Bring the water to a boil in a stove-top or electric kettle.
If using a teapot, heat the vessel by pouring about 4 ounces of the hot water inside and carefully sloshing it around. Discard the water (If using a French press, don't bother with this step).
Using a teaspoon, measure the loose tea leaves into the warmed teapot. Pour the heated water over the tea leaves. Let steep. For green tea, steep 2 to 3 minutes at 180°F; for oolong, 4 to 7 minutes at 200°F; and for black, Irish, or English, 3 to 5 minutes at 212°F.
Strain the tea into individual cups and serve. If using a French press, plunge, then pump up and down a couple of times before pouring, just to make sure the more concentrated brew at the bottom is thoroughly mixed in.