This section is from the book "Philadelphia Cook Book: A Manual Of Home Economies", by Sarah Tyson Heston Rorer. Also available from Amazon: Philadelphia Cook Book.
Tea is the dried leaves of the tea-plant, a hardy shrub growing chiefly in China. The leaves are picked in May and June of each year, a plant yielding good leaves from four to five seasons. The good, bad, and indifferent teas are all taken from the same shrub, the difference in quality depending upon the soil and the time of gathering. The young leaf-buds that are picked first form our finest tea, known as Gunpowder; the second picking is second best, and so on. The Hysons are also good varieties of green teas. The Pekoe is among the best of the black teas.
Tea, like coffee, should not be boiled, but made from fresh boiling water, allowing one teaspoonful to each person, and one to the pot. First scald the pot, and allow it to stand on the back part of the stove about ten minutes; then turn out the water, put the tea into the hot pot, and pour over it one-half the boiling water (that is, if you are going to make one quart of tea, pour over it, at this stage, one pint), cover the pot, and stand on the back part of the stove five minutes to draw; then add the remainder of the boiling water, and serve at once.
Never use a metal teapot.
Russian tea is made by putting a slice of lemon in the bottom of each cup, and pouring over it the boiling tea.