After graduating high school, William had settled down in Yunnan for a year to study pu-erh tea. After spending six months in Kunming to learn Chinese, he moved to Xishuangbanna, in the South of the province, to explore the tea mountains, made famous from the recent demand for quality pu-erh tea production.
In 2007, Yubai was about to go to high school, but was recalled by her family in order to pick tea. The price of the leaves was skyrocketing, and the family needed all the workforce available to be able to harvest the gardens. Tea businessmen from the cities would visit and buy anything that remotely looked like Pu-erh tea leaves for astronomical prices.
Yubai couldn’t get a formal education, but she was determined to learn by herself and start a tea business. At the time, most farmers would pick the fresh leaves and a few privileged families would collect them,and then process them into pu-erh tea.
In 2010, it was time to set up her own factory,on the base floor of the family house. A whole new set of challenges appeared: how to process tea? How to find the customers? What price to sell the tea for?
Meanwhile, William wanted to further his understanding of tea and promote this culture in the West. But with no money and little knowledge, he knew it was going to be hard.
William returned to Europe to further his education, he studied biology and agriculture, in hopes that acquiring more academic knowledge would help him to better understand tea. Yubai was staying in Jingmai, setting up her factory and learning to process tea.
Yubai and William were in love, both for each other, and for the leaves. They needed to meet each other again, as often as possible. But flight tickets are expensive, how would a student afford yearly trips to China?
In 2011, we opened our first online tea shop and started selling Yubai’s, as well as other farmers’ productions online. We both learned a lot through this business, and it allowed us to earn enough to see each other every summer, during the university holiday.
Every Summer, we would travel around China, visiting tea regions and going on adventures. Of course,our main interest was Pu-erh tea, so we spent most of this time in Yunnan, exploring tea areas and making friends with the farmers.
Yubai’s wholesale business in China was steady and she could live off her tea productions. William studied hard, driven by the passion for tea, and managed to join an agricultural school in France, he graduated as an agricultural engineer in 2016.
Finally, it was time to reunite and undertake larger projects. We needed to professionalize the business. This is when we created the brand Jing Yu Tian Xiang 景域天香, and its international sister: Farmerleaf.
We are tea producers at the core, we love going back to Jingmai every Spring and Autumn to spend our nights cooking pu-erh tea in large woks and experimenting with other processing techniques.
Our goal is to promote the tea culture of Yunnan, and to achieve this, we need to give our customers the means to explore the diversity of tastes, scents, landscapes, cultures, and emotions that tea made in Yunnan can provide.
We are based in Pu’er City, a small city in the middle of Yunnan, only three hours away from Jingmai mountain, and conveniently located to have access to the other tea mountains. More importantly, we find the climate of Pu’er city perfectly adapted to storing tea. You know that Pu-erh tea can be aged, and it requires a certain amount of humidity, but not too much! With an altitude of 1200m, Pu’er city has a very suitable amount of humidity and mild winters. It allows the tea to age steadily all year round.
We opened this website to promote our tea. We would sell our own productions made in Jingmai, as well as teas we like from fellow farmers. Our intent is to give you access to high quality teas from both prestigious terroirs and less famous origins. We open a window for you to enjoy the fascinating world of Yunnan tea, in all its diversity and complexity.
To support your quest in exploring this subject, we make videos on our YouTube channel, in which we discuss all the facets of tea making, from farming to economics and aesthetics. You can follow our daily explorations and findings on our Instagram account.
Beyond providing good tea, we make sure you know where our teas come from, how they were made, and who crafted them.
All our teas are sourced from small scale producers. This allows us to have a more personal connection with the artisans and be able to promote their craftsmanship. It is important to support family farms in a world endlessly dominated by large corporations.
Moreover, William’s training in agriculture allowed us to understand the diversity of management practices in tea cultivation. Before sourcing a tea, we like to explore the landscape, have a look at the gardens, and understand how they are maintained. We support the protection of biodiversity, and to make high quality tea, you need to work with nature, not against it.
This is why we only buy teas grown in a sustainable way. This approach goes beyond doing pesticide residue analysis or hiding behind an organic certification. We use our judgment to make sure your tea is grown in proper conditions. If you want to understand how we source our teas, you can explore our Youtube channel, where we talk about the intricacies of agriculture.
In 2020, we opened a tea shop in Pu’er City, which allows us to meet friends and drink tea in a peaceful environment. We have a proper storage floor and an employee who fulfills your orders daily. We hope you can visit us someday, meanwhile, you can order our teas on this website.
We hope we'll be useful on your tea journey. You can start by reading the product getting teas from a variety of areas. Understanding the diversity of tea takes hundreds of tasting sessions. You will soon understand the scope of the subject as you acquire experience. I suggest you first order samples until you know what you like. As they say in China, you don't look for good tea by yourself, the good leaves find their way to your cup. Have a good visit!