesting it and processing it; he said. Bryon is in touch with other yaupon companies and are getting together to create the American Yaupon Association, which will provide support to market this native tea alternative to Americans.
All in all, yaupon tea production appears to be a win-win-win for producers, consumers and the environment. Palumbo, M. Ilex Vomitoria Ait. Economic Botany. Posted: September 28, Home Blog Directory Blogs. Yaupon, a native Florida tea, is making a comeback.Its name is yaupon [pronounced yoh-pon], and while popular in the distant past, it became known more as an ornamental rather than a food source in the last century. Grown in the southeastern United States, yaupon holly was traded by Native Americans to make tea for ceremonies and recreation.
During the Civil War, Southerners often drank yaupon tea in place of coffee and black tea. The Yaupon Brothers Tea Co. The brothers project that the ongoing trend toward natural foods and herbal teas will boost sales in the coming years. The brothers have a acre farm in New Smyrna Beach, several land leases throughout the state, a production facility in Edgewater, and they helped start the American Yaupon Association with nine other new companies to promote yaupon.
They also promote yaupon business opportunities to farmers, especially citrus growers whose crops have been hit by harsh weather and disease the past several years.
Who Bryon and Kyle White. The Inspiration Bryon said the brothers read about Native American consumption of yaupon and were intrigued. The Pitch A native-grown tea that provides a jitter-free caffeine boost and is a potent source of antioxidants. Yaupon is native to the southeastern United States from Virginia to Florida to Texas and grows up to 20 feet tall. It produces bright red berries during winter months but unlike most hollies, the leaves are not prickly.
Most consumers describe it as vegetal, slightly sweet and grassy, he says. Pegasus Magazine is available on the iPad! Go to iTunes Continue to Web Version. A New Day for Yaupon Tea. You may not spend much time thinking about tea. Two UCF brothers want to change that. Americans should be drinking more yaupon.It was revered as a sacred bringer of good health and mental and physical purity. The American Green is smooth and grassy, with a subtle sweet finish.
Please direct all inquiries to Bryon White, at bryon yauponbrothers. Prior tothere was no record of hop production in Florida. Now, in just three short years, Florida has found an ability to produce a crop that is critical to brewing craft beer twice a year, essentially doubling productivity. Appeal for locally grown hops has now spilled out to face new demand from outside the brewing industry.
The forward-thinking coffee house would use the hops to provide fresh tropical aromas and stone fruit taste to the cold-brewed coffee. It is soon to be on tap and bottled at several locations across Orlando. Hops also are gaining attention beyond bittering and aroma. And as breweries around the world become venues to host weddings, bridal showers, and bachelor parties, the trend to incorporate hop flowers is beginning to blossom.
Though the growth of hops into other markets is evident, it in no way eclipses the desire of the brewing industry for fresh locally grown hops, expanding into more beer styles like sours, India pale lagers, as well as the popular New England IPA. Yaupon holly is a shrub or tree found in coastal and inland scrub, dunes, floodplains and hammocks. Its diminutive flowers bloom in spring, attracting a variety of bees and other insects.
In the fall, abundant fruit production provides food for birds and small mammals. The dense evergreen foliage provides year-round cover for wildlife. Branches are slender. Bark is smooth and whitish-gray. Yaupon holly tea has been consumed for many centuries. Confederate soldiers used the tea as a substitute for coffee.
In recent years, Yaupon holly tea has seen a revival and is now available commercially.The yaupon holly Ilex vomitoria is an evergreen shrub or small tree with green leaves and red berries that will add color to your garden throughout the year.
Native to the southeastern U. The glossy green leaves are oval, up to one inch long, and feature fine-toothed margins. The tooths on the margin may be pointed or rounded.
Each plant produces little greenish-white male or female flowers in the spring, though only the females will bear fruit—small berries that are usually red but sometimes yellow. The berries work well to add winter interest and provide food for birds and other wildlife.
Youpon holly is one of the more tolerant of the holly shrubs, doing well in a variety of soil types, moisture levels, pH levels, and sun exposures. Like other hollies, this species is dioecious separate male and female plantsso you will need to plant a male pollinator in order for this shrub to flower and bear fruit.
Once roots are well established, this is a good plant for drought conditions. Youpon holly is a rare shrub that transplants very easily and rarely succumbs to shock. After planting, apply mulch at the base of the plant to keep the soil moist and cool. Light annual pruning is recommended if you are growing the plant as a hedge.
Plants being trained as small trees require more diligent pruning. Youpon holly is free of many problems plaguing other hollies, with good resistance to most diseases and pests.
The shrubs have occasional issues with holly leaf miner, spider mites, whitefly, and scale.MATCHA TASTE TEST - the best matcha powders on amazon
Potential diseases include leaf spot, leaf rot, tar spot, and powdery mildew. Youpon holly grows well in a full-sun to partial-shade location. It thrives best with plenty of sunlight. This shrub prefers sandy soil, but does quite well in other soil textures, as well.
It has a good tolerance for salty soils, making it a good choice for planting near the ocean. Water the root ball two or three times a week for the first year after planting, then weekly thereafter. Well established plants can tolerate some drought. A native to the southeastern U. It may struggle to be hardy in the northern end of its hardiness range. Feed lightly once a year in the spring, and avoid high-nitrogen fertilizers.
Select small branches and sever the cutting just below a set of leaves. Remove the lower leaves, then coat the cut end with rooting hormone. Place the cutting in a mixture of perlite and coarse sand, and keep the cutting moist and warm until roots develop. It is sometimes allowed to continue growing in the pot for a full year before being transplanted into a permanent location in the landscape. This shrub is often left more or less unattended to form informal screens, but it can also be lightly pruned at regular intervals to keep it shaped as a hedge.
You can use this holly species to create informal hedges or privacy screens.
Yaupon Tea: Recipes & Benefits
Larger cultivars can be planted as small specimen trees. Bird lovers enjoy the fact that many bird species are drawn to the berries of yaupon holly, but be aware that the plants can be damaged by browsing from mammals, such as raccoons and deer. Youpon holly was historically used for a variety of teas by Native Americans and has recently been rediscovered by a contemporary market.
Several youpon teas using the leaves, not the berries are now available commercially. The native species is somewhat too fast-growing for landscape use, so most of the varieties planted are slower-growing cultivars, including:. Like all hollies, the berries of youpon holly contain ilicin, a mildly toxic substance that is considered dangerous to children and animals if eaten in large quantities.
Symptoms are listed as "nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stupor due to depression of the central nervous system. But you should take care when using holly branches as indoor holiday decorations, as the berries may fall off and be consumed by pets or children.
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The Yaupon Holly Tradition
Most of us are familiar with the ubiquitous black, green, and white teas. Aside from Camellia sinensis, there is a family of holly plants well-known for their caffeine buzz and healthful properties. Yerba mateguayusaand yaupon are all members of the Ilexor holly genus, which encompasses close to different species across the globe. The attractive holly berries are food for many animals, though almost always toxic to humans. Luckily, we can take advantage of the tasty caffeinated tea brewed from their leaves.
Each one of these holly teas has a rich history of ceremonial use as a communal experience between tribal members in North and South America, each plant with its own unique rituals and mythology.
Yerba mate is brewed in a gourd then shared by the community members by passing it around as they each drink. Guayusa is brewed in the mornings where members of the tribe share a drink and recall their dreams. Yerba mate is probably one of the more well-known of the three caffeinated holly plants and has been consumed by native South Americans for longer than recorded time.
It has a full-bodied and characteristic green, grassy flavor. Our organic yerba mate is grown on certified organic land in a natural wild environment and each stand is harvested only once every two years.
This method helps support a healthy forest ecosystem, as well as healthy farmers. Seed germination can take a couple months up to a year, and live cuttings of the plant are also an option for propagation. Unlike yerba mate, guayusa does not create viable seeds and it has been propagated from plant cuttings for many years in the Amazon rainforest. A newly-planted branch of guayusa will take roughly 3 years before it is ready to be harvested. In addition to caffeine, it contains theobromine like dark chocolate.
Our organic guayusa is grown in forest habitats that help to support the balance of all flora and fauna as opposed to being grown in a monoculture where all plant life is eradicated save for one commercial crop. Supporting the natural biodiversity of these growing areas helps maintain ecosystem vitality, attracts insects and animals, reduces the impact of deforestation, and maintains soil integrity. Yaupon tea is the North American cousin to these two holly teas.
According to one conspiratorial myth, yaupon holly received the unpleasant species name of vomitoria in a bid to reduce its ability to compete with the East India Tea Company. Our organic dark roast yaupon offers a slightly different flavor profile compared to the fresh green flavors of yerba mate or guayusa.
The aroma is pleasantly warm with toasted notes. It has a slight natural sweetness and a smooth flavor.