Tea has been around for thousands of years. Legends of its discovery range from a tea leaf blowing into Chinese Emperor Shen Nung's boiling water to divine creation by the Buddha.
Traditionally, tea is brewed from whole leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant. (All teas are made using this plant; the method in which they are prepared differentiates types of tea. Herbal teas, or tisanes, do not contain Camellia Senensis and are not technically classified as tea.) However, since the advent of the tea bag in the early 20th century, many have preferred to brew their tea using this much inferior method. One still needs to use loose leaves for a truly decent cup of tea.
The following instructions are based on George Orwell's method for preparing tea as described in "A Nice Cup of Tea."
Note: I realize that it might not make much sense to create these instructions since George Orwell already wrote them out perfectly well 66 years ago, but I believe that Orwell's essay lacks much explanation and a small amount of basic detail, as it was written for mid-20th century UK, a society that understood tea significantly better than is common across the globe today.