Boil water.Boil water on the stovetop or use an electric kettle with a temperature setting, setting the water temperature to 208°F. Boil a little more water than needed so that it can be used to warm up the teapot. Filtered water is best since the better the water tastes, the better your tea will taste.
Warm up teapot.Pour some hot water into a teapot and swirl the water around to warm up the teapot. Discard the water. Now, your teapot is nice and warm to steep tea in.
Combine tea and hot water in a teapot. Cover and steep for 5 minutes.Make sure the tea is covered in water, and not just sitting on top, to get a full steep.
Strain tea leaves and pour hot tea into a teacup.
Stir in brown sugar and add in half & half.Add the sugar right after you pour in your tea so that it can dissolve quickly in the hot tea. The half & half will swirl around in the dark tea. I'm using a generous amount of half & half (¼ cup) but feel free to add as little or as much as you like. Stir before drinking.
Brew a strong cup of tea Since half & half and sugar are being added, you want to make sure the tea is strong and brewed properly with boiling water and steeped for the right amount of time. Weak tea isn't great for milk tea.
Adjust sweetness Everyone has a different level of sweet they like in their tea. Start with a teaspoon of sugar first and add more if needed.
Warm your teapot It's a good idea to warm up your teapot with hot water before brewing any kind of tea to keep the water hot during the steeping process. This is an extra step all tea professionals take.
Use black tea Even though any tea can be used to make milk tea, bold, robust black tea works best if you're using half & half and brown sugar.