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.