March 10, 2015

Numi Rooibos Chai Real Cups Review

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We continue our review of the Numi Organic Teas Real Cups today by checking out the 2nd flavor in the line-up… Numi Rooibos Chai Real Cups. Normally we associate chai tea as having a traditional black tea base, so to have one with a rooibos base was an interesting change of pace. We always found that taking a chai tea black rendered the spices way too potent and created an intoxicatingly over-spiced cup which was to the point of being sickening, hence why most chai teas are usually transformed into chai lattes via the addition of milk. Would the lighter bodied rooibos tea make any difference this time around? Would it allow us to finally drink a chai tea au natural (i.e. sans milk)? Read on to find out. 

Brewing these Real Cups resulted in your typically potent punch of traditional chai spices comprised of cloves, nutmeg, allspice & cardamom tinged with cinnamon & ginger. So far, so good… no unexpected scents. Flavor was comprised of the same ingredients with the cloves, nutmeg, allspice & cardamom up front and it took a while for us detect the cinnamon & ginger notes but there were in fact present. So far, this was pretty similar to most chai teas we’ve tried before with one glaring exception… taken, uh… black? red? clear? this tea was smoooooooth! The use of rooibos really worked wonders here as this was the first time we’ve been able to take a chai tea as-is WITHOUT needing to add milk in order to make it drinkable. We were able to enjoy the spices and flavors on their own and even got some of the rooibos’ natural sweetness near the end of each sip. We were tempted to add milk out of curiosity sake, but opted not too in fear that it would wash things out.

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Acidity was very light at most and made for a very light tasting tea. Body yielded vibrant shades of deep yellow & orange throughout much like a sunset over the Ganges river in India. Mouth feel was super-smooth and made for a refreshing change of pace from the norm. There was enough of a consistency to prevent this from being deemed watery, but just barely. Finish was on the sweeter side while we picked up more clove & cardamom flavors in the aftertaste.

  • Aroma – 10 – Traditional aromas of cloves, nutmeg, allspice, cardamom, cinnamon & ginger are all present here and quickly fill the room during brewing. We thought using rooibos would change the aromas but this wasn’t the case.  
  • Acidity – 9 – Very light overall and not what we were expecting. It made for a nice change of pace from the norm and reminded us that we were drinking a different version of a usual chai tea. 
  • Body – 10 – Vibrant shades of deep yellow & orange were present much like an Indian sunset when held in front of a light source. It helped promote the overall Indian tea experience one associates with chai teas in general.
  • Flavor – 9 – Some may find this a bit too light for their liking, but we thought it was a great change to the usually overbearing chai spices found in the traditional black tea version. Using rooibos really improved things in our opinion and we can’t even recall the last time we were able to drink chai tea without having to add milk into it. You get all the same spice notes from the aroma along with a sweet note of the rooibos near the end of each sip. 
  • Mouth Feel – 8 – Super-smooth throughout and while there was some overall consistency, most folks will likely find this is bordering on being watery. Finish was on the sweeter side with more clove & cardamom flavors in the aftertaste.
  • Coffee Drinker – While this is obviously NOT coffee, it’s best suited for herbal tea drinkers chai aficionados who are willing to ditch the milk and enjoy a straight-up chai tea instead of the chai latte version. If you go into this expecting a lighter version of the original minus the milk, then we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. 

Overall Rating: 96 – Excellent

Once again, the ingredients included here are 100% organic, Fair-Trade sourced & all-natural without anything artificial having been added. We also like the fact that these Real Cups are again of the newer peel-to-recycle variety. We didn’t get around to trying the remaining flavors in the Numi Real Cup line-up, but if they’re anything as good as this one & the previously reviewed Moroccan Mint Tea Real Cups, then they’re likely worth giving a try as well.

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Numi have once again proven that they’re a brand worth paying attention to and we’re glad they’ve decided to enter the single serve market recently. Our only hope is that they start offering a lot more of their other flavors in Real Cup format over the coming months. If you haven’t tried any yet, what are you waiting for? You’re missing out on some truly exceptional products. 

Numi Rooibos Chai Real Cups work in all Keurig K-Cup Brewers BUT NOT Keurig 2.0 and are available via in Canada. These Real Cups are also available via in USA. Please also note that Real Cups will NOT work without using adapters in Keurig Vue brewers.

A special thanks to SH for providing this Single Serve Coffee staff review. We would also like to thank ECS Coffee for sending us some samples of these Real Cups for the purpose of this review.

Read More in: K Cup Reviews | Keurig & K-Cups | Reviews

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Posted by Jay Brewer at March 10, 2015 7:35 AM
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