The Tao of Tea Recipe: Tea Eggs!

A Teahouse Favorite

One of our most asked about teahouse recipes is our Chinese tea eggs, famous for their savory flavor and wonderful aroma, which you may have experienced if you’ve ever been to our teahouse inside of Lan Su Chinese Garden.

Tea eggs are simple to make but they do require a few special ingredients and a lot of time on the stovetop — truly a stay-at-home project. You will need a dozen eggs, star anise (we use whole), soy or tamari sauce, and lapsang souchang tea (also known as “pine smoked black”. Alternately, another black tea or puer can be used.)

1. Boil a dozen eggs in water for about 10 minutes.
2. Drain, let cool, then gently and evenly crack the shells. A helpful technique is to crack eggs against each other (see picture).
3. Submerge the eggs in water and add ¼ cup star anise, ¼ cup lapsang souchang (or alternate teas listed above), and 1/5 cup soy or tamari sauce.
4. Bring to a boil then lower the heat and simmer for several hours, adding more water when needed. The longer you cook them, the tastier they will be! 
5. You can eat the egg whole or cut it in half, adding more soy or tamari sauce and garnishing with onions, sesame seeds and more.


Creative Herbal Blends: Staff Favorites


Around The Tao of Tea, staff are frequently blending herbal concoctions of all kinds for their daily enjoyment — some are strong and pungent brews, the pot packed full of myriad ingredients, while others are a careful mixture of 2 or 3 complementary herbs. In any case, these creations always seem personal and individual, bearing the unique signature of the person making them.

For your own herbal experimentation, we recommend picking up a few staple herbs that you know you like (mint, licorice, lavender, etc.) and some others that intrigue you. Here is a window into what’s being brewed at The Tao of Tea lately in the herbal category:

Alicia’s Brew: Raspberry Leaf, Hand-Ground Fresh Cardamom, Red Rose Petals, Spearmint

Alicia says this blend was inspired by a health book she was reading that discussed the benefits of raspberry leaf, which some say is anti-inflammatory and positive for women’s health. She added some local honey for sweetness and indeed this was a tasty and nourishing infusion.

Sly’s Brew: Green Rooibos, Lemon Balm (base) and Echinacea, French VerveineLicorice, Cinnamon (accents).

Sly uses Green Rooibos and Lemon Balm as the base for a lot of his herbal infusions. “The Lemon Balm coats the tongue and is kind of calming, whereas the Green Rooibos tastes grassy and alive.” From there, he chooses other herbs to accent this blend, depending on what flavors or benefits he is looking for that day. In this blend, the cinnamon bark chips and licorice add a nice natural sweetness to the infusion.sly-blog


Matt’s Iced Brew: Hibiscus, Lemon Myrtle and Lavender.

Also known as “Heaven’s Blend” (named by Sonam in our teahouse), Hibiscus, Lemon Myrtle and Lavender combine to make a tasty iced tea. Matt created this blend as the weather started heating up this spring; it was so well-liked that we started sharing it as a special. We find that the lavender offers a cooling and sweet contrast to the bright tartness of hibiscus. The lemon myrtle adds a gentle citrus quality that ties it all together.

Suggested Reading:

The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine by Dr. David Frawley and Dr. Vasant Lad features most of the herbs we carry at The Tao of Tea and gives great insight into their uses.

More Staff Recipes:

Jennifer’s Brew: Ginkgo, French Verveine, and Licorice.

Wade’s “Ultimate Blend”: Lemon Balm, French Verveine, Vana Tulsi, Red Raspberry Leaf, Lemon Myrtle and a little Spearmint.

Melissa’s “Tea Room Favorite”: Purple Leaf Tulsi and fresh grated ginger.

We’re Hiring!

Chinese Teahouse Shift Lead

The Tao of Tea is seeking a full-time teahouse staff to work at one of Portland’s greatest attractions, the Lan Su Chinese Garden. Please read the entire job posting, including availability requirements and how to apply as incomplete applications will not be considered. This position will remain open until filled.

Reports to: Chinese Teahouse Manager

Purpose of Position: Provide a high level of customer service to visitors to the teahouse by serving on the floor, working in the kitchen, and selling retail. Monitor and improve flow of service, efficiency, and organization. Report on a daily/shift basis to Teahouse Manager.

Position Scope: This is a very hands-on, full-time position, primarily involving regular serving shifts, as well as some managerial oversight. Interacting with coworkers, visitors, Garden members, Garden staff, and Garden volunteers in a positive and educated way creates good experiences for all.

Hours: Varies with the season. Not less than 30 hours a week in the off-season and not to exceed 10 hours a day / 40 hours a week, except under special circumstances such as evening events. Must be available to work on summer-season evenings (March 15 – October 31, until 8:00 pm), on weekends, on holidays, and for after-hours events. The Garden is closed only a few days a year.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Become fully knowledgeable about the extensive menu, particularly the wide variety of teas and tea preparations.
  • Become able to represent both The Tao of Tea and the Lan Su Chinese Garden, providing visitors with accurate information about both.
  • Follow daily financial procedures, including balancing the cash drawer with cash register report and maintaining proper cash and supply levels.
  • Assist in training new employees.
  • Demonstrate skillful manner of solving customer issues.
  • Demonstrate ability to address safety and sanitation concerns.
  • Attend to and assign side-work to keep the teahouse clean and orderly at all times.
  • Ensure that the teahouse is stocked for the oncoming shift.
  • Assist the Teahouse Manager in running a delightful teahouse environment.

Experience & Expectations

  • Enthusiastic about tea.
  • Experience with POS system.
  • Food handlers permit and OLCC certification.
  • Two-years restaurant experience.
  • Able to participate in special events as needed.
  • Able to stand for extended periods of time.
  • Able to multi-task.
  • Able to carry heavy trays.
  • Able to lift up to 30lbs.
  • Able to maintain cleanliness and organization of teahouse, including kitchen and retail.

Application Procedure

Email a cover letter summarizing your qualifications and indicating your interest in this position, along with a current resume to No phone calls and drop-ins. Receipt of application materials will be acknowledged. Applications accepted until position is filled.