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“Constant Comment”® Tea Travels The World With A Bigelow Tea Lover

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

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I was introduced to “Constant Comment”® tea by an American friend and promptly fell in love with it!

Twenty years ago as a new bride I moved to the jungles of Papua New Guinea. My husband was an engineer at a copper and gold mine. I was about as far as I could get from my home in Canada. I shipped over 2 large jars of loose leaf “Constant Comment” tea.

You had to be a very good friend to be offered a cup of “Constant Comment” tea! The Australians who constituted most of the expat community had never tasted the tea and came to love it too.

Now my daughter has come to love Constant Comment tea as well.

Eva
Alberta Canada

 

During Family Reunion Month, Bigelow Tea Says “Let’s Connect”

Monday, July 15th, 2013

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July is a great time for Family Reunion Month, with children out of school and adults ready to take time off from work. As a family-owned businessBigelow Tea encourages all families across the country to reconnect with loved ones this summer. Whether it’s a simple get-together or a large family reunion, being with family creates memories that will last a lifetime.

From the youngest members of the clan to the family matriarch or patriarch, the whole gang can be involved in planning and making the day special. Someone can plan games, another family member can be the photographer for the day, and everyone should bring a dish to share. And, of course, someone has to be in charge of brewing up family-sized servings of Bigelow Tea iced tea!

To get you started, here are some tea-inspired recipes your family will enjoy. Have a great summer … and wonderful time with your family!

Green Tea and Mango Pasta Salad

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Ingredients:

2 quarts (2 litres) water
16 Bigelow® Green Tea Bags
½ teaspoon (2.5mL) salt
12 ounces (336g) Fusilli pasta
1 avocado, peeled, seeded and cubed
½ cucumber, peeled and diced
1 cup (250mL) red pepper, diced
2 large mangos, cut into cubes
Black sesame seeds for garnish, optional

Dressing:
1/3 cup (80ml) olive oil
2 tablespoons (30mL) fresh lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon (5mL) grainy mustard
Salt and pepper taste

Yield: Serves 8 – Prep Time: 15 minutes – Cook Time: N/A

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Instructions:

Bring 2 quarts (2 litres) of water to a boil, add tea bags and steep for 5 minutes. Remove tea bags, add salt and pasta; cook according to package directions. Drain.
In small bowl combine dressing ingredients and mix well. Toss pasta with dressing. Cool.
Add avocado, cucumbers, red pepper and mango and garnish with sesame seeds, if desired.

Mint Medley® Tabouleh Salad with Feta, Cucumber and Olives

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Ingredients:

Bigelow Mint Medley Herb Tea Bags
3/4 cups Bulgur Wheat (Tabouleh)
1 1/4 cups boiling water
1 large tomato, split and cut into 1/4 inch dice
1/2 cucumber, peeled, and cut into 1/4 inch dice
3/4 – 1 cup crumbled feta cheese, about 4 ounces
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
1/4 cup chopped pitted Greek olives
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
Plenty of freshly ground black pepper

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Instructions:

Pour the Bulgur wheat into a bowl. In a glass measuring cup, pour one cup of boiling water over the tea bags and steep for 4-5 minutes. Remove the tea bags to a small strainer and using the back of the spoon, press as much liquid as possible back into the cup. If needed, add additional boiling water to measure 1 cup, then pour it over the Buglur wheat. Let it stand until all the liquid evaporates, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Put the finished tabouleh (Bulgur wheat) in a salad bowl. Add the tomato, cucumber, feta cheese, scallions, mint and olives, turning to mix well. Pour in the olive oil; add salt and pepper and toss again. Taste to adjust the seasonings, if necessary. Serve over a bed of lettuce leaves.

Asparagus Salad with Earl Grey Tea Vinaigrette

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Ingredients:

Vinaigrette:
½ cup (125mL) Bigelow Earl Grey Tea (made using 2 tea bags)
2 tablespoons (30mL) orange juice
½ teaspoon (2.5mL) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon (15mL) rice wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoon (30mL) toasted sesame seed oil

Salad:
1 pound (500g) asparagus, washed and cut diagonally
½ red pepper, julienned
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped

Yield: Serves 4. Prep Time: 15 minutes. Cook Time: 10 minutes.

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Instructions:

To make the vinaigrette, boil water and add 2 Bigelow Earl Grey Tea Bags to ½ cup water. Steep for 5 minutes; remove bags and reserve tea.
Place tea, orange juice and sugar in a small saucepan or skillet and bring to a boil, reduce to about 2 tablespoons (30mL). Combine tea mixture, vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper and sesame oil together.
Bring a saucepan of water to a boil, add asparagus and blanch for 1-2 minutes. Rinse with cold water.
Arrange asparagus with julienned red pepper in an attractive platter and toss with Earl Grey Vinaigrette. Garnish with chopped egg.

Top image by roger_mommaerts via Flickr.com

Bigelow Tea Turns Up The Heat During National Grilling Month!

Friday, July 12th, 2013

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Happy National Grilling Month! The peak of summer grilling is here with its sizzle and all its mouth watering aromas. With legions of back yard grillers at attention across the country, Bigelow Tea looks at Grilling Month as a proud “Made in the USA” experience!  Whether you fire up the grill only on weekends or use it throughout the week, July is summer grilling central! So don’t forget the basics: always keep your grill clean, follow sensible food safety steps, and remember there’s nothing better than a cool iced tea for your grilling companion. It’s as easy as 1-2-3!

To help kick off the month, here’s one of our sizzling Bigelow Tea recipes that creates a complete summer meal. Enjoy!

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Bigelow Tea Glaze and Seasonal Vegetables

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Recipe Created by Joy Marr

Ingredients:

PORK TENDERLOIN:

5 cups boiling water
Bigelow Green Tea with Mango Tea bags
Bigelow Green Tea with Peach Tea bags
Bigelow Green Tea with Pomegranate Tea bags
1.2-1.5 lb. Pork Tenderloin whole
1 clove garlic, smashed
½ small yellow onion cut into in wedges
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (use only if oven baking tenderloin)
2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar (can substitute cider vinegar)
1 tablespoon honey (can substitute brown sugar)
1 tablespoon veg. oil
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoons of both Salt and pepper

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Instructions:

Bring 5 cups of water to a boil and add the Bigelow Tea bags, the clove of garlic and the onion wedges. Remove from heat and cover – let steep for 20-30 minutes. Remove tea bags squeezing well and discard, along with the garlic and onion. Divide the tea mixture -set aside 2 cups for the glaze to the remaining 3 cups add the vinegar, honey, oil, thyme and salt and pepper- stir. This will be the marinade for the pork.

Once the marinade tea has cooled down somewhat, pour into a large plastic bag; add pork tenderloin and marinate for 5 hours or overnight in refrigerator. While pork marinates make the glaze and ready your vegetables both can be set aside or refrigerated covered overnight.

Heat your grill to medium; while grill is heating drain tenderloin from marinade -discard marinade- and wipe loin dry, set aside. Pour 1/2 cup of the reserved tea glaze into a small vessel you can work out of. Place pork on grill. Cook for 8-10 minutes on medium. Open grill and brush liberally with tea glaze. Reduce grill to low, continue to cook pork over the next 8-10 minutes, turning pork and coating well with glaze, 2 or 3 more times, until thermometer reads 160′. Remove from heat and let rest for 8-10 minutes. Slice into medallions and serve with glazed vegetables.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR OVEN BAKING PORK

Prep time approx. 10 minutes

Oven time 20 minutes

Preheat oven to 325°F. Heat oil in a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. While pan is heating, drain tenderloin from marinade -discard marinade- and wipe loin dry. Carefully add tenderloin to hot pan and cook, turning until brown on all sides, 5-6 minutes. Baste liberally with tea glaze and place skillet with pork in oven and bake for 8 minutes. Open oven and baste liberally with tea glaze again. Continue to cook until thermometer reads 160′, about 12-15 minutes, basting pork again when you remove it from the oven. Transfer pork tenderloin to platter and let rest for 8-10 minutes. Slice into medallions and serve with glazed vegetables.

Yield: Serves 4

TEA GLAZE

2 cups reserved Bigelow Tea mixture
3 tablespoons honey
½ teaspoon black pepper
Pinch of salt

Bring remaining 2 cups of tea mixture to a simmer over med-high heat and cook to reduce. After 45 minutes or so, check it you want to have about 1 cup no less. Add honey, salt and pepper and set aside for later or refrigerate overnight.

SEASONAL VEGETABLES WITH BIGELOW TEA GLAZE

1 medium Acorn squash
2 medium carrots, peeled
2 medium Parsnips peeled (can substitute yellow onions)
2 tablespoons butter, salted
½ cup reserved tea glaze

Heat the oven to 400′. Place the butter in an oven proof pan and put in oven to melt while oven pre- heats. Cut the carrots and parsnips on the diagonal into 2″ pieces. Slice the acorn squash into rings 1″ thick rings-then cut in half. Remove the pan from the oven – place all the vegetables in pan and carefully toss with butter to coat. Bake for 10 minutes. Open oven and pour the tea glaze over the vegetables, stirring well to coat. Continue to bake until vegetable are tender- and can be pierced by a small knife point, approximately 15-20 minutes.

Yield: Serves 4

Top image by andrewmalone via Flickr.com

Service With Smiles In Appalachia

Thursday, July 11th, 2013
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What an amazing week with amazing young adults and fellow advisors…I just got back from Man, West Virginia, where I spent a week helping work on a home that was an ASP project. The Appalachia Service Project has been a wonderful experience for me over the last eight summers.

This year, 220 of us got on buses or loaded into vans to make the drive down. We then split into three different ASP centers in different West Virginia locations. My group of 75 was assigned to Man. From there we break up into teams – two adult advisors and five high school youths. Our assignment was a trailer that had been worked on for the three weeks preceding our arrival. Our week had us finishing up some insulation under the trailer (only a little, thank heavens), installing underpinning around the home, re-siding a side of the home, and straightening out an exterior door that had been installed the week before.

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Planted a very special garden

Well I am delighted to say we accomplished our entire mission (something I don’t always get to do) plus added a garden at the end of the trailer as a little extra. The family was so appreciative and was out there every chance they could helping us. The young children on my team were just so proud to see what they had accomplished. Two of the girls on my team were there for the first time and were clearly so touched by the process (one said it was the best week of her life). Funny, how can sleeping in a classroom, eating cafeteria food, crawling under a trailer, working in brutally bright sun wearing jeans and heavy boots be the best week of your life? Well, that is the beauty of the week…I can say it actually is one of my best weeks of the year, every year!

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Getting ready to put insulation under the trailer

I think it is the spirit of the people who go down there – from the moment we wake up at 6:45 am till we close our eyes sometime after 11 pm, everyone is so kind and loving. Everyone smiles, laughs and just is so happy to be down there doing this work. Just think about it, we are taking young children from a very fortunate community to one that has many, many issues of poverty and health…and we have one mission, to help make a home a little bit safer, warmer and dryer. Pretty nice in my opinion…everyone just feels so good about what they are doing and that they are even fortunate enough to be able to help others. Yes, it is an amazing week with amazing people. I am of course glad to be home, but I still feel the glow all around me of one of the most loving weeks of the year!

Cindi Bigelow

 

Bigelow Tea Loves Blueberry Month and Blueberry Muffin Day

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

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They pack a punch of flavor in the tiniest blue pod, and they are at their very tastiest this time of year … yes, we are talking about blueberries! Bigelow Tea loves blueberries and features that flavor in our Green Tea With Wild Blueberry & Acai and our Wild Blueberry With Acai herbal tea. Throughout the month of July for Blueberry Month (and tomorrow on July 11 for Blueberry Muffin Day) we will be celebrating these dynamo little bites of fruit.

Blueberries are one of only three fruits native to North America. And since we’re celebrating all things “made in the USA” this month, we have even more reason to cheer for the amazing blueberry! July is the perfect season to go to a local farm and pick your own blueberries; it doesn’t get any fresher than that! In fact, when we pick blueberries it’s something like the classic American children’s book “Blueberries for Sal”, by Robert McCloskey, “kerplink, kerplank, kerplunk … one for the pail, and one for us.”

After your outing you can make yourself a batch of America’s favorite muffins, the blueberry muffin, to celebrate the day! And we suggest pairing them with our Fabulous Melon And Blueberry Fruit Salad, made with Bigelow Tea. And of course, a blueberry repast wouldn’t be complete without some refreshing iced tea—maybe even Pomegranate Blueberry Iced Tea!

So this month, let blueberries provide you with a whole day of fun: fresh fruit, muffins and some wonderful flavored iced tea! A day centered around this petite little powerhouse pack of yum sounds pretty great to us! Enjoy!

Fabulous Melon and Blueberry Fruit Salad

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 Ingredients:

Bigelow Blueberry Acai Herb Tea Bags*
1/2 cup (125mL) water
4 tablespoons (60mL) lime juice
3 teaspoons (15mL) sugar
1 pint (500mL) blueberries*
1 cup (250mL) honeydew melon balls*
1 cup (250mL) cantaloupe melon balls*
1 cup (250mL) watermelon balls*
Mint leaves for garnish

Yield: Serves 4 – Prep Time: 10-15 minutes – Cook Time: 10 minutes.

*You can use any assortment of fresh fruits depending on what is in season.

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Instructions:

Add lime juice, water, sugar and Blueberry Acai Herb Tea Bags to a saucepan, simmer for 10 minutes to infuse flavor. Squeeze to extract as much liquid as possible then remove tea bags. Cool.

Add fruit to large attractive bowl, pour syrup over fruit and toss gently. Garnish with mint leaves.

Image by SirPecanGum via Flickr.com

Bigelow Tea Bloggers Visit Charleston Tea Plantation

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

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All year long, Bigelow Tea proudly welcomes visitors to our Charleston Tea Plantation, America’s largest working tea garden! Recently, it was a special honor for the Bigelow family to sponsor a gathering for a group of Bigelow Tea fans who have highlighted our teas on their blogs. The bloggers were thrilled by the experience and eager to share a “blog’s eye view” of the visit for their readers – and you!

The bloggers met with Cindi Bigelow, third-generation CEO, and her parents, David and Eunice Bigelow, Co-Chairmen of Bigelow Tea (fyi David’s mother–Ruth Campbell Bigelow—started the company nearly 70 years ago). The bloggers also enjoyed a trolley tour of the 127-acre grounds, a tea tasting, and learned about different types of tea and tea production. One guest, Rebecca Parsons of Cre8tive Compass Magazine, mused before the three-day trip that she looked forward to “many delightful tea moment memories.”

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For Rebecca, the trip was all she hoped for: “Green tea leaves shimmer in the midday sun as our trolley rambles along a sandy path on Wadmalaw Island. The sky is bluer than I have ever seen against the straight rows of tea. Cindi Bigelow stands to share her Tea Moment Memories … a tear fills my eye. I am here. I am moved. I am blessed.” And Whitney from Rambles of a SAHM called the tea garden visit “the ultimate field trip.”

Meanwhile, Kristy, a former Bigelow fan of the month and founder of Mommy Hates Cooking, and Tammy from Three Different Directions, appreciated learning about Bigelow Tea’s SustainabiliTEA program. Kristy was also impressed that Bigelow Tea remains a family-owned business that blends and packages all tea varieties right here in the USA! All the bloggers had a chance to sample American Classic Teas, which are grown at the Charleston Tea Plantation.

Bigelow Tea thoroughly enjoyed making tea memories with these bloggers, and looks forward to many more visits from all our tea fans! Come on down anytime!

Bigelow Tea Promotes Sensible Transportation Efforts All Year Long

Monday, July 8th, 2013

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At Bigelow Tea we’re curious about your daily commute to work. Unless you work at home—commuting with tea cup in hand from the kitchen to office down the hall!—getting to work means spending on gas, tolls, parking and car maintenance. So when Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy proclaimed the week of May 13th “CTrides Week,” Bigelow Tea was on board as an eager partner!  As part of the challenge, visitors were encouraged to visit CTrides.com to consider alternatives to driving alone to work, pledging to share a ride at least one day during CTrides Week.

Sharing rides reduces traffic congestion and positively impacts air quality, decreasing CO2 emissions for everyone. ABC News reports that the average price of gas nationwide in 2012 was $3.60 per gallon and that the average fuel economy of vehicles on the road was 23.5 miles per gallon. It all adds up, and many commuters with larger vehicles pay over $2,000 a year for gas alone. Try this commuting costs calculator to look at your own annual costs of gas and parking!

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Bigelow Tea has always been energized about conservation and saving resources. We have a big job transporting and delivering our many teas, like our Chocolate Chai, all over the country. Part of our commitment to reducing emissions is utilizing efficient shipping routes and decreasing idling time of trucks. Our drive to consolidate shipping loads has reduced our shipping miles by over 50,000 a year!

We can all make a difference in commuting costs, and all year long. It’s the right thing to do, and there’s another bonus: it’s easier to enjoy your Bigelow Tea on the go when you share rides! Score!

Image by baudman via Flickr.com

On Chocolate Day, Bigelow Tea is Ready To Indulge!

Friday, July 5th, 2013

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Here’s some seriously exciting news: Chocolate Day is July 7th! At Bigelow Tea we don’t really need an excuse to indulge in this amazing confection, but it’s nice to know that there’s one day each year when we can satisfy our sweet tooth in good company!

At Bigelow Tea we do love the taste of chocolate and have even created two tea blends that include that luscious flavor. We have a rich Chocolate Chai and our seasonal White Chocolate Obsession! This time of year, we think Iced Chocolate Chai would be a fantastic afternoon “snack” or a sweet morning pick-me-up. Just brew up a pot and serve it over ice … maybe with a little sweetener and milk. Heaven!

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We’ve also created a few recipes that incorporate Bigelow Tea and the taste of chocolate. Here’s one that will go beautifully over a scoop of ice cream … chocolate of course!

Earl Grey Milk Chocolate Sauce

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Ingredients:

1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk

10 bags Bigelow Earl Grey Tea*

2 cups (12-ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup (6-ounces) milk chocolate chips

¼ teaspoon salt

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Yields: 2 cups chocolate sauce

Prep Time: 5 minutes   

Cooking Time:  10 to 12 minutes

Instructions:

In 2-quart saucepan, over medium heat, bring evaporated milk to a simmer.  Add 10 tea bags; steep 5 minutes.  Remove bags from evaporated milk and squeeze to remove liquid; discard bags.

Add remaining sauce ingredients to tea milk mixture.  Stir until chocolate chips melt (2 to 3 minutes).  If necessary, heat over low heat to help melt chocolate chips.

To serve: place a scoop of ice cream in bowl.  Top with Earl Grey chocolate sauce.

Refrigerate remaining chocolate sauce. Re-heat refrigerated Earl Grey sauce over low heat until softened to desired consistency.

 

Independence Day Gives Us A Proud Smile At Bigelow Tea

Thursday, July 4th, 2013

btthursJuly 4th is one of those special days that just make us smile at Bigelow Tea. Smiles for the family reunions and picnics; thefireworks, parades and baseball games, and a special smile for the cherished freedoms that the day represents. Independence Day brings out patriotic displays all over the country, drawing us back to 1776 and the birth of our nation. And not just a new nation separating from oppressive British rule, but a new philosophy of freedom and powerful ideals, penned so eloquently by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence.

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It was in the spirit of that freedom and independence that Bigelow Tea introduced the Tea for the Troops program, our specially packaged American Classic Tea which is proudly made right here in the USA at our Charleston Tea Plantation. Adorned in the image of old glory, our Tea for the Troops is one way that we say “thanks!” to all of those who guard our freedoms.

By the way, the term “Independence Day” was not in use until 1791. But even before John Hancock put his signature on the Declaration of Independence, founding father John Adams described what the new nation’s holiday should be like. In a letter to his wife Abigail Adams dated July 3rd 1776, he wrote that there should be celebration throughout history with “…pomp and parade … games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other …!” An apt description, but of course we would add everything Iced Tea to that prescription!

We all remember that tea played an important role in the struggle for independence, and today—brewed and poured over ice—it’s the perfect beverage to keep us cool and hydrated on a busy July 4th!  A happy and safe holiday to all!

 

Don’t Wait: Get Bigelow Tea’s 2013 Limited Edition First Flush Loose Tea

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

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At Bigelow Tea we’re feeling flushed and want to share some important and tea-rrific news! Down at our Charleston Tea Plantation, we’ve harvested the very first tea leaves of the season … and that means our special American Classic First Flush® Loose Tea is now stocked and is ready for sale! This unique black tea comes out only once a growing season, and is made entirely from tea plants grown at our tea garden on South Carolina’s Wadmalaw Island.

This “First Flush” tea is produced from the leaves of the tea plants’ new growth for the season, which is called their “first flush.” The leaves from this early part of the growing season produce a smooth and mellow flavor for a truly pure and fresh cup of fine tea. We’re certain that our customers will appreciate this tea with its defined taste and amazing freshness!

As we focus on quality rather than quantity, our selection of First Flush® is quite limited. Can’t get to South Carolina? We understand. You can also purchase this tea through our website, and we will ship it right out to you. Each 2.3-ounce canister, which is a lovely shade of ivory, costs $15. We hope you’ll give it a try … and we can’t wait to hear what you think of this very special tea!