I love tea eggs. I don't have them often, but every time I have the chance, I try and get my hands on them. Once, when the Chinese Cultural Center had an open house here in Berlin, we visited them, and I was glad to find out that they were selling Chinese street food during the event. We sampled, among other things, tea eggs. And when I was in Malaysia late last year, I went to a Chinese temple, and sure enough, I found tea eggs in the food court downstairs. So when my sister found a recipe online, she shared it to me, and I opted to experiment in my kitchen one day.
The recipe she found is here. It calls for 6 eggs, which you cook for 3 minutes in boiling water first. After that, you take them out, saving the water you cooked with, and crack the shells, without actually peeling them. Then you return them to the warm water, and add soy sauce, black tea, cinnamon, star anise, sugar, and peppers. Then you bring it to a boil, and once it boils, you immediately lower the heat and simmer it for 40 minutes. Then after that, you steep it for at least five hours. We steeped it overnight, and had it for breakfast the next day.
It was definitely tea eggs! My hands smelled the same way I remember them smelling after buying eggs in the past. I should say my experiment was a success.