Tie Luo Han 鐵羅漢 | Tianxin Mountain
鐵羅漢 (Traditional) | 铁罗汉 (Simplified)
Origin: TianXin (天心), Wuyi, Fujian, China
GPS: 27.67138, 117.97798
Tea artisan: Fang Long
鐵羅漢 is considered one of the four ‘big name’ cultivars in Wuyi Mountain; we haven’t found any creditable information about why or since when. We do know that there are records of this cultivar since the Song Dynasty, and that it was considered a ‘tribute tea’ since the Yuan Dynasty.
This cultivar is said to descend from a 1000-year-old tree located in a gorge called 九龙巢 (9 Dragon Nest), directly under 天心 (Heavenly Heart) cliff. We spent some very happy days drinking tea at the monastery on top of 天心 a few years ago, completely unaware of the potential existence of this ancient tree in the vicinity.
The Meaning Behind the Name
The term Luo Han translates as ‘Arhat’, which (as per Wikipedia) is one who has gained insight into the true nature of existence and has achieved nirvana. You may find ‘Tie Luo Han’ sometimes translated as ‘Iron Arhat’; other times (with some creative license) it is called ‘Iron Monk’, or even ‘Iron Warrior Monk’.
In any case, we can safely say that the Tie Luo Han cultivar can yield some most delicious tea.
Tianxin Mountain ｜ 天心山
This small mountain is located 17km Southeast of the entrance to Wuyi Shan's UNESCO Nature Reserve; it is covered in tea gardens and hosts a most beautiful Buddhist monastery on its cusp. We have very fond memories of waking up to in this magical place in the early hours of the morning to watch the locals handcraft tea.
Tasting Notes: Naturally processed coffee cherries, toffee, and caramel.
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