Brewing Yaupon gongfu style

Tisanes prepared from plants not belonging to the Camellia genus
Post Reply
User avatar
powersnacks
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2019 8:14 pm
Location: New Jersey

Fri Oct 25, 2019 9:20 pm

Hi all, I brewed Yaupon gongfu style recently and wanted to share some pictures. Typically, Yaupon is brewed western style. At least, this is what I've seen from vendors.

The leaves are very small and dry. This is a "medium" roast:

Image

The first steep is light. The flavor is unique. I don't have a ton of experience with Yaupon tea.

Image

It's better than you think it will be. I originally ordered it because I was excited at the prospect of a caffeinated plant native to the US.

I expected it to be bad but the flavor is interesting enough.

The leaves in the gaiwan are very pretty:

Image

As you can imagine, the pours were not fun. Western style makes more sense but I am glad I tried this.

Image

You can see that the liquid has gotten darker by the 3rd steep:

Image

I went a little longer and wrapped things up.

Does anyone else on here drink Yaupon? It's certainly new to me.

Code: Select all

https://imgur.com/a/O10oOds
User avatar
Baisao
Posts: 501
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:17 pm
Location: Austin, TX

Fri Oct 25, 2019 10:32 pm

Yaupon is indigenous where I grew up, so much so that I couldn’t throw a mud clod without hitting a yaupon. They also get surprisingly large in the wild. Certainly nothing like a proper tree but I was able to build a hunting platform in a copse of yaupons when I was a kid.

Of course we knew it was a purgative (I’ve since read that this is disputed) and we knew it contained caffeine, but with so much good Cajun coffee why would we drink yaupon tea? This is saying something because we foraged an awful lot for tasty things in the bayou year round!

My understanding is that its taste is meh, like clumsily roasted leaves. However, this is based on one person’s opinion. They followed up by saying it was a novelty. So, again, I’ve passed up on trying it.

How would you describe the flavor and aroma?
User avatar
debunix
Posts: 714
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:27 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Sat Oct 26, 2019 2:55 pm

What an interesting topic! I'd never heard of Yaupon, nor did I realize that mate is also from a holly. And it also has theobromine, like chocolate, per wikipedia. But how forbidding that it's Latin name is Ilex vomitoria, regardless of it being erroneously bestowed.
User avatar
Bok
Posts: 2174
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:55 am
Location: Taiwan

Sun Oct 27, 2019 9:22 am

Interesting, I had to look it up as well. Another strange yet to any European familiar leaf that can be prepared as a tea: Birch. Good for something obviously, but I forgot what it was...

I think the only satisfyingly drink of what would be classified as herbal teas is a certain kind of Berber tea I had in Morocco. A blend of three different kind of leaves, all related to the mint kind of I’m not wrong. Not the classic Moroccan mint tea! No green tea in this one and it was hugely energising!
User avatar
Shine Magical
Posts: 545
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2017 4:13 pm
Location: NYC

Sun Oct 27, 2019 9:59 am

This reminds me of when I brewed 25 year ginseng leaf gongfu style. Since the leaves were whole, it was a very pleasant and interesting experience and tasted better than western style. Same with dried persimmon leaves, which can be very close to an oolong imo
User avatar
powersnacks
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2019 8:14 pm
Location: New Jersey

Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:06 pm

Baisao wrote:
Fri Oct 25, 2019 10:32 pm
My understanding is that its taste is meh, like clumsily roasted leaves. However, this is based on one person’s opinion. They followed up by saying it was a novelty. So, again, I’ve passed up on trying it.

How would you describe the flavor and aroma?
Very interesting @Baisao! Do you remember the leaves being so dry? I wish the leaves I ordered were larger and more in-tact. But I've never seen the plant in person. I don't understand why it's so chopped. Perhaps it's just the vendor?

Your description matches my experience spot-on: the taste is a bit meh. I still need to spend a little more time with it.

I ordered a 3-pack sampler, with varying degrees of roasting: light, medium, and dark. So far I prefer the light roast, since the flavor seems more nuanced.

Hard to describe the flavor with more detail since I keep opting to drink puer :mrgreen:

One thing that stands out: it seems like it might do really well as a sweet-tea style tea. I'm not personally a fan of sweet tea, but I think this might taste really good iced with sugar.
User avatar
powersnacks
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2019 8:14 pm
Location: New Jersey

Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:09 pm

Bok wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 9:22 am
Interesting, I had to look it up as well. Another strange yet to any European familiar leaf that can be prepared as a tea: Birch. Good for something obviously, but I forgot what it was...

I think the only satisfyingly drink of what would be classified as herbal teas is a certain kind of Berber tea I had in Morocco. A blend of three different kind of leaves, all related to the mint kind of I’m not wrong. Not the classic Moroccan mint tea! No green tea in this one and it was hugely energising!
Ah interesting @Bok! I didn't know Birch could be brewed. What is the taste like?

Very interesting. I'll have to check out Berber tea then. I've been hunting for herbal teas to have something fun to drink at night.
User avatar
Baisao
Posts: 501
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:17 pm
Location: Austin, TX

Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:22 pm

powersnacks wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:06 pm
Baisao wrote:
Fri Oct 25, 2019 10:32 pm
My understanding is that its taste is meh, like clumsily roasted leaves. However, this is based on one person’s opinion. They followed up by saying it was a novelty. So, again, I’ve passed up on trying it.

How would you describe the flavor and aroma?
Very interesting Baisao! Do you remember the leaves being so dry? I wish the leaves I ordered were larger and more in-tact. But I've never seen the plant in person. I don't understand why it's so chopped. Perhaps it's just the vendor?

Your description matches my experience spot-on: the taste is a bit meh. I still need to spend a little more time with it.

I ordered a 3-pack sampler, with varying degrees of roasting: light, medium, and dark. So far I prefer the light roast, since the flavor seems more nuanced.

Hard to describe the flavor with more detail since I keep opting to drink puer :mrgreen:

One thing that stands out: it seems like it might do really well as a sweet-tea style tea. I'm not personally a fan of sweet tea, but I think this might taste really good iced with sugar.
I think the leaves are going to be small and broke for reasons inherent to the plant itself. The leaves are small, usually 2 cm (though some localized examples can be as large as 4 cm), the leaves are brittle and will snap in half if you try to bend them even when fresh.
Attachments
0F5A051A-AD9A-4869-BCFC-51C8250F37D4.jpeg
0F5A051A-AD9A-4869-BCFC-51C8250F37D4.jpeg (567.17 KiB) Viewed 100 times
Post Reply