Theoretically I could enjoy TRANSCENDENTAL TEA in any setting, with almost any equipment, assuming filtered water and a reliable heat source are available. With this in mind, a rough scale of scenarios of possible tea enjoyment, in order of preference:
1) An exquisite, heavenly palace of sound and light, of an etheric paradise, gloriously ablaze in gold and violet flames in every hall. In the magnificent company of Batman, the X-Men, Ghandi, Ascended Masters, King Kong, David Ross, Olympian Gods, non-PMSing Goddesses, angelic beings clothed in light, the life force of stars, a chupacabra, and civil demons. Seated at mile-long, conscious, bio-interactive tables that sing and play games with you. Teas are the rarest, most highly aromatic treasures in the Universe. Served in divine tea ware of ecstatic liquid light, graced with esoteric symbols--wrought in pure gold forms precisely 12 atoms thick--exalting Life and Oneness. THIS is a tea party.
2) With the Mad Hatter. The Johnny Depp incarnation. I would bring poltergeists. Cupcakes from Safeway if I'm in a hurry. Never invite yourself over empty-handed. Miss Manners said so in the newspaper many years ago!
3) Underneath an ancient tree with three bears, by a magic cottage with a unicorn in the barn. Rustic furniture crafted by a maiden, a mother, and a crone, embedded with everlasting flowers and pressed fairies. Tea is steeped in vessels fashioned from rare earth ores harvested by Djinn, cured by the breath of seven dragons, and polished by Golem with diamond sandpaper. Here, refined sugar is beautifying, gluten is anti-aging, and dairy cures every ailment known and unknown to man. Caution: Decline playing hide and seek with the prince. He turns you into a frog. Just sayin.
4) Reality: What exists now. A quiet studio apartment hidden in a funny neighborhood downhill from a more affluent one, lined with hardwood floors, neat shelves full of books and a collection of cute ceramic gongfu tea ware. Vertically arranged colorful textiles and peacock feathers, gentle gauzy curls of incense in the air, board games, tadpole jokes, bathroom jokes, alien jokes, un-PC jokes, never-ending matcha madeleines. Shared with my resident Gentleman and occasional loved ones. This is all rather good.
5) Urban tea lounge with loose-leaf offerings, maybe gluten-free-dairy-free options.
6) Questionable stuff a paper cup decorated with advertisements, from a local cafe populated by homework-doers, anonymous characters pretending to work on iPads, and tourists.
7) A concrete alleyway. Overbrewed in a tacky San Francisco souvenir mug with Golden Gate Bridge screen print, on top of a dumpster lid. Malicious pigeon on a ledge above, positioning to aim with his tail end.
Desolate warehouse infested with rats and zombies. A two-and-a-half-legged card table propped up by telephone books, with a cracked pleather top, decorated with dried motor oil mixed with radioactive waste, and a 6.5"x9" part of a corner munched by a zombie. Decomposing zombie (yeah, that's what you get for wrecking my table) under a tarp makes a nicer bench than scrap metal. The beans are starting to burn in the aluminum can sitting over the fire. I am expecting a guest in one hour. Unsure if he is human. No problem. This flame thrower doesn't just boil water. Oooo, butterfly! Wait--it's one of those viscious mutant moths trying to get into my tea leaves. Good, because flame blasted chicken-moth goes great with burned beans and oolong.