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Kicking It Up a Notch … Seasoning Your Veggies With Bigelow Tea!

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

You know the culinary wizards at Bigelow Tea love to cook with their favorite ingredient – tea. Over years of experimentation in the kitchen, we’ve come up with an exciting repertoire of scrumptious recipes for any meal of the day!

While the Chinese have been cooking with tea for centuries, it’s fairly new in North America. But now top chefs use tea in a variety of ways: as a substitute for water when making rice, soup, or boiling vegetables; adding unique flavors to broths and marinades; and to season steamed vegetables. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how tasty steamed vegetables are when you “kick it up a notch”– by adding your favorite Bigelow tea to the mix!

This is how it’s done:

  1. Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil. Add your usual seasonings, such as salt and pepper, and a few Bigelow Tea tea bags.
    NOTE: Choose whatever type you want and don’t be afraid to experiment with different teas. You’ll find that some flavors work better with certain vegetables than others. It’s really a matter of personal taste, so just have fun with it!  The quantity of tea bags you use is also a matter of personal preference. The more teabags there are, the stronger the flavor will be. Take care not to overdo it, otherwise the vegetables’ natural flavors will be overpowered by the seasoning.
  2. Remove the pot from the heat and cover for 5 minutes. Then, remove the tea bags (after the 5 minutes has elapsed).
  3. Put the pot (with tea bags removed) back on the heat. Place your vegetables in a vegetable steamer basket over the pot, cover and steam for approximately 10 minutes (steaming time varies according to the type of vegetable).
  4. Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

Photos via Livestrong.com

Happy Valentine’s Day from Bigelow Tea!

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Love is in the air at Bigelow Tea!  To set the mood, we thought we’d share some of our Valentine’s Day favorites with you, just in time for the big day.

Nothing says romance like chocolates and champagne, so you’ll love our Darjeeling and Dark Chocolate Pots and our Pomegranate Pizzazz Champagne Punch!  And you can curl up by the fireplace with your significant other with our winning combination of Green Tea and Sweetheart Cinnamon Iced Tea. Or perhaps our spectacular Naugh-TEAS: the cupids at Bigelow Tea have concocted some ‘take-me-to-the-moon’ Mar-TEA-nis for all you romantics out there on Valentine’s Day!

A little chocolate…

Darjeeling & Dark Chocolate Pots

Ingredients

½ cup whole milk
2 tea bags, Bigelow® Darjeeling
¾ cup bittersweet chocolate chips (60% cacao content) or semi-sweet chips
1 egg
Pinch of salt

Yield: Serves 4

Instructions

  • In a glass measuring cup, heat milk in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, or until very hot. Alternatively, this step can be done in s small saucepan over medium-high heat on the stovetop.
  • Place the tea bags in the hot milk and allow to steep for 2 minutes. Thoroughly squeeze out teabags into milk before discarding. Meanwhile, place chocolate chips in a blender and process until finely chopped.
  • Pour the hot tea infused milk over the chocolate and blend until smooth, about one minute. Add egg and a pinch of salt and blend again to incorporate fully. Note: It is important that the milk is hot to ensure the chocolate melts completely and creates the right consistency.
  • Divide mixture evenly between four tea cups (or individually sized ramekins) and place in refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes. During this time, the mixture will firm up to the consistency of pudding.
  • Serve chilled, with any combination of the following garnishes: whipped cream, fresh raspberries, or fresh mint leaves.

… and some champagne

Pomegranate Pizzazz Champagne Punch

Ingredients

1 ¼ cups boiling water
6 Bigelow® Pomegranate Pizzazz™ tea bags
750-ml bottle champagne or sparkling wine, chilled
2 tablespoons orange juice
¼ cup fresh pomegranate seeds (optional)

Yield: Serves 6-8

Instructions

  • Combine water and tea bags and allow to steep for 5 minutes. Thoroughly squeeze tea bags and remove.
  • Add orange juice. To chill, place tea concentrate in the freezer for 30-45 minutes.
  • Pour champagne into a large pitcher. Add tea mixture and pomegranate seeds to pitcher and stir.
  • Serve immediately.

Top photo via Eyecandy.nankaze.net

National Hot Tea Month Celebrations Don’t End for Bigelow Tea

Monday, January 31st, 2011

National Hot Tea Month-in our world that is a big deal.

Had a party scheduled for our employees to celebrate and due to many weather interruptions was just finally able to have it today (not a day too late….Jan 31st!). But it is so rewarding for me to have an opportunity to get in front of our employees in Fairfield (wish I could do the same with our other plants for this occasion), and just thank them for everything they do, day in and day out to make us successful.

Whether it is the 270 people who come to our plants everyday to make teabags or the 60 people who come to the corporate office, we have 330 people dedicated to making the best tea possible. How great is that!

Yes this was National Hot Tea Month, yes we did celebrate in all facilities, but at our company, every day is cause to celebrate Hot Tea and the employees that make it happen!

Cindi Bigelow

A Spirited Debate: Loose Tea or Tea Bags? Bigelow Tea Meets All Your Preparation Needs!

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011


Did you know that there’s a lively debate in the tea-drinking world about the benefits of loose vs. bagged tea?

It may surprise you, given the immense popularity of teabags, but some traditional tea purists tend to favor loose tea. Why? For some, the issue is quality. With loose tea, you definitely see what you’re getting, but what might be hidden in that tea bag? Many manufacturers use low grades of tea, known as fannings or dust in their blends. The finer the tea leaves, the more tannins are released and the more bitter the tea becomes. If that tea bag is hiding tiny leaves and dust of poor quality, your tea will not be the refreshing, flavorful brew that you deserve.

At Bigelow Tea, we understand the importance of consistent quality.  We invite you to tear open one of our tea bags: you will see high-quality leaves of a good size, and real spices – that’s because Bigelow Tea refuses to use dust or flavor “prills.” Cindi Bigelow beautifully demonstrates this information in this video, illustrating the quality that you can expect from Bigelow Tea:

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

There is no denying the pure convenience of tea in the ever-accommodating tea bag. No mess, no measuring. You can even tuck one or two in your purse for tea emergencies!

So, while we do provide loose tea options, we also package all our delicious teas in the resourceful tea bag.  We are happy to report that teabags are here to stay! Whether loose or bagged, you can always be confident that Bigelow Tea will provide you with only the best quality leaves, spices and expertise for the best-tasting cup of tea possible!

As Part of Our Holiday Recipe Greetings Week, We Present Bigelow Tea’s Holiday Menu, Day Two: Beverages

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Holiday Punch, Hot Holiday Tea, Hotty Toddy French Vanilla

Bigelow Tea wants to spread the holiday spirit with three of our flavorful libations, both Naugh-TEA and nice!  Enjoy our classic Constant Comment® tea blend featured in our tasty Holiday Punch, also perfect for the kids! And then, when you want to warm yourself up (even Florida gets nippy in December!), sip a Hotty Toddy French Vanilla or kick it up a notch with some Hot Holiday Tea.  And please remember:  if you drink, don’t drive.  Bigelow Tea wants you to have a safe and happy holiday.  Cheers!

Bigelow Constant Comment® Tea Holiday Punch

Ingredients:
4 cups water
4 Bigelow “Constant Comment”® Tea bags
2 quarts ginger ale
2 6-oz. cans frozen lemonade concentrate
2 6-oz. cans frozen orange juice concentrate
1 8-oz. can crushed pineapple with juice
1 10-oz. jar cherries (optional)
2 pints orange sherbet
Mint leaves

Yield: 25 4-oz. servings

Instructions:

  • In a saucepan, bring water to boil, add tea bags, cover and steep for 5 minutes.
  • Remove tea bags.  Allow tea to cool; then chill.
  • Just before serving time, combine tea, ginger ale, juice concentrates, pineapple and cherries in a large punch bowl.  Float scoops of sherbet on top.
  • Garnish with mint leaves (optional).

Hotty Toddy French Vanilla

Ingredients:

6 Bigelow® French Vanilla tea bags

2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon rum extract

Yield: Serves 4

Instructions:

  • Place tea bags, heavy cream, whole milk in a microwave safe bowl and place in the microwave. 
  • Heat the tea bags, cream and milk on high for 4 minutes, stirring at 1 minute intervals. 
  • Carefully remove from the microwave and allow the tea bags to steep for 10 minutes. 
  • Remove the tea bags and press with the back of a spoon to release all flavors; discard used tea bags. 
  • Add remaining ingredients and stir until the sugar has dissolved. 
  • Pour into 4 heat proof cups/mugs, top with whipped cream and cinnamon.

Hot Holiday Tea

Ingredients:

1 ⅓ (340mL) water
8 Bigelow® Apple Cider Herbal tea bags
1 ⅓ cups (340mL) cranberry juice
1 cup (250mL) burgundy wine
Cinnamon sticks as a garnish

Yield: Serves 4

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes.

Instructions:

  • In a medium saucepan, bring water to boil, add tea, cover and let steep for 5 minutes.
  • Remove teabags. Stir in cranberry juice and wine. Return to medium heat. Heat thoroughly.
  • Serve in a large pottery mug.
  • Garnish each cup with a cinnamon stick.


Bigelow Tea Says Fire Up That Grill for National Family Reunion Month!

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Is it just a coincidence that July is both National Family Reunion Month and National Grilling Month? At Bigelow Tea we think not! What family reunion is complete without the sizzle of the grill…and even with little grill experience, you can soon have your family happily salivating with these Bigelow Tea recipes!

For the vegetarians in the family, we suggest our tea-marinated tofu and vegetables on a skewer, grilled to brown perfection. This will please even non-tofu fans! And for the committed carnivore, try our Grilled Green Tea Chicken and Peaches for a sweet splash of summer.

Full tummies make for happy faces, and these Bigelow-Tea-enhanced grilled dishes will result in a lot of happy faces at your family reunion!

Tea-Marinated Grilled Tofu

Ingredients:

8 – 6 inch (15 cm) wooden skewers
1 – 14 oz (250 g) package extra firm tofu
3 Bigelow® Green Tea with Pomegranate tea bags
3 Bigelow® Earl Grey tea bags
2 cups (500 mL) hot water
½ teaspoon (3 g) salt, plus additional for sprinkling
1 tablespoon (15 mL) honey
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1 inch (2 cm) rounds
8 Baby Bella mushrooms, cleaned (about 8 oz/ 240 g)
2 tablespoons (30 mL) canola oil (for brushing)
Non-stick grill spray

Yield: Serves 4

Instructions:

Tofu is a great vegetarian, low-calorie alternative for your grill, and marinating it in tea gives it great flavor and color. A touch of honey adds sweetness and helps to create a beautiful grill marks as it caramelizes.

First, set wooden skewers in water and soak for approximately 30 minutes.

Meantime, sandwich the block of tofu between two plates lined with a few layers of paper towels. Place something heavy on top plate (like a can) so tofu can drain for 10-15 minutes.

In large bowl, combine hot water and tea bags and steep for 5-7 minutes.

Squeeze out tea bags into bowl, remove, and add salt and honey to tea. Stir until honey is dissolved.

Cut tofu into 1 inch/ 2 cm cubes, and add to bowl. Set aside to marinate for 15 minutes.

Thread 2-3 cubes of tofu and 2-3 pieces of vegetables onto each soaked skewer, being careful not to pack the skewers too tightly. Brush each skewer with canola oil and season with a pinch of salt.

Spray a gas grill with non-stick grill spray and preheat to medium-high. Place skewers on grill, and cook for approximately 2-3 minutes per side, until grill marks appear and tofu begins to form a nicely colored crust.

Note: be very gentle when turning skewers (use a grill spatula), as the tofu is delicate.

Remove from grill and serve hot.

Grilled Green Tea Chicken and Peaches

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken – cut up – about 4-5 pounds
¾ cup (180mL) water
6 Bigelow Green Tea with Peach Tea Bags
1/3 cup (80mL) honey
1 teaspoon (5mL) freshly ground pepper
¼ cup (60mL) extra virgin olive oil
Freshly grounded pepper and salt to taste
4 fresh peaches, halved and pitted

Yield: Serves 4 – Prep Time: 10 minutes – Cook Time: 55-65 minutes

Instructions:

In a small saucepan over medium high heat, make marinade by bringing water to a boil and adding teabags, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, reducing liquid by ¼. Stir in honey and ground pepper.

Preheat grill. Rub chicken with olive oil mixture and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Place chicken on barbecue, bone side down. Turn to medium low heat (or use “Indirect” cooking according to grill instructions) and brush with Green Tea with Peach marinade.

Cover barbecue with lid and cook for 15 minutes, brush again with marinade, cook for another 15 minutes, turn over and brush with marinade and continue cooking and brushing for another 20 minutes. Check chicken with a meat thermometer which should read 140º-150ºF. Remove from heat.

Brush peaches with marinade and place cut side down on grill. Grill for 3-4 minutes. Turn, brush with marinade and grill for another 3-4 minutes.

Carve chicken and serve with peach halves.


Loosen Up with Bigelow Tea Brewing Options!

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Everyone knows how to make a cup of tea, right? Just boil the water and pour it over your tea bag…well, not exactly. While making a cup of tea is refreshingly simple, we at Bigelow Tea do want you to enjoy each tea variety every time you put the pot on to boil. Watch Cindi Bigelow offer important tips and guidelines for brewing the perfect cup in this wonderful video from our Tea-V channel:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYxpbUYfvrw[/youtube]

If you’re happy brewing cups of Bigelow Tea with teabags, but still curious about some of our loose tea options, we’re delighted to help you with that, too! First, measuring the tea is important; If you’re making a pot of tea, the general rule is one teaspoon per cup, plus one more “for the pot.”

Drop the leaves straight into the pot if you’re using a strainer; or into the infuser basket if that’s your chosen method. Pour the boiling water over the leaves, and then wait 3 – 4 minutes for black tea, a little less for green, and a little more for oolong. Of course, Bigelow Tea can provide you with necessary (and stylish) options for your loose tea brewing. Our butterfly infuser adds a whimsical touch, and can easily fit in a purse or a pocket!

We also have infuser teapots to suit all needs and styles, including pot options for one person, or inviting over the whole crew for tea! Check out our tea pots made of glass, cast iron, or ceramics.

Curious about our loose tea? Go ahead and try some – and “loosen” up with Bigelow Tea!

On the Road at Work or Play: No Need to Miss Your Bigelow Tea Boost!

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Image via Office.microsoft.com

Portability is a concept that has caught on with most of us. Essentially, we can carry our virtual offices with us wherever we go. We feel naked without our cell phones and electronic organizers.  We grab a quick bite to eat en route to our next appointment or activity. We rush through the business day and squeeze every minute out of every vacation. Enter the venerable Bigelow Tea and our individually wrapped tea bags, which allow tea drinkers to stay on track while at work or play.

When you’re on the road to work, or off on vacation, your morning boost of energy is key; perhaps you’ll need of our caffeinated teas like Earl Grey. To focus on that important presentation (or putting up that complicated 6-bed tent) Green Tea is ideal for dusting away your cranial cobwebs. And, after camp is all set, or that stressful meeting is finally over, you can chill out with a caffeine-free herbal tea.

We know that finding time for a leisurely afternoon tea might be impossible at work, and even hard to swing during a busy vacation. So be prepared; pack your favorite Bigelow Tea assortment the night before, placing them in a tea wallet, Ziploc or your computer bag/purse. And you’ll need a snazzy travel tumbler for those quick sips in the car, carrying it wherever you go. There’s no better libation-to-go than tea!

Nothing says convenience like our eco-friendly foil-wrapped teabags. So, when you’re on the road, working, or planning to-the-minute summer vacation fun, we recommend packing your Bigelow Tea favorites right along with your favorite socks. Anytime and anywhere, at work or at play, it’s Bigelow Tea: don’t leave home without it!

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo the Bigelow Tea Way!

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Photo courtesy of Examiner.com

In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of everything Mexican. Many confuse Cinco de Mayo as celebrating the Mexican Independence day, but the day actually celebrates Mexico defeating French forces at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Interestingly enough, Puebla is known for its chocolate…

The first people to drink chocolate were the Mayans and Aztecs who grew the plant and processed the seeds into a paste. They mixed the chocolate paste with chili peppers and other natural ingredients to make a tea-like drink reserved for royal and religious occasions.

Sounds like a great way to recognize Cinqo de Mayo too; luckily, this traditional chocolate-tea idea can be modified for modern day appeal, and Bigelow tea has many tea and chocolate combinations in mind! After you’ve enjoyed your Cinco de Mayo tacos (and maybe a Bigelow Tea Ultimate Pomegranate Margarita) consider one of our decadent tea and chocolate dessert ideas, like this easy-to-prepare Darjeeling & Dark Chocolate Pots. Here’s the recipe, this tea-sation will add some extra spice to your fiesta.

Darjeeling & Dark Chocolate Pots


Ingredients:

½ cup whole milk
2 tea bags, Bigelow® Darjeeling
¾ cup bittersweet chocolate chips (60% cacao content) or semi-sweet chips
1 egg
Pinch of salt

Instructions:

    In a glass measuring cup, heat milk in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, or until very hot. Alternatively, this step can be done in s small saucepan over medium-high heat on the stovetop.

    Place the tea bags in the hot milk and allow steeping for 2 minutes. Thoroughly squeeze out teabags into milk before discarding.

    Meanwhile, place chocolate chips in a blender and process until finely chopped.

    Pour the hot tea infused milk over the chocolate and blend until smooth, about one minute. Add egg and a pinch of salt and blend again to incorporate fully. Note: It is important that the milk is hot to ensure the chocolate melts completely and creates the right consistency.

    Divide mixture evenly between four tea cups (or individually sized ramekins) and place in refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes. During this time, the mixture will firm up to the consistency of pudding.

    Serve chilled, with any combination of the following garnishes: whipped cream, fresh raspberries, or fresh mint leaves. And to give it that peppery-like Aztec flair, substitute the Darjeeling tea for the Orange & Spice Herb Tea!

Cinco de Mayo is the perfect holiday to celebrate not only with family and friends, but Bigelow Tea and chocolate. All perfect combinations!

Practice SustainabiliTEA And Celebrate Earth Day With Bigelow Tea!

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Image Courtesy of Epa.gov

“Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.”

~ Chief Seattle, 1855

This year is the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day and communities all over the world have made great strides in the ongoing effort to protect our planet. We’ve come far, but there’s still much work to be done. This is a phenomenal time in our history when each of us can effect change through sustainable initiatives like energy efficiency, recycling, reducing air and water pollution, and forest preservation. Challenges like Climate change are often opportunities in disguise. Annual events like Earth Day and Arbor Day (on April 30th), are valuable resources whose goal is to re-energize people in their efforts to live sustainably.

At Bigelow Tea, our respect for the environment is reflected in everything we say and do, which is why we established a Sustainabili-TEA program. We are definitely Green advocates – of Green Tea and Green Power! One of the ways that we, as a company, have reduced our impact on the environment is through the installation of solar panels on the rooftops of our corporate headquarters and manufacturing plant. Also, 85% of our teabags are wrapped in biodegradable or recyclable packaging because waste reduction has become a way of life for us.

There’s an old Native American proverb which says “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” So please join Bigelow Tea in their unwavering commitment to create a global green economy so that future generations may thrive. After all, it’s the right thing to do.