our roots

17 years. I’ve been steeping this tea company in this brain mug of mine for 17 years.

It started when I was a kid, hungry, thirsty and just practically desperate (and dramatic) after getting my tonsils out. My mother handed me a cup of tea that made all of my pains slip away and from then on, I was hooked.

Tea became a part of my life, from drinking Hot Toddies with my stepmom when I was sick, and now when I’m not, (don’t act like you don’t) to growing herbs in my garden with my own daughters and experimenting with mint, lavender and chamomile.

My biggest connection with tea started when I began delving into the genealogy of my father’s side. That side of my family is from Macedonia in Eastern Europe. My great-grandfather Elia passed away two years before I was born, so I wanted so badly to learn more about him. I found out he was a shepherd in the mountains of Macedonia in the early 1900s before settling in America with my great-grandmother. He played an instrument called the kaval, and used it to court her outside her window, and with it he won her love. Sounds romantic, but I’m not sure how that would have turned out for him now.

Above are photos of my family in Macedonia.

In an effort to learn even more, I began reading a book by a woman who grew up in a village near my family, and the dream was born. She began talking about this mountain tea that the women would awake before dawn and go up the mountain and pick before the sun baked it. They would drink it to stay warm, to prevent getting the cold or the flu and for overall health. Not only this, but she also wrote that the shepherds would drink the tea as they were herding sheep on the regular.

 “Oh my gosh, this must mean my great-grandfather would drink this tea! I have to have it!”

I immediately took to Ebay in search of this European mountain tea (mind you this was in the 90s so Ebay was about the depth of internet shopping.) After trying it, I knew this would be the tea I would one day share with the world, this would be the tea I now call Elia’s Mountain Tea. (click here to learn more about the amazing health benefits of this tea and its origins)

Not only does this tea have such a deep meaning to me, but it’s so unique. It’s hand-picked from rock crevices in high altitude mountains in Eastern Europe and has been a health staple for centuries!

Tea West Trade is all about making your tea experience an adventurous one, starting with this unique and wild-crafted mountain tea, we promise to keep you on your toes with where our next tea will originate from, all while highlighting the amazing health benefits of each blend!

Why stop being adventurous when it comes to beverages? Explore more with Tea West Trade.



Jill Simmons

Owner of Tea West Trade