Author Topic: Asi (the Black Drink)  (Read 3218 times)

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Offline EdwardS

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Asi (the Black Drink)
« on: December 23, 2018, 09:03:02 pm »
So I've been experimenting with Asi since I found Yaupon growing in my yard here in Brewton.  If you have ever wondered, this is what I found.

It's kinda labor intensive, but even being disabled I found it manageable.  If you have Yaupon in your yard then that's half the battle. 

Strip the leaves from the stems.  Don't have to be too picky, if some stems get in there they can easily be pulled after drying.  I dried mine for two hours at 150F, but three isn't overlong.  I then roasted them in an iron skillet at medium heat until barely smoking, stirring constantly.  The instructions I have mention the possibility of flash combustion if not stirred.  Didn't happen to me.

Grind in a mortar and pestle, then steep in boiling water like you would tea.  Tastes like green tea, if you have tried green tea.  This is the recipe technically for Cassini, the tea made by white settlers from Yaupon.  I technically know how to make actual Asi, but we don't really want to vomit and that's telling a secret I don't have a right to tell.

I'll try to get pictures up tomorrow, and I have enough prepared that I can share, if anyone is interested.  My son absolutely loves it.  Just wanted to share what my people know with you.

Offline Pat B

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Re: Asi (the Black Drink)
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2018, 11:53:12 pm »
Yaupon is a holly(Ilex) and this "Black Tea" is heavily caffeinated. I think the copious amounts drank was partially the cause for the vomiting. The botanical name for Yaupon holly is Ilex vomitoria. I believe the cassini is a colloquialism for Ilex cassine, dahoon holly, another coastal holly.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline Parnell

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Re: Asi (the Black Drink)
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2019, 06:44:40 am »
Shoot, even a cup of green tea on an empty stomach in the morning will make me puke!
1’—>1’

Offline Pat B

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Re: Asi (the Black Drink)
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2019, 10:38:38 am »
Different tea, Steve. Green tea is from the new growth of Camellia sinensis, the same plant as regular Lipton tea(different growth stage). Black drink is made from the roasted leaves of a coastal holly plant Ilex vomitoria. 
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline Parnell

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Re: Asi (the Black Drink)
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2019, 02:19:48 pm »
Yeah, gotcha Pat.  There are many of those trees growing in our neighborhood, haven’t been tempted to try that yet.  Have you?
1’—>1’

Offline Pat B

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Re: Asi (the Black Drink)
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2019, 05:04:54 pm »
Thought about it when I lived on the coast but never did. I doubt a cup full would do much more than a cup of Lipton, a gallon would be another thing.  (A)
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline Allynhirsch

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Re: Asi (the Black Drink)
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2020, 04:11:53 pm »
Hi all, pretty new to the forum but this is something I have a fair bit of experience with. With yaupon being the most common species on my property, I have naturally tried various versions of it. Overall, yaupon has an extremely similar taste profile to “regular tea”, but with much less bitterness. This is excellent news because you can put less sugar in the end product.

To understand how to process it, you need to think about what kind of product you want to consume.  The  skillet method will result in something more akin to black tea, while a dehydrator on ~140 degrees overnight will result in something more like green tea. Dehydrator on ~105 for 24 hrs is closer to white tea. These are not apples to apples but a decent starting point. There is a bit more to the way Asian teas are made. Main goal is to get the leaves dry and crumbly to the touch, even if the leaves are still green in color.. Any moisture remaining and they won’t store well.

Another factor with yaupon is that it is the ONLY plant native to North America which actually contains caffeine. This caffeine is heat soluble, which means that eating a handful of raw yaupon leaves straight off the shrub will net you exactly zero caffeine. You have to roast it or heat it in some way. As a result, you are going to get higher amounts of caffeine from the “black tea” version. A cup of strongly brewed black tea will give you the same or slightly more caffeine as an average cup of coffee.

Once you are done roasting, simply slide your fingers down the stems and the brittle leaves will fall right off of the stems. You can then grind them in a mortar and pestle, coffee grinder, blender, etc.

As for the black drink, most sources hint that the yaupon would be roasted dark, stems and berries included. This is backed by the fact that yaupon was a highly valued trade commodity for indigenous people which was found hundreds of miles outside its native range. Yaupon keeps for maybe a couple of days if not dried. I don’t have any experience eating the berries, but supposedly they will induce vomiting, as would high amounts of any strongly flavored drink.

And I believe that is the most I have posted on this forum.  ;D