Bring the water to a full boil.
Remove from heat and immediately place your tea bags or loose tea into the pan of water (if you tie the tea bags together, it will be easier to remove them).
Let the tea steep for 8-12 minutes (depending on the strength you prefer).
Remove the tea bags or ball from the water. If you've put loose tea into the water, then pour it through a strainer into another pan.
Let tea cool before pouring into glass or ceramic pitcher. (The hot beverage can break the pitcher, believe me, I've broken two pitchers this way!)
If you like your tea pre-sweetened, add sugar while the beverage is warm so it can dissolve fully, about ¾ cup for this amount of tea, or to your taste.
Cover and place in the refrigerator.