What Is Yaupon Tea?

What Is Yaupon Tea?

What Is Yaupon Tea?

Yaupon tea is made from the leaves of the Yaupon holly tree, which grows all up and down America’s east coast. The tree’s bright red berries are a favorite of many birds, but it’s humans who have found a use for their leaves.

The leaves of the Yaupon tree have been used for millennia by the Native Americans as a tea. Called “the black drink,” the tea was used in many purification and peace ceremonies. They would pluck the leaves when they were ready to prepare it and roast them in a ceramic pot over the fire.

Did you know that both coffee and tea leaves are roasted so that the caffeine is soluable in water?

After roasting the leaves, the people would then boil them in water until the brew was dark brown or black. They’d pour it into another pot until it had cooled enough to drink.

Archaeological evidence and oral tradition trace the use of Yaupon tea among Native Americans to thousands of years before Christ, nearly as long as the North American continent was occupied. The ceremonial drinking and preparation vessels have been found all over America’s South and Southwest.

As Europeans colonized the coast, settlers learned much from the Croatan and other people groups in the area, including the preparation and enjoyment of Yaupon. As a settlement isolated from the mainland and which had to be self-sustaining for long periods of time, citizens couldn’t always rely on imported tea or coffee. So every family began to roast their own Yaupon tea. Deciding that the as-you-need-it method wasn’t convenient enough, Ocracokers would instead gather many leaves at once and layer them in barrels with hot stones, sealing them up for about a week to dry and roast. The leaves would then be ready to be brewed as tea whenever they were needed. Yaupon was especially popular during war years, when trade was interrupted, but has remained a constant of island life for all its history and can still be found in shops on Ocracoke today. The island isn’t along in its love for the tea though–the Yaupon available here in my shop is sourced and packaged in Florida, where it has been enjoyed just as long and was sipped by Spanish conquistadors.

Yaupon is not only a natural source of caffeine, it’s also rich in antioxidants and has a mildly sweet taste. After roasting, the leaves are crumbled and brewed like any other loose leaf tea.

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A Tour of Ocracoke Village

A Tour of Ocracoke Village

A Tour of Ocracoke Village

Welcome to Ocracoke!

Ocracoke Village is a charming island community brimming with history, natural beauty, and a vibrant culture.

If you can visit this island in North Carolina’s Outer Banks, do! But if not, here’s a little virtual tour of some of the attractions.

Ocracoke Village is a charming coastal community located on Ocracoke Island, North Carolina. The village is known for its unique history, natural beauty, and vibrant culture. This written tour will guide you through some of the village’s most significant landmarks and attractions.

The Ocracoke Lighthouse

The Ocracoke Lighthouse is one of the village’s most famous landmarks. The lighthouse was built in 1823 and is the oldest continuously operating lighthouse in North Carolina. It is also the second-oldest operating lighthouse in the United States. Visitors can climb the lighthouse and enjoy stunning views of the village and surrounding waters.


The Ocracoke Island Visitor Center

The Ocracoke Island Visitor Center is the perfect place to start your tour of the village. The center offers a wealth of information about the island’s history, culture, and attractions. Visitors can pick up maps, brochures, and other materials to help them navigate the village and plan their itinerary.


Ocracoke Island Preservation Society Museum

The Ocracoke Island Preservation Society Museum is dedicated to preserving the island’s unique history and culture. The museum features exhibits and artifacts related to the island’s fishing industry, maritime history, and unique way of life. Visitors can learn about the island’s rich history and culture and see how it has changed over time.


Silver Lake Harbor

Silver Lake Harbor is the heart of the village and is home to the island’s fishing fleet. Visitors can take a walk along the harbor and watch as fishermen unload their catch of the day. The harbor is also home to several restaurants and shops, where visitors can enjoy a meal or pick up a souvenir.


Springer’s Point Nature Preserve

Springer’s Point Nature Preserve is a beautiful natural area located on the western side of the island. The preserve is home to a variety of plant and animal species and features several hiking trails that offer stunning views of the surrounding waters. Visitors can also learn about the island’s unique ecosystem and natural history.


Ocracoke Island Beaches

Ocracoke Island is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in North Carolina. The island’s beaches are known for their pristine white sand, clear water, and unspoiled beauty. Visitors can swim, sunbathe, and enjoy a variety of water activities, such as kayaking, paddleboarding, and fishing.


The British Cemetery

The British Cemetery is a historic site located on the island, where seven sailors from the British Royal Navy who died when their ship, the HMT Bedfordshire was torpedoed by a German U-boat in 1942, are buried. The cemetery is open to visitors, and a plaque provides information about the tragedy and those buried in the cemetery.


Teach’s Hole Blackbeard Exhibit

The Teach’s Hole Blackbeard Exhibit is a museum dedicated to the infamous pirate Blackbeard, who made his home on Ocracoke Island. The museum features artifacts and exhibits related to Blackbeard and his crew, as well as a replica of the Queen Anne’s Revenge.


Howard Street Cemetery

The Howard Street Cemetery is one of the island’s oldest cemeteries and is the final resting place of many of the island’s early settlers. Visitors can see the graves of several notable island residents, including Sam Jones, who was born into slavery and later became a celebrated preacher and community leader. (Watch out! The Howard Street Ghosts are known to prowl around there.) 😉


Ocracoke Island Community Park

The Ocracoke Island Community Park is a popular destination for families and offers several recreational activities, including a playground, a basketball court, and a skate park. The park is also home to several annual events, including the Ocracoke Island Waterfowl Festival and the Ocracoke Island Fig Festival.


Pony Island Restaurant

Names after the Banker Ponies that have roamed the island for centuries, the Pony Island Restaurant is a local favorite and offers a variety of fresh seafood and other dishes. The restaurant’s outdoor deck offers stunning views of Silver Lake Harbor and is the perfect spot to enjoy a meal and watch the boats go by.


Ocracoke Island Campground

The Ocracoke Island Campground is a popular spot for camping enthusiasts. The campground offers tent and RV sites, as well as access to a variety of recreational activities, including fishing, kayaking, and birdwatching. The campground is located just a short walk from the beach and the village.


Ocracoke Island Library

Libraries always make me happy! The Ocracoke Island Library is a small, but well-stocked library that offers a variety of books, magazines, and other resources. The library also hosts regular events, including storytime for children and book clubs for adults.


Island Artworks

Island Artworks is a local art gallery that features the work of several talented local artists. The gallery offers a variety of artwork, including paintings, sculptures, and pottery.


The Back Porch Restaurant

The Back Porch Restaurant is a popular spot for seafood and other local dishes. The restaurant is located in a historic building in the heart of the village and features a cozy, relaxed atmosphere.


Ocracoke Island Nature Trail

The Ocracoke Island Nature Trail is a short hiking trail that winds through the island’s marshland and offers stunning views of the island’s unique ecosystem. The trail is located near the village and is a great spot for birdwatching and wildlife viewing.


Ocracoke Island Farmer’s Market

The Ocracoke Island Farmer’s Market is held every Saturday during the summer months and features a variety of local produce, crafts, and other goods. The market is a great spot to sample some of the island’s fresh, locally grown produce and support local businesses.


Books to Be Red

Books to Be Red is a local bookstore that features a wide selection of books, including new releases, bestsellers, and local interest titles. The store also offers a variety of gifts, such as puzzles, games, and stationery. Be sure to see if they have any Roseanna White titles on the shelves while you’re there! 😉


Zillie’s Island Pantry

Zillie’s Island Pantry is a gourmet food and wine shop that features a variety of specialty foods and beverages. The store offers a wide selection of wines from around the world, as well as craft beers, cheeses, and other gourmet treats.


Edward Teach Brewery

The Edward Teach Brewery is a local brewery that offers a variety of craft beers, including IPAs, stouts, and ales. The brewery also features a tasting room and offers brewery tours and other events throughout the year.


The Fig Tree Bakery and Deli

The Fig Tree Bakery and Deli is a local favorite that offers a variety of baked goods, sandwiches, and other deli items. The bakery is known for its delicious cinnamon rolls, homemade bread, and fresh salads.


The Community Square

The Community Square is a popular gathering spot in the heart of the village. The square features a variety of events and activities throughout the year, including concerts, movie screenings, and the annual Ocracoke Island Independence Day Celebration.


Captain’s Landing Waterfront Inn

The Captain’s Landing Waterfront Inn is a historic inn located on Silver Lake Harbor. The inn features cozy rooms with stunning views of the harbor and is the perfect spot for a romantic getaway or a relaxing vacation.


The Ocracoke Coffee Company

The Ocracoke Coffee Company is a local coffee shop that offers a variety of hot and cold drinks, including espresso, cappuccino, and iced coffee. The shop also features a selection of pastries and other baked goods.


Ocracoke Village is a charming and unique coastal community that is steeped in history and natural beauty. Its landmarks, attractions, and natural areas offer visitors a glimpse into the island’s unique culture and way of life. Whether you are interested in history, nature, or simply enjoying the beach, Ocracoke Village is the perfect destination for a relaxing and memorable vacation.

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