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In a trend of “life hacking”, everyone is always looking for new ways to make life easier, save money, or going green. Holidays are no exception. If you are low on Easter egg dyes or simply want to reduce your carbon footprint, look no further than your cupboard! If you have a large collection of teas and want to use up old ones or make room for new teas, then this is a perfect time to use them up!

Introducing tea-dyed Easter Eggs! As an American, I grew up dyeing hard boiled eggs and then eating them for Easter. We always used store bought color tablets and mixed them in vinegar. Sometimes you may run low on vinegar, so tea and water can also be the best solution. Here’s how to do it:

 

 

  • Eggs
  • 1 or 2 teabags of your favorite tea. Depending on the type, you would be surprised at what colors will come out!
  • 1 cup of water for each egg
  • 1 cup or deep bowl for each egg

To boil the eggs*, place them in a saucepan that should allow them to be in one single layer. Pour water up to about 1 inch above the eggs and turn on the burner, letting them cook until they start to boil. Let them stand for about 12 minutes for large eggs or 15 minutes for extra large eggs. If you want to cool them at a much quicker pace, run them under cool water or put them in a bowl of ice water.

Brew your tea as you normally would, but let it cool completely. Once the tea is cooled, pour into either a glass, a bowl, or leave it in a mug. Place the eggs in and let them sit for about 8 hours, or overnight for a good coloring. If you want to add patterns, use a crayon and draw lines or swirls!

When I made my tea-dyed eggs, I was surprised at how mine came out. I used teas like chamomile, Bingo Blueberry, and PG Tips along with a few others in my cupboard. The chamomile egg came out a light yellow while the Bingo Blueberry egg turned blue (the blueberries in the tea help). The PG Tips egg came out very vibrant, as well, with a nice hue of brown. I had used a mango strawberry tea but it also turned the egg blue, which was very surprising. But felt these were festive colors for Easter.

Try this out on any tea you have and see what colors you get! Don’t forget to include the kids! Have a Happy Easter!

 

 

*Source: http://www.incredibleegg.org/

 

-CD

 

It’s a great, wide world of tea out there and there’s always something going on that’s worthy of mention. This time around the focus is on tea farming, with a brief foray to examine a treat known as tea eggs and a look at Turkish tea.

Previously in these pages, we’ve focused on a number of tea growers who are located in places that aren’t normally connected with tea production, most notably the United States and England. Along the same lines is this Australian Daintree Tea currently being offered by World Par-Tea. It’s a black tea that’s grown in the far northern area of Australia’s Queensland region, where, as they put it, “the moist warm climate, rainfall of nearly 4000mm per annum & temperature range 25 to 35 degrees Celsius is ideal for growing” tea.

Japanese Green Tea

Japan is, of course, a place that’s well known for growing tea and primarily tea of the green variety. There are a number of tea-growing regions within the island nation that are especially noteworthy, including Shizuoka. For more on this region, check out this tea-themed travelogue from the Japan Times. For even more insight into how a Japanese tea farm is run on a day to day basis, be sure to check out the Farmer’s Blog from the Kyoto Obubu Tea Plantations.

Tea eggs are a popular delicacy in many parts of Asia. They are typically made by soaking or cooking eggs in a broth made of tea and other ingredients. Here’s a Taiwanese recipe for tea eggs that recently appeared in Salon magazine.

When you think about countries where tea is consumed in large quantities, you probably don’t think of Turkey. But you really should. According to most reliable estimates, they are the world’s top consumers of tea on a per capita basis. For some additional insight into why and how tea is consumed in a country where the average citizen downs about 2.1 kilograms a year, look here.

Make sure to stop by and check out William’s blog, Tea Guy Speaks!

Easter time is now upon us and many of us will be decorating eggs with our families. This time honored tradition is always a lot of fun, whether you like the painting of the eggs, the hiding of the eggs, or the finding of the eggs.

However, in Chinese culture, they have an egg decorating tradition of their own, in which they prepare hard-boiled eggs in a mixture of black tea, soy sauce, and spices. I was first introduced to Tea Eggs last year, when I moved to my new home and was invited over to my neighbor’s house to celebrate Chinese New Year with her and her family.

To make Tea Eggs, eggs are first hard-boiled. Then the shells are cracked (but not removed) and then put into a marinade of black tea, soy sauce, water, and Chinese Five-Spice powder, which contains ground cinnamon, star anise, fennel, cloves and Szechuan peppercorns (although some recipes just call for star anise and cinnamon). The cracking of the shells produces a marbled look to the eggs after they have been dyed in the spiced-tea mixture.

Because of the tea, soy and spices, the taste of the egg is more flavorful than the standard hard-boiled variety. I have even read that a pinch of brown sugar to the mix will give it a sweeter taste, though that’s certainly a Western-sweet tooth version of the recipe.

I asked if the Tea Eggs were specific to Chinese New Year, and my friend told me that the recipe was not holiday-specific. In fact, when traveling in mainland China, you can find Tea Eggs sold on street-carts and grocery stores. Even the 7-11s in China sell Tea Eggs as an everyday snack!

Further research into this topic instructed that only black or Pu’erh teas be used. Green teas can be too bitter or astringent. Also, Tea Eggs are traditionally eaten cold – just like our Easter eggs.

So if you’re looking for something unique and exotic for your Easter baskets and egg hunts this year, or looking for a healthy, low-cost snack food, try a Chinese Tea Egg!

Madam Potts’ blog, Mad Pots of Tea!

© 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.

A tea egg is a common snack found in China and Taiwan. It is prepared from hard boiled eggs and tea leaves, and is commonly sold by street vendors in Chinese communities around the world. Tea eggs are a beautiful way to use tea to create an edible art form. The tea leaves a deep brown marbled pattern on the hard boiled eggs, making them lovely to display as well as to eat!

Tea Egg

Tea Egg

To prepare your tea eggs, first boil the amount of eggs to be prepared until they are hard-boiled in a saucepan. Once they are completely hard-boiled, you must then take a spoon, and carefully crack the outside shell all the way around on the outside, or roll the eggs lightly on a towel. The more cracked the shell is, the more dyed your eggs will be! Once you’ve lightly cracked all the hard-boiled eggs, return them to the saucepan filled with water. This time, add to the water the following:

  • 5 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoon black tea leaves or 2 tea bags (you can also use Pu-erh)
  • 3 piece star anise
  • 1 small stick cinnamon or cassia bark
  • 1 teaspoon cracked peppercorns (optional)

Cover the eggs in that preparation and simmer on low for 3 hours, adding more water if necessary. Drain and serve the eggs either hot or cold. After the peel comes off of the egg, you will see a beautiful marbled spiderweb of light and dark browns formed by the tea mixture the eggs were boiled in. You can also change the flavor by adding or substituting other spices, or Chinese five-spice mixture, which adds a savory, slightly salty tone to the egg.

It should be noted that green tea should not be used to make tea eggs as it will produce a more bitter egg. Black tea and Pu-erh teas are optimal, and you can even substitute chai spices for Chai Tea Eggs.

[Editor’s note: Our blog is chock full of great articles on this topic. Use our search feature to find them!]

© 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.

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© Online Stores, LLC, and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, LLC., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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