I love decorating and preparing goodies for Easter, but until very recently it seemed this just wasn’t one of the holidays that’s recognized (at least not commercially) here in Japan. Disneyland uses an Easter egg theme for it’s spring decor and some of the international chocolate companies – ranging from Lindt to KitKat – have had bunny-themed offerings, however it’s only in the past year or two that I’ve started to notice little garlands and plastic eggs in places like the 100yen shops.
From chatting with Japanese friends and family, I find many don’t know why Easter is celebrated in other cultures and what bunnies or eggs have to do with it. It’s a lot to explain. I like to keep it simple and for me, the themes of renewal and fresh starts at this time of year feel pretty universal. So let’s throw open our windows for a bit of fresh air and bring some color into our homes to celebrate spring!
Dying eggs for Easter is a fun tradition that I’ve enjoyed sharing with our kids and I typically use a kit that my mom sends from the US to create bright, vibrant eggs. Our son loves the cheerful colors too and asks to dye eggs on and off throughout the year. Food dye and vinegar are a year-round option, but I’ve also seen a lot of ideas for how to color eggs using natural dyes and wanted to give it a try.
For our first attempt, we raided the cabinets and decided to use what we already had to dye some hard-boiled eggs with tea.
Tea Type & Color | ティーの種類と色
We had three different varieties of tea to test: a rooibos/earl grey blend, an herbal chamomile blend and a hibiscus/berry blend.
Preparation & Method | 準備
Start by boiling your eggs. My favorite method is to cover the eggs in cold water, bring it to a rolling boil for a minute or so, then cover the pot and remove from the heat. The amount of time you let the eggs sit will determine their done-ness, so I usually go 10-15 minutes for eggs that we plan to use in salads, then quickly rinse with cold water and ice to stop the cooking.
At the same time, you can brew your tea. We didn’t have multiple tea bags in each flavor so we only used one, but two might result in a stronger color. The ratio we used was about 2 cups hot water to 1 tbsp white vinegar.
Once the tea had cooled a bit (we didn’t want to continue the cooking process) we plopped in the eggs.
When the tea was cooled all the way to room temperature, we moved it into the fridge to let the eggs sit overnight.
Results | 結果（普通の卵との比較）
Our little guy was so excited to check the eggs in the morning! Here’s what we found:
The rooibos blend turned the egg a warm, orange-brown.
The herbal chamomile blend turned the egg a soft greenish-yellow.
And the hibiscus/berry blend, which made a bright pink tea, dyed the eggs a stormy grey-blue color.
The result is a palate of soft, natural colors which look very similar to the eggs that different types of chickens actually lay!
We handled the eggs a little too much while they were wet, so I’d recommend letting them sit to dry if you want to keep an even color. And although we didn’t try it this time, I wonder how it would look to drop one of the chamomile eggs into the hibiscus tea for a while?
Do you dye eggs for Easter? What’s your preferred method? Please let us know if you give tea dying a try!