Cassina (Ka-SEE-nah) is a caffeinated product derived from yaupon holly that can be brewed in many ways–similar in nature to green tea or yerba mate. Loaded with anti-oxidants and high in theobromine, it is a local alternative to jitter-inducing caffeine sources.
In flavor it offers mild earthy tones, mellow greenness, and less tannins that traditional China teas. We highly recommend it as an option for iced-tea service, but it also performs well as a hot tea, in cocktails, and in infusions. While backed by a long regional history, cassina is a new flavor to add to your day and we encourage experimentation.
1 gallon water • 6 tablespoons cassina
Heat water to below boiling temps (180o) to avoid bitterness. Place loose-leaf cassina in a large tea bag or steeper, and steep in hot water for 10 minutes. Remove cassina leaves and pour brewed cassina directly over ice. —Cassina also responds well to cold-brewing–use the same proportions, but let the tea-bag of cassina steep in chilled water overnight/8 hours.
12oz water • 1.5 teaspoons cassina
Bring water to 180o. Place cassina in tea steeper, French press, or tea —bag, and add hot water. Let steep for 5 minutes, remove the cassina leaves, and serve accompanied with traditional tea accoutrements.
1 qt sugar • 1 qt water • 2 tablespoons dry cassina
Bring water to a light boil and stir in sugar until completely dissolved and the mixture is clear. Remove syrup from heat and add dry cassina. Let steep for 30 minutes, then strain out cassina. Use syrup in desserts, cocktails, and non-alcoholic mixed drinks.