One Simple Swap: Yaupon Tea

One Simple Swap: In this column, Planetarians share solutions that we know and trust and use that are “less-bad” than a lot of other products in the world. Each week, we will introduce you to something to ponder and, we hope, act upon – a product or a habit or a conversation starter. Before you replace your old favorite products, consider a Simple Swap!

We rely on morning caffeine, preferring it as black tea. In our never-ending quest to buy (more) localorganic, and support regenerative farmers, we found Yaupon Tea (pronounced yuh-pon). Interestingly, Yaupon was identified by Whole Foods as a 2023 food trend.

Yaupon is native to the southeastern region of the US and has been grown, harvested, and enjoyed by indigenous peoples throughout history.

It is North America’s only source of native caffeine and is rich in antioxidants, polyphenols, anti-inflammatory flavonoids, theobromine and other healthy nutrients.

Don’t let its Latin name, Ilex vomitoria, concern you. Yaupon will not make you sick!

Delicious, earthy, available as light or dark roast, or mixed with other flavors, it tastes a bit like its cousin yerba mate, both in the holly family.

Bonus: No tannins to stain your teeth.

Plus, in the right climate it makes a beautiful hedge.

History: Yaupon replaced black tea during the Boston Tea Party boycott, hence it’s also known as Liberty Tea.


Laura & Gil

Our friends Laura & Gil Richardson are, in their own words, “imperfect” but they are much further down this Planetarian path than anyone I know. They are a treasure trove of sustainable living inspiration and we’ve asked them to share one simple swap per week that they’ve made (and the products they love) in hopes it might inspire you to make them, too.

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