It’s an undisputed fact that the United States is a coffee country: American adults average three cups every day. But that wasn’t always the case. Before the arrival of Columbus, indigenous Americans’ caffeinated beverage of choice was a holly-based tea known as cassina.
Also known as yaupon, cassina is a close relative of the popular South American holly-based tea, yerba maté. Both dark brown drinks have an herbaceous, complex flavor and a mild, jitter-less buzz. And yet, yerba maté has survived, and thrived, while cassina has faded into obscurity.
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