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It’s All About Family For Bigelow Tea’s Fan of The Month: Kim Anderson

With three beautiful daughters, a blog and a talent for creating art, Kim Anderson is someone Bigelow Tea was thrilled to meet! A tea lover—who even wrote a poem about “Constant Comment”® tea on her Art in Red Wagons blog—Kim was an easy choice for our latest Fan of the Month.

Kim is an extremely talented artist, a wife and a mother. We know it’s hard to juggle “it all” but Kim seems to do it with ease and grace. Maybe it’s all that tea she sips! When asked about a typical day, said “I’m up EARLY to get the kiddos ready for school. Then it’s time to create: working on my art, posting on my blog, adding new things to my Etsy shop … it’s like having a job—but it’s really playtime for me—doing what I love! It’s a very full and wonderful day!”

To our delight, Kim posted a photograph (below) of an adorable mug and her favorite tea, “Constant Comment.” Would you believe it was the very first tea she ever tried as a child? Kim tells us that “Constant Comment” was “my Grandmother’s favorite tea and it was she who poured my first cup. We would take time to have real tea in real china cups with real cream and little square sugar cubes. She always let me put a sugar cube in my pocket for later.” It’s stories like that that cause us to smile … and to feel the urge to pour another cup of tea.

A busy bee indeed, Kim still knows how to take time for herself. “I so enjoy peace and quiet! Those first few minutes in the morning before the whole house wakes up, I have my hot tea and the whole day stretched out before me. Ahhhhh … .” It sounds like her grandmother taught her well.

Thank you, Kim, for sharing your world and your wonderful tea heritage! We hope you continue to pass on the tradition of tea drinking you learned from your grandmother to your daughters … and we hope you still carry a sugar cube in your pocket to add to the sweetness of life!

Interested in being a featured fan yourself? Email us at blogging@bigelowteablog.com to learn more!

Images via Kim Anderson

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Bigelow Tea Announces 50 Winners For Our October TEA Shirt Sweepstakes

 

 

We are so excited to announce the winners of our October sweepstakes…50 winners will receive this very fun Bigelow TEA shirt in size large.  Please note that Bigelow Tea, due to Hurricane Sandy, will be delayed in reaching out to you to confirm your address (and delayed in shipping your prize).  Thanks so much for your patience and Enjoy!

Terri from Minnesota

Deborah from Michigan

Sharon from Georgia

Louise from Virginia

Paula from Ohio

Shelley from Ohio

Mary from Kansas

Mary from Utah

Bethany from Florida

Loretta from New York

Patricia from Indiana

Jay from Connecticut

BJ from North Carolina

Mirel from Minnesota

Tia from Alabama

Donjarnetta from Oklahoma

D from Alberta

Brandi from New York

Janet from Oregon

Ron from Texas

Susan from Illinois

Laura from Arizona

Amy from Connecticut

Jennifer from Michigan

Diane from Florida

Justin from Oregon

Kasey from Alabama

Celina from Connecticut

Tammie from Louisiana

Candy from Arkansas

Debbie from Texas

Dylan from New York

Sharon from Ontario

Carol from Florida

Katsushi from New Jersey

Ty from Pennsylvania

Deloma from Virginia

Linda from Kentucky

Rhonda from Illinois

Jamey from New Jersey

Jacqui from Kentucky

Michelle from New York

Michelle from California

Lynne from North Carolina

Nicole from New Jersey

Maria from Colorado

Evan from Illinois

Elizabeth from Tennessee

Tracy from Ohio

Ruthanna from South Carolina


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Bigelow Tea And Foodista.com Team Up For A Delicious November Sweepstakes!

Hey foodies and Bigelow Tea lovers, we have a delicious November sweepstakes starting today! We’re teaming up with culinary website Foodista to present three lucky Grand Prize winners with a fabulous “Constant Comment”® Personali-tea Basket! It’s filled with irresistible goodies, including Bigelow Tea’s beloved first tea blend packaged in limited edition foil overwraps that commemorate vintage moments in “Constant Comment” history. One lucky second-prize winner will take home a Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook with recipes from 100 top food bloggers, along with a chic Foodista apron!

With the holidays right around the corner, we’re delighted to bring you prizes that are sure to jump-start your shopping and help refresh your recipe repertoire. You’ll definitely want to check out Foodista for your daily dose of food news, cooking tips, recipes, health and nutrition information, and more. And how fun that the growing database of user-added recipes includes several tea-inspired dishes! We’ll feature some of our favorites during November right here on our blog, so stay tuned!

Now for more about your Grand Prize:

Each “Constant Comment” Personali-tea Basket contains the following:

  • An assortment of Bigelow “Constant Comment” teas – 72 tea bags in all
  • Two (2) exclusively designed ceramic 16-oz Bigelow “Constant Comment” Personali-tea mugs
  • Chocolate-covered graham crackers, 9 oz
  • Chocolate wafer rolls, 4.4 oz
  • Tea candy, 5.3 oz
  • Two (2) jars Savannah Bee Tea Honey, 3 oz each

Total Value: $49.95

Second Prize Total Value (cookbook and apron): $29.99

To enter, “like” our Bigelow Tea Facebook page and click on the sweepstakes icon under our cover photo. The sweepstakes ends on November 30th. Look for an announcement of the winners on our Bigelow Tea blog. A Good luck to all you foodies and tea lovers out there!

 

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For A Happy Halloween Brew, Bigelow Tea Encourages You To Enjoy Some Tea!

Happy Halloween! It’s a sweet day for children and grownups alike, and Bigelow Tea wants to get in on the fun! Whether you’re dressing up in costumes at the office or staying home and handing out candy to neighborhood children, Halloween is the ideal day for tea.

During October we are somewhat partial to our seasonal tea blends that invoke the flavors of the season. So how about bringing some Pumpkin Spice tea to work today? If there’s one day for pumpkin flavors, this is it! Or maybe you can brew up a pot of Apple Cider herbal tea to sip as you sit by the front door awaiting the trick-or-treaters! Be sure to tell the little ones that it’s your special “witch’s brew!”

And if you want to bring some tea into your Halloween mealtime, we think our Ginger Sweet Potato Casserole is just about perfect. Satisfying and not too sweet, it’s a great dish to serve to any little ghosts or goblins you have running around the house … or to eat in between those chocolate bars and gummies!

So, today, whether you’ll be dressing up as a cowboy, a ghost, Frankenstein’s monster—who actually drank tea!—or just “being yourself,” we hope you take a moment to enjoy some tea and have a very happy  a Halloween

Top image by Somewhereintheworldtoday via Flickr.com

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Vintage Canister With Tea: The Perfect Gift For Any Bigelow Tea Devotee

We all love tea, that’s a given. And because birds of a feather flock together, chances are good that your friends adore tea too. We at Bigelow Tea have the perfect gift for you to share with your tea-toting friends, or even to give yourself to as a little indulgence! Our Vintage Canister with Tea couldn’t be cuter with its retro flare, tea bag colors to suit any décor, and a versatile functionality that will please any multi-tasker.

Tins and canisters have been used historically to keep foods fresh, but they also have a decorative style that appeals to collectors and antique fans. Our classic, ribbed, glass container has that effect on people too. What we love most about this fabulous canister, however, is that it’s full of our tasty tea … 120 bags full! Style, practicality, and a vast variety of teas? We couldn’t think of a better gift for anyone, let alone a tea lover!

So the big question now is … who will receive this great gift? A dear friend? A special teacher? A kind co-worker? Someone celebrating a birthday? Hmmm … sounds like it’s time to pour ourselves a cuppa’ to think this through!

And, while we’re ordering, maybe we should get some refills so we never run out of our favorite flavors like Earl Grey, Green Tea, and “Constant Comment.” As we say around here, you can never have too much tea! Enjoy!

 

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Bigelow Tea Salutes The Pumpkin During National Pumpkin Month

The colors left on the trees are at their most vibrant, the air is crisp and cool, and pumpkins are everywhere! At Bigelow Tea we embrace autumn and adore everything about it. It also happens to be National Pumpkin Month, and last Friday was National Pumpkin Day. All this talk of pumpkins makes us think of our delicious Pumpkin Spice Tea! If you haven’t tried it yet, you must, as we are sure you will fall in love with it immediately.

For more pumpkin flavor, here are two amazing recipes that incorporate our tea: Pumpkin Pie Tea Bread or our Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes. Both are spook-tacular and perfect for fall!

Pumpkin Pie Tea Bread

Ingredients for bread:

3½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
3 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
Bigelow Pumpkin Spice Tea Bags
½ cup boiling water

Ingredients for Tea Glaze:

2 cups Confectioner’s Sugar
Bigelow Pumpkin Spice Tea Bags
½ cup boiling water

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350˚F.  Grease two 9×5 inch loaf pans.

Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together sugar, oil, eggs and pumpkin puree.  Stir in flour mixture alternately with tea.  Divide batter evenly between the prepared pans.  Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 5 minutes; while still hot, pierce loaves with skewer long enough to go through the bread.  Mix remainder of tea with enough confectioners’ sugar (up to 2 cups) to make a glaze, then drizzle over bread thoroughly.  Let bread cool 1 hour and then re-apply any leftover glaze across top of bread.  Remove bread and let cool to room temperature.

Recipe submitted by Belinda Burgess
Bigelow Recipe Contest 2011

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Ingredients For Tea Concentrate:

13 tea bags Bigelow Pumpkin Spice Tea*
1 ¼ cups boiling water

Ingredients For Cupcakes:

1 ¾ cup sugar
¾ cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 (11-ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained, discard liquid
½ cup tea concentrate
2 teaspoons real vanilla extract
2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded carrots

Ingredients For Frosting:

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, slightly soft
1 tablespoon butter, softened
2 tablespoons tea concentrate
3 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar

Prep Time:   15 minutes     Baking Time:  20 minutes

Instructions:

Place tea bags in a 2-cup glass measure.  Add 1 ¼ cups water.  Steep tea for 10 minutes.

Squeeze all liquid from tea bags into cup.  Discard tea bags.  (About 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons tea concentrate.)

Heat oven to 350 F.  Spray 2 (12-cup) muffin tins with baking spray; alternatively use paper liners set aside.

In large mixing bowl add sugar, vegetable oil and eggs.  Mix at high speed, scraping bowl often, until thick and creamy (1 to 2 minutes).

Add mandarin oranges, ½ cup tea concentrate, vanilla, and orange zest.  Continue mixing, scraping bowl often, until well mixed (1 minute).

In medium bowl stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

Add flour mixture to tea mixture.  Continue mixing, at low speed, until well mixed (1 to 2 minutes).

Add carrots; mix well.

Place batter in muffin cups filling about ½ to ¾ full.  Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Remove from oven; cool.

Meanwhile, in medium mixing bowl place cream cheese and butter.  Mix at high speed, scraping bowl often, until light and creamy (1 minute).  Add 2 tablespoons tea extract.  Mix well.

Add confectioners’ sugar; continue mixing, scraping bowl often, until soft and creamy (1 to 2 minutes).

Frost top of each cupcake with frosting.

Makes 24 cupcakes                                                               

Image by Richard Bowen via Flickr.com

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For All Ages, Bigelow Tea Sweetens National Chocolate Day

Here’s another fine excuse for indulging in candy: three days before Halloween, National Chocolate Day on Sunday October 28 encourages all chocoholics to savor this confection in all shapes and forms! Here at Bigelow Tea, we also appreciate chocolaty goodness …  and even make a White Chocolate Obsession Tea to drink when chocolate cravings strike! So, In honor of this cocoa-inspired day and Halloween, we suggest these three yummy recipes that would satisfy any sweet tooth!

Adults can prepare a cup of Spicy Chocolate Chai Tea, which gets its zest from our Spiced Chai Tea. For children of all ages, our Chewy Chocolate Mint Brownies are baked with Plantation Mint Tea. And our Chocolate SweeTEA Pie blends in cinnamon by incorporating our Sweetheart Cinnamon Herb Tea. Ah, how sweet this day is!

Spicy Chocolate Chai Tea

Ingredients:

¾ cups (180mL) boiling water
6 Bigelow® Spiced Chai Tea Bags
1½ tablespoons (22.5mL) unsweetened cocoa
2 tablespoons (30mL) sugar
2 cups (500mL) whole milk
3 cinnamon sticks
Whipping cream, optional

Instructions:

Pour boiling water over Bigelow® Spiced Chai tea bags and let steep 5 minutes. Remove tea bags, squeeze out excess tea from tea bags.

Place tea in saucepan, stir in cocoa, sugar and cook until dissolved or just until mixture comes to a boil. Stir in milk and continue to heat until mixture is thoroughly heated. Pour into cups and garnish with cinnamon sticks and whipping cream, if desired.

Chewy Chocolate Mint Brownies

Ingredients:

5 Bigelow® Plantation Mint Tea Bags (or Bigelow Mint Medley Herb Tea Bags)
½ cup water
1 3/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
¾ cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
4 large eggs, room temperature
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
9×13 inch baking pan, greased and floured

Yield: Yields one 9″ x 13″ pan.

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and set the rack on the middle setting.
Place tea bags in ½ cup of hot water. Set aside to cool, and then remove tea bags, squeezing out liquid from bags.
Meanwhile, place 1-¼ cups of the chocolate chips and butter in a metal bowl. Set over a saucepan filled with about 2 inches of water, to create a double-boiler. Heat on low and let chocolate and butter melt, stirring frequently.
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together eggs and sugars until well blended. Add the cooled tea mixture and whisk to combine. Add a few tablespoons of the melted chocolate/butter combination to the egg mixture and stir to combine. Add the remaining chocolate and incorporate. Lastly, add the flour and remaining ½ cup of chocolate chips, mixing until smooth.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake approximately 25 minutes. Center will feel firm but still moist. Bake 5-10 minutes longer for a drier brownie. Place pan on a wire rack to cool completely before cutting into 20 squares.

Chocolate SweetTEA Pie

Ingredients:

8 Bigelow® Sweetheart Cinnamon Herb Tea Bags*
¾ cups hot whole milk
10 graham crackers, broken into pieces
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
4 large egg yolks
¼ cup cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 – 9″ pie plate
Freshly whipped cream (recipe below)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and set the rack on the middle setting.
Place the graham crackers into the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse until crackers are fine crumbs. Add 2 tablespoons of sugar and melted butter, and pulse until combined.
Pour mixture into the pie plate and press firmly onto the bottom and sides.
Bake for 10 minutes until lightly golden. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, place tea bags in the hot milk. Allow to steep for 5-7 minutes, and then remove tea bags, gently squeezing out liquid from bags.
In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks, 2/3 cup of sugar, cornstarch and salt. Place pan on stovetop and turn heat to medium-high. While whisking, add tea infused milk. Bring mixture to a low simmer while whisking vigorously. While continuing to whisk, add chocolate chips. Continue to whisk mixture at a low simmer until thickened into a custard, about 5-7 minutes total.
Pour chocolate custard into cooled crust. Allow to cool completely before topping with whipped cream (*recipe below). Place entire pie into refrigerator to chill approximately 3 hours. Serve chilled.

*Whipped Cream

1 cup cold whipping cream or heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Place all ingredients in a large bowl.  Using an electric mixer, beat until stiff peaks are formed. Spoon or pipe onto the cooled chocolate pie.

Top image by D. Sharon Pruitt via Flickr.com

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Bigelow Tea’s Classic Blends Tin Is a Mixture of Flavors

Is English Breakfast or Earl Grey your go-to beverage? Do you enjoy the zing of lemon or sweet cinnamon in your cup? Or perhaps you might be open to trying a different variety like Oolong?

Whichever your tea preference may be, we at Bigelow Tea have assembled a collection of our popular tea blends –long-time classics and trendy favorites–in our Classic Blends Tin. As a gift for tea lovers or a special treat, our Classic Blends Tin is a collection of 120 tea bags to sample and share. And it’s a superb way to taste-test new blends for the first time!

This assortment of new and classic favorite teas include:

And the container itself adds zest to the mix! This “ultimate gift of tea” is packaged inside an elegant tin that can be refilled again and again with your favorite Bigelow Tea bags. Let this tin enhance your tea collection!

 

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Bigelow Tea Makes Composting a Priori-Tea

Because our SustainabiliTea commitment at Bigelow Tea pertains to every aspect of our business, we’ve instituted a composting program in our Fairfield office, currently composting 12 tons per year! We even compost our biodegradable tea bags (minus the staple). But what does that really mean? How does this help? And how can we do it on a broader level?

Compost is organic matter—unprocessed, non-carnivorous, food—that has been decomposed and recycled as fertilizer and soil nutrients. At the most basic level, composting involves taking a heap of “green” food waste, combining it with water and air … and waiting for those materials to break down. After a period of weeks or months you have humus (not the kind you eat), a beautiful, nutrient-dense soil that is perfect for gardens, landscaping, and even preventing weeds. Not a gardener? Composting still brings enormous benefits to the environment. Our landfills could be reduced by up to 75% if everyone, including businesses like Bigelow Tea, composted.  Just imagine.

The funny thing is that it actually saves people money to compost. Composters spend less on trash removal and save money on everything from fertilizer to weed control.

At Bigelow Tea, with the help of Garick, a composting facility in New Milford, CT, we are taking it to the next level and composting all of our food waste. We’ve also made a “zero waste” pledge and are on target to send out 60 tons less trash in 2012.

We hope that perhaps you will consider starting your own compost program at home. It’s simple, it helps the environment and it saves money. Sounds like a great idea! Give it a try … and be sure to put a Bigelow Tea bag right on the top of the pile!

Photo by Normanack via Flickr.com

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Chat With Cindi Bigelow LIVE On Bigelow Tea’s Facebook Page, Tuesday, October 23rd

Back by popular demand … a LIVE Facebook Tea Chat with Cindi Bigelow tomorrow, October 23rd! So many of you chimed in last January for Cindi’s first-ever Facebook chat, we just knew that another wonderful Bigelow Tea tradition had begun. Cindi will be available to answer all your tea-related questions from 2 -3 pm, EST.

“Wow, I was overwhelmed by the response to our last Facebook chat, and am truly thrilled to engage one-on-one with our very savvy tea fans,” says Cindi. “It was fun—and hectic—trying to keep up with the questions, but everyone was patient as I typed away. I can’t wait to do it again!”

Whether you’re interested in Bigelow Tea family history, why our “Constant Comment”® tastes so delicious or perhaps how we develop those tempting tea recipes, Cindi will take your questions and share the answers right on Facebook. To participate, simply go to our Facebook page tomorrow at 2 p.m. EST … and bring on the questions! We hope you’ll grab your favorite cup of tea and join us for this special hour-long tea chat!

 

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