FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONSGeneral Tea
1. What is the difference between white, green, black and oolong tea?
Teas are categorized by the drying and oxidation process they undergo.
2. What is Red Tea?
- White tea is the least handled- only being plucked and dried.
- Green tea undergoes a small amount of processing and is then heated to stop oxidization.
- Oolongs (which cover a wide range of processes) usually have some physical manipulation done to them, breaking down the cellulose within the tea leaf to bring out the flavors. Oxidation is between 10% to 75%.
- Black teas are fully oxidized. The tea leaf is cut and bruised, bringing out the various flavors nascent in the leaf.
Now commonly referred to as Red Tea, "Rooibos", or "red bush" is a South African herb that is a widely drunk beverage in South Africa and in other countries.
3. What is Orange Pekoe tea?
This is a categorization of the leaf grade. Depending on the way a leaf is picked- whether by humans or by machines- tea can be called orthodox or CTC (which stands for crush, tear, curl). Orthodox method means that humans went out into the tea gardens and picked the leaves. All of Numi's teas are orthodox picked.
Tea gardens are usually huge fields full of tea bushes that grow about waist high (In some regions of China they let the trees grow wild, and climb up them to pick the leaves).
Pluckers go down the rows with a basket and pluck the top two leaves and the bud from the top-most most branches. Grading teas means sorting them according to how well they stay in this "whole" condition.
Each country that grows tea has its own interpretation of the grading hierarchy, but in general, the following is held to be standard:
- Orange - (as in Flowery Orange Pekoe) refers to the Dutch royal dynasty of Orange and means a royal tea, (i.e., a tea of the highest quality).
- Pekoe - the youngest bud, shaded and tender- with white downy hairs- underneath the top two leaves.
- FOP - Flowery Orange Pekoe. Elongated, whole leaves with some bud content. The highest grade of orthodox picked tea.
FOP can be modified with adjectives like: Tippy, Golden, Super Golden flowery, Finest Tippy, etc. What these all mean usually depend on where the tea was grown. Tippy means there is a high bud content to the tea.
4. What is a Teasan?
A Teasan is Numi's term for an herbal beverage without tea leaves. It is derived from the French term "tisane".
5. What does Numi mean?
Numi is Arabic for citrus. Our first tea was Dry Desert Lime, a traditional thirst quencher from the Middle East.
6. How long has your company been in business?
Numi was founded in 1999.
7. Do your teabags have staples?
Our teabags are held together with a food-grade staple wire.
8. Are the tea bags bleached?
Our teabags are oxygen bleached rather than chlorine bleached, which means that they are treated with oxygen and not treated with bleach or any other chemicals.
9. Why has Numi not followed the trend of "silky" nylon tea bags?
Numi does not use the trendy petroleum-based ("silky"), nylon tea bags because they are not biodegradable, and there have been no long-term studies on the effects of drinking tea that have steeped in these bags.
10. Can your tea bags be recycled?
Our tea bags can be disposed in your compost bin. Currently our overwrap contains both paper and foil and cannot be recycled in the same bin. Numi is researching a material for our overwrap that can be recycled.
More Information on Numi Packaging
Numi strives to be a sustainable as possible in its packaging and business practices and is always searching to find new and alternative ways to present and package their premium teas for consumption. We are currently researching alternative biodegradable materials that can provide the same protection for items that the market demands. Below is some information on why Numi uses the packaging it does.
11. Is the tea fairly traded?
- The poly/foil/paper (post-consumer waste) lining around each tea bag is to keep the integrity of the tea as fresh as can be for flavor as well as maintaining health properties such as the anti-oxidants. We pack each tea bag into a tamper-evident, oxygen and moisture barrier sealed overwrap, which prevents deterioration of components and is essential for preserving the stability of tea and herb ingredients. Exposure to air, light and humidity has a measurable negative impact on the quality of cut, dried herbs. The sealed tea bag overwrap assures that the flavor of the tea, herbs, flowers or spices remain intact until they reach the teacup.
- Since the tea bags are individually wrapped, Numi does not wrap the outer box in plastic nor cellophane. Our tea cartons are made from 100% recycled paperboard 85% post-consumer waste. If you prefer, you can also buy the tea bags in bulk 100 ct boxes by clicking here.
- The tea bags themselves are composed of fibers of oxygen bleached (chlorine-free) Manila hemp, from the leaves of abacá (Musa textilis), and unbleached wood pulp. The entire tea bag with string and tag can be composted.
- Finally, we as a premium tea company completely advocate for the use of loose tea or handsewn Flowering Tea. No packaging needed! On our website you will see that we offer over 60 varieties of loose tea and herbs that can be purchased in 4 oz. bags. You can also purchase tea-sacs and teapots to brew your loose tea in by clicking here. If in the area, please come by our Numi Tea Garden (teahouse) to have authentic loose tea service or to buy loose tea by the oz.
Numi currently has 13 Fair Trade Certified™ Teas in distribution and is a leading importer of Fairly Traded Teas and Herbs. Both in tea sachets and in iced tea pouches, Fair Trade Certified™ flavors include: Monkey King, Golden Chai, Morning Rise, Rainforest Green, Red Mellow Bush, Ruby Chai, Moonlight Spice, Aged Earl Grey, Berry Black, Citrus Black, Tropical White, Minty Green, and Raspberry Red.
Numi believes in creating and supporting programs that benefit the farmers and workers for all of our overseas partners and it is our aim to have the entire line of products certified. However, even with products that are not officially certified you can be assured that Numi deals responsibly and ethically, by building personal relationships, with the farmers we purchase from. Since our initial product launch in 1999, we have made it a priority to only support suppliers who ethically support their workers.
We work directly with many of our suppliers to ensure the fair treatment of the workers, better working and living conditions, and an overall improved quality of life for their families. We visit and investigate all new suppliers before we create partnerships with them. This includes only supporting tea and herb producers who provide fair wages, fair and reasonable work hours, and support for the workers and their families. At the gardens in China where many of our teas are grown and produced, the workers are provided with free land and good housing. Numi works with the managing directors of these tea gardens and with our bamboo supplier to ensure that the wages of the pickers and factory workers are significantly higher than the average Chinese worker.
12. Who does your Kosher certification?
The apple with a "K" symbol refers to Natural Food Certifiers. Natural Food Certifiers (NFC) gives kosher certification to only natural foods and natural alternative remedies. (They do not certify products with hydrogenated vegetable oils, for example.) NFC stands alone in certifying only natural food production. Natural Food Certifiers has as its goal: healthy foods, with a positive impact on the environment, in addition to the spiritual benefits derived from kosher foods. Thus, an NFC certified product is truly good for body and soul. This certification ensures Kosher and Pareve. Click here for more information on NFC.
13. What is Halal certification?
Halal is an Arabic word meaning lawful or permitted. The opposite of Halal is haram, which means unlawful or prohibited. Halal and haram are universal terms that apply to all facets of life. By having our teas and teasans certified as Halal, we are saying that our teas contain no ingredients forbidden to people of the Muslim faith.
14. What does Organic mean?
The National Standards Board (NOSB) of the USDA defines organic agriculture as:
- Organic agriculture is an ecological production management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity.
- It is based on minimal use of off-farm inputs and on management practices that restore, maintain and enhance ecological harmony.
- The principal guidelines for organic production are to use materials and practices that enhance the ecological balance of natural systems and that integrate the parts of the farming system into an ecological whole.
- The primary goal of organic agriculture is to optimize the health and productivity of inter-dependent communities of soil life, plants, animals and people.
What "Organic" is:
15. Where does your tea come from?
- Healthy! - Because the NOP prohibits the use of chemical pesticides, organic food is not only free of chemical pesticides; it can decrease and prevent chemical pesticides from getting into the water, earth and air. Some pesticides and fertilizers have been shown through extensive research to cause cancer and other diseases. The USDA's National Organic Program strictly forbids the use of GMOs and irradiation.
- Ensures Quality - Producers of organic foods must adhere to strict standards, avoiding the use of toxic and persistent chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Also, the soil must be free of these and other prohibited substances for three years before certification. Organic foods are minimally processed without artificial ingredients, preservatives, or irradiation to maintain the food's integrity.
- Supports Sustainability - Soil fertility and health is maintained and replenished naturally with composted and plant wastes, rotated and alternated crops; using methods and materials that have low impact on the environment.
Our teas and herbal teasans come from all over the world: China, Japan, India, Sri Lanka, Australia, Middle East, Africa, Europe, and the Americas.
16. Who blends the tea?
Ahmed Rahim is our master blender and co-founder of Numi Tea. His long experience running tea houses throughout Europe and his cultivated palette combine to enable him to seek out the highest quality teas and herbs from around the world.
17. What is the shelf life of your tea?
Three years. We use a Julian code for our expiration dates. The first three numbers are our tea lot code. The next three refer to the date of production- that is also the day three years from now when the tea will expire- and the last digit is the year in which the tea will expire. Example: 2302537. This means that the tea in question was from lot 230, run on the 253rd day of the year, and will expire on the 253rd day of 2007. Our foil overwrap guarantees a three-year shelf life.
18. Why does tea sometimes taste bitter?
Tannins in tea are what give the tea the slightly astringent taste, especially when the tea is of poor quality or is brewed strong. Because Numi never uses the tea dust or "fannings," the teas are less bitter tasting. This is based on the commitment to use only the full tea leaf and highest quality teas in their blends.
1. Is it safe to drink your teas and teasans during pregnancy?
Although it is recommended to consult your doctor for all nutritional guidance during pregnancy, Numi's teasans (herbals) are safe for consumption by pregnant women. Please see your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
2. Is tea good for you?
Yes. All tea contains polyphenols, which are potent antioxidants that improve the body's defenses and suppress free radical activity. See health info page on this site.
3. Does the tea have polyphenols?
Yes, black, oolong, green and white tea all contain polyphenols. Polyphenols are potent antioxidants that are widely acclaimed to help improve the body's defenses and suppress free radical activity.
4. Are you a medicinal tea company?
No, Numi does not claim to be a medicinal tea company, although tea and herbs used in Numi blends do possess healthful benefits.
5. Do any of your teas contain sugar?
No, all Numi teas and teasans are made without added sugars, with the exception of Lime Oasis which contains organic cane sugar.
6. Does your tea have glutens?
There is no wheat gluten in contact - or anywhere near - our tea. It is not run on the same machines, nor stored near our raw materials. Our tea is free from that particular allergen.
7. Does tea have carbohydrates?
No, tea in its natural form (without added fruits, for example) does not have carbohydrates. Some of our teas like Berry Black or Lime Oasis, because they are fruits, are natural carbohydrates.
8. Does tea have more caffeine than coffee?
No, the caffeine content in a cup of tea is half that in a cup of coffee of the same size.
9. What is the caffeine content of white, green, oolong and black tea?
In a 10 oz. cup, White tea contains 65 mg., Green tea contains 75 mg., Oolong Tea contain 85 mg., and Black tea contains 100 mg. A 10 oz. cup of coffee contains 250 mg. of caffeine. All tea contains caffeine unless it has been decaffeinated.
10. Do the herbals have caffeine?
No, Numi's herbal teasans do not have caffeine.
11. Do you have decaffeinated teas?
After searching for a non-toxic organic process, Numi is excited to have full leaf teas that have been decaffeinated using a Super Critical CO2 extraction process sometimes referred to as "Effervescence". The tea is placed in a pressurized chamber, Carbon Dioxide, an inert gas, is pumped in and locks on and extracts the caffeine from the tea leaves. This process is beneficial, as it does not leave any chemical residues or reduction in flavor. The process also maintains antioxidant levels and the flavor quality (in other processes, polyphenols are removed). There is currently no other company in the U.S. offering full leaf-grade CO2 decaffeinated organic tea.
The best advantage of CO2 is that it does not extract the polyphenols or the macronol oils. (In other conventional processes like the water Ethyl Acetates, approximately 40% of the polyphenols are removed). This process removes 99.99% of the caffeine and does not remove any flavor or health benefits.
If your favorite Numi flavor is not available in decaf, you can try making your own cup of decaffeinated tea using the following method. It is believed that most of the caffeine is lost if, when steeping the leaves of a teabag, you immerse in hot water, quickly dispense of the first steep, and then resteep normally.
12. Can I use tea to lose weight?
Yes. Researchers noted that green tea may work with other chemicals to enhance fat oxidation and thermogenesis, in which the body burns fuel such as fat to produce heat.
13. Does tea have calories?
No - simple tea leaves do not contain calories, but when blended with fruits they will possess a small amount of caloric energy potential.
14. I've heard that tea is good for oral hygiene. Is this true?
Yes. New York University Dental Center researchers found that regular intake of black tea significantly reduced tooth decay in animals, even when sugar was included in the diet. Tea polyphenols act as nature's breath fresheners by interacting with and trapping sulfur compounds known to contribute to halitosis. Polyphenols' antibacterial properties also aid oral health. Green tea also reduces plaque and contains natural fluoride as well. Click here for more on tea's health benefits.
15. Does tea help to ease allergic symptoms?
Yes. Allergic reactions are of two types. One is an instantaneous reaction like pollen allergy. The other is slow-working reaction such as atopic dermatitis. According to researchers who gave black tea to mice they found that nearly 50 percent of allergic reaction was suppressed. Similar results were found when testing with green tea and Oolong tea. Click here for more on tea's health benefits.
16. Is it true that tea is good for women's bone density?
Yes. Research shows that female tea drinkers had much stronger bones than non-tea drinkers. Tea drinkers had 5% more bone mineral density at the lumbar spine, indicating a 10% to 20% lower fracture risk. Researchers speculate that isoflavonoid chemicals in tea may have a weak estrogenic effect, reducing bone deterioration and osteoporosis risk. Click here for more on tea's health benefits.
17. What is the nutritional value of tea?
The FDA currently does not require nutritional facts to be listed or presented on retail packaging for teas or herbal teasans. This is due to the fact that the "Daily Nutritional Value" of the ingredients in tea and teasan products have not been established. Therefore, Numi products do not display nutritional facts on the package, nor do we have any nutritional information that has been evaluated by the FDA.