Lost Pines Yaupon Tea Blog

Why the toad? August 21, 2017 14:46

Houston Toad mural by Louis Masai in downtown Austin, Texas

Have y'all seen this gorgeous Houston toad mural by Louis Masai in downtown Austin at 6th and San Jacinto? In the past, the Houston toad lived all over the central coastal area of Texas, but thanks to development and drought, they are now critically endangered.
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So what does the Houston toad have to do with tasty, caffeinated yaupon, and why do we have the little guy on our logo? The short answer: We harvest our yaupon mostly in areas where removing yaupon helps the toad!
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The long answer: Most of the remaining Houston toads (only about 2,000-5,000 total!) live in Bastrop county, Texas, in the Lost Pines Forest area. Over time, largely because of human impact on the land, the forest has gotten out of balance. One issue is that in some areas yaupon has taken over and formed thickets, crowding out native grasses (which is what the toad needs) and creating a forest fire hazard.
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To help restore the forest and make the land more favorable for the toad, the Lost Pines Habitat Conservation Plan was created, part of which gives property owners a tax break for thinning yaupon. We work with property owners and help them clear their yaupon, and everybody truly wins!
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So bottoms up! It doesn't get much better than knowing the delicious yaupon you're drinking is actually helping the environment and our precious endangered critters AND energizing you at the same time.


Fox 7's Good Day Show: Lost Pines Yaupon Tea demonstrates how to roast yaupon December 21, 2016 21:51

We were featured on Fox 7's show Good Day!  We showed how to roast yaupon to make yaupon tea. We also talked a bit about how harvesting yaupon in certain areas of the Lost Pines Forest benefits the endangered Houston Toad and the forest itself.


Brewing Strong Yaupon July 07, 2016 09:54

Yaupon is great when made as hot or iced tea (1 tsp steeped for 5 minutes) but the traditional way of preparing yaupon was to make a decoction, that is to boil or simmer it for some time.  This really brings out more flavor and the stimulating effects of the caffeine and theobromine (the feel good relative of caffeine found in cacao).  Among the Native Americans the ceremonial version of this was called Black Drink.  No account of an exact recipe exists for Black Drink, as it's been lost to time and varied from tribe to tribe, but it's thought that different herbs were added to the brew.  Black Drink was imbibed before important events where energy or focus was needed, such as business negotiations or going into battle.

What we do know is Native Americans bruised the yaupon leaves after picking them and roasted them until they were dark, so we like to use our Dark Roast yaupon for our take on take on this stimulating beverage. To prepare it, we use about 1 tablespoon of Dark Roast yaupon per cup of water.  We bring the water to a boil and then stir in the yaupon leaves.  Once the leaves are added, the mixture will start to froth up and can easily boil over.  Stirring will help to keep it from boiling over, but you'll need to turn the temperature down to a gentle simmer.  We usually let it simmer for 5 minutes.  The longer you simmer, the stronger the flavor and stimulating effects become.  When the temperature is turned off completely the leaves will all sink to the bottom and the brew can be decanted (poured off gently without disturbing the sediment) or poured through a strainer.  You can make almost the same strength drink in a French Press, though you might need to let it steep longer since the leaves aren't being agitated by simmering water.

This recipe yields an almost black, robust, yet smooth tasting brew that we have as our morning eye opener.  While great on its own, it's also tasty with a bit of milk and/or your favorite sweetener.  The energy it provides is jitter free, long lasting and without the coffee crash.

 

 


Down the Yaupon Rabbit Hole, America's first tea. February 22, 2016 12:58

Talk given by Jason Ellis at the Lone Star Tea festival in Houston, Texas.  A brief talk on yaupon, it's history, beneficial properties and it's current renaissance.


Lost Pines Yaupon Tea now available at Springdale Farm Market! January 18, 2016 14:03

Springdale Farm Market Days Austin Texas
We're grateful to Paula and Glenn Foore of Springdale Farm for carrying Lost Pines Yaupon Tea at their public farm stand.  Paula and Glenn started Springdale Farm in 2009, nestled in urban Govalle, East Austin.  Govalle translates from Swedish as "Good Grazing" and has some of the best soil in Austin as it's part of the former alluvial flood plains of the Colorado River and Boggy Creek.  The richness of the land is evident due to the proliferation of urban farms in the area which include HausBar, Rain Lily and Boggy Creek Farm.

On just shy of 5 acres, the folks at Springdale Farm produce 75 seasonal vegetable varieties, run a public farm stand twice-weekly, host award-winning restaurant Eden East and host educational events on sustainable urban agriculture, community building and the arts.  Their public farm stand is open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9-1 pm.  They carry a variety of seasonal vegetables, handmade soaps, local honey, herbs, spices and now locally wildcrafted Lost Pines Yaupon Tea!

The Alejandro Escovedo Experience: The Leonard Cohen Influence January 10, 2016 17:03

Alejandro Escovedo Experience: Leonard Cohen Influence

Alejandro Escovedo backstage at Moody Theater with Lost Pines Yaupon Tea co-founder Heidi WachterWe had the opportunity to bring our tea to Alejandro Escovedo and other musicians for their rehearsals at Space Recording And Rehearsal as they prepared for their January 10th show, the Alejandro Escovedo Experience: The Leonard Cohen Influence.

In addition to Alejandro, we got to meet Julie Christensen (Stone Cupid), a long time contributor to Leonard Cohen's music. 

They loved our yaupon tea!

We got to go to the show and it was incredible! Bravo to all the musicians involved. It was fun to see just a glimpse of all the hard work that goes into making a show like this one a success. We were honored to be a part of it.


Julie Christensen (Stone Cupid) fixes herself a cup of Lost Pines Yaupon Tea
 


We've made it into the Austin Chronicle! January 08, 2016 12:48

Austin Chronicle - Texas Tea

We were honored to featured in the Austin Chronicle article by Adrienne Whitehorse Texas Tea, Three local purveyors search for an ethical cup. We really enjoyed the interview sitting around the table talking yaupon and drinking yaupon prepared in all its various ways.  Light roast tea, dark roast tea, yaupon kombucha, drinking light roast "mate style" with a bombilla and also dark roast brewed very strong from the coffee maker.


First day out at ACL - practice run. October 02, 2015 22:21

Mission status: success. We rolled down to Barton Springs Rd and gave out yaupon iced tea on tap. We'll see you folks out there!


Getting the cargo trike ready to pedal our yaupon iced tea at ACL July 12, 2015 18:51

Thanks to our buddy Stevie for letting us borrow his cargo trike! We're going to be pedaling our yaupon iced tea at ACL. There's a kegerator going in the back of this baby We're mobile so if you can't find us we can come find you! Keeping y'all hydrated and caffeinated.