The story of Tea Eggs. Once upon a time, there was a Xiùcai (Scholar) in Jīnhuá district of Zhejiang (eastern coastal province of the People’s Republic of China). He loved tea very much. His love for tea was so much so that without it he did not have the inspiration to write good articles.
While he prepared for the Imperial examination (a civil service examination system in Imperial China to select candidates for the state bureaucracy.) his wife would prepare him the local tea to keep him refreshed and to help him with his preparation. Drinking tea would quench his thirst but would still keep him hungry.
Which is when his wife thought of a unique way to include tea as a part of his meal. She infused tea leaves with boiled eggs. This way her husband could enjoy his tea and appease his appetite.
One day she accidentally broke an egg. Her mother advised against serving the broken egg to her husband. She served the broken eggs to her son instead who was very happy and preferred his tea leaf eggs cracked from then on. The cracked eggs soaked in the brew really well and was much more flavorful than the full egg.The story ends on a happy note with the Xiùcai gaining a good score for his examination.
The tea eggs turned out looking so artsy. Each egg had a unique pattern and color depending on the manner in which the eggs were cracked.