The Iron Warrior Monk Tea

Tieluohan tea is lightly oxidized Chinese oolong tea and is one of the best Chinese oolong teas.

Glossy dark green tea leaves are shaped into a nice tight twist that may be brewed again and again.

What makes this tea so special and unique?

The Wu Yi Mountains located in the Fujian region in China produce legendary oolong teas and this is one of them, if not the best of all Wu Yi teas.

Floral, sweet and with a unique toasty and fruity flavor, this oolong tea is full of richness that may benefit your health on a daily basis.

Come learn more about this wonderful
Chinese oolong tea!

What is Tieluohan tea?

Tieluohan (or Tie Luo Han) is a Chinese oolong tea from the Wu Yi mountain region in the Fujian province in China. It is in fact one of the best teas of this region, called Wu Yi Rock teas.

Tea leaves have a glossy intense greenish to brown color. The tender and strong leaves are tightly twisted into a slightly curled strip and have a pleasant floral fragrance, brewing a tea with a lasting aftertaste.

The Legend behind Tieluohan tea

Tieluohan is a fanciful translation for Iron Warrior Monk or better yet Iron Arhat or Iron Buddha. While “Tie” stands for “iron”, referring to the appearance of the tea leaves, “Luo Han”, stands for “arhat” that comes from the legend behind the origin of this tea.

It is said that this tea was first created by a powerful warrior monk with skin that was golden-bronze. The tea was found in a cave near the temple of the Buddhist monks.

“Arhat” also stands for the state of enlightenment that Buddhist monks reach. The monks would drink this tea after their spiritual practice.

Historical records of this tea date it back to the Song Dynasty in China when this tea was given as a tribute tea, offered as highly honored gift.

Processing Tieluohan Tea

This is a semi-oxidized tea, meaning that it does not reach full oxidation like black teas, instead, oxidation remains at 40% to 50%.

  • The best harvests are done in spring, when 3 slightly open leaves are picked to make this tea.

  • After withering under the sun, leaves are tossed in bamboo trays to induce oxidation by breaking the tissue structure of the tea leaves, and also to begin the twisted shaping process.

  • Leaves are then sent to hot machines to stop oxidation and to knead them into their characteristic twisted shape. Once fully dried, leaves are sorted and the final step takes place.

  • Tieluohan is a roasted tea (note: not all oolong teas go through a roasting step), which is done either in electric ovens or over traditional charcoal fires.

  • Great care is taken to give this tea a toasted nutty flavor without imparting heavy charcoal smells. It may take months to complete this process, usually only finishing by August depending on the weather.

Let’s take a look at the benefits that drinking this tea on a daily basis may have for your health.

Tieluohan Tea Benefits

This oolong tea contains vitamins and minerals in each cup of tea you drink. Like other oolong teas this tea contains antioxidants and caffeine, elements that may bring great benefits for your health.

Healthier Heart

  • A cup of Tieluohan tea a day may help prevent heart disease. This tea is rich in antioxidants that help strengthen your blood vessels and at the same time promotes proper blood flow.

  • Teas rich in antioxidants like this one help to reduce the build-up of bad cholesterol in the bloodstream and also help to regulate your sugar levels.

  • While this tea may have preventive action when it comes to heart ailments, you should speak to your doctor if you suffer from previous heart ailments due to the caffeine content in this tea.

Improving Digestion and Weight Loss

  • When you have indigestion or other stomach problems, you may feel tempted to find comfort in a cup of tea or two. This is good, because the many components of Tieluohan may help to treat your digestive issues.

  • A nice warm cup of tea may boost your metabolism, lessening the effects of indigestion by reducing acid reflux and helping to break the elements in food faster.

  • A healthy metabolism helps your body to get rid of unneeded wastes and fats in food. This tea may also help your body to burn fat faster, but it will need you to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly in order to help you lose weight.

Boosting the Immune System

  • If you get sick then a cup of Tieluohan may help you out. This oolong tea contains minerals and vitamins that may speed up your recovery time.

  • At the same time the antioxidants present in this tea are said to help boost your immune system, which means that you may be building up your defenses against inflammations and infections.

Stronger Bones and Healthy Teeth

  • One of the many elements in this oolong is calcium, so drinking a cup of tea a day may help build healthier and stronger bones. It may help prevent loss of calcium in bones that leads to osteoporosis.

  • Drinking unsweetened tea may also help your teeth, from the calcium that makes them stronger, to the ability to help fight gum and mouth infections and tooth decay.

Stimulant and Calming Tea

  • One of the unique features of tea is its ability to both stimulate and calm you at the same time. This tea has a moderate level of caffeine that should help boost your energy levels and improve your mental awareness.

  • At the same time, tea contains an amino acid called L-Theanine that helps you stay calm and relaxed. So drinking a cup of tea may help you stay alert, but focused at the same time, with none of the jitteriness that some people experience with coffee.

Fighting Free Radicals

  • There are many studies on the effects of antioxidants in the battle against free radicals. While many more studies are needed one thing is certain, oolong teas like this one are rich in antioxidants.

  • Free radicals are elements that may harm your body on a cellular level causing the growth and spreading of tumors, they may also cause premature aging of the skin.

  • Drinking tea on a daily may help prevent disease and keep your skin hydrated and looking younger and fresher.

These are just some of the main benefits you may experience when drinking this tea. Find out more about the general benefits of oolong teas like this one in the Oolong tea benefits article.

Caffeine in Tieluohan

Tieluohan is an oolong tea and therefore contains caffeine like any other tea made from the tea plant camellia sinensis. Caffeine levels may vary depending on the proportion of tea buds to older leaves.

This tea contains a moderate level of caffeine as Tieluohan contains both tea buds and larger older leaves. Caffeine acts as a defense mechanism for the tea plant against insects and therefore it is mostly stored in the young buds and tips of young leaves.

If you are sensitive to caffeine you may experience some of its unwanted side effects.

  • Too much caffeine may show itself through headaches, nervousness, difficulty sleeping, increased heartrate and even arrhythmia.

  • If you experience skin rashes or stomach problems, you may even be allergic to caffeine and should drink only herbal or decaffeinated teas.

  • During pregnancy or breastfeeding it is not advisable to drink too much tea. In fact, you caffeine levels should be greatly reduced so as not to harm your baby.

Drink this tea in moderation and if you have any worries about the effects of caffeine on your particular case, then speak to your doctor.

Drinking Tieluohan Tea

This is a great tasting Chinese oolong tea and by following a few general guidelines, you may soon be drinking your tea.

So let’s take a look at how to brew Tieluohan.

Water temperature: 90ºC - 95ºC (194ºF – 203ºF)
Quantity: 1-2 tbsp/cup (250ml)
Steeping Time: 2-5 minutes
Rebrew allowed: Yes
Milk: No
Sweetener: No
Best paired with: pork roast with plums

Tea Ware

  • You may brew this oolong tea in a typical western porcelain teapot or in a Chinese Yixing clay teapot. To best see the true color of this tea, serve it in white porcelain cups.

  • Preserve the temperature of your tea by preheating both teapot and cups with hot water, which is then discarded.

The Tea

  • Place 1 to 2 tablespoons of tea per cup of water in your teapot. More tea will make the flavor stronger, while less will make it milder, so adjust to your personal taste.

The Water

  • Water for brewing Tieluohan should be just under boiling temperature. Use a thermometer and make sure the water is somewhere between 90ºC and 95ºC (194ºF – 203ºF).

  • Choose good quality water to get the best tasting tea. If you don’t drink your regular tap water, then don’t use it to brew tea. The mineral content will affect the taste of your tea.


  • Let your tea steep for 2 to 5 minutes and then serve by emptying the teapot into the tea cups.

  • If you are using a Yixing teapot and wish to brew this tea in the Gongfu Chinese way, then let your tea steep for no more than a minute in the first and second infusions.

  • This tea may be reinfused sometimes up to as much as 5 to 7 times. With each additional infusion you should add 15 to 30 seconds to the brewing time.

  • The longer you let your tea infuse in the first and second brews, the fewer number of additional brews you will be able to make without getting a weaker and milder tea.


  • Now it is time to enjoy the tea. Tieluohan has a bright orange-yellow infusion color and its aroma is both strong and floral.

  • Take a sip and feel the naturally sweet flavor of this tea. This is why you don’t need to add any sugar or honey to sweeten the infusion.

  • This is a mellow and thick tea with little astringency and unique mineral notes typical of Wu Yi teas and at the same time it has woody toasted undertones. It leaves a long-lasting sweet aftertaste in your mouth.

This is a great tea for you to enjoy and if you store it in an airtight container away from light it may last you a long time. Tieluohan may even improve if stored for a long time, giving you a purer fragrance and a mellower flavor.

Experience this tea now!

This is a wonderful Chinese oolong tea that will make a great addition to your tea collection.

Try a cup of Tieluohan oolong tea!

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”In the Taste of a single cup of tea you will eventually discover the truth of all the ten thousand forms in the universe.”
- Attributed to Kyongbong Sunim, Ch'an (Zen) Master

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