Holding my Tongue

Figuratively speaking of course. Though more accurately it would be restraining my fingers.

Technology means everyone with access to the internet can broadcast their thoughts to literally thousands of people.

Which is a great thing, reading diverse opinions can’t be too bad a thing.

Avoiding Conflict

Which is why generally I don’t like to disagree with people online. Everyone has a right to their own opinion, even if I disagree.

Not to mention the fact that it’s a waste of time and the internet is a black hole of time as it is.

So I don’t think I will ever participate in a debate about which tea is the best, for example.

I love Dancong, Minnan Oolong, Minbei Oolong, Green Tea, Dark Teas (Puer), Taiwanese Oolong, White Tea, Yellow Tea and Black Tea in this order of preference but I don’t force my opinions down another’s throat.

angerBrewing methods, I have my opinions but I don’t wish to debate about them, especially since the details change.

i.e. short infusion/high temperature versus longer infusions/reduced temperatures debate

I swing from one end to another though I must qualify longer infusions is circa 30-45 seconds as opposed to 80C and 3 minute infusions for “oolong teas” using Western brewing methods. That is something I am confident I will never lean towards, unless I want to get rid of some low grade tea.

However there are some instances that I find it hard to hold my tongue:

1) Perpetuates a misconception

Oh there are plenty.

White tea is caffeine free, oolong tea is simply black tea that has its oxidation process halted prematurely, green tea is brewed with boiling water, there are only 3/4 categories of teas etc etc

In fact, if it wasn’t rude to do so, I would point you to some sites with egregious misinformation, some of them are pretty well-known.

2) Insults eastern cultures

This is another one of my pet peeve. Cultures in the far east- China, Taiwan, Japan and Korea- have been producing teas for internal consumption for literally hundreds if not more than a thousand years.

There are some who come in with the “screw you primitive natives, let’s show them how it’s done” attitude.

Gongfu brewing is purely ceremonial. Chanoyu is just ritualistic.

Let’s do it the “modern” way. Use a French Press and that’s how it’s done.

Not that using “modern techniques” is wrong in itself. In the office, I sometimes use a Piao-i Pot or equivalent for convenience.

But as I explore new alternatives, I am conscious of the fact that people who have been drinking tea for thousands of years are not idiots waiting for an external savior to lift the industry out of the doldrums.

Of course, rather than commenting on their blog or forum and waste time, I end up writing this post being deliberately vague so I won’t be flamed or baited into any battle.

Ironically, I am conscious that I wasted 20 minutes of my time on this rant :p



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