Texan Tea: Yaupon

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I've been mildly obsessed with the herbal tea Yaupon, for some time now...  it is the only richly caffeinated plant growing wild and native in North America, and it was brewed for centuries by the Native Americans...  sometimes it was even used in their purification rituals involving purging.  The plant also contains a stimulant and mood enhancer theobromine, which is the pleasure molecule, also found in dark chocolate.  Yay.  And it grows in particular abundance down in Texas, where several of my friends happen to live...

I had the pleasure of meeting the ladies behind Catspring Yaupon last week, and not only were they delightful, but all of their Yaupon teas - from green, to medium, to dark roast, were superb.  I particularly enjoyed the medium roast, pictured here.  I discovered in the dry leaves themselves, a sort of earthy maple pineapple mahogany sawdust scent.  And then upon brewing (I brought my water close to boil and let the leaves steep for five minutes)...  a honey'd mahogany woody aroma rose from the cup to soothe my nostalgic mind.

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Speaking of purging... did I mention I'm in NYC now, about to hand off the keys of our longtime home here, to a new keeper?  So many memories...  Yaupon fully steeped, I lean against a wall near my window to peer out at the concrete Brooklyn landscape, which has been a reliable playground for my own change and growth, and for so many beloved friends.  Oh, the multifaceted iterations of life, here.  And now, to let go, but never goodbye.  Purge, I may, making space for a new chapter.  I pause to let my brew cool just a bit more...  generally, I like to let my teas - herbals included - settle just a tad, before I sip.  Once I finally indulge, this cup yields a full mouthfeel of wet leaves from a bright forest floor...  so much light!  This, is contrasted with an edgy eucalyptus pop, first tugging near the insides of my laugh lines, but as the liquor cools further, that eucalyptal hit moves to the tip of my tongue...  and then, there's a blissful hint of maple hay sweetness towards the sawdusty finish.  This tea is super warming to my belly...  makes me wanna dance...

Musical recommendation?  How about, Edie Brickell & New Bohemians "What I Am".  Originally from Dallas, TX, I wonder if she ever sipped on Yaupon, with Paul?

Later, dudes xx RR