Qi (pronounced chee) is defined as Life Energy or Life Force. It is said to be the vital energy that flows through all things and is believed to connect all life in the universe. Some Eastern philosophies believe that flowers hold the highest levels of Qi and by taking in the flowers, we can benefit from their healing energy. With her wellness brand The Qi, Lisa Li honors the philosophy of flowers and creates a multi-sensory experience that encourages us to slow down and enjoy life’s smallest moments.
Lisa Li’s path did not directly lead her to starting The Qi- instead, she spent over ten years in New York City working in the fashion industry. After experiencing a great deal of burnout, she took a trip to Shangri-La, Yunnan. There, she was inspired by the sensory experiences of the rose tea that the locals enjoyed. Mentally, she was transported back to a time in her childhood in Beijing with her grandmother where she would often enjoy herbal teas. She mused over the nourishing and healing experiences that these herbal teas have created in her life and through great determination, she was able to start The Qi.
Officially launching in 2019, The Qi had many hurdles to overcome before getting to where they are now. In the United States, The Qi is one of the first, and possibly the only brand, that specializes in whole flower tea products. The whole flower teas are very difficult to harvest because of the delicate care needed to keep the flower intact, but the results are visually breathtaking.
Just by adding water, the flowers come back to life before your eyes and infuse the water with their essence (and some may say, with their qi). Li traveled across the world to find small, family-owned farms that grow these single-origin whole flower herbs.
The Shangri-La Rose was the first to be selected, harvested from a small farm in Shangri-La, Yunnan. It is renowned for its ability to grow 10,000 feet above see level and for its gentle sweet flavor. Next was the Royal Chrysanthemum from JiangXi Provence, which is a popular ingredient in Chinese medicine because of its cooling properties and associations with good luck. Later was the Blue Lotus from HaiNan Island, that represents purity and rebirth because of its incredible ability to grow out of the mud.
Shangri-La Rose Tea (Photo Credit: The Qi)
Not only are the flowers visually stunning, they are packed with nutrients and vitamins. The teas can be made into facial steams, added to a luxurious bath, or even crumbled over a salad for a delicious, unexpected twist. Each flower is hand picked and sustainably cultivated by growers that have been perfecting their techniques for generations.The brand prides itself on 100% traceability and equitable pricing that ensures the highest quality of flowers and the best outcomes for the growers and artisans involved. The also honor the idea of qi by giving back to a number of nonprofit organizations such as CAAAV, HerJustice, and more allowing the positive energy generated by these flowers to flow through the community.
The Qi offers us more than tea and tea accessories, they give us an opportunity to slow down and appreciate the beautiful and peaceful things in life.