Loose Leaf Teas and Brewing Accessories
Cart 0

Fine Words Butter No Parsnips - Ummm, What?

fine words butter no parsnips Lord Devotea

by Naomi Rosen

I'm a sucker for a good tea blog. Well, I'm a sucker for anything tea related really, but I've had the pleasure of forming friendships with a pack of motley tea bloggers. The motliest of us all, Lord Devotea, sent out the Bat Signal via Facebook this week in the form of a status update challenging our group to use the title, "Fine Words Butter No Parsnips", in a blog post this week. Challenge accepted dear sir! But seriously, what the hell does that even mean? Turns out, it's an old English saying that translates to "Nothing is achieved by empty words or flattery". There's a really great breakdown of how it came to be at The Phrase Finder. But how does that tie into tea? I'm not going to point fingers and name names, but there is an awful lot of snake oil being sold with the label "tea" attached to it. And it grates on my every last nerve. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Misleading tea marketing (ie. direct from grower when it's not, low quality tea being passed off as the good stuff, bogus fair trade and organic claims, etc.).
  • Beverages marketed as tea when they don't have actual tea in them.
  • Dangerous and irresponsible health claims. (Seriously, one more "skinny tea" claim on my Instagram feed and my head is going to explode!)
  • A lack of transparency in the supply chain.
You know what does butter parsnips? Education. Grab all the information you can get your hands on and educate yourself on tea. Or whatever you are passionate about. Don't just take one sources word on a subject. Be well rounded. Read all the books. Join the chat boards. Attend the local meetups and presentations. Steep hundreds of cups. Share the passion with your friends and family and steep hundreds of cups for them. Immerse yourself in the culture and you won't have to worry about the butter or the parsnips anymore. If you want to read what some of the my fabulous blogger friends wrote on the topic of Fine Words Butter No Parsnips, click on the links below. You won't regret it, I promise. And browse through their past posts. You will likely find a new favorite blogger!


Older Post Newer Post


  • Rachel Carter on

    Loved your post! Though I probably shouldn’t tell you that one of the items that showed up in my Conscious Box this month was literally called “Skinny Tea” I don’t want you to explode.

  • Gary Robson on

    Well written! I grumble regularly about your second point (marketing non-tea beverages as tea), because our job as tea bloggers and tea merchants is education. It’s hard to teach people about tea when so many other people are pouring misinformation down their throats.

  • Fine Words Butter No Parsnips – and I’m not talking about Tibetan Yak Butter Tea | Tea With Gary on

    […] Naomi Rosen: www.joysteaspoon.com/blog/fine-words-butter-no-parsnips-ummm-what […]

  • joysteaspoon on

    Yep. Head totally just exploded. I actually saw something on FB or Instagram about that and I just held my tongue because I’m trying to be a kinder, gentler Naomi. HA! Who am I kidding?

  • Fine Words Butter No Parsnips | iHeartTeas The Blog on

    […] Tea The Devotea Tea With Gary An International Tea Moment Cups of Tea with Jackie Joys Jabberings AmazonV […]


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published