I drink tea all year long. I drink a lot of tea when it’s cold out, I drink tea in the summer, though not as much, and I drink it by the gallon when I’m sick. Tea revives me when I'm tired and comforts me when I'm sad. I bring a thermos of tea on long trips and to work.
Some tea-lovers have fussy rules for making tea. I don't. I don’t filter my water; I buy reasonably priced tea; all in all, I don’t know much about different sorts of tea and I don’t really care.
That said, there are a couple of basic guidelines to making tea. No teabags is one. See this and this on why tea bags are inferior. I’ll use tea bags if nothing else is available and I’m desperate, but I usually avoid them. I buy loose leaf tea at Indian, Chinese or Russian grocery stores. For everyday tea-drinking, I use a 50-50 blend of loose leaf black tea and green tea.
This is how I brew my tea: I bring a kettle to a boil. I swirl some boiling water around in a tea pot. Then I add the tea leaves—I use about one teaspoon per two cups of water. I pour the water over the tea leaves and leave them to steep for 5-6 minutes. I usually drink tea straight up, but sometimes I'll add a slice of lemon or a little honey (never sugar). Very rarely, I’ll have tea with milk. Jam that's not very thick makes a good sweetener, too. (Sometimes I like to defrost a bag of frozen raspberries, mix in 1/2 cup to 1 cup sugar, and add the berry liquid to tea. The rest of the berries I eat with yogurt.)
I’ve never had good tea in a restaurant or a coffeehouse, so I don’t order it anymore. Run-of- the-mill restaurants give you a lukewarm cup of water with a tea bag; “nice” restaurants give you a pot of hot water and a selection of tea bags; coffeehouses, from Starbucks to the locally-owned neighborhood place, give you a paper cup of hot water and a choice of herbal tea bags. Why bother?
I drink water with meals, but for dessert I need tea, or coffee, at least, if I can’t get decent tea. That's one of the few things I’m picky about. There’s just more pleasure in eating something sweet when you're cutting it with a hot beverage that verges on bitter. (The French practice of drinking coffee after dessert is mystifying to me. As for soda with dessert--no.) Besides dessert, other foods that demand a good cup of tea are toast/bread/bagels slathered with anything sweet or salty, any kind of pancake, sandwiches and breakfast eggs.