What is a Chinese Tea egg?- You Should To Eat

The Chinese tea egg is a sweet snack that comprises a boiled egg that’s slightly cracked and boiled again in tea with sauce and spices. The egg has hints of cinnamon, bay leaves, and black tea and it’s a great source of proteins.

What is a Tea Egg?

A tea egg is a normal boiled egg with a twist. When it is hard-boiled, it is then cracked slightly all around. Tea is then mixed with spices, and the cracked egg is boiled in the mix. Some of the spices you will encounter are bay, cinnamon, and other warm spices. It is also called the marble egg due to the black marble-like color along its cracks.

What is the history of tea eggs?

The tea egg is originally from China and is associated with Chinese traditional cuisine. However, there have been variations of the snack all over Asia. The snack was originally from Zhejiang province and was made as a food preservation method. The snack found its way to other provinces with time. There is no information on exactly when the tea egg was invented, but there are two accounts that go around.

 In the first story, the first story is about relics found along with perfectly intact eggs that were said to be over 500 years old. The archeologists excavated these ancient relics and eggs that were believed to have been buried alongside soul urns. The Han Dynasty have a history of calcified eggs, and boiling as a method of preservation was inspired by this dynasty. The second story revolves around the Yangtze River in the summertime.

The Qing dynasty experimented with herbs and tea flavors. Eggs were common snacks in this period, and the eggs would be boiled in the same pot as tea. Those who couldn’t afford premium tea extracted as much tea as they could by steeping eggs in tea-infused stock. The first record of tea eggs is seen around 1792 by a Qing dynasty scholar in his book titled The Way of Eating.

Who invented tea eggs?

The tea eggs were invented by the Chinese people in the Zhejiang province. The exact time and place of the invention are not known. It was initially a method of food preservation, but it became a favorite cuisine. The people of Taiwan also have this snack in their meals.  The Chinese in the Qing dynasty boiled eggs in teapots to infuse the flavor into the egg. The egg was first boiled and then boiled a second time in tea. The process took hours or the whole day to achieve the flavor. The longer the eggs steeped in the tea, the more intense the flavor.

What tea to use for tea eggs?

The eggs are boiled in black tea and spices. The Chinese are known for their love for black tea, and this is what is used for tea eggs. The Chinese Keemun black tea is a favorite among many and traces its origin back to the 19th century. Some people use Earl Grey black tea leaves and still get great results. Black tea gives the eggs the marble color along the cracks. Any black tea is usable for these eggs, but some people use red tea as well. It all depends on the individual’s preference.

What do Chinese tea eggs taste like?

These snacks have a spicy taste, and you can taste them in the yolk and egg white. The savory taste is brought by the acidity of black tea and spices and infuses well with the egg flavors. You will also pick up the taste of the sauce and earthy spices as you go. You will get a combination of earthy tea notes and warm licorice and cinnamon flavors. These snacks are super delicious, and that’s why they are a favorite among many Asian cultures. The flavor is reliant on the amount of tea used and how long it takes in the tea sauce.

What to eat with Chinese tea eggs?

These eggs can be eaten on their own or as a side dish with rice and vegetables. They are great sources of proteins and can be eaten along with any carbohydrate foods and vegetables. There is no right or wrong way to eat these eggs. You can have the eggs cold or hot, depending on your taste. Asian cultures serve these eggs with noodles for a nice whole meal. You can season them with salt or have them as they are. Some prefer them for breakfast while others have them as light dinner.

Is tea eggs healthy?

Yes, these eggs are a great source of proteins. They can be great assets for weight loss for diets such as keto which require moderate proteins. Each egg will give you only 70 calories which is great. Anything below 100 calories is considered healthy. If you are looking to lose some weight, this snack will go a long way. You should limit the number of eggs that you consume per day to remain on the healthy threshold. You will enjoy an energy boost from the eggs and caffeine from black tea.

How long do tea eggs last in the fridge?

You can keep them for three to four days in the refrigerator after cooking. After that, they might not be edible and should be thrown out. If you are steeping your eggs in tea, you can do so in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Keep them in the liquid until they are ready. After this, you can take them out and refrigerate them for three to four days.

How to make tea eggs

You will need two large eggs, black tea, and spices. These spices are mostly cinnamon, licorice/ anise, soy sauce, and Chinese five-spice powder. The eggs are hard-boiled first and then cracked. They are then soaked in a tea marinade with the above ingredients and boiled again.  The second boiling takes several hours to boil. This is to ensure that the eggs are steeped longer to absorb the flavors.


The tea eggs are great as snacks and side dishes. They are tasty and healthy for all. Most of these delicacies are cooked on the streets. This long Chinese tradition still prevails in Chinese cuisine.

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