Tea eggs 茶叶蛋/茶葉蛋 are a Chinese street food. You can either buy it off the street or have it as a snack while sipping tea in a teahouse. The best tea leaves to make tea eggs are red tea. This is to give a great colour and flavour to the eggs, as other tea such as green tea would give an unpleasant bitterness.
There are a few things to bear in mind when making tea eggs:
- One, the water must cover the eggs completely, so that the flavour and the colour go into the eggs.
- Two, in order for the tea flavour to sip into the eggs, you should have cooked your eggs before hand. Once cooled down, gently crack the surface of each egg completely but not tearing it, so that when you cook the eggs in the tea broth, the cracked surface allows the flavour to get deep inside the eggs.
There are many recipes to making tea eggs. Tea leaves are no longer the only flavouring used. Salt, spices such as star anise and peppercorn, as well as soy sauce are commonly added.
I tried researching the history of tea eggs, but it has been made for so long and is so common throughout China, that its origins are no longer traceable.