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U.S. Champion Speed Skater and Downhill Skier Stay Olympic-Ready with Tea!

Image of Catherine Taney-Norman Courtesy of pics.wsj.com

Image of Catherine Taney-Norman Courtesy of pics.wsj.com

We are so excited at Bigelow Tea about the 2010 Winter Olympics! While we don’t like playing favorites, once we found out that speed skater Catherine Raney-Norman and downhill skier Julia Mancuso are devoted tea-drinkers, we knew we would be keeping a closer eye on them.

Raney-Norman is already a three-time Olympian who debuted in 1998 at the Nagano Olympics at the age of seventeen. She was born in the Midwest but now lives in the snowy mountains of Utah with her husband.

Image of Julia Mancuso Courtesy of  rizzosports.com

Image of Julia Mancuso Courtesy of rizzosports.com

On a recent trip home she noted on her web site that she was sure to pick up some of her favorite beverage, cinnamon tea! She’s certainly not alone in her preference for the spicy beverage!

Gold Medal winning downhill skier Julia Mancuso loves to travel (when she’s not busy climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for humanitarian organizations). And being a true tea fan, she also enjoys her tea abroad!  She spent some time in London over the holidays and couldn’t pass up the opportunity for some traditional tea time:

It was a great day…we went to an old estate to have afternoon tea!

My favorite thing to do in England!

Maybe these Olympians know that a cup of tea will chase away the winter blues…but wait, maybe speed skaters and downhill skiers don’t get  the winter blues, especially in an Olympic year?!

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Terry Francona, Manager of the Red Sox, Comes for a Bigelow Tea Visit!

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Had somewhat of a surprise visit yesterday from Terry Francona, the manager of the Red Sox. We have been working with Terry for the last several years and I have been blessed to be with him a few times. This time I was able to spend a couple hours with him at our company. He got the full tour of our plant, met all our employees, saw our manufacturing process and our blending process…he was so excited to learn how to make a teabag! He actually is a little bit of an “operations geek.” He watches programs on manufacturing and finds it fascinating (who knew!).

But besides seeing how we operate, he was so gracious and generous with his time in chatting with our employees. Our employees were smiling from ear to ear as he signed photos, notes, whatever as well as stood for pictures with anyone that wanted one (which was just about everyone!). He never gave me the feeling “he had to go” even though he was driving down to Spring Training when he left our company. He is a class act in every sense.

Yes, the Bigelow family is very fortunate in our partnerships. We could have not have found a better spokesman for our company, not only does he love our green tea but as everyone knows he is a true gentleman. A professional, a gentleman, a huge heart and a fantastic manager….we are blessed to call him part of our family!

Cindi Bigelow

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Happy Birthday Ruth Campbell Bigelow!

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Special day for the Bigelow Tea company…..114 years ago Ruth Campbell Bigelow was born on this day in Providence RI! Happy Birthday Grandma….thanks for all you did for all of us here at Bigelow!

Cindi Bigelow

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Bigelow Tea’s Teabags and Wrappers Are Much More Than Just Packaging!

Believe it! Your Bigelow Tea teabags and the wrappers that envelop them have a significant impact on the aroma and taste of the tea you drink! While many people think wrappers and teabags are simply forms of packaging, at Bigelow Tea the bag and the foil wrapper are carefully crafted components, integral to the overall tea-drinking experience.

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When tea lovers got together with Cindi Bigelow for a Tea Social in New York City in January, Cindi talked to her special tea guests about the often-overlooked teabag and its wrapper. Stephanie from The Tea Scoop was at the event, and afterward she shared a fantastic summary of Cindi’s lesson on her blog. Check it out!

As part of the event, participants learned that wrappers (or barriers) are rated from 0 to 10, with a 10 keeping the teabags freshest. Bigelow Tea wrappers are rated a 10. Simply opening the wrapper of a Bigelow Tea bag and enjoying the aroma of what’s inside gives consumers an idea of how important a wrapper can be. As Stephanie at the Tea Scoop happily noted:

“When I sniffed Bigelow, I found the strength of the aroma startling.”

Cindi also asked the guests to tear open teabags and see what’s inside. Some teas contain filler: tea dust, stems, and “prills” of flavoring and small leaves. Bigelow Tea, however, contains tea leaves, real ingredients (like orange rind in Constant Comment) and spices—never dust or prills. As Stephanie at The Tea Scoop put it, “I was completely blown away by the difference.”  Check out Cindi’s demonstration in this video:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-T2XsjMNmc[/youtube]

Try this at home and see; smell and taste the difference a premium tea bag and wrapper makes. At Bigelow Tea, we take the quality of our ingredients and materials seriously, so we can provide the best tea-drinking experience possible!


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Bigelow Tea Celebrates Black History Month

“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound
to the starless midnight of racism and war,
that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality….
I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Image Courtesy of Awarenessdates.com

We are a nation of dreamers, fuelled by inspirational leaders like Martin Luther King Jr., who planted the seeds of Hope in our hearts and minds when he addressed all people – black, white and every shade in between – with his memorable “I have a dream” speech in 1963. We have come a long way since then.

Black History Month, commemorated in the United States and Canada each February, promotes awareness of the history of African Americans, honoring those outstanding men and women prominent in the areas of science, politics, education and the arts, as well as highlighting the socio-economic and racial issues still prevalent today.

Black History Month was first established in 1926 by historian Dr. Carter G. Woodson, a son of former slaves who spent his childhood working in Kentucky coal mines. At age 20, he enrolled in high school, later earning a PhD from Harvard.  Dr. Woodson dedicated his life to ensuring the incorporation of African Americans  into the nation’s history.  Black History Month became the extended version of Negro History Week, celebrating the recognition of a nationwide community of African American men and women.

Please join Bigelow Tea in celebrating Black History Month, 2010!

“Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise.  I rise.  I rise.”

~ Maya Angelou

(from Still I Rise)


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The Who: What, When and Where!

thanks to flickr.com for the image

Thanks to The Who for the image

Never mind the chips, salsa and beer. The refreshment of choice during Super Bowl XLIV should have been Bigelow Tea—at least during halftime!  That’s when The Who, one of the greatest rock groups ever, performed their dynamic live set in Miami, as part of the most-watched television program in history!

If you were one of the 106.5 million viewers who saw the New Orleans Saints defeat the Indianapolis Colts, you probably enjoyed seeing Pete Townshend & Roger Daltrey rock the arena with a medley of their classics, like “Pinball Wizard” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”  (And you might be doubly thrilled to know you can play their medley yourself on Rock Band right now!)

But for all their instantly-recognizable classics, The Who are still cranking out new tunes as well — including their recent song Tea & Theatre, which begins with the question, “Will you have some tea…with me?”

Yes we will!

Decide for yourself what the lyrics in Tea & Theatre are about (watch an acoustic version here), but featuring a tea reference in lyrics does follow a long tradition in music. Perhaps The Who’s legendary singer Roger Daltrey and songwriter/guitarist Pete Townshend, the two original members remaining in the iconic group, love tea because they’re from England, which enjoys the world’s highest per capita tea consumption.

The Who’s album Endless Wire, released in 2006, includes the poignant Tea & Theatre, which was often played as the final song of their concerts during the album tour:

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The Who in London, 1965 (Thanks to The Who for the image)

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia

Before we walk from the stage
Will you have some tea
Will you have some tea
At the Theatre with me?

Inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall Of Fame in 1990, The Who continue a long list of blockbuster Super Bowl halftime performers, including Prince, the Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney.  And if they inspire a few football fans to warm up with a hot cup of tea, they’re our personal MVPs!


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The Bigelow Tea Weight Loss Update

WEIGHT LOSS UPDATE: Ok to make matters worse with our weight loss contest, a wonderful woman I work with in Sales and Marketing just lost 10 lbs in 3 weeks using Jenny Craig. Meanwhile my friendly Vice Presidents (VP HR and VP S&M) have lost 2 and 5 pounds respectively in 14 weeks.

What is wrong with this picture?

I will tell you that by venting my frustration on our blog about the lack of progress, the VP Sales and Marketing seems to be much more serious about this endeavor. Maybe that is the piece of the puzzle I needed to better motivate them. He read what some people said on our facebook fan page and felt re-engerized, so thank you to you guys. You are obviously carrying more influence than I am, but it is all for the same good cause.

Keep up the comments…

Cindi Bigelow

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Bigelow Tea Encourages Heart-Healthy Habits, Highlighting American Heart Month


Photo: National Heart Lung and Blood Institute

Photo: National Heart Lung and Blood Institute

February is American Heart Month, a great time to remind ourselves and the ones we love about heart-healthy habits! During American Heart Month, thousands of American Heart Association volunteers visit their neighbors to raise funds for research and education, as well as to share information about heart disease and stroke.

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Thanks to nhlbi.nih.gov/for image of the Red Dress Pin

In addition, Friday, February 5, 2010 is National Wear Red Day®, where Americans nationwide will take womens’ health to heart by wearing red in support of fighting women’s heart disease. The Red Dress® symbol was created by The Heart Truth® in 2002 as a wakeup call to American women; heart disease is the number one killer of women, just as it is for men.

A healthy diet is one of the best weapons we have to fight cardiovascular disease – whether male or female. A diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole-grain and high-fiber foods, fish, lean proteins, fat-free or low-fat dairy products – is important. And what is a more perfect complement to delicious and healthy food, than a great cup of Bigelow Tea!

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Punxsutawney Phil’s Predictions – Happy Groundhog Day!

Phil

Picture of Punxsutawney Phil Courtesy of Groundhog.org

As we begin to tire of winter (enough, already!) we also wait anxiously for the answer to a crucial question: “Will there be six more weeks of winter or will we soon be singing Spring Fever?” Well, we at Bigelow Tea can’t answer that question, so we’ll defer to the professionals – Punxsutawney Phil and his like-minded brethren.

Each year on February 2nd, Phil (and his geographic network of groundhogs in the United States and Canada) ventures out of his burrow.  If he sees his shadow, he scurries back into hibernation for another six weeks; if however, the lovable four-legged muse fails to see his shadow, he will leave his burrow, indicating that spring will soon be sprung!

Groundhog Day is celebrated with gusto in many locations, especially in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania – which, fittingly, was the set location for the 1993 movie Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray. Each year in Punxsutawney, crowds of people gather before sunrise to begin their annual all-day celebration featuring county fair themed events, food, libations and dancing.

Image Courtesy of Donnan.com

Image Courtesy of Donnan.com

The Groundhog Day tradition dates back to 19th century Pennsylvania and the influx of German immigrants, whose European weather lore and customs were adopted. The annual celebration is also reminiscent of the medieval Catholic holiday of Candlemas.

Today, communities across the country have named their official groundhogs. Sadly, in Bigelow Tea’s home state, Connecticut Chuckles VI (a.k.a. Arnie) died last year at the ripe old age of 12. However, the title has been passed on to Molly, heretofore known as Connecticut Chuckles VII.

Happy Groundhog Day! And be sure that that when you come in from the cold, that you put the kettle on and enjoy some tea!



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Bigelow Tea Has Super Tasty Super Bowl Recipes!

Tired of devouring the same old game-day snacks, year after year? Bigelow Tea to the rescue!

fieldThanks to Boston.com for the image

Bigelow Tea has all sorts of tasty, fun, and unique recipes, including several appetizers and snacks for every occasion.  The recipes combine your favorite tea flavors with your favorite foods, to create what may become your favorite recipes! Who says football isn’t refined?

This year, while you cheer on the New Orleans Saints or the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV, why not try Bigelow Tea’s “I Love Lemon Asparagus Wrapped in Smoked Salmon” recipe! Enjoy the tastes of asparagus, salmon, and Bigelow® I Love LemonTM Herbal Tea in an easy finger food. ‘Wow’ your friends and your taste buds at the same time – everyone will love the food, no matter which team wins the game!

Bigelow Tea’s “I Love Lemon Asparagus Wrapped in Smoked Salmon”

Ingredients:

8 Bigelow® I Love LemonTM Herbal Tea Bags
4 cups water
1 lb fresh asparagus (approx. 30 stalks), peeled, and tough ends trimmed away
4 oz. light cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
8 oz. thinly sliced smoked salmon

Yield: Serves 10


This elegant hors d’oeuvre is surprisingly simple to prepare, and is as delicious as it is beautiful. By parboiling fresh asparagus in Bigelow® I Love LemonTM Herbal Tea, it becomes subtly infused with flavor and the perfect complement to smoked salmon. A touch of herbed cream cheese holds the wraps together for an impressive presentation.


Instructions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to a gentle boil. Remove from heat, add tea bags and allow to steep for 5 minutes.
  2. Remove tea bags, return saucepan to the heat and bring to a boil. Add asparagus and 1½ teaspoons of salt to the pan.
  3. Parboil for 2-3 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Remove asparagus and immediately transfer to a bowl of ice water (to stop the cooking).
    Drain and pat dry. Set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, fresh herbs and remaining ½ teaspoon of salt. Stir to combine.
  5. Spread a thin layer of the cream cheese mixture (about ½ teaspoon) on each slice of smoked salmon.
  6. Roll up one stalk of asparagus in each piece of smoked salmon, leaving the tips of the asparagus exposed (making it easier to pick up).
  7. Arrange on a platter and serve at room temperature.


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