Salaams my lovelies! It is my favorite season of all: Fall. Fall is a time where we all snuggle a little closer, enjoy sweater weather, and of course, sip tea. When I reach for tea, I invariably return again and again to my favorite tea brand of all, Numi Tea. Numi Tea is a local Bay area company that blends artisanal teas that are based on global tea flavors around the world. If you have not tried them, please take some time and try them out. I promise they will transport you to far flung places like Morocco, dusty plains of central Africa, or the lush verdant gardens of India without you having to even step out of your pjs. The power of tea is as transformative as it is nourishing to the soul.
Numi Tea is kosher certified as well as organic and offer consumers a sustainable way to enjoy tea.
Here is an interview I had with Reem Rahim, one of the co founders of Numi Tea:
Q: Let me start by saying I love your tea. What made you so passionate about tea that you wanted to start a tea company?
A:Thank you. I’m glad you enjoy our tea. Coming from Iraq, my family has always drunk tea as the hot beverage of choice. So I grew up with black tea all my life. We had also always drunk a Dry desert Lime called Numi Basrah. That was the inspiration for the starting the company. Ahmed had owned and operated teahouses in Prague. During that time, he was exposed to many varieties of tea – green, white, oolong, Pu-erh and many herbal teas. He taught me about all the varieties and nuances of teas and I have fallen in love with the beverage.
Q: Who serves as your main inspiration for new tea flavors? How do you go about product development?
A: This is developed though travelling and trying all sorts of new things. Keeping one’s ear to the ground in terms of trends and what’s new helps as well. Ahmed develops the new tea products and we work as a team to come up with the formulas and taste until they are finalized.
Q: If you have a great business idea, what is the first you need to do to get started?
A: Research the market to see what’s out there. Then refine your idea, who you’re marketing to, what is the problem, the need and the solution. Create a one-page synopsis of your concept.
Q: As a Muslim entrepreneur, what is the most important piece of advice would you give someone starting out?
A; Firstly, I don’t consider myself a Muslim entrepreneur. I am an entrepreneur and keep my religious practices personal and private. I wouldn’t recommend combining one’s religion with their professional life. That will only get in the way and cloud one’s work; and not allow you the freedom to pursue your capabilities. That said, one’s background and personal life always informs their beliefs, principles and ethics. Having grown up in an Arab, Muslim background, generosity, family, fairness and giving back has always been in our culture and is infused into our daily business practices.
Q: When you are not working on Numi Tea as a business what do you do for fun?
A: I spend time with my family – my husband and 5-year-old step-son. I like to be outside and work in the garden or go for walks. I also am an artist and paint when I can. I also love to travel.
Q: What do you hope resonates with consumers about the Numi tea brand?
A: I hope that people firstly taste the difference in quality of our teas and really enjoy those moments of tea sipping. We put a lot of care into making our teas and I hope that care is felt. I also hope that our brand sets an example of a new paradigm in business where you can sell a product and do good at the same time.
Q: In your tea instructions, you add little tidbits like setting water to boil while humming. Who was the inspiration behind that?
A: I’m not sure who the inspiration was. This was something we came up with when we first started to make the experience of unwrapping our packaging fun. We wanted to take the customer through a story and a meaningful experience rather than just drinking tea.
Q: Thank you for taking the time out for answering questions for my Hijabi Life readers. Is there one special tea house you would recommend our readers to visit here in the Bay Area?
A: Samovar in the Castro!