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On Presidents’ Day, Bigelow Tea Hails U.S. Presidential Tea Drinkers

Monday, February 15th, 2016

bigelow tea american breakfastOn Presidents’ Day, Bigelow Tea gives a hail to the chiefs known for drinking tea. Here are some Commanders In Chief historically linked to the beverage.  At Mount Vernon, George Washington stocked up on teas popular during his time, and imported tea chests, silver teaspoons and even a silver-plated tea urn.

o  Letters between John and Abigail Adams mention tea. One from July 1774 describes a hostess only serving coffee since tea (during the American Revolution) was considered unpatriotic.

o  Thomas Jefferson bought different teas for Monticello, but would drink a particular type like Imperial.

o  Lyndon Johnson had four buttons installed in the Oval Office to order his favorite beverages—including tea—on demand!

o  For breakfast, Gerald Ford had tea with lemon alongside OJ, melon, and English muffins.

o  Barack Obama has been spotted drinking tea as well.

o  Let’s not forget the First Ladies! From Dolley Madison to Michelle Obama, they’ve served tea to White House guests.

This year, on Presidents’ Day, Bigelow Tea’s caffeinated American Breakfast teas are a great fit for the day off! Facebook fan Lydia Kammerer starts the morning with “large cup” every day! Sip and think about the presidents who have sipped as well.

 

Presidential Tea Past and Present

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

From George Washington to president-elect Barack Obama, every president and first lady has understood the value of tea. The stimulating and warming qualities of tea have been helping advance our democracy for hundreds of years! Washington drank tea regularly, and always purchased the highest quality tea, from Great Britain initially, and then from the Dutch. Today Washington could purchase his quality tea right here in the “colonies” from the Charleston Tea Plantation, the only location in North America where tea is grown today. While commanding the Revolutionary War and as president, Washington, like most Americans in the 18th century, was a committed tea lover.

Once John and Abigail Adams moved into the Presidential Mansion — now called the White House — society ladies called on her for invitations to tea as often as a dozen times a day; an impossible schedule even for the most ardent tea lover. In the early 19th century, Dolly Madison, our country’s fourth first lady, sometimes served tea three times daily at the White House — at breakfast, in the afternoon and after an evening meal.

In the 20th century, first lady Eleanor Roosevelt enjoyed tea so much that she would have several teas in a row. And at what may have been one of the largest American tea parties ever, 4,000 guests were served sandwiches and cakes with gallons of tea on Inauguration Day 1941. And the 21st century? President-elect Obama is often seen in interviews with a cup of tea in hand, and on the Today Show Obama stated that it’s definitely tea over coffee for him, a fact that Bigelow Tea will appreciate for the next four years!

Old vs. New – And All the Other Reasons Why Tea is Steeped in History!

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

Alright, so history might not be your favorite subject, but when it comes to tea, it goes waaay back! Actually, if you think it’s pretty cool to drink tea now, just think – 2,100 years ago, others did, too! So, grab your fave Bigelow Tea flavor and let’s do a then vs. now.

Afternoon Tea

Then: Many tea drinkers may think of afternoon teatime as a British tradition (even though the post-lunch, pre-dinner cup and nibble has roots across numerous cultures). Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford is the woman to thank for the traditional English teatime as we know it. In 1840, Anna started partaking in the light meal to help stave off afternoon hunger pangs in between lunch and supper.

Now: Today, traipse into an afternoon tea party and be ready to see a scene with three-tiered serving stands filled with treats like tea sandwiches, petit fours, scones, and clotted cream. From fancy hotels to teahouses to your own kitchen, afternoon tea has come a long way since an afternoon snack – it’s a full-fledged event!

Iced Tea

Then: Richard Blechynden has often been attributed with making the first iced tea at the World’s Fair in St. Louis in 1904. As sales for his hot tea dropped while summer temperatures rose, he purportedly poured tea over ice to entice fairgoers. Some dedicated research tells another story, though, with iced tea’s roots reaching as far back as 1879, when Marion Cabell Tyree created a recipe for green tea over ice, which was published in a community cookbook called Housekeeping in Old Virginia. Later, in 1884, another recipe for iced black tea surfaced from the Boston Cooking School.

Now: Iced tea has become so popular, that there was even a bill introduced in 2003 that proposed a requirement for all Georgia restaurants that serve tea to serve it sweetened over ice. It was later determined to be an April Fool’s joke as an attempt to bring humor to the Legislature, but Georgia State Representative John Noel allegedly said that he wouldn’t mind if it became law!

Book About Tea

Then: Long ago—in 1211 to be exact—a famous Buddhist priest by the name of Eisai wrote what is known to be the oldest book on tea in Japan: Kissa Yojoki (“How to Stay Healthy by Drinking Tea”). Kind of cool to know that even in the 1200s, tea was a part of a trend of healthy living…

Now: Today, there are countless books, podcasts and blogs about tea. A quick snapshot of the popularity of tea articles today, the Tea page on Reddit has nearly 100,000 subscribers, more than one million subscribers on social media, and receives about 150 posts to share each week.

Tea in America

Then: Letters between John and Abigail Adams mention tea. One from July 1774 describes a hostess only serving coffee since tea (during the American Revolution) was considered unpatriotic. Fortunately, Americans came back around to this delightful beverage—and not just for throwing it into harbors.

Now: On any given day, more than 158 million Americans are drinking tea. Clearly, things have changed since the 1700s.

Sought after by noble, innovated by inventive brewers and written about for centuries, tea has a storied history. So, the next time you’re confronted by a historical fact and feel your eyes glazing over, just think about how tea was probably livening things up behind the scenes. Do you have a favorite tea-related story to tell from your own history? Tag #TeaProudly on social media and share it with us.

A President, A Monk, A Heist And A Duchess… And Other Times Tea Appeared In History

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

Okay, so maybe history wasn’t everyone’s favorite subject in school, but when it comes to tea—and its thousands of years of history—there are definitely some interesting stories to tell. So, grab a mug of your favorite Bigelow Tea flavor and enjoy these fun tales of tea from centuries past!

  1. The story behind afternoon tea: Many tea drinkers may think of afternoon teatime as a British tradition (even though the post-lunch, pre-dinner cup and nibble has roots across numerous cultures). Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford is the woman to thank for the traditional English teatime as we know it. In 1840, Anna started partaking in the light meal to help stave off afternoon hunger pangs in between lunch and the typically late dinner hour of the time. Hey, whatever is necessary to avoid getting “hangry,” right?
  2. How about some ice for that hot tea? Richard Blechynden has often been attributed with making the first iced tea at the World’s Fair in St. Louis in 1904. As sales for his hot tea dropped while summer temperatures rose, he purportedly poured tea over ice to entice fairgoers. Some dedicated research tells another story, though, with iced tea’s roots reaching as far back as 1879, when Marion Cabell Tyree created a recipe for green tea over ice, which was published in a community cookbook called Housekeeping in Old Virginia. Later, in 1884, another recipe for iced black tea surfaced from the Boston Cooking School.
  3. The oldest book on tea! Long ago—in 1211 to be exact—a famous Buddhist priest by the name of Eisai wrote what is known to be the oldest book on tea in Japan: Kissa Yojoki (“How to Stay Healthy by Drinking Tea”). Kind of cool to know that even in the 1200s, tea was a part of a trend of healthy living…
  4. When tea wasn’t considered patriotic: Letters between John and Abigail Adams mention tea. One from July 1774 describes a hostess only serving coffee since tea (during the American Revolution) was considered unpatriotic. Fortunately, Americans came back around to this delightful beverage—and not just for throwing it into harbors.
  5. Tea in tombs: Experts now have what they believe is physical evidence of tea’s existence in two tombs that are 2,100 years old. Leaf buds found in these tombs resemble the finest tea. To prove their hunch, researchers compared the chemistry of the buds to modern tea samples. The presence of caffeine was helpful, but not conclusive, evidence. A few other plants also contain caffeine. Finding theanine was “the clincher.” The investigation also supported the belief that tea has long been highly prized and sought after, as one of the tombs –in western China – belonged to an emperor. Sounds like the humble cup of tea has some pretty lofty ancestors!
  6. Even a heist! According to Smithsonian magazine, in 1848, the British East India Company sent Robert Fortune on a trip to an area of China that was forbidden to foreigners. Disguised as a Chinese merchant, his mission was to steal the secrets of tea horticulture and manufacturing. (No need for thievery these days, we put our best blends right in the teabag for you to enjoy.)

Whether it was the subject of scandal, a sought-after noble treat or a target of old world corporate espionage, tea has a storied history that could give the likes of James Bond a run for his money. So the next time you’re confronted by a historical fact and feel your eyes threatening to glaze over, just think about how tea was probably livening things up behind the scenes. Do you have a favorite tea-related story to tell from your own history? Tag #TeaProudly on social media and share it with us!

Bigelow Tea Pays Tribute to Black History Month

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

At Bigelow Tea, we are proud to recognize the legacy behind Black History Month and the countless men and women who have made major contributions to U.S. history—and continue to do so.

The origin of Black History Month is an interesting story. In 1926, it began as a weeklong public observance that was initiated by Carter G. Woodson, an educator and historian who helped to found an organization now known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. This history week was held on the second week of February to coincide with birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.

What we now know as Black History Month took shape by the late 1960s, with the rise of the Civil Rights Movement and as public awareness about this subject grew nationwide. In 1976, Gerald Ford made the first official presidential proclamation for Black History Month. Since then, every U.S. president including Barack Obama has kept this tradition going.

Each year, Black History Month has a theme. 2013 will acknowledge two significant milestones in African American history. The first one is the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. Issued by Lincoln, this act paved the way to adding the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which abolished slavery. The second marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, where Martin Luther King gave his famous speech, “I Have a Dream.”

Throughout February, we raise our teacups to recognize Black History Month. Join us by filling yours with “Constant Comment®,” our very first tea which started our company’s history. Or enjoy any one of our other blends, which are just as notable.

Top image by Corbis via History.com

Bigelow Tea Goes Red for American Heart Month

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

Let’s get ready to focus on matters of the heart in February! The second month of the year is American Heart Month, and Bigelow Tea encourages everyone to learn more about heart disease. And please wear red on Friday, February 1 … the 10th anniversary of National “Wear Red” Day!

National Wear Red Day is the perfect way to kick off American Heart Month, and to lead into Women’s Heart Week, which begins on Monday, February 4. By wearing Red on Friday, people will make a statement that it’s important to take action and commit to fighting heart disease. The Wear Red awareness campaign certainly adds a lot of color to this important cause!

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease remains the leading cause of death for women. It’s more deadly than all forms of cancer. Since the first National Wear Red Day ten years ago, 21 percent fewer women are dying from heart disease and 23 percent more women aware that it’s their No. 1 health threat.

At Bigelow Tea, we think that “sipping” red is a nice way to recognize the day too! Enjoy the flavors of our teas that come wrapped in red-colored boxes. Start off with something fruity like our Red Raspberry or Pomegranate Pizzazz herbal teas. Or add a little spice to the day with “Constant Comment”® or Spiced Chai. There are many Bigelow Teas in red wrappers, so check them all out!

So, as you move through February, remember to take your heart health seriously … and enjoy a little tea along the way!

Top image via American Heart Association/Go Red for Women

 

Bigelow Tea Recognizes November As National Diabetes Month

Friday, November 16th, 2012

The number is huge: 25.8 million people in the United States have diabetes. And, believe it or not, 7 million of them haven’t been diagnosed yet. When we add to that the 79 million people with pre-diabetes it’s easy to see why November has been designated National Diabetes Month and National Diabetic Eye Disease Month. With these statistics in mind, it’s clear that we all should support efforts to heighten the awareness of these diseases.

Diabetes is group of metabolic diseases (Type 1, Type 2, Gestational, etc.) that cause a person to have high blood sugar, either because the body does not produce enough insulin or because its cells don’t respond to the insulin that is produced by the body. Although all types are treatable, the management of each type is different. Some types can be managed through diet and exercise, but others need to be treated with medication, possibly via injections. When diabetes isn’t managed correctly, it can trigger complications such as Diabetic Eye Disease, a leading cause of blindness in American adults.

On October 29, 2010 the President of the United States made a Presidential Proclamation stating that U.S. citizens should raise awareness to help prevent, treat, and manage this disease.

Bigelow Tea is pleased to help raise awareness of Diabetes this month. We’ve been told time and again that our teas are so flavorful that they can be sipped when the craving for a sugary dessert strikes! Because they contain no sugar, our teas—greenherbalblack and decaf—are a delicious option for any time of day!

We all know that when we have a problem, big or small, it helps to talk about it. Diabetes is no minor issue … so let’s start talking about it, and let’s start figuring out how we can help our friends and family members who have diabetes. November is National Diabetes Month; it’s a perfect time to start.

Image by Woodleywonderworks via Flickr.com

Bigelow Tea Salutes U.S. Troops on Patriot Day

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

As we at Bigelow Tea remember those who lost their lives on September 11, we recognize Patriot Day, a National Day of Service and Remembrance. Started in 2009, Patriot Day is set aside as a time to engage in public service and to remember those who died on 9/11.

As the proclamation signed by President Obama on September 10, 2009 states: “[T]he National Day of Service and Remembrance is an opportunity to salute the heroes of 9/11, recapture the spirit of unity and compassion that inspired our Nation following the attacks, and rededicate ourselves to sustained service to our communities.” At Bigelow Tea, community service is a huge part of who we are, and we hope that many people are inspired to volunteer on this important day.

Patriot Day is also an appropriate time to pay tribute to the brave men and women in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Bigelow Tea is proud of our troops, and we we’re honored to offer them a special tea in appreciation of the sacrifices they make for our country. Three years ago, we developed our Tea for the Troops program, which brings a bit of “home” to our servicemen and women stationed overseas. Specially packaged boxes American Classic Tea are distributed to those in the armed forces, and this serves as our way of giving thanks for the brave work that our U.S. troops perform on behalf of this country. Completely made in the USA, Tea for the Troops is grown and produced in South Carolina at our Charleston Tea Plantation.

So, this Tuesday, September 11, join us in raising a cup of tea full of remembrance for those who perished on this date in 2001 … and also cup full of gratitude for those who sacrifice every day to keep us safe.

Top image by Uhuru1701 via Flickr

Drink Your (Bigelow) Tea Al Fresco During Great Outdoors Month!

Friday, June 29th, 2012

Each year, the U.S. President recognizes the month of June as Great Outdoors Month, and Bigelow Tea couldn’t be happier! Last year in his proclamation, President Obama said I urge all Americans to explore the great outdoors and to uphold our Nation’s legacy of conserving our lands for future generations.”

Getting outside and living sustainably are two goals we at Bigelow Tea truly embrace! We’ve written before about the importance of walking and taking hikes, and who can argue with the objective of taking time to enjoy local, state and national parks? In the U.S. we’re fortunate to have national parks that range from the majestic Grand Canyon to the coastal beauty of Acadia National Park to the rare and significant environs of the Everglades.

Great Outdoors Month highlights the benefits of active fun outdoors, as well as our magnificent resources of forests, parks, refuges, and other public lands and waters. At Bigelow Tea we like to envision people of all ages visiting beautiful places and then sipping tea together and reminiscing about their adventures. A good black tea like Constant Comment would be an ideal beverage for an after-hike gab session! Alternatively, the perfect end to a great day in the great outdoors might just be a refreshing iced tea. The choice is yours!

We hope all of you get a chance to enjoy Great Outdoors Month … and to cap it off with a cup of your favorite tea!

Image via Grandcanyon-nationalpark.org

Bigelow Tea Salutes Patriot Day Community Efforts and Tea for the Troops

Friday, September 9th, 2011

As America commemorates the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 on Sunday, we remember those we lost that bright and terrible day. We also honor our troops, who continue to sacrifice for our country both at home and away. Now officially recognized as Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance, September 11th is also a time for personal reflection and recommitment to our own communities. Here at Bigelow Tea, we are continually inspired by people who strive to make a difference.

Community service is integral to Bigelow Tea’s mission, so we were excited in 2009 to create the special Tea for the Troops, honoring the brave men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Bigelow Tea produced 100,000 boxes of American Classic Tea for the troops – 100 percent grown on American soil at our own Charleston Tea Plantation. It’s a small way of saying thank you to those who serve and protect. The many letters of appreciation we have received from the troops are truly heartwarming!

Aspen (left) and Autumn Cooper pack Tea for the Troops in Wesley Chapel, FL

Our extended Bigelow Tea family is also heartened to see how Patriot Day, established in memory of those who died in the terrorist attacks of September 11th, has spurred on more volunteerism across the country.  In 2009, a presidential proclamation declared Patriot Day a National Day of Service and Remembrance “as an opportunity to salute the heroes of 9/11, recapture the spirit of unity and compassion that inspired our nation following the attacks and rededicate ourselves to sustained service to our communities.” More than 63 million Americans responded by volunteering their time, efforts and hearts.

The momentum continues with the I Will page, which provides a forum for ideas in support of the 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance. Share yours with us on Facebook and Twitter!