After I posted these photos of tea eggs I made a couple of weeks ago, a bunch of people asked what they were and how they’re made. Tea eggs are a traditional Chinese snack, and are super-easy to make in bulk, thus providing extended snacking potential. I’ll list two recipes here – the traditional Chinese method and my own take.



  • 6 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon black tea leaves or 1 tea bag
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 pieces star anise
  • 1 teaspoon cracked peppercorns (optional)
  • 2 strips dried mandarin peel (optional)


  1. Place eggs in saucepan of cold water – water level should be a few inches higher than the eggs.
  2. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 2 minutes.
  3. Remove the eggs.
  4. With a teaspoon, gently tap each egg in a few places to crack the shells.
  5. Add the tea and seasonings to the saucepan water and stir, then put the eggs back in.
  6. Cover and simmer for at least 2 hours – the longer the better – adding water as necessary.
  7. Drain, serve cold.

I like to cook these practically all day, adding water as it evaporates.



  • 6 eggs
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tea bag of vanilla tea or chai
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 pieces star anise
  • 1 teaspoon cracked peppercorns
  • 3 cloves

The method remains the same as above. This is a sweet version of the savory traditional tea egg. The small eggs in these photos are quail eggs, which are incredibly good as tea eggs, because you can eat them whole [peeled, of course]. Mmmf!