Per Eileen's request, I am explaining step-by-step method of "Detail Tasting". This is by no means a traditional method, practiced by tea master. It's simply a method I and Michael developed, based on our try with success and errors.
First of all, you need 3 vessels. A brewing pot/gaiwan and 2 tall cups which hold the same volume of the pot. Why two cups? The 1st is to pour the brew in, then transfer the brew into the 2nd cup for drinking. After the transfer, 1st cup becomes the smelling cup which one can appreciate dry cup smell of the fresh brew. The second one is for slow drinking, after consumption, you can then compare the dry cup smell from the 1st cup to the 2nd cup.
Always smell and look at the tea after a overnight or 2 days brew. Smell the lid first and look for signs of oil or mold developing at the surface of the filled pot. Instinct and intuition play a big part in tea drinking, at least for me. If your gut feeling tells you not to drink, then just try a tiny slurp and discard.....
A step-by-step pic. for a flush steep after a overnight session. From Left to Right: 1. Pour out the overnight brew to the first cup and drink slowly. Enjoy the smell of the dry cup afterwards. 2. Refill the pot with boiling water. 3. Close lid and seal the pot with another pour. 4. Observe the surface of the pot, until all the surface water is sucked up dry. (You kinda have to feel it for timing) 5. Pour and drink the flush brew. (Traditional Cantonese Kung Fu will always dry up the previous pot by hanging it vertically (as shown on the far right pic. This is to drain out all the remaining water from the pot before the next steep.)
PeekABoo! What's in the tub?
After the first flush steep, probably after the 3rd day of "detail tasting". I will then do a double vessel brewing for the overnight or 24 hr. steep. This double heating technique can extend the high temp. inside the pot for a longer period of time. Tea addicts will apply this technique to vintage puerh. Also works with good quality Long Jin, instead of boiling water and a yixing pot, I will use luke warm water for the brew and a gaiwan. Then fill half way up with boiling water for the outer vessel. (That will be another pots next May : )
This is the 7th weeks brew at the tea gallery. Michael used 18 grams of this 04 SX tea in this large Gaiwan for the test. The back is the 2008 harvest, on its 2nd weeks.