Before I even begin to taste this tea, I have to make mention of something that gives good credit to Numi. Numi, thank you for making this blend, showing the public (who may not be intimately familiar with the tea - and tisane - world) that rooibos does not have to be a mysterious ingredient that is listed in the fine print of some herbal blends, whose names make vague reference to "red" and "tea." Rooibos is a wonderful drink with great health benefits, and I hope that it continues to become more and more accessible to the average consumer.
To the review! Having not been impressed by the last Numi offering that I tried (the Aged Earl Grey, reviewed here), I am nevertheless giving them the benefit of the doubt, since this is an herbal blend and not a tea-based mixture. The package lists that this blend includes cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and cardamom...plus rooibos. Whoah. Nutmeg and allspice are interesting additions to an otherwise-fairly-traditional mix of chai spices.
They suggest using just-boiled water and a four to six minute steep time. Six minutes later, my eight ounce cup has the results of Numi's efforts, steeped. Aroma? Spicy. Lots of spice. The nutmeg and cinnamon are distinctly noticeable, and the nutmeg lends a pleasant sweetness to the smell. The taste is...surprisingly subdued, almost thin. I find this interesting, given the number of different spices. Mostly, I can taste the bite of clove and a bit of the ginger. The aftertaste has more of the flavors combined together, but the rooibos has been - I feel - overwhelmed completely. The rooibos possibly contributes a bit to the undertones, but mostly this is a spicy brew.
I might consider steeping a bag of this with some plain, red rooibos to boost the health benefits and the rooibos flavor. Numi, this one could use a bit of work. On my personal enjoyment scale, I would rate this a 76/100.
Photo credit to Built from Ink and Tea.
Numi's Rooibos Chai is available from their website, here.
This review was unsolicited and uncompensated.
Text is copyright 2015, Built from Ink and Tea.