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25th Anniversary of the Bigelow Tea Community Challenge

SO EXCITED…we are celebrating our 25th anniversary this year of holding the Bigelow Tea Community Challenge. This little race began on September 10, 1988 ( yes, my wedding day) and it was about 50 people (made up of all Bigelow employees with a few friends). I remember I blew the whistle then turneded around and ran in the race (my first and only road race I ran in). It was so special. All the proceeds, which was about $3000, went to the Norwalk High School. We created a scholarship for an employee’s son who had died a few months earlier in a car accident (the young man, Dave, went to Norwalk HS).

Today, we have raised over $100,000 and we have almost 1200 people participate-it is truly a family affair. I love this day-rain or shine. So many people smiling away, enjoying themselves and doing good things for their body and spirit.

Oh yeah, here comes the 25th Challenge: who could have imagined this many years later, that that little race we started so many years ago would be what it is today! Brings a big smile to my face!

Cindi Bigelow

 

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Chef John Cooks Up A Special Recipe With Bigelow Tea And Constant Comment

Something delicious was cooking recently in Fairfield, Connecticut, thanks to a top local chef’s inspired use of our own Constant Comment tea! John Reynolds, Executive Chef at The Patterson Club, a Connecticut Country Club, created Constant Comment Glaze for chicken as part of an elegant meal served for the non-profit Operation Hope’s 11th Annual Gala. Cindi Bigelow and the Bigelow family were honored for their work with this wonderful organization, which is dedicated to providing food and emergency shelter to those in need. It was truly a memorable evening that filled our hearts … as well as our stomachs!

Ruth Campbell Bigelow, who created Constant Comment in her kitchen more than 65 years ago, would certainly be touched to see the many traditions that have grown alongside the love of her iconic orange and spice infused tea. All of us at Bigelow Tea appreciate hearing your stories of special moments shared over a cup of Constant Comment! And as Chef John demonstrated, cooking with Constant Comment is another way to savor the company of family and friends.

Don’t miss the many other fantastic recipes you can make using Constant Comment, and see how Cindi Bigelow whips up a few in her own kitchen. Thank you Chef John, for sharing your recipe for Constant Comment Glaze!

Constant Comment Glaze

  

Ingredients:

2 cups of brewed Constant Comment® Tea
Juice & zest of 1 orange
1 Tbsp honey
Shallot, sliced
1 bay leaf

Instructions:

Bring all ingredients to boil, reduce to syrup-like consistency, strain out solids, reserve glaze.
Can be refrigerated up to one week.
To use:  Warm to room temp.  Drizzle glaze over sautéed vegetables or meats.  Season with salt & pepper.

Recipe was created by Chef John Reynolds, Patterson Club, Fairfield, Connecticut

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Bigelow Tea Is Celebrating National Blueberry Month With Fabulous Blueberry Tea Recipes

‘Tis the season … for blueberries! This is the time of year when those sweet but tart blue bundles of yum ripen and are ready to be picked which his why the USDA has proclaimed that July is National Blueberry MonthBigelow Tea couldn’t be happier to celebrate this scrumptious fruit! To help you enjoy the month, we have two recipes that would satisfy even the most blueberry-licious demands of Violet Beauregarde from Willy Wonka.   Enjoy our Raspberry Royale Tea Jelly with Blueberries and our Blueberry Herb Tea Smoothie!  You will love blueberry flavors and the taste of our teas!

Raspberry Royale Tea Jelly with Blueberries

 

Ingredients:

2 tbsp. cold water
2 tsp. unsweetened gelatin
1 cup boiling water
Bigelow Raspberry Royale Tea Bag
¼ cup white sugar
½ cup fresh blueberries

Instructions:

In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 2 tablespoons of cold water – set aside.
In a medium bowl, steep the tea in the boiling water for 3 minutes.  Add the gelatin mixture and the sugar.  Stir until everything is completely dissolved.  Set aside to cool for at least 20 minutes.
Divide the blueberries among four ramekins or glasses and pour in just enough of the cooled jelly to reach the top.  Refrigerate until completely set, about 3 hours.  Serve chilled.

Recipe submitted by Lilica Brionn
Bigelow Recipe Contest 2011

Bigelow® Blueberry Herb Tea Smoothie

 

Ingredients:

3/4 cup hot water
6 Bigelow® Herbal Tea Bags: (Perfect Peach®Red RaspberryTMChamomile Mango®Pomegranate Pizzazz®or Wild Blueberry with Acai Herb)
1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
1 cup frozen fruit (strawberries, mangos, raspberries, blueberries, or a combination)

Instructions:

In a measuring cup, combine hot water and 6 tea bags of your flavor choice listed above. Allow to steep for 3-5 minutes. Remove tea bags.
Allow tea to cool, then place in the refrigerator until well chilled.
In a blender, combine the yogurt, frozen fruit, and ½ cup chilled tea. Puree until smooth.
Pour into glasses and serve with a straw.

Image 1 by Jimmy Joe via Flickr.com

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Bigelow Tea Fans Rank Their Favorite Iced Tea Blends

At Bigelow Tea we love to bring together great tastes, and we have a treasure trove of inspired teas as evidence. We also love taking it a step further when we blend two of our distinctive teas together to make something even better! Recently, when we announced our June sweepstakes, we showcased a new Cindi Bigelow video—a super cool piece featuring some brisk Bigelow Tea iced tea combos. We asked Bigelow Tea Fans to enter the sweeps and also to vote for one of the four iced tea combinations featured in that video … and you responded by the thousands! So now we’d like to share the results of that thirst-quenching vote. The results are interesting … and we’re getting thirsty just looking them over!

Here are the tasty results:

1st place: I Love Lemon Herb Tea and English Teatime – 2434 votes

2nd place: Perfect Peach Herb and Pomegranate Pizzazz Herb Tea – 2264 votes

3rd place: Green Tea and Wild Blueberry Acai Herb Plus – 2210 votes

4th place: Pomegranate Pizzazz Herb Tea and Green Tea with Pomegranate – 1488 votes

What came through loud and clear is that you love all these great iced tea blends!  So put your hands together for these Bigelow Tea flavor hybrids … and for any others you come up with. It bears out the old adage: the whole can be even greater than the sum of its parts. With so many more fantastic combinations out there, we hope there’s no end to this tasty summer of tea!

Image via TheCulinaryGeek via flickr.com

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Bigelow Tea Looks At Why Camping And Iced Tea Are The Perfect Summer Fit

The summer camping season is in full swing, and Bigelow Tea loves to spend time in the great outdoors!  As readers of our blog know, we’ve talked about camping as a family favorite activity as well as an excellent occasion to practice sustainability. As you breathe in the fresh clean air, surrounded with the beauty of the great outdoors, it’s an opportunity to bond with nature and the family. Add to that our tasty and refreshing iced teas, and you have the winning combination of the season!

Plenty of iced tea is a “must” for the great outdoors!

Why do iced tea and camping go so well together? Well, they’re both crisp and invigorating and they both just scream “summer!” They’re also both such simple pleasures.

So if you’re ready to go camping, here are some tips and checklists to help you organize. The Internet and local camp-supply stores provide additional sources to help you with all your camping needs, including upscale campout events! No matter where or how you camp, don’t forget your sunscreen, bug spray and a Bigelow Tea baseball cap to shield you from too much sun! And, when it comes to the all-important iced tea component, check out our quart sized Iced Tea bags.

Adjustable khaki twill baseball cap, stylish and great protection from the sun!

Adjustable—one size fits all.

Take the opportunity this summer to strengthen bonds and build a closer relationship with the family! Memories that last a lifetime are waiting for you … along with a cool glass of iced tea sipped under the stars. It takes a few minutes to prepare iced tea and a little forethought to plan ahead for camping, but the rewards are truly great.

Image 1 via shelter-co.com
Image 2 by jinx via Flickr.com

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Bigelow Tea Wants You To Celebrate The Summer With Blueberry Picking!

It’s blueberry-picking season, and Bigelow Tea hopes you’ll get a chance to get outside this month and gather some fruit! Picking your own blueberries is great fun with family or friends, so find a local farm, grab a pail and start picking!

Fruit is a delicious and nutritious part of our diet, and freshly picked fruit is even better! Picking fruit like blueberries also allows everyone in the family to be a part of choosing excellent, whole foods. And, of course, it’s a great way to spend a summer day!

Here at Bigelow Tea, we’ve decided to take advantage of blueberry season with our Pomegranate Blueberry Iced Tea!  By using our Pomegranate Pizzazz Tea and Wild Blueberry with Acai Herb Tea, we’ve created the perfect complement to those blueberries you picked!  We know that our tea lovers and fruit lovers will appreciate this particular combination.  Sit back, relax and enjoy!

Pomegranate Blueberry Iced Tea

Ingredients:

1 quart boiling water
Bigelow Pomegranate Pizzaz Herb Tea Bags
Bigelow Wild Blueberry with Acai Herb Tea Bag

Instructions:

Bring 1 quart of water to a boil, add 2 Pomegranate Pizzazz and 1 Wild Blueberry with Acai Herb tea bags and steep for 10 minutes. Pour into pitcher and refrigerate until chilled. Serve in a tall glass with ice. Sweeten to taste, if so desired.

Image by La Grande Farmer’s Market via Flickr

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Bigelow Tea Offers Recipes To Try During July’s National Grilling And Ice Cream Month!

Summers are for family fun and tasty delights … and two ways to bring them both together are by grilling and making homemade ice cream!  Bigelow Tea highlights these two taste delights in July, which is National Grilling Month and National Ice Cream Month!

Grilling techniques and ice cream preferences vary based on cultural and regional tastes, and both offer countless styles and flavors. And the coolest part? Grilling and making ice cream are not just about what’s for dinner – they’re also about the journey, and making it fun for the whole family!

So enjoy these fantastic Bigelow Tea favorites. Grilling and ice cream … talk about summer perfection!

Tea Marinated Grilled Tofu

Ingredients:

8 – 6 inch wooden skewers
1 – 14 oz. package extra firm tofu
Bigelow®Green Tea with Pomegranate Tea Bags
Bigelow® Earl Grey Tea Bags
2 cups hot water
½ teaspoon salt, plus additional for sprinkling
1 tablespoon honey
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1 inch rounds
8 Baby Bella mushrooms, cleaned (about 8 oz.)
2 tablespoons 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 allow to soak for approximately 30 minutes.
Next, 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 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.

Vanilla Caramel Tea Ice Cream

 

Ingredients:

1 ¾ cups (409mL) whole milk
Bigelow®Vanilla Caramel Tea Bags*
2 cups (500mL) heavy cream
2 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup (160mL) sugar

Yield: 1 1/2 quarts

*This recipe is delicious using any of our Bigelow products. Other suggested flavors are: Constant Comment®, Vanilla ChaiPlantation MintFrench Vanilla, or Spiced Chai.

 

Instructions:

Requires Ice Cream Maker

In a small saucepan, combine ½ cup (125mL) milk (reserve remaining milk for later use) and 6 Vanilla Caramel tea bags over medium heat until bubbles are visible. Remove from heat and let steep for 6 minutes. Squeeze tea bags, remove, and discard.

In a small mixing bowl, beat the eggs, add the tea/milk mixture, remaining milk, cream and sugar. Pour back into sauce pan and heat over low heat until the custard thickens but does not boil. Remove from heat and strain; chill.

Pour into ice cream maker and follow manufacturer instructions.

 

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Devilish Or Not, Bigelow Tea Knows That Prada Enjoys Her Cuppa Tea

The Prada name is known the world over for exclusive fashion, so Bigelow Tea took notice when the stylish Miuccia Prada recently sat in the esteemed Carlyle Hotel in New York, enjoying a pot of herbal tea while talking with New York Magazine. How exciting to see the reigning queen of the fashion world enjoying a stylish cup of afternoon tea!

Miuccia Prada is the lead executive and designer of Prada, one of the most storied fashion labels in the world, but she didn’t start out there. She first earned a doctorate in political sciences from the University of Milan – and then trained and worked as a mime for five years! Finally, just before turning thirty in 1978, Miuccia decided to go into the family’s luxury leather goods company, started by her grandfather Mario Prada in 1913.

The vision and direction of Miuccia and her husband Patrizio Bertelli has been credited for reinventing the company as an international power. Fashion is her life, but Miuccia is also intimately connected to the art world. In fact, her design work is featured this summer in an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a sophisticated address for the elegant icon’s considerable body of work.

Miuccia takes fashion very seriously, driving the distinctive Prada trademark with the surprising combinations and blending of materials. Hmmm … this reminds us of another family-run company that takes their product very seriouslyand is well known for blending different components: Bigelow Tea! Delicious tea blends, like the black tea, orange rind and sweet spices that make Constant Comment,  are Bigelow Tea’s fashion statement. We appreciate the value of a delicious (and fashionable) cup of tea. And we hope you’ll enjoy our tea with style and panache!

Image by Brigitte Lacombe via nymag.com

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Bigelow Tea Looks At ‘Tee’ Time During Family Golf Month

Looking for activities the whole family can enjoy this summer? Bigelow Tea suggests taking a swing at golf! Don’t worry if you’re a newbie; in recent years, many golf courses have focused on welcoming newcomers–kids especially–to generate a new generation of golf enthusiasts. And since July is Family Golf Month, it’s a great time to consider the benefits of teeing up together!

Interest in golf has taken a hit along with the economy. Some course managers have also noticed that fewer kids are playing golf now that they have video games and other electronic diversions. So managers like Bob Kitchen of Maple Hill Golf in Grand Rapids, Michigan, are doing all they can to make golf appealing and affordable to both kids and their parents. For instance, at a recent golf equipment sale, Maple Hill Golf gave away a 3-club set to anyone age 15 or younger. Many courses across the country participate in the kids play free program allowing kids to play free of charge at certain times when accompanied by an adult. Check golf courses in your area to find the best family-friendly deals.

Another reason for families to embrace golf is those teachable moments it affords. As kids learn the game, they also learn about honesty, sportsmanship and the etiquette expected on the golf course, including proper attire and maintaining the pace of play. But the biggest draw of the game is that it’s fun to play, regardless of the final scores!

Just remember to stow some cold beverages in your golf bag, especially on hot days. You can’t beat the flavor and convenience of Bigelow Bottled Organic Green Teas, distributed for us by AriZona. Tee time is perfect for tea time!

Photo by Grand Velas Riviera Maya via Flickr.com

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Appalachia Brings Laughs and Tears

Good to be home…but oh what a moving week I just had!

Just got back from an amazing week down in Johnson City, TN. Wow-I was with 70 outstanding humans in VERY warm conditions. We were part of a group from our area in Connecticut (actually 210 of us in total) that goes into the Appalachian mountains the end of June every year and works on homes. The conditions this year were challenging and the job was a little more difficult than usual but it did not stop my team of two other adult advisor, Barbara and Brendan, and 5 super hero high schools kids, Tommy,  Sarah, Sarah, Dan and Kimber.

We stayed at a church and each morning headed out around 9 (woke up at 6:40 to load up the vans with supplies) and worked on a home till about 4 ish. We had many laughs, lots of tears (of love and compassion) and worked hard to help this little home and wonderful couple get a “to a better place.” Often we were working in temperatures that was close to 100 degrees. But we did not care…we were excited to get things done!

The improvement to the home was solid but what made the trip extraordinary was the connection to the family. This couple who owned the home really bonded with the team-we had some very meaningful conversations and lots of laughs (and of course lots of tears too). When the week was finally over, we loaded up our vans to come home on Saturday and drove back to our sweet hometown. It was wonderful to be back but we also carry a sadness with us-we miss each other and we miss our family in Appalachia.

It is a week than transforms you, and it is not easy to transition back. But I am so delighted to have gone and made the connections I made. I am already gearing up for next year…got to go…time to make some more teabags and carry around a smile on my face with the thoughts of my experience from  last week.

Cindi Bigelow

 

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