Place tea bags in a heatproof pitcher or glass measuring cup. Pour in boiling water. Let steep 5 minutes; remove tea bags. Let cool about 2 hours to room temperature; do not refrigerate until the tea has cooled or it will turn cloudy. Pour over ice.
For sweet tea:
Stir in sugar to taste while tea is still hot.
For minty tea:
Add mint leaves to the hot tea mixture; bruise them slightly against the side of the pitcher with the back of a spoon. Strain after cooling.