Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Numi: Chocolate Pu-erh Tea

Green tea, black tea, herbal tea, or whatever else we call tea these days--I like a variety of it. Drinking tea once or twice a day, I'm also going through a lot. So when I see something that looks good, I get it. And I do particularly like to keep up on the popular chocolate teas, which led me to this Chocolate Pu-erh tea from Numi.

Numi isn't a brand I find myself buying, but when I do occasionally have something like their mint tea, it strikes me as quality. Good flavor isn't surprising considering that Numi is an organic brand. But, as you can see from this box, they don't flaunt their status. The box does contain information on their commitments to being friendly to the environment and to fair labor, along with a little info on pu-erh tea. But the front of the box is just about telling you what kind of tea it is. It's simple and straightforward. I had never had pu-erh tea, but this variety looked appealing. 

This tea steeps for three to five minutes. I brew it on the strong side, so that it looks almost like black coffee. While Numi's regular pu-erh tea says that it can be enjoyed with or without milk, the chocolate version does not mention milk or sugar; I therefore stuck with my usual habits and added nothing. And you know what? It doesn't need anything. With the first sip, I was struck by the rich chocolate flavor. It might just be the strongest out of any chocolate tea I have had before. A glance at the ingredients reveals something new: cocoa powder. Don't most chocolate teas use cocoa nibs? Interesting. Besides the two main ingredients, there are also vanilla beans, rooibos, cinnamon, orange peel, and nutmeg. Of course, it's all organic. This combination of flavors is just enough to enhance the chocolate taste without overtaking it with secondary tastes. 

Admittedly, the first cup I had tasted of bitter and earthy pu-erh tea; it's a flavor to get used to if you've never had it before. But by the second or third cup, it tasted completely normal and I could go back to focusing on the chocolate. This tea is a better chocolate experience than many hot chocolates. The depth of the tea goes well with the idea of dark chocolate. It's a rich drink without having the solidity of a cup of thick drinking chocolate. It just feels good to drink, you know? If you're interested, you can go read about the health benefits of pu-erh tea. If not, it's just a nice chocolate tea to add to your repertoire. 

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