Many a tea connoisseur brews tea the wrong way. I, too, used to make the same mistakes I now see over and over within the tea-loving community. Water that's too hot or too cold is the most common mistake. Overly hot water results in a bitter tea and ruins the fine nuance of the flavor, while cool water fails to steep the tea leaves fully. The proper brewing method depends in part on the type of tea you are making.
First, always start with cold water. Hot tap water doesn't contain as much oxygen, so results in a flat flavor. Filtered water works best if your tap water has a heavy mineral taste.
Prepare your tea cup or pot before you begin brewing. Rinse it with hot water so the cup doesn't cool the brewing water. Add your tea bags or place loose tea in an infusing ball and set it in the cup or pot. You can prepare the cup while the brewing water is heating.
Black teas brew best in water that is brought to a boil. Don't allow the water to boil for more than a few seconds, otherwise it loses oxygen and results in the flat flavor. For more delicate white, green or herbal teas, only bring the water to a temperature of 160 to 180 degrees. Boiling water over-steeps these teas and ruins their flavor.
Pour the hot water over the tea bag or infuser and begin the steeping process. Steep black teas for up to five minutes before removing the tea bag. Steep green tea for three minutes and herbal teas for only one to two minutes. Remove the bag and serve immediately for best taste and aroma.