In Oakland, over on Broadway, there’s a co-working space in a bustling complex known as the Hive. As you open the front door, you’ll probably see the smiling face of Numi Organic Tea co-founder, Ahmed Rahim. He and his sister Reem are the founders of local and nationally distributed tea company Numi Organic Teas. I had been familiar with their teas and their social initiatives for a while. But, it took me moving to Oakland to truly understand how they embody the spirit of this city in the diversity, activism, and attention to ingredient sourcing, and so, I’m pleased to welcome them as the next guest on my tea podcast.
As uptown Oakland continues to grow and thrive, it’s no surprise that the Numi Organic Tea offices are tucked into a back corner of the Hive, which is a hub in the city. It’s been interesting to see how Numi has defined itself as they’ve grown over the years. At a natural product tradeshow many years ago, I still remember the creative approach Numi presented by flying out tea artisans to stitch together their flowering teas as a way to launch them. It was a creative approach that connected with tradeshow attendees as large crowds gathered on the tradeshow floor.
Through the conversation, I learned how both Reem and Ahmed have an artistic bent– I profess to miss the original tea bag packets that featured Reem’s black and white paintings like the one above and caught a glimpse of some of Ahmed’s photos hanging in the Numi headquarters lobby. For the fourth episode of Tea with Tastemakers, I’m happy to bring you a chat with the founders of Numi. Tune into the tea podcast here or click the image below.