Since yaupon isn't native here in upstate SC, I've been planting yaupon on my property to grow for harvesting leaves to make tea.
How have you been preparing the leaves to make the tea? The only way I've attempted drying them is in the oven. Are there any better methods?
The main object is to get the moisture out of the leaves so they can be stored.
Yes, but that also has me thinking about fermentation. Black tea, green tea and oolong tea are all the same plant leaf. They have either been dried quickly (as in green tea), or allowed to sit for various times after picking to allow the leaf to change before the final drying. Not sure if people do the same for yaupon or mate. Also, green tea needs heat as part of the drying to deactivate the enzymes that cause tea to darken - otherwise, green tea can move towards black tea in storage.