Bring water to a boil in a saucepan, add the tea leaves and remove pan from the heat. Gently stir the tea leaves to submerge them in the water. Let the tea steep for 5 minutes, or until it turns a brilliant orange and has a strong taste with no bitterness. Pour the tea through a coffee filter or fine mesh strainer into a pitcher. Add the sugar to the hot tea and stir well to dissolve completely. Set aside to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, or for up to 1 week.
To serve, fill tall glasses with crushed ice, add tea to fill about 3/4 of each glass, then pour about 1/4 cup of evaporated milk or half-and-half over the ice in each glass. Serve immediately.
c.1998, M.S. Milliken & S. Feniger, all rights reserved