The Story From Our Founder

MY LIFE AND WISE MOUTH TEA

When I started  Wise Mouth Tea, I felt like a little colorful fish swimming around
many big sharks; today I feel like a woman riding on a dangerous tiger, and my
only direction is going forward.

—  Lei

I was born in a big city but I spent all my childhood living with my great grandfather and grandparents in a village beside a mountain called Mountain Mouth. At that time, in my village, no one had watches or clocks, the villagers kept time by the movements of the sun rising and falling, the leaves coming and going, the location of the stars, and the rooster’s song.

At age 6, I saw electric light for the first time, for me, it was like a sun shining at night, but my grandmother used to call it devil’s eyes; at age 7, I saw my first car jumping on the bumpy road, next to the village, I ran after it and the dust that swept up behind the car covered my hair. In my childhood, I did not know there was TEA in the world. But I saw my grandmother using Ginger and other vegetables and plants to make soup for my great grandfather. We didn’t have doctors or stores in the village and we made everything on our own. Every villager knew something about using leaves, roots, and plants to heal sickness in people as well as animals. I remembered helping my grandmother pick the flowers and plants to dry in the sun to make medicine; and drinking flower herbs in the light of the full moon, listening to my grandfather quote Buddhist truths… Behind his voice, there was the sound of my great-grandfather’s snoring coming from our rice leaf house. Those flowers and plants have accompanied me with a healthy and beautiful dream of growing up, and lt has become part of Wise Mouth Tea.

After I went back to the city, At age 17, I started to write poems and eventually having some published. In those poems, I hoped for the Sun and Moon to hang in the sky side by side; wished for no dark and light’s difference between day and night, and no walls to stand between cities and people. Wished I could use leaves to sew a green bridge on the river to carry the ants to the other side so that they wouldn’t need to build the bridge with their bodies. My first time drinking tea was with writers, poets, and artists in a tea house at a park. It was there I realized the plants, leaves, and flowers that my grandmother used to make soup and medicine are tea.

In the year 1995, I left everything behind and moved to the US. I was a high school teacher when I started Wise Mouth Tea. I was impressed by my students’ energy, beauty, and their ability to accept differences, but when they talked about food and drink, they have no purpose besides satisfying hunger or thirst with them. I wanted to do something to change it: I opened a tea class and a tea club in the school. I started Wise Mouth Tea’s journey and have shared it with my students since the first step. ” I have an appointment with the MA food safety department… I am waiting for the process from the Cornell University Food Science lab… “ I showed them the logo and ideas about the brand. They joined me with passion and dreams and shared my business experiences and struggles. That was a wonderful time.
During Wise Mouth’s journey, I have learned about others and myself. I know I am not able to hang the Sun and Moon together side by side in the Sky; I am not able to make the no difference between night and day; I am not able to push down the walls between cities and people, I am not able to use leaves to sew green bridges for all the ants to cross the rivers, but I can hold Wise Mouth Tea in my hands; as natural as the rivers of my childhood, and as good as my grandmother’s soup.

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