We are excited to introduce Yaupon Holly Tea to our tea family at Green Sage Cafe. Sustainably harvested from the wild, dried and roasted by Asi located in Savannah, Georgia, Yaupon is a type of holly tree native to the southeastern region of the United States and cousin of Yerba Mate, naturally caffeinated and antioxidant–rich. Lou Thomann, the Founder and Owner of Asi, shares more on North America's only native caffeinated plant.
Native American Legend has it that “A man plagued by illness had a dream. He dreamt that if he went into the woods, fell asleep and made a decoction from whatever tree was above him when he awoke, he would get well. The man went into the woods, followed the instructions in his dream. He awoke to find the Yaupon Tree which was not there when he laid down. He made a decoction from the leaves and got better.”
For thousands of years, The Native inhabitants of the Southeastern US made a stimulating tea like beverage from the roasted leaves of the Yaupon tree. They called Yaupon, “The beloved Tree” and the beverage was referred to as ASI “The purifier” and “Big Medicine. They drank it socially to help foster deeper friendships and community. They used is medicinally to calm nerves. Shamans smoked it in order to induce sleep to aid in divining their spiritual instructions.
Yaupon featured prominently in the Native American Culture. It was traded as a cherished commodity to tribes in areas it did not grow. It was desired as a medicinal healing plant and because it is the only source of caffeine in North America. Archeologists have even found traces in Mayan drinking vessels in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. It is believed to have been traded to the Mayans possibly for Cacao among other things. It was so prized, it was carried and nurtured to areas for transplanting. Ritually, it was brewed into the “Black Drink” as well as the “White Drink”. The Black Drink ceremony was performed before important events to harmonize the body & spirit in order to “focus” and better “debate” the challenge ahead. Yaupon brewed as the “White Drink” was used to create a pure soul with peaceful intentions.
Introducing ASI Yaupon Tea! We pay homage to the Native American Knowledge & wisdom that understood the magic and wellness within the Yaupon leaf. We brew Yaupon much like the Native Tribes have done for thousands of years. We wild pick our yaupon leaves in ecologically clean environments before roasting and kettle brewing them. We bottle our Yaupon and blend it with other native, healthy and local foods such as the Aronia berry, American Ginseng, Muscadine.
Asi Yaupon Mission
We celebrate our American, Native Foodways by using Wild Picked Yaupon and other local foods.
We harvest wild Yaupon sustainably in ecologically sensible ways
We lower the carbon footprint by offer a local source of caffeine.
We provide fair wage jobs in rural southern counties.
We hope to heal our toxic foodways with traditional healing foods like Yaupon.
We hope to rediscover this ancient, healthy, indigenous beverage for modern day consumers seeking authentic, healthy and local foods.
Learn more about Yaupon and Asi here.