in reply to Re^2: Warming the pot
in thread Warming the pot
Being a heavy tea drinker and enthusiast myself, I agree with your general approach, but I disagree with any standards any organization or individual may try and put on making tea. Tea, which includes the preparation, the right company (sometimes just you alone), and the drinking, should never have a formalized, lifeless list of scientifically repeatable steps.
The Japanese tea ceremony is an exception, because it is a ceremony: the objective is not to make tea, but to observe certain ritualistic rules, of which preparing and drinking tea is an important part.
Here's what I have found both an effective way and producing tasty results: use a French press as the first pot. An added bonus is being able to observe the tea leaves as they release their aromas, which is particularly nice with Jasmine Dragon Tears (or Pearls, depending on who your distributor is), and other kinds of hand-rolled tea that opens up while brewn. It will also be easier to determine when the tea is just right, if you don't have a timer or don't like timers in this context.
Update: Actually, I misread a part of your original reply. You use a three-step process: kettle, pot, cup. I use a four-step process: kettle, pot, pot, cup. The function of the first pot is to brew the tea, and nothing more, while the tea is served from the second pot. This has the benefits that 1) the strength and flavour of the tea will stay constant in the serving pot, and 2) the tea will get mixed when you pour it from the brewing pot to the serving pot. The latter is a matter of taste, but I've found it helps in making homogeneous tea; usually the strongest stuff is at the bottom, if you use only one pot.