Dark Roast Yaupon Tea
Dark roasted, wild harvested yaupon yields a jitter-free, energizing brew. Depending on strength, the flavor is anywhere from light, caramelly and buttery to intensely rich, complex, nutty and smoky with a velvety texture. Yaupon is virtually free of tannins so you can steep longer to bring out more flavor without risking the bitterness of regular tea. In strong brews the slight bitterness of theobromine, coveted by lovers of dark chocolate, can be tasted (and felt!). Theobromine is the pleasure molecule that increases feelings of well being, contentment and focus.
Yaupon can be steeped like tea, brewed like coffee or even prepared in the same style as yerba mate. Drink by itself or with milk and/or or your favorite sweetener. Try with lemon, mint, cinnamon or other herbs and spices.
Much of the caffeine and theobromine is released in the first steeping, but the leaves may be resteeped a number of times and the flavor stays intact. Here are some ways we've tried it. Experiment!
Fill your tea ball with 1 tsp (or more) of yaupon per cup of near boiling water. Steep or simmer for 2-10 minutes depending on how strong you like your tea.
In a pot stir 1 tsp (or more) of yaupon per cup into water. Steep or simmer for 2-10 min depending on how strong you like your tea. Be careful if you're going to simmer instead of steep because yaupon will froth when it first comes to a boil and easily foam over. Once you're done steeping or simmering, you'll be able to slowly pour the tea off the leaves as they should have all settled to the bottom, or use a strainer.
Add 1 tsp (or more) of yaupon per cup to your french press. Pour boiling water over the leaves, and replace the French press plunger, but don't press down. Steep for 2-10 minutes, depending on how strong you like your tea, and then gently push the plunger down. Pour your tea and enjoy!
Stir 1 tsp (or more) of yaupon per of cup water into a pitcher and refrigerate a few minutes to overnight. The more tea and the longer you let it steep, the stronger the brew.
Stir 1 tsp (or more) of yaupon per cup of water into a transparent container or mason jar. Let sit in direct sunlight for a few hours. 1 tsp per cup yields a pretty strong flavor that's great for sweet tea.
Use 1 tsp (or more) of yaupon per cup in the coffeemaker. Works much better in a cone style coffee maker. We like to use 1 tablespoon of dark roast yaupon per 2 cup lines, which makes a very strong drink closer to coffee than tea. We like to add a splash of milk.
Yerba Mate Style
Place your bombilla in your gourd or mug. Pour in loose leaf yaupon until the gourd/mug is about half full. Pour hot (not boiling, 160°F / 70°C is perfect) water over the leaves till it comes up to the top of the leaves. Don't move the bombilla around. Drink and add more hot water as you enjoy your yaupon yerba mate style!
Fill the reusable container with 1 tsp (or more) of yaupon and brew. Adjust amounts to your liking.
We often make this when camping. This comes out very tasty, but keep an eye on it because the yaupon froths when it first starts to boil and you'll have to turn the heat down (or take it off the fire) just as it comes to a boil. Simply remove the percolator from the heat once the boiling starts, wait a minute and then return percolator to heat. Use 1 tsp (or more) of yaupon per cup of water.
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