Sales and consumer preference of caffeinated functional and ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages are rapidly growing. Recent industry figures show the US market for RTD tea has more than quadrupled during the past 20 years—from under $2B in 1990 to over $10B in 2013 while energy drinks are expected to reach $8B revenue mark by year-end. Despite these developments, consumers are shunning restrictive fads in favor of a more holistic wellness approach—keeping an eye on the long term health benefits more than quick, brief gratification. This new consumer mindset gives tea the advantage over coffee and energy drinks. The American Botanical Council (ABC) agrees, saying tea drinking in the US is driven by health and wellness trends and an evolving retail landscape. Austin-based Cat Spring Tea is at the forefront in providing consumers a caffeinated, all-American tea derived from evergreen yaupon holly that is native to North America.

Naturally-free of tannins, pesticides, chemical fertilizers and synthetic weed control measures; yaupon is the only plant in North America that contains caffeine. Apart from caffeine, yaupon also offers 50-100 percent of the antioxidant benefits of green tea and potency of blueberries. Cat Spring Yaupon Tea is harnessing the power of yaupon, pioneering its wild harvesting and production in Texas. With a pleasantly mild tisane, Cat Spring Tea yaupon can be added to multiple beverage formulas and food.

“As the price of coffee goes up and supply decreases, finding a way to get a caffeinated, sustainable and antioxidant rich ingredient can be challenging,” says Abianne Falla, co-founder of Cat Spring Tea. “We conducted a national consumer market research with results that show Americans are searching for new, ethically-sourced, chemical-free beverages, which offer natural, healthy energy. Research respondents across the US who were participated to taste and experience yaupon tea gave it a 98% approval rating.”

Unlike most imported teas, Cat Spring Tea proudly harvests and produces its yaupon tea in the US. Its first stage of production takes place near the harvest site in Cat Spring, Texas. The dried leaves are then brought from the field to the manufacturing facility in Katy, TX. This facility provides proximity to the natural growing concentrations of yaupon and to Houston for processing. Having built and financed its own harvesting and manufacturing facilities, Cat Spring Tea offers caffeine, yaupon-based beverage alternative that is poised to stir the $10 billion US tea industry.