Green Tea: A Warning

Today, I need to talk to you about the EVILS OF GREEN TEA.

Green Tea Narcissus

Green Tea: The Mirror of the Soul

“What?” you say, “Isn’t green tea the kindest, gentlest of warm beverages? Don’t those antioxidants keep away illness, death, taxes and even prevent 97% of all faux-pas? Are you, Johnny, really talking smack about my priceless, pure and life-affirming Competition Grade Bi Luo Chun?”

“Perhaps,” you’re saying, “your hatred of green tea is just because, darn it, you make it with water that’s too darn hot. Many a green tea,” you’ll say, “has been ruined with tap water (strike one) brought to a full boil (strike two) and steeped for five minutes (strike three).”


Green Tea is poisoning you.

In fact, the more “correctly” you make it, the more fastidiously you check the pH, temperature and mineral content of the water–the more closely you time each delightful little steep–the more poison you’re releasing into your perfect tiny cup.


Scientific studies have shown, time and time again, that there is a direct correlation between tea hubris and tea fussiness. In one study that is especially well known in the literature, one tea blogger (an otherwise rather nice fellow) spent 12 years perfecting what he called the perfect brewing method for Taiping Houkui. Near the end of the study, this self-proclaimed Monkey King King was present at a tasting demonstration when a tea seller made a pot of Taiping Houkui with slightly cooler-than-preferred water and gave this “King” a sample in a small mass-market ceramic cup that had not been previously warmed. Out of an inescapable sense of responsibility to teach this poor soul a lesson, our “King” viciously attacked the offender and sent him off to the hospital, covered in bites and bruises, as an example to all who would mis-brew this most perfect of teas.

Less extreme examples abound, with parlor-level tea afficianados the world around spending hours of their lives puffing themselves up with detailed, live narrations of just why and how they’re brewing their favorite tea, while cursing the practices of lesser tea beings.

Johnny says: Why bother with all of these fancy “rules,” and reduce the preparation of tea into a mere contest of “who makes tea right”? Throw those leaves in a cup, put whatever water you have in, steep it until you suddenly remember you’ve had tea steeping for however long, and (most importantly) smile, with the knowledge that you are better than all of those super-careful, arrogrant tea-making jerks. That tea you made may be undrinkably bitter, instantly staining your teeth green and flipping your stomach upside-down–but at least you’re not a jerk.

Now you know how to make tea better than everyone else. You’re welcome!

(By the way: that cheap little Buffalo China cup you tell everyone is “distressed vintage Kutani”? Repeat after me:

It’s just as good as the real thing.

It’s just as good as the real thing.

It’s just as good as the real thing.

Your secret shame is safe with Johnny. I promise.)

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