Numi Organic Tea
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Recent Tasting Notes
(backlog from 5/29/14)
The liquor of this Numi filterbag-produced rooibos is reddish-brown. Comparing it side-by-side to the Numi Honeybush, I believe that I prefer the rooibos. It’s a close call, though, as I don’t love either.
(Blazing New Rating #11)
Not bad. Not bad. It was in a tea bag so it may have failed to impart a really full flavor. I tasted chocolate. I tasted tea. I am not sure I tasted the “pu erh” part. It was okay with a little sugar and cream, but not amazing. I wouldn’t seek it out.
I reached for this Numi Decaf Simply Green tonight because I was suffering from a severe green tea deficit, but it was way too late for caffeine. It was fine. Not Numi’s best offering, but good enough, under the circumstances. This batch seemed more like Chun Mee than Gunpowder, but perhaps it is a blend of n’importe quoi?
On the decaf question, it occurred to me that perhaps I should start setting the first infusion aside to put in the refrigerator for iced tea, and then I could drink the second and third infusions at night. I definitely will not going out of my way to obtain any more decaffeinated green, because I can make my own using this method.
In an endeavor to ascertain whether I was simply having a “bad Earl Grey day,” I decided to brew up a glass of Numi Decaf Earl Grey right after the Kusmi. This was not exactly a steep-off, since I brewed and drank the teas separately (in succession), rather than side-by-side, which is a requirement for a true steep-off chez sherapop.
Nonetheless, I did keep the controllable parameters as similar as possible, using 4 grams, the same glass, and boiling water, and steeping for about five minutes. The result was clear: Numi is the winner. The black tea base is much better, in my opinion, and the bergamot aging process used by Numi is obviously superior to the “spray on” application method (I assume) favored by Kusmi. My understanding is that the Numi caffeinated Earl Grey uses an Assam base. It is unclear whether this same base is used (after being CO2 decaffeinated) in the Decaffeinated Earl Grey, but I suspect that it is, as the flavor is rich and deep like a good Assam. The dark amber liquor becomes an enticing caramel color with the addition of light cream and tastes very good.
Despite being brewed from filter bags (I used two so that the total amount of tea would be the same, 4 grams), the Numi proved to be significantly better than the brewed loose-leaf Kusmi Decaffeinated Earl Grey. In fact, this Numi decaf tastes better than many caffeinated Earl Greys and easily beats the grocery store competition!
For some reason, I really felt like Earl Grey tonight, but it was way too late for regular, so I brewed some of this Numi Decaf. It’s very good—not only for a decaf black, but also for an Earl Grey tout court. Apparently they age the black tea with bergamot—not sure how that works, but the results speak for themselves. I drank my batch with light cream, and it was very satisfying.
Quick, easy, tasty black—decaf. Surprisingly good for a grocery store filter bag.
Does it count as a tasting note if I cooked with this?
I made tea eggs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea_egg) with three sachets of the tea to one large pot of water and half a dozen eggs. The kitchen smelled amazing while I was simmering them. I taste-tested one after simmering, and the mint flavor was distractingly strong, but after keeping the eggs in the broth overnight, the mint was gone and the overall flavor was good. The finished product is fairly similar to traditional tea eggs, and the marbled eggs look quite beautiful.
As I make my way through a few more filter bags, I’m still mulling over whether to acquire some looseleaf Numi Chamomile Lemon. That might sound like a ridiculous debate topic but in truth it’s not a completely trivial matter, as Numi offers loose leaf only in 1 lb bags so one must be pretty willing to commit to lots of pots ahead.
I like the chamomile-lemon myrtle combination. Would I like it better than looseleaf chamomile alone? That is the question…
Sometimes I really just feel like drinking flowers, and this gorgeous looseleaf white rose from Numi satisfies the craving quite well. There are tons of rose petals mixed in with the white tea, so of course this tastes like an infusion of roses, since white tea is basically the tofu of tea, absorbing the flavors of whatever else happens to be around.
The dried tea is incredibly beautiful. I may have to leave a clamp jar of this out on display to be gazed upon. Basically, it’s a dried flower arrangement which doubles as a tasty rose tea!
Numi Golden Chai truly is golden, which surprised me a bit since the base tea is Assam. I’d have guessed Ceylon, but probably there is just a high spice-to-tea ratio in this blend.
Since I was experimenting with almond-coconut milk today, I tried it for this glass and found the resultant adulterated liquor too weak—unsurprisingly. I’ll try again with light cream, or perhaps I’ll steep some bags directly in the almond-coconut milk next time.
I noticed that this chai lacks cloves, which can sometimes be problematic for me, so this blend holds potential. It might be better in the loose leaf form or else amped up with some extra Assam. I find CTC Assam very helpful in rescuing what I refer to as “spice cabinet chai”…
Once again I was struck tonight by the complexity of Numi Moroccan Mint. I feel that there must be something else besides mint here. Or maybe they use the stems, and they impart a green tea texture somehow? Anyway, I do like this filter bag mint tea, and I call it a “tea” purposely, because it drinks more like a tea than an herbal infusion.
I would not ordinarily purchase a decaffeinated green tea, since all green teas are multiply infusable, so it’s a simple matter to create a decaffeinated green from the first infusion of a standard green.
However, I received some filter bags of Numi Decaf Simply Green in my sampler selection boxes, so this seemed like a good choice for after dinner as I had missed my mid-day green tea feeding, having overslept this morning.
The flavor and appearance are very similar to the Numi Gunpowder Green, so I am assuming that this is that, except that Decaf Simply Green is a CO2 decaffeinated version. I’ll do a side-by-side comparison one of these days to confirm.
Today’s brew was not that good, but it’s most likely my fault because I used overly hot water. I’ll try again using cooler water. Until then, I’ll withhold evaluation…
This simple chamomile blend from Numi offers a slight variation on the usual themes. There are many chamomile soliflore tisanes, the quality of which obviously depends solely on the integrity of the chamomile used. Nothing is being blended, and only one ingredient has been selected: chamomile.
At the other end of the spectrum lie the many loud bells & whistle chamomile blends, which often boast ingredients such as lemon grass, hibiscus, rose hips, and just about everything else under the sun. In such complicated blends, the chamomile can get lost in the noise.
Numi Chamomile Lemon offers a compromise between the two approaches. Not quite a soliflore, but not very complicated, as the only ingredient beyond high-quality chamomile is lemon myrtle, which has a flavor entirely distinct from that of lemon or lemon grass. I recalled my first experience with Numi Lemon Maté while drinking Chamomile Lemon, and upon examining the ingredients, I discovered that lemon myrtle figures big in that blend as well.
Based on those two cases, it seems pretty clear that I (unlike some) really do enjoy the flavor of lemon myrtle! This filter bag is rather good, but I’d like to try this tea in loose leaf format.
Flavors: Citrus, Flowers
Hot chocolate. That is what this tea smells like. When steeped it also has a slight hot chocolate flavor to it. It reminds me of a really good hot chocolate that I can’t remember the name of. Godiva? maybe… Numi has done a great job once again. I love most of what I’ve tried from them and this one is another keeper. The other thing I love about this tea is that the puerh and the chocolate not only mix well but also don’t try to over power each other. Perfectly proportionate.
I’ve been very curious about this one ever since I heard of it…
While I wasn’t sure whether I would like it before trying, I’m happy to report that it’s pretty enjoyable if you know what you’re getting. The aroma smells most strongly of mint, with a hint of tea underneath. The taste itself includes vegetable stock with a significant pepper kick, a bit of tomato tang, and again, the tea flavor somehow manages to not be masked by everything else. On the whole, it’s light and flavorful, not as salty or intense as a regular tomato broth can be, and a good accompaniment to a small meal. So while I just expected an average vegetable broth, it’s tea-like enough that I think it would be good for cooking a (slightly unconventional) batch of tea eggs or other savory dish that originally includes tea in the recipe.
I tried the decaffeinated Earl Grey from Numi and was pleasantly surprised, so I decided to brew up a cup of the caffeinated version today, also included in the sampler box.
It’s good! A nice rounded Assam base, and I do smell and taste the tea more than the bergamot. This is more my preferred style of Earl Grey: a harmonious balance between the bergamot and the base tea, rather than a massive cover-up of the tea.
The liquor is darker orange amber (not quite red), so I may have used too much water for this Assam blend. I may try their loose leaf version, which I’d be able easily to brew to my desired strength for Earl Grey—to be served with light cream.
The boyfriend and it went out to dinner tonight, so I had a cup of this around 6 to hold me over till he got of work at 8. I noticed how swollen the bag gets (and maybe I’m having too much fun with loose leaf teas), so I ripped the bag open and steeped it in my French press to allow plenty of room for the broccoli to expand. After steeping I added in a little bit of chicken broth base stuff (the liquidy type you keep in a fridge) to instead of plain salt. While it masked any remaining tea flavor that might have been left, it made for a delicious broth soup that really did satisfy me. This tea is so tasty and fun with so many possibilities.
I tried the loose leaf form of Numi White Rose today and was quite impressed by the proportion of rose petals present. The dried tea smells equally of roses and white tea (apparently silver tips), and the brew, too, offers a harmonious blend of the two elements.
A very good and balanced blend of roses and white tea. Perhaps if I drink enough of this blend I’ll end up wafting naturally of roses!
second infusion: just as good as the first. The liquor is slightly more yellow than the first infusion, but the flavor is close to the same.
In third place in today’s steep-off chez sherapop was Numi’s Cardmom Pu-erh. It’s not that it was bad, but it was not quite as good as Emperor’s Pu-erh and Chocolate Pu-erh. I do like cardamom, so that’s not the issue, and it definitely was not overdone (as it so often is in what I call “spice-cabinet chais”). But the flavors were less deep and complex than in the other two Numi filter bag pu-erh entries.
The color of the brewed liquor was exactly a cross between the dark red of the Emperor’s Pu-erh and the orange of the Chocolate Pu-erh. This color was more like a dark gold. The flavor was good, but not quite as smooth and inviting as either the pu-ehr au naturel or adulterated with lots of chai spices and cocoa (in effect, Chocolate Pu-erh is very similar to chocolate chai, albeit sans cardamom and cloves).
I’ll definitely try this one again. It would probably go great with a buttery cake.
A tasty unsweetened cocoa tea! The Numi Chocolate Pu-erh brewed up quite a bit lighter than the Emperor’s, with an orange-colored liquor. That made me worry that the brew would be too weak, but with cream it ended up being quite delicious. A very good cocoa-powder-enhanced black tea. Without being told that it was pu-erh, I’d never have guessed!
I definitely recommend Numi Chocolate Pu-ehr as a less sweet chocolate-flavored tea. Both the chocolate flavor and the base tea are very good—but this is not sweet like a milk chocolate bar. The other ingredients add to the complexity, especially the vanilla, the nutmeg, and the cinnamon. There’s almost a chai quality to the blend—or to be more precise: chocolate chai!
In this afternoon’s steep-off chez sherapop, the three filter bag organic puerhs from Numi were brewed up side-by-side and compared. The results are in, and my favorite was … drum roll …
The brew was dark red, which was already an auspicious beginning. The flavor was smooth and delicious. I drank my glass with light cream, and found this tea to be unexpectedly tasty—first, because it was made using a filter bag; second, because it’s pu-ehr!
I’ve had mixed experiences with pu-erh in the past, and it’s safe to say that I’m something of a gringo in this category. This must be pu-erh for gringos, because it was as smooth and luscious as a very high-grade Assam. So maybe I enjoyed this because it doesn’t have so much earthiness? Well, it’s good, especially for a filter bag, and I’ll definitely be drinking more of The Emperor’s Puerh!
The somewhat middling ratings on this tea suggest that other reviewers may be disappointed by the gentile quality of this imperial beverage…
This is a truly fascinating tea. It’s from Numi’s Savory Tea line and I really wasn’t sure what to make of that. A savory tea?
I received a sample tea bag and was pleasantly surprised. This was steeped for about 3 minutes and was consumed without sugar, cream, etc.
This doesn’t taste like tea, but it’s definitely good! It tastes green, with definite vegetable flavors, along with easily detectable culinary herb flavors. It also has a distinctive buttery flavor, which had a comforting effect. The bottom line: it tastes like a very light, but delicious soup!
I mainly consume loose leaf tea now, but I am likely to buy this for cold nights when I’d like a more substantial tea. If you’d told me a month ago that I’d try and enjoy something like this, I’d have laughed. But life is full of little surprises!
I’ve tried a few rose-scented teas of late, and this entry from Numi, White Rose, suggests that white tea may be the perfect canvas for showcasing both rose flavor and scent. Rosebuds, not essences, are used in this blend, so there is definitely a fair amount of perfume to this tea. It reminds in some ways of Tazo Rest, except that White Rose is not at all sweet. The level of rose scent and flavor, however, is comparable.
This was another filter bag including in the Numi Sampler box. I’ll likely be buying more of this blend, as it is quite good and really satisfies my craving for a rose tea but without going overboard to the point of smelling like a perfumed boudoir. Since White Rose is offered in the loose-leaf format, I’ll probably pick up a bag, knowing that white tea is multiply infusable, but filter bags generally are not.
Wanted something warm as I wait for my first final to close out this hectic day. Found this at my cafeteria. Smells really good. Not as good as it smells though. I think I need to cave and get http://www.amazon.com/Tovolo-TeaGo-The-Mobile-Press/dp/B001WAKDMM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1398803867&sr=8-2&keywords=tovolo+tea+infuser , so I have tea on hand.