When I signed up to review products for Shoplet, one of the leading online office supplies store, I wondered what product I would get. After all, Shoplet has more than 400,000 products!
So yesterday, I was delighted to find a package from Shoplet, staring up at me from the porch. I opened it eagerly, and found a box of Numi Tea!
I received a box of Inspired Moments, which has 8 assorted flavors—Aged Earl Grey, Berry Black, Breakfast Blend, Gunpowder Green, Jasmine Green, White Orange Spice, Moroccan Mint, and Chamomile Lemon.
I love Numi’s packaging—the calming tans and browns, and lovely artwork appeal to the artist in me. As a crafter, I looked at the box. It wasn’t one of their heavier boxes, but it’s a nice size and will re-appear one of these days in a project.
According to the information on the packaging, the teabags are natural and biodegradable, and the outer packages are made from 72% recycled content.
The list of ingredients was spotted with the words Fair Trade Certified, and Organic. I also noticed items like Schizandra Berries—intriguing. There were lots of berries and spices listed, and no chemicals or preservatives. I don’t know about you, but those all things the things I look for when I’m buying.
The accompanying letter asked me to review three of the eight flavors, so I decided on Moroccan Mint, Aged Earl Grey and White Orange Spice.
Tea has tannin, so it is always advisable to read the brewing instructions or the tea may turn bitter and hard to swallow. There are a lot of variables to this—the water, previous tannin buildup in your cup, and the quality of the tea itself. I decided to leave the teabag in, for testing purposes, to see how the tea would fare under the worst of circumstances.
You always need to read the ingredients when buying Moroccan Mint because sometimes it can be a mix of green tea and mint, and sometimes it is pure mint. Sometimes peppermint is used but more often it is spearmint or another type of mint.
The Numi box listed this flavor as an herbal teasan, and the only ingredient was Moroccan Mint. I looked that up, unsure of what it was, and discovered that Numi uses Nana mint. Now I was really intrigued.
Both the scent and flavor were delicate, not as strong as I expected from my past experience. Since there was no tea, hence no tannin, only the mint, I wasn’t expecting bitterness, but I left the tea bag in, to see if the taste would change. It didn’t, neither gaining nor losing flavor. Afterwards, I had that clean feeling in my mouth, that mint often leaves, but no tingling or burning.
This would be a good bedtime tea, both soothing and refreshing. I wouldn’t eat anything while drinking it, though, because it might mask the flavor.
If I were buying teabags, I’d definitely consider purchasing this, but I’m more likely to buy a whole leaf version myself.
I’m not a big fan of Earl Grey tea, but I was intrigued by the word ‘Aged’, wondering it if would indicate something different in Earl Greys. I’m still not sure, but, again, I was surprised by the delicacy of the scent and taste. Usually, I find bergamot overpowering, but in this case, it added flavor without overpowering the taste of the Assam tea.
I didn’t remove the bag, and usually, an Earl Grey would be undrinkable within minutes in this case. I managed to drink nearly the whole cup before it become dry, and it never tasted bitter, just a bit hard to swallow. In the future, I’d take the bag out within 3 minutes, but it is nice to know if I get distracted I wouldn’t end up tossing the tea out.
As a breakfast tea, this would be a bit too delicate for my taste, but it would be a perfect afternoon pick-me-up.
If you are a big fan of bergamot, you might not like this one, compared to other brands. For me, it means I’ll be adding some Earl Grey to my line-up.
White is my favorite tea and I do like Orange Spice. The first ingredient is this blend is cinnamon, and the scent that filled the air while it brewed was homey and perfect for a cold, winter morning.
Unfortunately, this tea fared the worst in the teabag test. White tea is pretty mild, and I wasn’t expecting the tannin to build up so quickly. However, I was experiencing dryness and some bitterness by the time I’d drunk half the cup. It never got so bad, though, that I couldn’t finish the tea, and I took my time. If I’d followed the brewing instructions I think this would have been a good drink that would leave the room filled with a sweet and pleasant odor. But you would have to be careful not to walk away until you’d pulled the bag.
I have a Republic of Tea whole tea of a similar flavor, and I won’t be trading this blend for what I have. Of all the teas in the box I found this the most disappointing. I will say that has to be, at least partially, because white tea is my favorite, and my expectations were the highest.
By and large, I’m a whole tea person, but that isn’t always practical in an office setting. Even at home, I usually have a few teabags around for those times when I’m in a hurry or just don’t want the mess. I already have some of Numi’s loose leaf tea and their teabags are a likely choice for my future purchases.