I pretty much just bring the water with the tea bags to a boil then remove from heat, cover & let steep for a few minutes. And yes the water needs to be hot for the sugar to dissolve but not boiling hot as that can 'burn' the sugar & leave a bad taste. I used to use 2 cups of sugar for a gallon as that is how my family liked it but my dd's and I now only use a tiny bit of sugar to taste. I never ever made a good batch of tea using Lipton. I much prefer Luzianne or Tetley. Oh, and remember it is always sweeter the next day!!