A cup needs an infuser, half full of leaf tea,
To make a reasonable brew, satisfactorily.
A teapot needs loose leaves all roaming free,
And a strainer, to perform spectacularly.
But what of those times, when the two ideas meet?
You enter a tea shop, fresh from the street,
And respond to the person whose task is to greet,
“A two-pot of Assam”, so malty and sweet.
And so it arrives, steam wafting up,
You grab the pot’s handle and manoeuvre the cup,
And the liquid’s not tan, but pale buttercup,
You whip off the lid for an infusory checkup
And there in the teapot’s cavernous inside,
You follow the chain that is tied to the side,
And see that the Assam that they did provide,
Is trapped in a tiny ball they’ve supplied.
“This won’t do! It’s unconscion-able”
You scream as you climb on top of the table,
“You’ve imprisoned my tea, it should be flable,*
But to twist, turn and brew, it’s completely unable”.
“I won’t stand for this! I’ll start a brawl!,
I’d get better tea in a boarding school hall,
This tiny contraption is no good at all,
The fine leaves are trapped in the tiniest ball!”
You must hope this behaviour is a lesson they learn,
What to do for tea-suppers whose pennies they earn,
Those customers whose goodwill they don’t wish to burn,
Who expect good results when they turn to the urn.
For all of the teapots that are served in these malls,
And corner cafés and family dining halls,
Issue dark liquor cascades, like Niagara Falls
When they encapsulate the joy of big balls.
*flable is an actual word meaning “Liable to be blown about”. I’m using it metaphorically. And with an air of desperation.