Chinese Tea Eggs

 I first ran into tea eggs about a year ago, at my local bubble tea place (bubble tea-my designated guilty pleasure. I've had every single flavor from the forty at my place.) They're these super cool hard boiled eggs that are then lightly cracked and steeped overnight in an odd tea/soy sauce mixture.
 What comes out is this marbled, kaleidoscopic creation that is utterly delicious. Who knew that black tea mixed with copious amounts of star anise and soy sauce could create the perfect flavor on hard boiled eggs?

 They're really not hard to make at home, and super rewarding, especially for a party of some sort, because you can make huge batches very easily. It's just a lot of waiting. The longer you let the eggs steep in the tea solution, the darker their lines get and the more flavorful they become. It's worth it, and there's no heat involved. Just start them right before you go to sleep, and drain them in the morning.
Of course, you don't have to let it stay that long. Anything over four hours is enough. Then, I suggest you flag down a person uninitiated in the matter of tea eggs, and ask them to peel one open. The look of wonder (and hunger) should be more than enough motivation to boil up a pot.

Chinese Tea Eggs
makes six eggs
adapted from Steamy Kitchen

6 eggs
3/4 cup soy sauce
2 star anise
2 tea bags of black tea (or 2 tbsps)
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon sugar

Boil the eggs: place them in a medium pot and fill with water to cover the eggs by 1-inch. Bring the pot to a boil, lower the heat and let simmer for 3 minutes.
Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and run under cool water. Leave the boiled water in the pot.
Using the back of a teaspoon, gently tap the eggshell to crack the shell all over. The more you tap, the more intricate the design. 
Add in the remaining ingredients to the same pot with the boiled water, and then return the eggs to it. Bring the mixture to a boil and immediately turn the heat to low. Simmer for 40 minutes.
Remove from heat and cover with lid and let eggs steep for a few hours to overnight. 
Should last about a week in their shells.

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