Traditional East Asian ink wash paintings informed the layouts, clean-up and colouring of the film. The story parodies how Buddhist monks drink tea to stay awake during meditation.
The main character is a young monk who has ended up becoming obsessed with the tea which was meant to help him. The Monk must ultimately choose between this absurd obsession or compassion for living things.
It was also influenced by a widespread misinterpretation of the real Buddha's teachings – the idea that you must completely abstain from any and all simple pleasures in life. Unlike the Buddha in this film, the real Buddha taught that all life's pleasures can be enjoyed in moderation... including tea!