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via Fair Trade Certified ™ Blog by lmitchell on 8/19/10
There are a lot of perks that come with interning at TransFair USA, from starting the morning with a mug of hot Fair Trade Certified coffee to snacking on decadent Fair Trade Certified chocolate during meetings. This week, I had the opportunity to take advantage of an especially good perk, which was a trip to the Numi Tea Garden in Oakland to sample some of Numi's delicious organic and Fair Trade Certified™ teas and talk to the company's co-founder, Reem Rahim. Reem, who founded Numi with her brother in 1999, let us try four types of Fair Trade tea and gave us the stories behind their production. Watch her introduce her company and the first tea we tried, Aged Earl Gray:
The Aged Earl Grey was delicious, and the natural bergamot added a richness to the tea's taste. The tea is produced at an organic tea estate in Assam, India, and Fair Trade premium there has been invested in programs like a new school, cooking stoves for families, mosquito nets to protect against disease, and women's self-empowerment programs.
After the Aged Earl Grey, we tried Ruby Chai, a spiced Rooibos tea. Rooibos is only grown in a certain region of South Africa, and Numi works with South African cooperatives in which workers are partial owners of large Rooibos farms. These cooperatives have used their increased revenue from Fair Trade to support local schools, gender equality programs and HIV/AIDS prevention efforts. Reem told us that the scent of Ruby Chai always attracts passerby, and I could see why after sampling the tea. The combination of Rooibos, vanilla and a blend of spices makes for a soothing, delectable flavor that's simply irresistible. The tea contains no caffeine, so it's equally perfect for a relaxing break during the day or a treat before bed. Watch Reem describe the process behind a cup of Ruby Chai tea:
From Ruby Chai, we moved onto Jasmine Green, a unique tea that is made by laying jasmine flowers on top of green tea leaves in order to scent the tea. Thanks to this process, the tea contains hints of fragrance that are subtle rather than overpowering, creating a smooth, light flavor. According to Numi, Jasmine Green "will bring the joy of summer to your every sip," and drinking the tea certainly made me feel good. It's making workers in China feel good, too - because of Fair Trade, the producers behind Jasmine Green have earned wages that are 30 to 40 percent higher and have used Fair Trade premium money to fund a school dormitory for children.
We finished our sampling with Gunpowder Green, which contains multiple nutrients and has a low caffeine content. Like Jasmine Green, Gunpowder Green has a completely unique flavor - it's full-bodied and satisfying in unexpected ways. Watch Reem describe how it's made and where its unique name comes from:
When our sampling session came to a close, I left the Tea Garden with a bag full of Numi's Fair Trade Certified teas, and I can't wait to indulge in these teas at home. Numi tea is available all over the country in places that range from large grocery stores to college dormitories, as well as online. I highly recommend trying some, and if you happen to be in the Bay Area, the Numi Tea Garden is easy to find and is definitely worth a visit. Whether you're looking for energy in the morning or serenity in the evening, Numi has something for you, and it will taste even better because of the difference you're making in someone else's life.