Few Easter rituals are more pleasurable than dyeing eggs. Remember the fun you had as a child, dunking the white orbs into pools of colored liquid, creating a veritable rainbow of hues? This season, recapture that joy—albeit with a slightly different twist.
Instead of using prepackaged dye, try tea, which will give your eggs a subtler, more natural shade. Different types of tea will impart different hues, so experiment with a variety of teas for a colorful assortment. Whether you choose to hide the finished eggs or display them as a centerpiece on your tea table, they’ll make a lovely addition to any Easter event.
Eggs of a Different Color
The chart below is a basic indication of colors various teas impart. (Note: Blending two teas will create an even larger range of shades.) The final color of the egg will depend on the strength of the solution and how long the egg is soaked, so for more brilliant color, brew a more concentrated solution, or soak the eggs for an extended period of time.
Yellow = Chamomile
Purple/Red = Hibiscus
Bright Yellow = Green Tea
Brown = Black Tea
Golden Orange/Brown = Roasted Chicory
For step-by-step egg tea-dyeing instructions, click here.
Eggs-tra Special Touches
There’s no denying the elegance of solidly colored eggs, but if you’re looking for something a bit more creative, try one of these decorative techniques on your tea-dyed eggs.
Sponging: While the egg is still wet, dab it with a sponge for a textured look.
Glossing: For a soft sheen, rub dried eggs with vegetable oil.
Wax-resist designs: Before dyeing the eggs, use a crayon or a piece of wax to draw shapes, pictures, or inspiring words on the eggs. When the eggs are dyed, the wax won’t absorb the color, allowing the designs to show through.
Speckling: To create a mottled effect, follow preparation instructions for solid-colored eggs. Place a hard-boiled egg inside a 4-inch length of stocking, secured at the end with a twist tie. Wrap 2 tea bags around the egg (or for a more intense speckled effect, remove the tea leaves from the tea bags, and spread over the egg), and close the other end of the stocking with another twist tie. Add boiling water and vinegar, and steep for a few hours or overnight. Although steeping can be done in the refrigerator, eating the speckled eggs is not recommended.