Yaupon + Chocolate: From Ancient Times to Today

At Yaupon Teahouse we strive to honor the history and traditional uses of the Yaupon plant in modern ways.  Native to the Southeastern US, Yaupon was known to be used by local tribes as a purifying drink and in healing skin balms as well as being smoked to bring forth dreams.

However, many miles away, in the Southwestern US/Northern Mexico region pottery fragments were found containing both Yaupon and cacao, a caffeinated plant native to South America.  This discovery, made in 2015, shows that as many as 1,000 years ago there was a vast network of trading for these highly prized, sacred caffeinated plants.

Except for being so far away from where they were native, it is not surprising that these two sacred plants were used together.  Locally, tribes used Yaupon tea for the purifying Black Drink ceremony before activities that required physical endurance. Native Mesoamerican cultures used cacao for spiritual, medicinal and ceremonial purposes. Together these plants created a sacred ceremonial drink connecting the two cultures.

Today we offer many ways to enjoy this sacred combination of Yaupon tea + cacao:

  • Now that the weather is turning cooler, you can stop in the Teahouse and order a Yaupon cacao tea. Not quite tea, not quite hot chocolate it is a warm, mildly spicy, invigorating drink.
  • You can also make Yaupon cacao tea at home using the Blissful Chai teabags, cacao (we recommend around 1 oz, available to purchase in-store only) and a touch of honey.
  • If you prefer your chocolate in solid form, the Yaupon 72% Dark Chocolate Bar with Yaupon is the perfect choice.
  • Coming soon for the holiday and gift-giving season we will feature our seasonal Yaupon Dark Chocolate Bark + Cinnamon + Clove + Hazelnut. This was a best-seller last year and will be brought back for a limited time.

As we move into this holiday season, consider how you can add sacred rituals to your traditions.  Spending a few minutes with a warm cup of Yaupon cacao tea can lift your spirits, ease stress and impart healthful antioxidants.

Tag us on Instagram with a picture of your Yaupon cacao ceremony @yauponteahouse