In the height of summer, a cup of tea is often a more refreshing choice than coffee. Make sure your tea tastes optimal by pre-warming the cup, using leaves rather than bags, adding the milk second and following the most old-fashioned of rules: take the teapot to the kettle, not the other way around.
Picture by Scott Akerman
At Slate, Christopher Hitchens goes on an extended riff about how to make an ideal cup of tea. While tea from cafes isn't quite as bad in Australia as in the US situation he describes, the scenario of being given a pot of semi-warm water and your own teabag is all too common. The most noteworthy of Hitchens' points is the importance of boiling water, on which he quotes author George Orwell:
[O] ne should take the teapot to the kettle, and not the other way about. The water should be actually boiling at the moment of impact, which means that one should keep it on the flame while one pours.
With an electric jug, that simply means pulling it off the stand pouring the second the boiling starts and pouring away. Hit the link for the full process of fine tea, and share your own tea-making tricks in the comments.