Yaupon Discovery

Yaupon comes from the naturally caffeinated leaves of the Yaupon Holly tree, in the Ilex family, found only in the Southeast United States from Texas to Florida, and north through Virginia. Yaupon is the only naturally caffeinated plant species that grows in the US and most of North America. Yaupon Brothers trees are grown in certified organic “forest farms” on the central Atlantic coast of Florida, where Yaupon consumption began at least 8,000 years ago. In 2011 our founder, Bryon White, reimagined a new industry centered around this magical plant, did a deep dive into its history, and made it his life’s mission to bring Yaupon tea back to consumers.

History of Yaupon

For thousands of years, indigenous people in the Southeast United States drank an infusion of Yaupon leaves and water for energy and in medicinal, ceremonial, and purification rituals. Later on, Yaupon tea energized European colonizers and early Americans before fading into obscurity for over 200 years. Today we know the science behind Yaupon’s amazing properties and health benefits, and we’re here to make it your new favorite tea.

Sustainable Native Agriculture

Yaupon Brothers is committed to making Yaupon Holly a successful alternative native crop for Florida farmers and maintains a partnership with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food & Agricultural Science to use Yaupon farming as a regenerative agriculture model because it results in less nutrient pollution, reduced water use, and is resilient to natural disasters like droughts, freezes, and hurricanes. Yaupon is also resilient to climate change!

Since Yaupon is grown right here in America, not imported from abroad, it results in a smaller carbon footprint, less stress on the environment, and real jobs and economic opportunities for American farmers and workers.

Next Steps

Yaupon Brothers propagate our own Yaupon trees and through our growing farm program, we work with independent and socially disadvantaged farmers across the Southeastern United States to grow the trees. Often, we give farmers the trees we propagate and then purchase their Yaupon leaf harvest for use in our Yaupon tea.

Our growing and processing operations are both certified organic. We’ve put more than 80,000 trees in the ground on ten tea farms, with 500,000 more planned over the next year. Yaupon provides equal or greater per-acre economics than more conventional crops like cotton, peanuts, soybeans, pecans, citrus and many others. Yaupon is productive for as long as 100 years. It stabilizes the soil, prevents erosion, and creates beneficial habitat for wildlife, while also creating economic opportunities.