A professor at a local college has decided that teaching isn't enough, and has taken a dive into the world of tea making! But with the ingredients this educator is using, it might taste like nothing you've ever had before.
Jeff Snyder has been a professor at the College of Idaho for the past 12 years.
"So I teach Chinese history, I teach Japanese history, Tibetan history, Southeast Asian history, etc," said College of Idaho Professor and Voce Fruit Tea CEO Jeff Snyder.
Jeff spent six years living in China, where he and his wife had their fair share of tea, a staple of the Chinese culture.
"When I did a little research of what was in the teas, I didn't really like what I found. And of course I spent a lot of time in China walking through fields and I've seen a lot of the pollution first hand and that was, frankly, something I didn't want to give my wife or drink myself," said Snyder.
And it's that mentality that lead to the birth of Boise's own, voce fruit tea!
"I started making the teas primarily as a way to produce a cleaner, healthier version of some of the teas I was getting in China," said Snyder.
Voce is Serbo-Croatian for the word fruit, which is obviously fitting as the main ingredients in all voce teas are dried, organic fruits.
"We don't add any sugar, we don't add any flavorings, no chemicals, preservatives, nothing like that. So we like to use whole fruit that tastes as good as it looks," said Snyder.
The Treasure Valley native just started his company last march, but isn't just catering to the Boise area.
"Our goal really is to supply the local market but we have a lot of customers, in fact, most of our customers are outside of Idaho. We have customers on the East Coast, we have customers on the West Coast," said Snyder.
But not matter who he sells to, Voce Tea wouldn't be possible without the Gem State.
"To begin with, it's home. So it's nice to be able to start any endeavor in a place that you love. The other thing is that we really have a great resource here in the state of Idaho. We have a great agricultural growing region, we have great fruit production here in the state, we have a lot of great food processing, food warehousing, food storage in the state of Idaho as well. It's not just the fact that I like producing the tea in Idaho, I think it would be really difficult to produce in a lot of other states simply because you don't have the same kind of suppliers, you don't have the knowledge base that you do here in the Treasure Valley," said Snyder.