Review: Numi Pu-erh teas are Pu-erh it’s at

As a die-hard coffee drinker, I don’t consider tea until I’ve had at least a cup of coffee. I usually require an ambiance for tea. For instance, is it cold out, possibly snowing or raining? Yes, I’d love some tea. Is it nighttime and I have a little bit of down time before bed? Sure thing, brew me a cup. Am I on vacation in the mountains? I love tea! Is it daytime in Paris? I always drink tea then.  But to drag my tired body from a cozy bed into a likely foggy morning, I need something full-bodied, cozy and rich.

Numi tea

Recently, due to the normal transition of a cross-country move, my coffee snobbery has been threatened; I’d love to buy gourmet beans for a daily French press but it turns out Comcast wants a check every month. Thus, gourmet items are in ration mode. Please don’t suggest any coffees in a can. Give me Blue Bottle or give me death. I’ve opted for one bag a week, which requires less coffee drinking than my normal intake (judge not). In this time of practicing moderation, I have rediscovered a favorite tea for some of my ambient tea-sipping scenarios, Numi Chocolate Pu-erh (say it like “pu-where”). And you know what? It’s a breakfast-worthy beverage. It’s a delicious breakfast-worthy beverage.

Here is what you need to know about Pu-erh tea:

Pu-erh is an ancient tea made of leaves picked from 500 year-old organic (because everything was organic before the 1940’s) wild tea trees in Eastern China. It’s loved for its healing and therapeutic benefits; one story claims the Last Emporer’s mother cured her gout by drinking the tea. That’s some power. What makes this tea taste and behave differently than other teas is its unique 60-day fermenting process. The leaves are packed and dampened to ferment before being dried and either being pressed into a brick and or put into tea bags (by Numi). This is where it gets the boldness that makes it a worthy option to my most beloved morning ritual.

Besides curing gout, which currently does not fall on my list of health concerns, Pu-erh has some other interesting health benefits. For instance, according to Dr. Oz, tea is one of the best ways to help with weight loss and Pu-erh in particular contains properties actually able to shrink existing fat cells. BAM! It’s also known to improve digestion and naturally boost energy. But also, it shrinks fat.

While it has ancient roots and intriguing benefits, I have been enjoying it because it tastes really good. It works as a coffee stand-in because it contains higher caffeine than most tea but doesn’t send me into a buzz.  Numi’s Chocolate Pu-erh is velvety and rich, but doesn’t come across as a mock cup of cocoa as some other chocolate teas seem to (Mocklate, anyone?). The overall flavor is subtle and the medium body reminds me of Rooibos tea. It’s a super comforting and smooth drink for the morning.

Numi, based in Oakland, Calif., is the first company to make organic Pu-erh tea available in tea bags; the alternative is a brick or tea cake. It comes in seven luxurious flavors like Coconut, Jasmine, Cardamom, Ginger, Emperor’s [blend], Magnolia, Mint and Basil Mint (I die). It is a really cool, B certified, people-oriented company and they make excellent products. I recommend checking them out the next time you are cruising for Lemon Zinger. Nothing against the big guy (I lived on Red Zinger Ave. at one point, no joke) but there is no harm in switching it up a bit and trying an innovative brand.

Check back tomorrow for the recipe for my version of Pu-erh “boba” morning tea and again on Monday for a Pu-erh giveaway, compliments of the lovely Numi team.

If you want to know more about Numi check out their site here: NumiTea.com.

Fine print: This is my personal blog and views and opinions expressed in this post are purely my own. I did not receive compensation to provide a review of this or any product. I’m no expert, but I’m going to try really hard to sound like I know what I’m talking about. If I say something ridiculous, it’s my ridiculousness, so hands off! Thank you FTC for requiring awkward disclaimer paragraphs to make us all feel weird.

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