Numi Organic Tea recently announced its new line of “savory teas” to tea drinkers everywhere. But, exactly what is a savory tea? Do you drink the “not quite a soup, but more than a tea” product as a traditional tea, or is there a different set of rules for these new flavors? After receiving samples of this unique product, I concluded the answers to these two questions were, “Yes,” and “Yes.”
These new Numi Savory Teas are veggie-spice tea blends, inspired by recipes around the world, the company explains. Flavors include Tomato Mint, Carrot Curry, Fennel Spice, Spinach Chive, Beet Cabbage and Broccoli Cilantro. Each of these combinations make sense as a soup, but as a tea? With five calories or fewer, these Certified Organic and Verified NON-GMO teas deserve a chance with tea drinkers.
But, How Do They Taste?
When I tried the teas I’ll admit: I was skeptical. Yet, I was intrigued. I am an avid tea drinker, and I had never had a savory tea. Starting with Beet Cabbage, I was nicely surprised. It had an interesting flavor, fresh and unique. Other tastings followed, and Beet Cabbage remained my favorite, with Spinach Chive at the bottom; the bitterness of the flavor was just too much for me. However, upon tasting, it occurred to me that these savory teas had potential for other uses in the kitchen, not just drinking from a cup in regular tea fashion. While they could be a good tide-me-over option for those trying to watch their calorie intake, they are also a great substitute for broth in cooking. Try them anywhere you might use a broth, especially a vegetable broth. Brew a strong cup or two—I would suggest at least 15 minutes, squeezing out the tea bag when you remove it—and start experimenting. A few options where I found them to be excellent were:
- Couscous: I typically use one cup of vegetable broth to 3/4 cup of couscous, but a cup of Beet Cabbage tea instead was delightful!
- Bread-making: In recipes that use water, particularly “savory” breads, these teas can impart a subtle-but-there flavor. Match your bread flavor to a compatible tea flavor—a cheesy bacon bread would be a homerun with Tomato Mint tea, for example—or go wild and create combinations that don’t make sense of on the surface, but may make magic in your bread machine. Never know until you try!
- Rice: I actually just tossed a Carrot Curry tea bag into the rice maker (I use a microwave rice maker) and let it go; excellent results, even though I am not a fan of curry in many recipes.
- Noodles: Like the rice, I just added a Fennel Spice tea bag to the whole wheat linguine while it boiled. The taste was not strong—noodles do not absorb like couscous or rice, after all—but if you are eating them without sauce, maybe just some olive oil and Parmesan, this is a good option.
- Vegetables: Like the noodles, the flavor is not necessarily out front—one cup of brewed Broccoli Cilantro along with the veggies in my microwave pot—but it did give a new brightness to my usual cauliflower.
Numi Savory Teas are a unique experience, and definitely worth a try. “Numi’s Savory Teas invite consumers to get cozy and warm up to the savory sensations,” the company says. “They can be a satisfying, low-calorie snack alternative, a great complement to a light lunch, a delicious brew for cooking rice or noodles, a comforting cup when a cold or flu strikes, a pick-me-up on a hike or camping trip, an easy-to-prepare mood booster at work or on the road, or a perfect pairing to cheese and crackers. Whatever the occasion, Numi invites tea lovers to delight the palate and enjoy a comforting cup of garden goodness, one savory sip at a time!”
Numi Savory Teas are available in both single-flavor and combination boxes. For more information, including finding a store offering Numi Organic Tea near you, visit the Numi Organic Tea website.
Image: Numi Organic Tea