Water used for tea should be of good quality, preferably bottled or filtered, but tap water usually will do just fine. Distilled, fluoridated, hard or highly chlorinated water is not recommended.
Water should be just brought to the boiling point. Overboiling may cause too much oxygen to escape and result in flat tasting tea.
Warm the teapot with a small amount of hot water first and pour it out.
Use approximately 1 flat teaspoon (or use special tea measure spoon) of dry tea per cup (6-7oz water). Keep in mind that average American mug holds about 12-14 oz water, so you have to double the amount of tea!
Steeping of Black Tea:
Use hot water, just under boiling point (about 210 degrees - bring it to boil first).
Steep for approx. 3-5 min.
Steeping of Green Tea:
Use little cooler water than for black tea (approx. 180-185 degrees). It is recommended to wait few minutes before pouring water into the teapot or a cup. Steep only for 1 - 2 min. Green tea is like delicate food or fresh leaf vegetable. Hot water or prolonged steeping might burn green tea leaves, producing a bitter taste.
Steeping of oolong Tea:
The water temp. should be at about 194-210 degrees. steeping time vary depending on the variety of oolong tea but generally takes about 2-3 minutes.
Steeping of rooibos Tea:
Use hot water, just under the boiling point (like with black tea). Steeping time: 4 min or longer. this tea will not get bitter.
Steeping of Herbal Teas:
Most of the herbal teas can be steeped using hot water and for at least 4-least 4-6 minutes.
Resteep your tea! You can add 30 seconds to 2 minutes for each additional steeping.
Perhaps you will write a poem about steeping your tea like Lu Tong did in China around 810 called "Taking Up the Pen to Thank Mèng Jiànyì for Sending New Tea." Part of that poem called the "Song of Seven Cups" is listed here in one of its many variations found on the internet.
The first cup moistens my lips and throat;
The second cup breaks my loneliness;
The third cup searches my entrails, which enlightens my literary inspiration;
The fourth cup raises a slight perspiration, while all the bad in my life goes out through my pores;
The fifth cup purifies my muscles and bones;
The sixth cup calls me to the realms of the immortals;
The seventh cup is my end. Since a breeze came and comforted my body.
Where is the Penglai Mountain? I will get there along with the breeze.
*While you are drinking your tea you can read about Lu Yu
and Lu Tong