If Banzhang and Yiwu are well known from the pu-erh amateurs, this in not the case of Man Nuo, who knows this place? It is a Bulang village, isolated in the mountains of northern Banna, at the border with Simao. In this area, only this village has old tea gardens, most of the land is used for hevea or banana plantations.
Northern Banna is somewhat different from the south
There is very few Bulang in the north of Xishuangbanna, most of them leave in the south west and in Burma, but they seems to have settled here and there, like in Mannuo or in Mangjing (in Jingmai mountain). In every Bulang village, you can find ancient tea gardens, they seem to be the most tea oriented ethnic group.
Mannuo has a few interesting sides, it has very few plantation tea. At least not around the village. The amount of old tea tree is not impressive compared to Jingmai, Hekai or Banzhang .
There are few trees like these around Mannuo
An average tree in Mannuo
The environment is quite unusual, it looks like an olive tree field. The ground is clear, the tea trees are highly exposed to sunlight, they have room to grow and most of them reach a decent size. The main other plant specie found in the garden is giant bamboo, as well as a few crops.
Bamboo, banana and rice...
In this village, there are four varietals of tea trees, four sizes of leaves, from small to very large leaves. This diversity is found in a few other areas such as Yibang.
Very few tea stamped 'Mannuo' can be found on the market. It is probably used in blends. Anyway, the production does not seem to be very intensive.
This is a good example of ancient tea with relatively cheap prices, places like this can be found in Simao and Lincang county, but less and less in Xishuangbanna where all the villages with ancient tea gardens are getting famous.
The king of Mannuo