Fortunately, there are a number of solutions for preparing iced tea without heating up your surroundings. One of the easiest of these methods is simply to use the microwave to heat water for tea, a solution which does so without throwing off any residual heat. While some of the truly serious tea fanciers suggest that making tea with microwaved water affects the taste, I’ve been doing it for quite some time, with no noticeable ill effects.
If you’d like to go even more low-tech with your iced tea, you could try cold-brewing it. As the name suggests, it simply means that you use cold water to steep the tea leaves, though obviously you will need a longer steep time to coax the flavor from the leaves. For some thoughts on how to cold-brew iced tea (and coffee) check out this recent article from the noted food expert, Harold McGee.
Another option for keeping cool while brewing iced tea is simply to harness the power of the sun to help steep the leaves. For some good tips on how to do so check out this recent article at Serious Eats. While there are some potential dangers to using this method, the popular myth-busting site Snopes.com covers them in detail and comes up with a few tips to minimize the risks.
© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.