TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. — Tahoe City resident Alenka Vrecek grew up in Slovenia where she spent a lot of time with her grandparents in the majestic foothills of the Alps. Her fond memories of drying chamomile, rose hips, berries and mountain herbs as a child play a big role in her life today.
“I spent my summers digging vegetables straight from my grandma’s garden, wiping the soil off on my pants and eating them right then and there. I spent hours picking currents, blueberries and all kinds of herbs my grandparents grew in their garden. I learned how to use herbs as natural medicines from my grandma. My grandpa was a beekeeper and we used honey for sweetener and bee pollen for medicines,” said Vrecek.
She grows as much as she can in her garden, strives to buy organic, local and seasonal produce as frequently as possible and shares family meals with loved ones on a regular basis. As the founder of Tahoe Teas, Vrecek’s business philosophy is simple: Honest products, people and practices. Her unwavering belief that anything is possible with hard work and passion emerges in full force when she discusses her life and company.
“My daughters and son are active in the business. We base our work on love, trust, respect and freedom. I always wanted to start a company that reflects our healthy Tahoe lifestyle,” said Vrecek. Officially launched in 2010, Tahoe Teas embodies joy, wellness and health through herbal blends and teas including the recently launched Tahoe Chai, one of teas that will be served at Cedar House Sport Hotel on Feb. 9. In addition to having energizing or calming qualities (depending on the type), tea has a fascinating history that has been documented and analyzed in an endless supply of books.
Vrecek recently shared the story about the abrupt end to the Chinese-British tea trade nearly 200 years ago. At the time tea was largely exchanged for silver. In order to obtain silver and ultimately tea, the British East India Company grew opium in Bengal (a part of the British Empire). The opium was sold to the Chinese for silver. Of course all this was highly illegal. In 1840 Britain declared war on China. China retaliated by placing an embargo on all tea exports forcing the British to look for a new place to grow tea. Northern India was a promising location because of the climate and the native tea trees in the Assam area. Today India is the world’s largest tea producer with more than a billion pounds a year.
“Join us to sample a variety of teas, and as you immerse yourself in the wonders, scents and healing properties of our herbal blends and certified organic teas, you’ll be recharged and have the mindset to pursue your passions and dreams,” urges Vrecek. Visit www.tahoeteas.com to learn more.