Numi Tea was founded by a brother and sister duo, Ahmed and Reem Rahim, in 1999. Ahmed travels to the tea growing regions of China, India, Africa, and South America to find the best quality tea leaves. Reem, an artist, handles the design and branding for the company. Raised in the Middle East, Ahmed and Reem decided to name their company after a favorite childhood drink, Chai Noomi Basra, which is made from infusing water with dried limes and then sweetened.
There are three grades of tea, with whole leaf being the highest quality and the type of tea that Numi uses. Whole leaf teas take the longest to brew and are able to release their full flavors before bitter tannins are released. Second in quality is broken leaf, and the lowest grade is fannings, which releases unpleasant tasting tannins the quickest. Numi does not use any added flavorings like many other tea companies do. They only use tea leaves, herbs, fruits, flowers and spices in the creation of their teas.
Numi tea bags are made from natural compostable paper. Some other companies that use whole leaf tea use a see-through, mesh material made from GMO (genetically modified) corn, or petroleum-based plastic.
With a commitment to doing good in the world, Ahmed and Reem created the Numi Foundation to provide access to clean, safe drinking water to their farming communities around the world. But they don’t overlook their own backyard; they provide experiential gardening, arts and social studies curriculum to low-income elementary schools in Oakland, California. In addition, Numi, along with 13 other Bay Area natural food companies, formed a nonprofit Climate Collaborative with the mission to increase their companies’ sustainability and reduce their carbon emissions.
The Co-op carries ten types of Numi packaged tea. You may want to try their Global Tea Championship First Place winner, Three Roots Turmeric tea, which blends Turmeric, Ginger, Licorice, and Rose. The Co-op also carries five types of ready to drink bottled tea, which I’m sure you’ll find quite refreshing on these hot August days. The bottled teas are part of the affordable Co-op Basics program and sell for two for $4.
Numi Tea Company Snapshot
- Founded in 1999
- Headquartered in Oakland, California
- Certified Organic
- Non GMO
- Fair Trade Certified
Numi Tea Vision Statement: “Our vision is to inspire well-being of mind, body and spirit through the simple art of tea. Through authenticity, creativity, and commitment to people and planet, we bring you the purest best tasting organic tea.”
Amy Newsome, a tea drinker for decades, learned something new in writing this article: Orange Pekoe tea has nothing to do with oranges. Netherland’s Royal House of Orange (a French last name) introduced tea to Europe in the 18th century.