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A Bonus Day To Enjoy Your Bigelow Tea!

Leap year, when February gets an extra day in order to keep our calendar working properly, occurs approximately every four years. And as you know, 2012 is a Leap Year… but what does this mean to us at Bigelow Tea? Well, if you already consume tea 365 days a year, this year you get to push the envelope to 366 days – one extra day to enjoy our favorite beverage!

So why do we get this tasty bonus? Leap Years are necessary to keep our calendar in sync with earth’s actual rotations around the sun. According to Timeanddate.com, “It takes the Earth approximately 365.24 days (a tropical year) to circle once around the Sun. If we didn’t add a day on February 29 [generally] every 4 years, we would lose almost six hours every year…” That extra ¼ of a day every year, after 100 years, adds up to approximately 24 days!

But enough about numbers. At Bigelow Tea, February 29th feels like a “bonus day” and we think it would be fun to treat is as such. Make it count – indulge in your absolute favorite teas! If you simply can’t decide, we have a couple of suggestions: start the day with an invigorating cup of Vanilla Chai, a tea that’s spicy and slightly exotic (kind of like Leap Year)! Then later, choose our Decaf Constant Comment – because, well you know that everyone will be commenting on the fact that it’s February 29th!

Later at night, end your bonus day with some Sweet Dreams herbal tea, a perfect way to unwind after such a stimulating day. We’d love to hear from you on Wednesday, February 29th… tell us what you drank as your “bonus teas.” We know they will be special!

Image via timeanddate.com

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Bigelow Tea Asks Why You Love Your Green Tea!

Green tea always seems to be in the news these days for reasons that range from important issues of health to maintaining beauty. So whether you’re enamored with the all the reported health properties, or just love the many excellent Green Tea flavors and fantastic Bigelow Tea blends, we know you love your green tea! It’s easy to be green when it’s just so good.

So Bigelow Tea wants to know: why do you love your green tea?


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A Healthy Workplace Makes Bigelow Tea Shine!

Bigelow Tea was recognized by the Business Council of Fairfield County at its annual Healthy Workplace Employer Recognition Program. The event was held on Valentine’s Day to celebrate the efforts of area employers “who understand the competitive advantage of a healthy workforce and who have implemented cutting edge programs to promote a healthy workplace and assist their employees to live healthier lives.”

Bigelow Tea is thrilled to be one of the organizations recognized in this arena, and we are proud to note that it is our third time receiving this accolade! As we’ve said before, the health and wellness of our employees is a top priority at our company. Our efforts in this area include hosting a Health & Wellness Fair, where we all had the opportunity to learn more about topics such as healthy eating, natural remedies and zinc deficiency.  It’s wonderful to see so many members of our Bigelow team living healthy lifestyles—lifestyles that, of course, include drinking lots of antioxidant-rich tea!

At our Health and Wellness Fair

 “We applaud the hard work and resourcefulness of these individuals, as they have made [the] wellness mission critical in their organizations,” said Robert K. Janes, Jr., Director, New Sales, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield (one of the event’s sponsors).

The Business Council of Fairfield County, a private, not-for profit corporation, is committed to strengthening the economic vitality of the region and the performance of its member firms, through research-based public policy initiatives, information services and network building programs. Bigelow Tea will continue to promote our healthy work environment for our employees, good for all our families, both at work and at home!

Image via hrbenefitslert.com

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Brew Some Bigelow Tea To Sip While Listening To Paul McCartney’s Music!

You know we admire our British tea drinking friends here at Bigelow Tea, and Paul McCartney is certainly one of our favorites! We’ve written before about his tea drinking habits and his music, both with and after the Beatles. Now we’ve learned that he’ll be releasing a new album soon … and it gave us just the excuse we were looking for to talk more about Sir Paul!

As a member of the legendary Beatles, Paul McCartney and his “fab four” band mates enjoyed a cup of tea regularly! Later, during his solo career, McCartney wrote and performed many songs that reference tea, including his popular “English Tea” back in 2005. And, like most proper Englishmen and women, Paul is said to make tea a part of his daily life.

McCartney was in the news in last fall when he married New Jersey’s Nancy Shevell. And recently he was named the first-ever Ultimate Classic Rock Awards “Artist of the Year.” Plus he just released his latest album! So let’s all get our English Teatime and English Breakfast teas ready to brew …  and we can listen to Paul McCartney’s music and sip proper English tea at the same time. Sounds like a perfect February evening to us!

We hope Paul continues to make music for years to come. You can never have too much of a good thing, right? Tea time and Paul McCartney are the perfect pair! Cheers!

Image by slagheap via Fotopedia.com

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Mardi Gras In New Orleans Should Include Bigelow Tea!

New Orleans is a town known for its Dixieland Jazz, Cajun and Creole-cuisine and of course Mardi Gras, famous the world over. Literally translated from its French origins, Mardi Gras means “Fat Tuesday.” Celebrations and indulgences take place throughout Mardi Gras season, up through Fat Tuesday—February 21st this year—in preparation for the weeks of fasting that starts with Ash Wednesday, for those observing Lent.  But for now it’s a time of merrymaking for all!

Bigelow Tea loves a good par-tea and Mardi Gras is one where you can experience it all.  There are fantastical parades, bedecked costumes and masks, crazy beads strewn about, and the unmistakable beat of the music. Jazz takes over the city along with hundreds of floats and thousands of lavishly costumed revelers, and feasts of all kinds take place, integrating the unique tastes of the French Cajun and Creole fare.

One of the most treasured Mardi Gras traditions cries out for a good cup of Bigelow Tea: the King Cake. Made of decidedly delicious dough, braided, baked, sprinkled with cinnamon, it has purple icing (for justice), green icing (for faith) and gold icing (for power). It’s also baked with a tiny model baby inside, and whoever finds the baby in their piece of cake buys the next King Cake or holds the next party!  A celebration with sweet scrumptious cake just has to have tea to go with it!  What better choice than American Classic Tea during a notoriously French holiday?  Or some cool refreshing iced tea?  A perfect blending of American and French traditions!

Whether you’ll be in New Orleans to celebrate Mardi Gras or making your own replica of a King Cake, jazz it up with a cuppa your favorite tea!

Images via Mardigrasday.com

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Bigelow Tea Looks At Antioxidants In Brewed Vs. Bottled Tea

Among the many benefits of drinking Bigelow Tea are the natural antioxidants that come with every brewed cup of green or black tea, hot or iced. But with the proliferation of bottled tea beverages touting the same health benefits, many tea fans want to know – do these bottled versions deliver the same level of healthy antioxidants as brewed tea? The short answer is “no,” according to health experts.

Turns out there are a few key reasons. For starters, antioxidants break down over time, so freshly brewed tea is the best choice according to Joy Bauer, RD. One study suggests you would have to consume 20 bottles of some of the prepared teas to get the same amount of polyphenols, the primary free-radical fighting antioxidants in tea, as you would in just one cup of brewed tea! And the antioxidant level can be inhibited by the use of powdered rather than brewed tea. Why bother?

Of course, the convenience of bottled drinks is a major factor in its growth, and the market watchers here at Bigelow Tea like to see the growing popularity of tea in general.  But we also think it’s important for consumers to understand what they’re getting. Another issue to consider is that the antioxidants in bottled beverages often are diluted with sugar and water. It’s wise to consider how much extra sugar and calories you’re consuming when sipping any beverage these days, including the many tea blends (as well as energy drinks, vitamin-infused waters, juices and sodas). Check out this overview from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing the caloric count of various drinks. Eye-opening, for sure!

Yes, it takes a bit of time to brew your own tea, but that’s also part of the charm isn’t it? The tea ritual itself is a great way to take a healthful and delicious break. You certainly deserve it!

Photo 2 by akaalisa via Flickr.com

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Bigelow Tea And The AFA Help Bring Tea To Our Troops

What a cool thing. We have a woman here Sherri who oversees our Tea for the Troops program and she was contacted by AFA (Association of Flight Attendants). This organization helps to bring items from the United States to the troops. They actually fly all donated items to Germany and distribute to our wonderful soldiers.

The AFA had this neat idea to have us sign each box of tea that we are donating so Sherri is arranging to have one box signed by each of our employees here in Connecticut.

Wow.

How cool is that?

I know our employees, and I know how much they will love to sign each box!!  Nice job Sherri.

Cindi Bigelow

 

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A Delicious Indulgence From Bigelow Tea!

Valentine’s Day has long been a day of love and romance, usually with the traditional Valentines card and candy for that special someone. At Bigelow Tea, we hope you’ll celebrate the day by showing allthose who are special to you, not only your spouse or swee-TEA, how much you care!

One distinctive, effortless—only 10 minutes of prep time!—and delicious way to do this is to make our delightful Individual Fudgy Brownies. It may not look like the conventional brownie bite, but rest-assured, you won’t be missing any flavor in this decadent indulgence.  Everyone will love this tea-infused treat!

 

Individual Fudgy Brownies

Ingredients:

Tea Concentrate:

10 bags Bigelow Vanilla Caramel Tea
1 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons butter, softened, for custard cups

Brownie:

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
3 tablespoons tea concentrate
½ teaspoon real vanilla extract
1/3 cup cocoa powder
¼ cup oat flour
6 tablespoons butter, melted
Whipped cream, optional
Ice cream, optional
Fresh mixed berries, optional

Yield: 8 servings

Prep Time: 10 minute

Baking Time: 48 minutes

Instructions:

Place tea bags in a 1-cup glass measure.  Add water.  Steep tea for 10 minutes.
Squeeze all liquid from tea bags into cup.  Discard tea bags.  (About ½ cup tea concentrate.)
Heat oven to 325 F.  Lightly butter 8 (1/2 cup) oven safe custard cups; set aside.
In medium mixer bowl place brown sugar and eggs.  Beat at high speed, scraping bowl often, until thick and light yellow (5 to 6 minutes).
Add 3 tablespoons tea concentrate and vanilla.  Continue beating until well mixed (1 to 2 minutes).
In small bowl stir together cocoa powder and oat flour.  Add cocoa mixture to tea mixture and mix only until combined.
Add melted butter.  Mix only until combined.
Pour brownie mixture into 8 prepared ½ cup custard cups.  Place the custard cups in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan and fill pan with hot tap water until water reaches ½ way up the custard cup.  DO NOT get water in the custard cups.
Carefully place pan in oven.  Bake for 45 to 48 minutes.  A wooden pick should be slightly wet.  Remove from oven; cool.
Serve with whipped cream, ice cream, or fresh berries.

 

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Bigelow Tea Celebrates Spring Training And Terry Francona’s New Job With ESPN

Spring Training is almost here, and it’s just what we need to get us through the winter doldrums! It may be snowing where you are, but isn’t it comforting to know that the players are warming up in Florida and Arizona, preparing for another exciting season? With the new baseball season on our minds at Bigelow Tea, we thought we’d take a minute to congratulate Terry Francona, one of our favorite boys of summer, on his new gig as a Major League Baseball analyst on Baseball Tonight for ESPN!

You know that Terry is a major league Bigelow Tea fan and a great friend of ours at Bigelow Tea. When we learned last fall that Terry would no longer be managing the Boston Red Sox, President Cindi Bigelow shared that “Terry Francona is the quintessential gentleman.” An exceptional ambassador for his team and the sport, we’ll miss him on the field this year, but we can’t wait to hear his commentary from the announcer’s booth! Terry is sure to be a big hit with baseball fans – it’s already apparent that Terry has a knack for his new assignment. Although it surprised many fans and the media, it was clear that when he filled in for veteran sportscaster Tim McCarver at Fox last October that Terry was a natural. Newsday proclaimed: “Terry Francona Has Star TV Potential.”  We knew that!

Before long, the buzz started about whether Terry would accept a permanent job announcing … then ESPN signed Terry in December. He’s a class act on or off the field, and we’re looking forward to Terry Francona’s exciting new work. He’s always a winner in our book!

Image via espn.go.com

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Bigelow Tea Celebrates Black History Month And The Making of The MLK Memorial

As the nation celebrates Black History MonthBigelow Tea takes a moment to look at the making of the national monument to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., a majestic dream that took more than 30 years of planning and $120 million in donations to realize. The story behind the MLK memoriam is fascinating, as is the richly textured life of the slain Civil Rights leader himself.

With the official unveiling in October 2011, the monument became the first on the National Mall in Washington D.C. to specifically honor a person of color. The idea for the memorial began to take shape in the 1980s among members of Alpha Phi Alpha, the black fraternity to which Dr. King belonged. Harry E. Johnson, the president of the MLK Memorial Foundation, took over management of the project in 2002, leading efforts over the next decade garnering donations and navigating the federal approval process.

There were many political and artistic concerns regarding the monument’s design and execution; the choice of a Chinese sculptor, Lei Yixin, raised some eyebrows as did the monument’s placement and the imposing 30-foot height of the memorial. And it has been reported that the scroll in Dr. King’s left hand was originally supposed to be a pen, until someone pointed out that Dr. King wrote with his right hand. In addition, renowned Poet Maya Angelou also observed that a poorly paraphrased quote on the memorial made Dr. King appear arrogant, prompting changes by the National Park Service to adjust the inscription.

The completion of the memorial is a remarkable achievement – and a testament to the power of Dr. King’s legacy as a great American. This Black History Month, Bigelow Tea raises a cup to all those who kept the dream alive!

Photo Ron Cogswell via Flickr.com

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