Thursday, August 6, 2015

Tea Review: Yaupon Tea

Thirsty Thursday #4

An Ocracoke Tradition

Yaupon Tea

The other day, Melody found something interesting at the Ocracoke Preservation Museum gift shop - yaupon tea. I'm going to review it for you today.
The gift shop has it packaged plainly - stamped with the lighthouse and name on the front...
History and brewing instructions on the back. Since I'm using the tea tumbler for brewing,

I'll be adjusting the instructions.
Inside the bag is a smaller bag of the dried leaves. 
Don't they look interesting?
They smell lovely. I hope they taste as good.
I've filled the mesh tea ball with leaves. Now to crush them with this spoon.
All ready for water.
Water added.
Now the sprinkle of cinnamon...and we let it steep.
I'm going to use the powdered milk again. I'm sure it would be better with real milk, but you do with what you have on hand.
(timer beeping)
It smells wonderful.
Not quite the same amber color as regular black tea, but it has a full aroma. Not the same as the kind you get in your store...more woody. Has a different flavor too. I can't quite place it.
I've not added any sugar, just the milk.
Hmmm, now it tastes more like a Christmas tea. Very nice. I like it. Will make this again.

Xyra's Notes

  • We brewed the yaupon tea as close as we could to how it is/was enjoyed on Ocracoke Island, North Carolina.
  • Yaupon tea comes from the leaves of a North American holly tree. It is known as the only plant in North America to contain caffeine. Yaupon tea is not an herbal tisane.
  • It took a few sips for the flavor to settle in. As Kirsten noted, the flavor is interesting, but in a very pleasant way.  
  • Yaupon does not contain tannins and can not be over steeped. 
  • If you live in Texas you may be familiar with yaupon tea and it's many uses. You may even have it in a store or restaurant near you. 

Stop again soon! Have a nice day!


  1. Awesome! I've tried the various yaupon teas from all the companies around the US but not this. I believe the Ocracoke Preservation Museum has been selling yaupon for a long while now, right?. I love that they provide it whole leaf. We just recently started our own "Lost Pines Yaupon" tea company out of Austin, Texas. We'd love to send you a bag each of our light and dark roast. Would love to see what you think and how it compares. We've a very Earth friendly company. We use compostable packaging and harvest our yaupon from the Lost Pines forest of Bastrop. In 2011 the Lost Pines suffered the most damaging wildfire in Texas history. Now the yaupon is growing back faster than the pines and could completely alter it's unique ecosystem. Harvesting yaupon here actually helps the pine forest recover! We feel really good about that. If you have any questions I love talking yaupon.... or just talking in general haha. If you'd like to take a look at our website we'd be ecstatic:

    1. Yes, they have been selling it in the museum shop for some time. The clerk said it was a favorite.

      We're happy to hear the Lost Pines forest is recovering and that you are helping equalize the ecosystem by harvesting the yaupon.

      Ocracoke is dealing with its own challenges in the aftermath of Hurricane Joaquin. We've seen pictures of the flooding.

      We may take you up on your offer. Would be fun to try yaupon from a different state. :)

      Thank you for stopping to chat. Hope you visit again in the future.