Yaupon and Algae: A Combo with Earth and Body Benefits

Yaupon and Algae: A Combo with Earth and Body Benefits

Yaupon and Algae: Earth and Body Benefits

Yaupon and algae are two superfoods that can provide a variety of benefits for both the body and the planet. 

Yaupon is a tea derived from a specific species of holly tree. The Yaupon Holly is native to the southeastern United States and was consumed for centuries by native americans and for a short time by early colonial settlers before being largely forgotten about. 

Yaupon is the only native caffeinated plant in North America and provides a variety of nutritional benefits. Yaupon’s caffeine content (~60mg per cup) is slightly higher than black tea (~47mg per cup), but lower than coffee (~95mg per cup). Yaupon is also capable of supporting brain function, decreasing inflammation and, thanks to the caffeine, providing an extra boost of energy throughout the day. There are a variety of nutrients in Yaupon, from polyphenols to various healthy acids, that support body function. The taste of Yaupon is very similar to black tea, but there are earthy, smoky, and chocolate hints within specific blends as well. The taste can vary depending on the method of preparation of the Yaupon leaves.

Yaupon is also fantastic for the environment. Since it is a native plant to the southeast United States, American consumers can relax knowing that Yaupon supports biodiversity and protects local ecosystems by providing habitats and a source of food for much of the wildlife in the surrounding area. 

How does Yaupon and algae work together? Algae supplements a lot of what Yaupon already does and the two actually share a similar history. Micro-algae such as Chlorella Vulgaris and Spirulina, have been consumed by people since ancient times. Micro-algae was seen as an excellent source of protein and iodine for inland areas with freshwater bodies. Algae are also excellent absorbers of carbon dioxide and producers of oxygen, which means they are good for regulating sustained function of our planet. 

Unlike Yaupon, micro-algae are grown in water and the resulting biomass can be harvested and consumed for an added nutritional boost. Micro-algae prefer high alkaline growth environments, and as such, it makes it difficult for other organisms or bacteria to breed in such environments. Like yaupon, algae are great for the environment because of their ability to sustain local wildlife and ecosystems, and purifying the air. So consuming the two supports your body and the planet. 

What happens when one were to combine micro-algae and yaupon together? Well, the outcome is a highly nutritious and delicious beverage of course! Given the protein, healthy fat, and multivitamin content of micro-algae, as well as the caffeine and brain boosting benefits of yaupon, the two products mesh together quite well. The micro-algae enhances the earthy flavor of the yaupon, so if you like a stronger and slightly bitter tea it’s a good combo for one to experiment with. You can also take solace in knowing that by consuming yaupon-algae tea, you are not only supporting your body but also providing benefits for the planet by enhancing carbon capture via algae and protecting biodiversity with yaupon. 

How to Make and Consume Yaupon-Algae Tea

Yaupon-Algae tea can be made simply by brewing yaupon tea and adding micro-algae into the final beverage - simple as that. Most Yaupon Brothers Teas does come in a teabag, but loose Yaupon needs to be brewed and then strained or one can use a Bombilla Straw (typically used for consuming Yerba Mate) to drink their yaupon. Once the Yaupon is brewed, simply add in a teaspoon of chlorella or spirulina for each cup of yaupon consumed. This ensures one does not over saturate the tea with too much algae and make it too thick to drink (tea smoothie anyone?). 

Chlorella and Spirulina can steep with the yaupon and it is totally fine, however, if a brew pot with an infusing strainer is used, it is advised that the algae is added after. Otherwise you could end up chunks of non-diluted algae in your tea - which could make consumption awkward. 

To improve the taste, cinnamon or honey can be added to provide a sweeter taste to the overall experience. The cinnamon also provides additional nutritional benefits to the tea. However, it is important to remain cautious of amounts added. As too much cinnamon, like too much micro-algae, can thicken the overall beverage and make consumption a little awkward. Check out the preparation steps below, and if you are interested in acquiring Yaupon leaves and Algae - check out the links to two stores that are great at helping you produce both! 

Preparation Instructions

  1. Boil 1 cup of water. 
  2. Place 1 tablespoon of Yaupon leaves or a Yaupon teabag into a cup or mug.
  3. Put 1 teaspoon of Chlorella Vulgaris or Spirulina powder into the mug.
  4. Add other ingredients to taste (cinnamon, honey, lemon, etc). 
  5. Mix the dried ingredients.
  6. Add Water.
  7. Let the leaves steep until cool enough to consume. 

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