A PATH OF THE HEART

Theasophie is a tea family located in Mangjing Village in the Jingmai Mountains of southwest China. We are dedicated to the path of tea as ancestral inheritance and as a life of service committed to individual and collective transformation.


A PATH OF

THE HEART

Theasophie is a tea family located in Mangjing Village in the Jingmai Mountains of southwest China. We are dedicated to the path of tea as ancestral inheritance and as a life of service committed to individual and collective transformation.

Hello! We’re Brian & Yimu, founders of Theasophie. Both of us grew up in multigenerational agroforestry lineages, Yimu in the old-growth tea gardens of Mangjing Village and Brian on the subsistence family farm of his maternal grandparents. From childhood, Yimu observed the steady stream of villagers coming to her father, indigenous healer Su Wenxin, for medical care. His commitment to serving others was deeply instilled in Yimu and expresses in her concern for the welfare of her community. She has practiced tea craft under her father’s guidance for over a decade and is diligent in furthering her understanding of the relationship between tea and humanity. Throughout Brian’s life, he has continued to deepen his connection to the land ethic of his ancestors, receiving academic training in environmental & medical anthropology and working in restoration ecology for nearly two decades. He has undergone two formal apprenticeships, first within a Chinese internal arts lineage and then within Yunhaizhidian Classical Teahouse, where he trained in artisanal tea craftsmanship and teahouse culture.

This relationship between the healing arts &
the path of tea is at the heart of our story.

This relationship between the healing arts & the path of tea is at the heart of our story.

This relationship between the healing arts & the path of tea is at the heart of Brian and Yimu’s, our, story.

SU WENXIN was born into a well-educated Mangjing Village family. His grandfather spent over a decade in the monastery, acquiring the title of kanglang, was proficient in Bulang healing arts, and profoundly knowledgeable about Bulang history and culture. From childhood, Su Wenxin learned from both his grandfather and from village headman Su Liya. As a teenager, he was determined to practice medicine and, at the age of 17, participated in barefoot doctor (chijiao yisheng) training, serving as a general practitioner in the Jingmai Mountains. At that time, poverty and the inconvenience of travel to distant health care facilities necessitated he treat a wide array of conditions. His annual salary was ten yuan ($1.50) a month, increasing to fifty yuan by 2006. He practiced for more than 20 years, until his family burden became too great, at which time he transitioned to producing tea. Doctor Su imparts medical efficacy into his craft, tacitly disseminating healing virtue through the tea leaf.

In holding this knowledge of Jingmai Mountain flora, Doctor Su remains sensitive to declining medicinal plant resources. He is reticent about passing on Bulang herbal knowledge, concerned that such sharing will further threaten remaining biodiversity. Still, he perseveres in the possibility of ecological succession and biodiversity initiatives within the abundant terraced tea gardens of the Jingmai Mountains. His lifelong commitment is to practice medicine, spread traditional ethnic culture, and continue to explore the significance of tea.


We can’t simply ask of nature; we must also participate
. Wild medicinals are scarce and should be protected. Nonetheless, these plants can be cultivated within our terraced tea garden landscape. I believe that Jingmai Mountain’s medicinal plant resources can benefit humanity.

Doctor Su Wenxin

SU WENXIN was born into a well-educated Mangjing Village family. His grandfather spent over a decade in the monastery, acquiring the title of kanglang, was proficient in Bulang healing arts, and profoundly knowledgeable about Bulang history and culture. From childhood, Su Wenxin learned from both his grandfather and from village headman Su Liya. As a teenager, he was determined to practice medicine and, at the age of 17, participated in barefoot doctor (chijiao yisheng) training and began serving as a general practitioner in the Jingmai Mountains. At that time, poverty and the inconvenience of travel to distant health care facilities necessitated the capacity to treat a wide array of conditions. His annual salary was ten yuan a month, increasing to fifty yuan by 2006. He practiced for more than 20 years, until his family burden became too great, at which time he transitioned to producing tea. Doctor Su imparts medical proficiency into his craft, tacitly disseminating healing virtue through the tea leaf.

In his vast knowledge of Jingmai Mountain’s flora, Doctor Su remains sensitive to declining medicinal plant resources. He is reticent about passing on Bulang herbal knowledge, concerned that such sharing will further threaten remaining biodiversity. Still, he perseveres in the possibility of ecological succession and biodiversity initiatives within the abundant terraced tea gardens of the Jingmai Mountains. His lifelong commitment is to practice medicine, spread traditional ethnic culture, and continue to explore the significance of tea.

We can’t simply ask of nature; we must also participate. Wild medicinals are scarce and should be protected. Nonetheless, these plants can be cultivated within our terraced tea garden landscape. I believe that Jingmai Mountain’s medicinal plant resources can benefit humanity.

Su Wenxin

Wai Ken, mother and grandmother to Doctor Su and Su Yimu, led a remarkable life. Prior to the Cultural Revolution, she managed her own horse caravan, transporting tea on a small stretch of the Ancient Tea Horse Routes (chamagudao) between the Jingmai Mountains and Menglian. She also carried the Bulang indigenous song cycle within her community, performing rites & ceremonies and welcoming guests for several decades before ceding this role to an apprentice. Village women still recount grandma’s prowess at improvisation, recalling how, should some auspicious natural phenomena transpire as they were picking tea in the forest, grandma would effortlessly weave that occurrence into the fabric of her cultural repertoire. She was imbued with one of the most indomitable spirits we have ever known. This site is dedicated to her memory.

Wai Ken, mother and grandmother to Doctor Su and Su Yimu, led a remarkable life. Prior to the Cultural Revolution, she managed her own horse caravan, transporting tea on a small stretch of the Ancient Tea Horse Routes (chamagudao) between the Jingmai Mountains and Menglian. She also carried the Bulang indigenous song cycle within her community, performing rites & ceremonies and welcoming guests for several decades before ceding this role to an apprentice. Village women still recount grandma’s prowess at improvisation, recalling how, should some auspicious natural phenomena transpire as they were picking tea in the forest, grandma would effortlessly weave that occurrence into the fabric of her cultural repertoire. She was imbued with one of the most indomitable spirits we have ever known. This site is dedicated to her memory.