Numi Organic Tea
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Recent Tasting Notes
I am a real gringo when it comes to pu-erh, so I have been trying out various blends, attempting to prepare for the day when I muster up the courage to imbibe the liquor produced by some caked pu-erh tuo cha reeking rather awfully of … horse manure!
This Numi Jasmine Pu-erh seems to be designed for someone like me. I had no idea that this is actually a pu-erh jasmine green blend. I was thinking that it was all pu-erh as the base tea, with the use of jasmine as a sort of deodorant.
Instead, Jasmine Pu-erh brews up brown but tastes mostly like a pretty good jasmine green tea, to be precise Numi Jasmine Green (logically enough). Okay with me—no complaints! Not bad at all for a quick filter bag fix, especially given that it did not suffer from my treatment of it as a straight black. Near boiling water and a five minute steep might have ruined a straight-up jasmine green, but the result was fine in this case.
Compared with a nice loose-leaf Genmaicha this isn’t anything special, but as far as bagged teas go this is one one of my favorites. I like to keep this on hand when I know I won’t be around a kettle. You can pretty successfully brew it with hot water from those water coolers that most offices and schools will have around.
The green tea base is unremarkable but ultimately inoffensive. Not particularly bitter, grassy, floral, or anything that would have given it some character. If I didn’t know it was a sencha I probably wouldn’t have been able to guess. The rice gives some toasty-ness but is a bit stale tasting compared to my favorite loose genmaicha (Harney’s). But overall it makes for a decent brew under less-than-ideal conditions.
Cheaters cold brew: http://instagram.com/p/pZHPAvR5PN/#
It actually worked really well, and I do like the tea even though it’s INCREDIBLY sour and I’m doing a sugar free challenge for 10 days. It’s a nice and easy way to get flavoured water. I’ll have to remember this the next time I’m out and thirsty, as plain water is not something I like to drink.
I love the taste of cloves, so was automatically intrigued when I found this Numi Tea that had cloves in it. I love it and wish it was available year-round because it tastes great as an iced tea too. Living in Texas, we’re big on iced tea, and this one is an absolute favorite (mixed w/ honey and unrefined cane sugar as sweeteners). A glass of iced Winter Spice tea also is a perfect compliment to Ines Rosales olive oil tortas as a snack or dessert!
Mini rant: Guys! Please hide the coffee from me so I’ll go back to drinking tea more often. Stupid rough job making me get bad habits for a multi-cup coffee habit that I do not need.
Stash Down: I have been going through my tea and seeing what tea I would actually drink or not because I need to drink more of my teas so I can get some shiny new teas eventually and I found this one. It is really tasty and I am so glad I found that I had a bag of this left to drink. Just a splash of milk and one spoonful of sugar.
Samples Only TTB
I’m actually on my second box of Numi Broccoli and Cilantro savory tea, so I could already tell that I was probably going to like this. Fennel seed always reminds me of pizza or Italian sausage. As is, I’m not a fan of this. But the same goes of my beloved broccoli and cilantro. But with a healthy dosage of salt, this is amazing. I love love love soup. To the point that a lot of times I order just soup when I got out to eat. And this is like drinking a nice flavorful broth. What I really love about these teas, is if they’re a bagged broth and not a tea, then they’re so versatile. They taste a million times better than those cubed bouillon things, they also don’t have added salt which is perfect for those watching their sodium or who think most of those broth mixes are too salty, and they’re much easier to make than having to cook and strain your own broth.
You can also use them in recipes. Throw one in the pasta water while it cooks, use the broth instead of water for lentils, or in place of any recipe that calls for broth for a different twist.
I actually enjoyed this one so much, I’m going to order some from amazon the next time I order more of my broccoli and cilantro (which is going to be soon since I’m adding some to the TTB)
Flavors: Broth, Fennel
Samples Only TTB
So fennel. Much soup. Many savory. Too spice. Wow. What flavor. Not tea. How drink.
This is not tea. o_o
This is soup that needs salt and some noodles added.
I don’t even.
I had to. I had to try it. Because sister insisted we should try it. And she was right. We had to try it. Because wow. It was. It was. It was not tea. I don’t even.
Seriously feel I could add some salt and noodles and have a nice lunch here. o_o
But its not tea.
Flavors: Chicken Soup, Fennel, Spices
Queued post, written May 3rd 2014
You may have noticed that I’ve lowered my posting frequency from daily to three times a week. I’ve got the queue whittled down to 14 pages and I haven’t been adding to it very much lately, so I’m trying to delay the point where I run out of pre-written posts and the system collapses.
This was from the first round of the EU TTB.
I’m not sure why I took it. I’m not sure what to say about it now that I’ve had it either.
I did try to pay attention to it, but even then I found I couldn’t put words to what I was tasting.
It was sweet, somewhat flowery, a great deal wood-y and sort of green tea-ish here and there. Really, that’s all I’ve got.
It was relatively pleasant, though I’m sure the magnolia scenting has been done better by other companies in the past.
I am a somewhat frugal person, probably in part because I was so broke in college and grad school. So my natural inclination is not to throw stuff away, if it can possibly be salvaged. Whence my “filter bag cold brew” initiative, of which Numi Berry Black is now a part. I do like a few filter bags—above all, Harney & Sons Japanese Sencha—but for the most part, I am moving farther and farther away from filter bag tea. Still, I have quite a bit lying around.
I brewed six filter bags in a liter of water overnight in the fridge and the liquor changed from clear to crimson during that period. I was optimistic that this would be a good iced tea, though I had found the hot brew to be less than desirable. Do hibiscus and darjeeling mix? That is the question, my teaful friends.
When I tried a glass of this cold brew yesterday, I considered tossing it. Then it occurred to me that it might taste good with sugar. But I did not really feel like adding sugar, so I poured the glass back into the pitcher, thinking that it might taste better on a hotter day. The weather was very mild, with a high of about 75F.
As predicted, this iced tea tasted much better on an 80F+ day. I don’t think that it is great, but it is somewhat refreshing, and I was not driven to adulterate, so overall the experiment was a success. Not that I’ll be buying this tea ever again.
I was really looking forward to trying this fruit-laced darjeeling from Numi. Unfortunately, Berry Black is much more about hibiscus and rose hips than darjeeling! In fact, this will sound bitchy, but it seems a bit like a waste of good organic darjeeling. And fruits!
The hibiscus really overwhelms. I should have known as I watched the liquor brew up bright red, but this is much more than I was expecting. I have something like 15 more bags of this blend and will likely brew them up en masse for a gallon of iced tea, which I suspect will be pretty good, but I would not choose to drink this again hot. Cream would not help—in fact it might curdle!
(Blazing New Review #21)
I have tried Numi Mate Lemon before, but not since joining Steepster, and I have some fresh bags in my cupboard from the sampler boxes, so here goes:
This blend offers a pretty mighty punch of caffeine, which was what I was really after this afternoon. No idea why I have been so tired. Perhaps staying up until 3am has something to do with it, but then I slept in until almost noon!
Anyway, this is a mate for gringos. I’ve spent some time in Argentina and around Argentinians elsewhere, so I know what unembellished mate tastes and smells like: bitter and grassy. Closer to an oversteeped darjeeling than anything else!
This blend masks any and all bitterness with lemon myrtle, which imparts both flavor and texture (think licorice root texture, but without any sweetness or licorice flavor whatsoever). There is also some green tea here—something chum meeish, it seems.
The overall effect to my palate is of a pleasant lightly flavored mid-range filterbag green tea. It’s okay. I regard this more as a functional blend than a tea which I would want to stock up on and find myself craving. There are many good sources of a powerful punch of caffeine. This is one of them, and it tastes perfectly fine. The real virtue of this sort of blend is that it does not require any cream, as do many equally potent black blends.
(Blazing New Rating #19)
(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.
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”…
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
Another filter bag pu-erh blend from Numi, this Cardamom Pu-erh packs a punch of both! In some ways, cardamom may be the perfect adulterant for pu-erh, given its strength.
Today’s brew is darker red rather than gold, so I may have used less water or steeped it longer than last time. The flavor is earthy and tastes more like pu-erh than like cardamom, so probably not the best choice for gringos. I ended up adulterating yesterday’s glass of Emperor’s Pu-erh with cream, and I am tempted in this case as well.
I used to think that Assam was the best segue from coffee to tea, but now it seems that pu-erh is even better. It has a very strong, coffee-grind like density to it. No, it does not taste like coffee, but it has the same “timbre”, so to speak…
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.
I was feeling groggy, so that seemed like a good excuse to revisit some of the Numi filterbag pu-erhs. This Chocolate Puerh seems more like a cocoa chai than a pu-erh to me. It reminds me of a cross between Chai Diaries Wisdom Pu-erh and Chai Diairies Chocolate Chai. The last time I drank this brew with milk, though the liquor is rather light and cloudy amber, indicating that there are more spices and what-not than black tea in the blend. Today i am drinking it au naturel. I realize now that one bag would go better in 5 rather than 10 ounces. Seems a bit wan.
I am weighing the possibility of obtaining some of this tea in loose-leaf form. I am very curious to see what the proportions of added stuff look like. Some of Numi’s loose-leaf teas come only in a 1 lb bag, but a few also are offered in a 4 ounce size. Hopefully this one is among them.