Tie Luo Han (Iron Monk)
Rock Wulong Tea 2018
Tie Luo Han (Iron Monk) bushes resemble a willow tree. Tie Luo Han’s thick shiny leaves with large veins create a rich and complex tea.
- Tea Origin
- Fujian Province
- Tea Bush
- Tie Luo Han
- Tea Master
- Liu Guo Ying
- Harvest Time
- Picking Standard
- zhong kai mian (3 slightly open leaves)
About Tie Luo Han
Our Tie Luo Han is roasted over bamboo charcoal so you can appreciate the robust flavor and unique floral aroma. The special character of this tea is its complex and interesting aftertaste. If you are looking for an outstanding rich and complex rock wulong, Tie Luo Han is for you. Guo Bo Cang writes in 1886 about how Tie Luo Han bushes first became popular in making green tea during the Song Dynasty and later as the first of the four famous rock wulongs to become popular in the 17th century.
The original Tie Luo Han mother bush was found near Nei Gui Cave, high in the mountains. This bush was given the name Iron Monk to represent monks who developed their spiritual practices in this region. Legends tell stories of these special monks who practiced kung fu everyday in order to guard the temple and to chase thieves away. According to Chinese culture, after you exercise, you drink tea. They would pick tea near the cave after practice, and make tea from the fresh leaves, which tasted especially wonderful during tea season. Tie Luo Han is one of four famous rock wulong teas, grown in Wuyi mountain in the mineral rich soil in the area. Tie Luo Han really represents rock wulong tea’s character. This tea bush was mentioned in the Song Dynasty as being good flavored and having strong branches.
Picking and Processing
The tea can be picked in early April. The picking standard is “zhong kai mian” which means picking when the last tea leaf opens from the bud and is two thirds the size of the most mature leaves of the new growth. The fresh leaves are carried back to the factory in large bamboo baskets and left to wither in the sunshine for about 2-3 hours. This tea is oxidized by the traditional “shaking” method rather than in a mechanized tumbler. The traditional method requires the tea master to set the leaves on bamboo trays to naturally oxidize. Every half hour or so, he must shake the tea trays by hand, letting the leaves twist on each other, gently breaking the cells of the surface and edges of the leaves. During this naturally oxidation process, the fresh tea’s aroma will fill up the factory. The tea master will have almost no time to sleep except when the tea pickers are gathering leaves, they must nap instead. They have to carefully stop the oxidation at just the right time, paying close attention to when it is time to stop the oxidation process.
The leaves are sent through a very hot rolling machine (about 210 degrees celsius) for 7-10 minutes to stop the oxidation. The leaves are sent through a kneading machine which compresses and kneads the leaves into their long twisted shape. The leaves are then sent in to a large over to make the mao cha. The mao cha is already dried completely, but still has sprigs and unopened leaves that need to be sorted about before being roasted again. After the tea season is over they will sort out all the broken pieces and sprigs, putting the good, full leaves above charcoal in bamboo drum shaped holders. They are roasted for about 8-12 hours, depending on the weather. The first roasting temperature is usually higher, about 100-110 celsius. After 8-12 hours, the leaves are left to rest for 20-30 days, depending on the weather. The leaves are roasted again for another 8 hours or so at a temperature around 80-90 celsius. The temperature is controlled by ashes, spreading a thick or thin layer on top of the charcoal fire. This is to make sure there is not a heavy smell from the charcoal. If the weather is bad, they will roast the tea for a third time after about another month. Tie Luo Han may be roasted up to 4 times, depending on the weather. It will take at least three months until the tea is finished, usually finishing up at the end of August.
No chemical fertilizer, pesticide, or herbicide was used in the production of this tea. Click here to read more about our promise to fair trade and the environment.
Tie Luo Han (Iron Monk) 2018 brewing guidelines
Teaware: 12 oz. glass, porcelain or yi xing clay pot
Amount: 1 ½ Tbs of tea leaves
Water: 212°F (boiling) filtered water
Infusion: First infusion at least 2 minutes. The leaves are good for 4 infusions.