Part 4: How Do You Make Yaupon Tea?***DO NOT ATTEMPT TO MAKE TEA WITHOUT DEFINITE IDENTIFICATION OF THE TREE! Ingesting unknown plants is dangerous!***
Over the past month, we’ve had an overwhelming number of visitors requesting information on yaupon tea
So we thought this was the perfect time to bring one of our past postings up again!
The methods of preparing and curing the tea has changed very little. The Hatterask Indians originally cured the tea by stripping the leaves and bruising them with a mortar until they turned black. Then it was put in a clay pot and placed over a fire until until it smoked. They would stir it and stir it to keep it from burning and cooked it until it was black.
Another method was to place hot coals in an earthen pot, cover it with yaupon then place a lid on top until it cured. To make large quantities, they used a hollowed out tree stump called a “hog’s head” and would put in hot coals, then a layer of yaupon, then more coals until the stump was full. Then it was covered and left to sweat for 36 hours until it was properly cured, then laid out on mats to dry.
As time went on, the clay pots and hog’s heads were replaced with huge iron wash pot. It was a long, hot process that took nearly an entire day. The leaves and small stems are gathered, washed thoroughly, and chopped very finely. Then it was placed in the wash pot and cooked outside under a low flame. The leaves would then be stirred with a wooden paddle so the leaves wouldn’t burn and as the yaupon shrunk. More leaves would be added, until the pot was full. After is was cured, they put it on sheets to dry then stored it in tight canisters. Later, e the modern way of curing it was to use a pot on the stove and drying it the oven.
Would you like to try Yaupon Tea? Go to http://www.catspringyaupontea.com/ and order a box!