Saturday, April 03, 2010

Tea Cupping Steps

A Visual How-Tos:

1. Bring water to a boil until steady streams of large bubbles (Rope of Pearls). Pour water into the Tasting Cup.
2. Once water is fill to the top, pour water into the tasting bowl (Spoon is optional).
3. Now all units have been pre-heated. Place 5g of tea leaves into the heated cup (Yixing Red Tea was used). Smell and take notes on the heated leaves.
4. For the rinse; use fish-eye boiled water 195F. Pour a fine stream of water into one corner of the cup, letting the leaves get rolled and tumbled by the water.
5. Pour out the rinse from the cup immediately into bowl.
6. Make sure the air hole is on the top side to avoid spilling.
7. Drain until completely empty by dipping motion.
8. Take notes on the rinse color and discard rinse. For the first brew; pour 195F water in a fine stream aimed at one spot near the wall, until full.
9. Cover with lid and pour out after 30 seconds. Rest the cup onto the bowl. The knob on the lid and the bottom of the cup should sit nicely on the bowl.
10. After 15 seconds, empty cup completely by dipping motion.
11. Repeat above to 2nd brewing. You can either use a spoon for tasting or transfer liquor to serving cups.
12. After the brewing session, display the spent leaves for their visual appreciation.


corax said...

you've succeeded in making these photographs both clear and beautiful. congratulations!

toki said...

Always a pleasure to see your comment Corax. How are you? Hope to have a sip with you in the City soonest. ~ T

corax said...

多謝 ... it will truly be my pleasure ... when next i am there. and conversely ... whenever you venture in this direction ... 光臨 !

Maitre_Tea said...

although I own four cupping sets and actually use them on a semi-regular basis, it's still a bit difficult to accurately assess a tea brewed competition style, since the taste/aroma/mouth feel is so much more different than what I'm usually tasting since I'm brewing it gong fu style. What tastes good brewed competition style tastes bad brewed regularly, and vice versa.

Any tips on the the actual tasting part of tea cupping?

toki said...

Maitre Tea - Competition brewing, Cupping (tasting), or simply Enjoying a session of kung-fu brewing, its all for different purposes.

IMO, being Competition the more difficult and requires a wealth of tea experience, and tea making knowledge. Cupping is the second hardest, since you need to be able to dissect the concentrated brew into layers and its character, within one or two long infusion. The only tips I may suggest is to drink more high grade tea, and brew it differently every time. The more you build up and refine your own taste, the easier you can understand the art of cupping. Hope this make sense. ~ T

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