Fill a kettle with cold, filtered water. (Using either a detachable tap filter or a pitcher filter will help rid the water of excess chemicals like chlorine and, in turn, improve its taste. The cleaner the water, the tastier the tea! When it reaches the boiling point, pour some into the teapot, swirl around slightly, and tip away the water. Doing so will leave the teapot clean and warmed up, so to speak.
Heat the water to a desired temperature, which typically varies by tea style. Green tea: 175°-180°F; black tea: 212°F; white tea: 180°-185°F; oolong: 195°; pu erh: 195°F; herbal: 212°F; fruit infused: 212°F; rooibos: 208°-212°F.
Measure the tea carefully with a spoon. Although one heaping spoonful per cup is a standard amount for most loose-leaf teas, some (usually more subtle varieties like white or green tea) may call for a scoop and-a-half. If you prefer, use a tea ball or filter to prevent the leaves from spreading throughout the teapot and ending up in the cup.