6-12 eggs (I put 9 eggs but remaining sauce was sufficient to further use)
4 cups water
6 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons pu-erh tea
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1 teaspoon sugar
If you prefer spicier taste:
1/2 teaspoon Sichuan pepper
50g old ginger
50g spring onion
If you prefer darker colour:
2 tablespoons of dark soy sauce
Add 4 cups of water to a medium pot and gently drop in the eggs. Make sure the water covers the eggs. Bring the water to boil on high heat. Boil for about 10 minutes or so to make sure the eggs are cooked.
Transfer the hard-boiled eggs out of the hot boiling water and rinse them with cold water. Using the back of a teaspoon, gently tap the eggshell to crack the shell. Return the eggs to the water and add in the remaining ingredients. Bring the tea mixture to a boil and immediately turn the heat to low. Simmer for 2 hours (the longer the simmering, the better the taste). Add more water if needed. Serve immediately or leave the tea eggs in the mixture overnight to further develop the color and flavor.
* I used my tanyu pot to brew the eggs. You may wish to use a slow cooker.
* If the eggs are cracked only a bit, the inside will be of marbled effect. Crack more to get a darker and more stained colour on the eggs.
* Largely adapted from http://rasamalaysia.com/chinese-tea-eggs-tea-leaf-eggs-recipe/