Yaupon Brothers American Tea Company was founded in 2015 by two brothers, Bryon and Kyle White, and former mentor-turned-business-partner, Mark Steele.
Yaupon Brothers believe in “second chance” employment, and their harvesters earn a living wage and work a flexible schedule. Their regenerative agriculture system gives farmers more control over their livelihoods, and protects them from market pressures. Yaupon Brothers harvesters also work to control invasive plant species in the sensitive habitats they manage to grow local Yaupon Holly—naturally caffeinated, an antioxidant-rich superfood used in their unique tea blends.
This native plant is hand-plucked, carefully dried or fire-roasted, graded and milled, and hand-packed in Yaupon Brother’s facility in Edgewater, Florida. Their regenerative agriculture model focuses on Yaupon Holly as a sustainable native crop, as native plants require fewer inputs ( like pesticides, fertilizers, and herbicides) which results in cleaner soil and waterways.
Yaupon Holly has been used as an important food, medicine, and ceremonial item by indigenous people for thousands of years. To respect and tell this story through their business, Yaupon Brothers donates 5% percent of online sales directly to NATIFS, (North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems), and the Indigenous Food Lab founded by Chef Sean Sherman, aka the Sioux Chef. Yaupon Brothers is also distributed by Sweetgrass Trading, which is wholly-owned by the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, and through Eufaula Indian Community Distributors in the Mvskoke Nation of Oklahoma.