Compared to the first time that the Jambos hosted Aberdeen a few months ago, this performance was what those of a maroon persuasion had been waiting a long time to see.
The 'Fancy Dan' approach which was so brutally dissected by the Dons in that first meeting (when they wrapped the game up by half-time) was ditched for a more direct pressing game.
Physical? Yes – as were Aberdeen on that previous occasion – but it was this type of display that was required when playing against top flight teams.
The 'fancy stuff only' route worked well last season but given the quality of opposition, the less robust approach will only blow second tier teams out of the water – not top ones.
Aberdeen this season have shown that once they get a head of steam, other teams find it difficult to catch up with them.
Put them on the backfoot however (see their home thrashing at the hands of St Johnstone for an example) and the old insecurities that dogged them for the last few years will make an unwelcome return.
Which is exactly what happened yesterday evening.
Hearts put Aberdeen under pressure from kick-off and were rewarded immediately with Callum Paterson's early goal.
Continued pressing forced mistake after mistake from the Dons and the only concern from a Hearts point of view that this game was not killed off by half-time (or at the very least, a 2-0 lead).
Not surprisingly, half-time took the momentum away from Hearts and as we so often see, teams do find it difficult to pick up where they left off in the second period.
Plus there was the small matter of Aberdeen picking up their own game – even though the slight improvement was nowhere near to what they're really capable of.
Yes Neil Alexander in the Hearts goal had saves to make but they were mostly of the bread and butter variety.
Although Hearts' pace had dipped slightly from the opening half, they still looked likely to add to their tally – and the support's collective nerve systems would have been settled had they done so.
Aberdeen threw the kitchen sink at their hosts in injury time but had they snatched an equaliser to force a replay, it would have been daylight robbery.
Despite not scoring, striker Osman Sow was immense for the Edinburgh side.
He led the line superbly, brought in other attacks with a number of clever flicks and gave the Aberdeen defence no peace whatsoever.
Hearts fans are now older and wiser enough to know from bitter experience that breaking the bank to offer players bigger contracts should be consigned to the past.
Sow's stock has risen during his time at Tynecastle and with English Championship clubs rumoured to be interested in acquiring his services this summer, his departure may be inevitable.
Not to mention he might want another crack at England in order to atone for his less than successful time at Crystal Palace a few years ago.
Players who have worn the maroon shirt generally leave Hearts – even the legendary John Robertson got itchy feet once and moved south.
Hearts will be hopeful of keeping him on but if he goes, so be it – but he will have left a number of good memories behind.
Other positives from yesterday's display include Igor Rossi.
Granted he has been a consistent performer this season but the switch to left-back from centre-half could have upset his rhythm slightly.
It didn't and it was just as well given that when the team was announced over the tannoy before kick-off, there were Hearts fans breathing sighs of relief to hear Juwon Oshinawa had been put on the substitute's bench.
Given that the left-back was Hearts main 'high-profile' signing (played in the last World Cup with Nigeria and lest we forget the weeks of wrangling to get his work permit issues sorted), it is fair to say that his displays can be best described as being a 'bomb scare'.
His ramblings on social media site Twitter are dotted with various “God is God” mantras.
Well if his holiness' big plan is to make a left-back plying his trade in Edinburgh annoyingly inconsistent, then Darwinian theory will be making quite a few free transfer signings in the coming weeks.
Rossi performed how a left-back should. Solid, uncompromising and no frills – just how every manager likes his defenders to be.
Ditto Blazej Augustyn – the Pole put in a more composed display at centre-half which showed he had learnt from the lessons of his poor show against Celtic recently.
Arnaud Djoum in midfield showed yet again why he's been the bargain buy of the season as he pulled the strings time and again to stretch Aberdeen across the park.
The last blog entry called for his fellow midfielders to step up to the plate.
Miguel Pallardo did just that (although some communication issues with Djoum over who goes for high balls need to be ironed out) but it seemed that in the first half, Prince Bauben was like Aberdeen as he too seemed surprised at the pace Hearts were attacking at.
However, the man from Ghana found his old self in the second half was a rock in the Hearts midfield when Aberdeen were threatening to come back into the game.
The only real concern is Gavin Reilly.
Truth be told, he was signed from Queen of the South to be cover for Soufian El Hassnaoui , but given the latter's horrendous luck with injuries, Reilly has been blooded into the first team much more quickly than the management would have planned.
Last season he showed that he was too good a player to be left in the second tier.
However, he's not quite managed the leap from there into the first one.
When Irish international Kevin Kilbane moved to Sunderland early on in his career from (then) second tier West Brom, he struggled to make the jump to a higher level as well.
His team-mate Niall Quinn remarked at the time that he was (at that moment) an 'in limbo player' – meaning that if a division existed between the top and second flight, Kilbane would be one of the top players.
Kilbane would eventually make the adjustment and it is hoped that Reilly's progress needs an allocated amount of time as well.
One thing in his favour is that although he doesn't appear to be confident of taking his opponents on, he does not hide from possession given his willingness to receive the ball and try to overcome his own nagging self-belief.
However, a more detailed debate on that issue can be put on hold for another year at least.
Aberdeen will now look to the title race as a chance to salvage their season but last night exposed a soft underbelly that others will seek to exploit.
Hearts meanwhile can look forward to tomorrow's draw for the next round.
And given their display from yesterday, you'd imagine not many teams will be keen to be paired up with them.