Review: Numi Orange Spice White Tea

Numi Orange Spice Tea. Used with permission.

San Jose stores offer many spicy tea blends that are perfect for autumn and winter cold weather. Numi Orange Spice White Tea is one of the better ones. The tea is packaged in regular tea bags sealed in a plastic-lined paper pouch. The label reads: , “White Tea/Lower Caffeine”, “Numi Organic Tea”, and “Orange Spice/White tea, real orange peel & spice” on the front. The back reads: “For the perfect cup: Bring fresh water to a boil, allow to cool slightly, then pour over a bag of Orange Spice. While pondering ancient myths, steep 5 – 6 minutes. For iced tea, steep 2 tea bags, cool and pour over ice”. The ingredient list reads: “organic Cinnamon, organic Orange Peel, organic Cloves, Fair Trade Certified™ organic White Tea, organic Hibiscus, organic Allspice, organic Ginger, organic Lemongrass, organic Schizandra Berry, organic Dried Lime.” The back also reads “the tea bag is made of natural biodegradable filter-paper, not GMO corn or plastic ‘silk’. This outer package is made from 72% recycled content. Organic and Fair Trade Certified. Certified B Corporation, meeting standards in sustainability.”

I was surprised to discover that this was a white tea blend, and contained so many ingredients, when I opened the package. The tea inside smelled like a standard orange spice blend, but wasn’t as dark as your regular orange spice black tea, like old favorite Constant Comment. The orange, ginger, cloves and cinnamon were the dominant scents and flavors, with perhaps a little extra acidity from the lemongrass and dried lime, but no apparent flavor addition. I was happy to find (since I don’t like it) that the hibiscus was also hardly there. I’m not familiar with Schizandra berry so I’m not sure what that was supposed to add to this tea, but I couldn’t taste anything besides the orange and spices, including the white tea! White tea has such a delicate flavor and aroma that I wonder why Numi added it to an otherwise strongly flavored spice and herb blend; didn’t they realize it would get completely lost under so many flavorful ingredients?

However, I like orange spice tea blends, so I enjoyed Numi Orange Spice White Tea and can recommend it to other tea lovers who also like tea flavored with citrus and spices. It was a tasty addition to my meal, but it would be equally good with a piece of shortbread in the afternoon, or even just by itself. You could add a tiny bit of sugar, honey or sweetener to this tea, but I don’t recommend that you make it very sweet, even if you usually like sweet tea, because that will overpower the refreshing tang of the citrus. Because of the citrus in this blend, I also don’t recommend the addition of milk, because of the likelihood that the dairy will curdle on contact with the citrus.  Numi Tea is offered at certain restaurants and grocery stores in the Bay Area; Eric’s Delicafe as well as Safeway grocery stores and Whole Foods in the San Jose area sell the brand.

Copyright 2012, Elizabeth Urbach.

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For more information:
Numi Tea website
Numi Orange Spice White Tea product page
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Filed under Product Reviews, Tea, Tea Tasting

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