A daily tea-making regimen is not necessarily unaccompanied by occasional moments of comedy. A frequent occurrence for me--usually in the first couple of infusions of a tea like yan cha (that needs pretty much instantaneous steeps at the beginning)--is depicted above. The water's in the pot--time to quickly pour it out, but wait! Why won't the lid go on?! Quick, try to sloppily pour it out anyway!
There's the culprit--sometimes it only takes the tiniest obstruction to throw off a finely-tuned system. Yet, the tea seems to still come out just fine in spite of a moment of panic.
Remove the offending leaf, and it's back to smooth sailing. There might be hiccups along the way, but there are always more infusions to come.
For Westerners without the means to travel to Asia, our knowledge and experience of tea comes second-hand, with a healthy dose of mystery. Therefore, it's tough to really know anything for sure, let alone make claims about being any sort of expert. Instead, we can only enjoy and learn from small tastes of something ... smuggled in ... hopefully building a reliable knowledge base and maybe even scratching the surface of truly great tea.