Cleveland, OH – Cleveland’s Storehouse Tea is introducing four new blends of yaupon tea in Northeast Ohio. The only caffeine-containing plant on American soil, yaupon is a type of holly shrub (Ilex vomiteria) that grows, often wild, in the American South.
Steeped in hot or cold water, an infusion of young, green yaupon leaves is similar to black tea. Per eight-ounce serving, yaupon tea has 25 to 60 mg of caffeine, compared to green tea’s 20 to 30 mg and black tea’s 20 to 50 mg.
Traditionally, caffeinated teas are made with the processed leaves of Camellia sinensis, which is imported from Asia. Camellia sinensis, with little exception, has proven nearly impossible to grow in the Americas. That makes yaupon the obvious choice for those who want products grown as locally as possible.
“So many different teas are coming out of different parts of the world. I wanted to support something coming out of the United States,” says Paula Herschman, president and founder of Storehouse Teas. “We like to use things that are pretty easy to grow here, rather than sourcing everything internationally.”
The four new blends from Storehouse Tea include
- American Yaupon – yaupon
- Blueberry Rose – yaupon with lemongrass, rosehip, raspberry leaf, hibiscus, blueberry
- Citrus Sunshine – yaupon with lemon lemongrass, ginseng, orange peel, ginger, essential oil of orange
- Mint Revival …yaupon with peppermint
“Yaupon is a cousin of Yerba Mate, but it has a much smoother and slightly sweet flavor,” says Hershman. “Because of that yaupon blends perfectly with other herbs, so you get all of the health benefits without a grassy, earthy taste. We’re excited to be Ohio’s first provider of yaupon tea.”
The yaupon used in Storehouse Teas is sourced from of CatSpring Yaupon, a woman/Native American-owned, regenerative, and certified organic company in Cat Spring, Texas. Women coming out of incarceration work at the 1,200-acre farm to harvest and process the leaves.
“Yaupon doesn’t cross an ocean to get here, it’s local and therefore way more sustainable,” says Abianne Miller Falla, founder of CatSpring Yaupon. “Since it’s tannin-free, it’s virtually impossible to over steep; we have some restaurants that will do a four-hour hot steep for their iced tea yielding almost four gallons of iced tea from one ounce of loose leaf.”
Falla is proud of offering a native American alternative. “We follow American food production standards and provide higher than living wages to all of our employees,” she says.
She continues, “As certified organic, our yaupon is completely herbicide and pesticide free; this cleanliness is incredibly important, as tea is never washed during the production process. The first rinse comes when steeped. If tea has ever been sprayed with any chemicals, they’re consumed directly. And since our yaupon isn’t shipped over any oceans, the footprint of our production is much smaller.”
Storehouse Tea is available at retail and served in coffee/tea houses, restaurants, cafes, and hotels throughout Ohio. It will be available on March 10 at storehousetea.com. The yaupon blends are just being introduced.
Paris Wolfe is a life and culture reporter for Cleveland.com. She has a special interest in food and dining. You can reach her with restaurant and food news and story ideas at email@example.com. Here’s a directory of her latest posts. Follow her on Instagram @pariswolfe.