About US

We’re as real as dirt

Our Story

In the fall of 2010, Lou Thomann, an ex-rice trader, historic building renovator from Savannah, GA, took a weekend trip to nearby Ossabaw Island. There he was introduced to the Yaupon Holly Tree by UGA naturalist John “Crawfish” Crawford, who explained that for thousands of years, the native inhabitants of the island had harvested the leaves of the Yaupon to make a tea that they called

the “Black Drink.”


Yaupon leaves were picked and roasted that day and Lou and his group enjoyed the tea after dinner by the fire. The brew’s clean, full-bodied taste and fascinating history intrigued Lou, and when he returned to city life, he tirelessly researched information on the “Black Drink.” His findings unveiled the amazing, untold American history of Yaupon Tea and the astounding health attributes of this plant. After months of picking excursions in the woods, late night brewing sessions, and countless hours of studying scientific reports and historical accounts, Lou began hand-packing tea bags in his kitchen for friends to try. The results were encouraging. He soon earned a reputation and people all over town were asking him for more of his

“local tea.”


After three years of traveling to trade shows, meeting with university professors, and scouting out the best locations to sustainably harvest this plant, Lou began bottling his handcrafted tea, launching Asi Tea Co. and officially branding a tea company that embraces this amazing plant as a true national treasure. Since then, the Asi Tea Company has maintained its goal to encourage Americans to reconnect with the ancient wisdom surrounding the Yaupon Holly and to taste and experience all of the healthful benefits of this native tea.

Our Mission

Celebrating our Native Foodways
Fair wage jobs in rural counties
Ecologically sensible & sustainable
Lowering carbon footprint with local source of caffeine

The Crew

Lou Thomann

Yaupon fanatic and ASI Tea Founder, Lou Thomann can make anyone enthusiastic about the rediscovery of this national treasure. Lou believes there’s a whole magical world to unlock through the cultivation and consumption of Yaupon tea and nothing excites him more than sharing the invitation to join us as we learn more and more.

Scott Silverman

When Scott was introduced to ASI last year it was love at first sight and sip. He couldn’t believe he had never heard of yaupon during his 26 years in the organic & natural foods movement. Now he’s taking everything he’s learned in brand development, distribution and retailing to help Lou and the rest of the team share ASI with the rest of the world!

Mike Ventling

A former global partner at a ‘Big 4’ accounting firm, Mike brings business-savvy vision and development strategies to ASI Tea. He is excited to play a key role in a company that is attracting Americans to a healthier lifestyle with a plant that grows right here in our own country.

Kelli Ventling

Kelli skillfully manages all accounting and administrative matters for ASI Tea. A long-time tea drinker, Yaupon made a powerful impression on Kelli right from the start, and now it’s part of her daily routine.

Cam Ventling

Cameron joined the Yaupon Wellness Company in February 2017 as the Operations Director. He has been drinking Yaupon tea for nearly 3 years now, and his favorite ASI drink is Ancient Wellness iced tea. Cameron received his B.A. in 2014 from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, where he majored in History/Spanish and played football. Upon graduating, he joined EY’s Fraud Investigation Practice, where he worked in both an advisory and investigatory capacity.

Jenni Renas

Jenni is a current student at Savannah College of Art & Design, where she studies Graphic Design and Advertising. She began her internship with the Yaupon Wellness Company in April 2017, and quickly became a key member of the graphic design and branding team. Though not initially an avid tea drinker, now she totally enjoys ASI Yaupon tea to get her morning started!