Use loose tea. Though most tea comes in bags, that’s often a sign of low quality, “since they can hold broken leaves or leaf dust.” Buy tea loose and tea bags separately.

Brew it right. There is a correct way to heat the water. For black tea, use boiling water. But for “more delicate green and white tea,” let the water cool for a few minutes. “Always add the water to the leaves instead of the reverse.”

Be color-conscious. Bone china is not necessary—you can serve it in anything whose inside is white enough to “discern from the color of the tea that it has been properly steeped.”

Recycle and store. Good tea can, and should, be re-brewed. “The flavor evolves with each pass.” Tea stored in an airtight container can be used for up to a year. Darker teas fare better than white and green ones.