As children, my sister and I always decorated Easter eggs, and this was a tradition that I continued with my boys and then the grandsons. We would have so much fun experimenting with different designs and ways to color the eggs.
This year I got the brilliant idea of seeing what happened if the eggs were dyed in different types of tea.
Using tea is all natural and your hard-boiled eggs will still be edible. (If there is a shortage of eggs in your area, “blow” the eggs instead* ) Dying eggs this way is simple, but the eggs need to be submerged in the tea dye for at least 24 hours. The dye isn’t as strong as food coloring, so it takes longer to get a good stain.
It’s interesting to see how each tea dye will turn out. Use whatever teas you have in the cupboard. This could be a good way to get rid of old teas that have been sitting around for a long time.
These are the teas that I tried. Looking at the photo from left to right - Top Row: Verry Berry, Rooibos, Turmeric Ginger. Front Row: Ti Kuan Yin, Ceylon Kenilworth and Purple Reign.
- 6 hardboiled eggs
- 4 heaped teaspoons (or 4 tea bags) of 6 different teas
- 6 containers. (I used wide-mouth canning jars)
- 6 tablespoons white vinegar
- Boiling water
- Paper Towels
- In separate containers, steep tea filters or tea bags in 8 oz. of boiling water for 30 minutes to make a strong concentrate. Label each container with the name of the tea used so you remember which tea was what when the dyed eggs are ready. Remove the tea bags or filters and let the liquid cool for a few minutes.
- Mix in 1 tablespoon of white vinegar in each container.
- Using a spoon, lower an egg into each container. Set aside for at least 24 hours.
- Remove eggs from the tea dye and gently pat dry with paper towel. Don’t wipe as this might remove some of the dye off the eggs.
* How to “Blow” an Egg
- Sit the egg in the egg carton to steady it. Holding the egg still, carefully tap and push a hole in the top center of the egg with a safety pin. Once you have made the hole, carefully push one end of the pin in as far as it will go to widen it.
- Take a toothpick and insert it into the hole; stir it around to help break up the yolk and make it easier to remove the insides at step 4.
- Flip the egg over and make a second hole on the opposite side with your pin. Try to make the hole on the bottom a little bigger but be careful not to crack the shell. Break up the yolk again with your toothpick.
- Hold the egg over a measuring cup with the bigger hole facing down. Use a straw to flush out the contents of the egg by placing the tip of the straw over the hole and blowing hard. First the egg white will come out, followed by the yolk - it can take a minute to get going, so be patient. You will know that it's all out when it becomes lighter and you are just blowing out bubbles of egg white, followed by air.
- Clean the shell by holding it carefully under running hot water from the kitchen tap. Wipe carefully with kitchen paper and leave to dry. Now you’re ready to decorate