How wonderful a topic.
Infinitely easier than string theory to understand, but likely as evasive in it’s proving?
The perfect cup of team requites a tea pot and definitely no tea bags. Tea bags are perfectly acceptable when in a hurry.
I think more than 50% of the enjoyment of the cup of tea comes from the making, the view from the tea table, and the company. A quality ceramic tea pot, well worn and battered is perfect. Or a clear glass pot if you prefer less character. Both add their own sense of occasion. The table dressing, cups but not mugs, and plates on the side all add to the moment. Unless there is only one, in which instance any rules apply.
Other than preheating the pot and brewing for enough time (no rush) at a temperature suited to your tea, is it worth judging one tea over any other.
At it’s best any strong earthy, robust black tea with full cream milk added to taste is great. Thinly sliced cheese and crackers on the side.
Sometimes a selectively hand picked Darjeeling first flush hits the spot, with a hint of fresh cut meadows, and delicate tannins. (Well, If it’s good enough for others to go on about all the flavours and attributes in a coffee or a cask of cheap wine, it must be ok to do so for a cuppa!). No milk, with a dash of honey if you prefer.
Green tea and matcha also count, circumstances and menu dependant.