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Cindi Bigelow Travels To Sri Lanka To Explore Tea Fields and Tea Auctions

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Ceylon tea, renowned the world over for its full-bodied taste and inviting aroma, is grown in Sri Lanka, an island country in the northern Indian Ocean off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent in South Asia.  Join Cindi Bigelow as she journeys to this far-away place to explore the tea fields and tea auctions of Sri Lanka, where this world-class beverage originates. 

Sri Lanka Trip: Getting There

Wow, my first trip to the tea fields of Sri Lanka and it’s been amazing. It takes 24 hours of travel to get to Sri Lanka. We went through Dubai and flying into that city was breathtaking.  Seeing the tallest building in the world was truly special. Then we took off landing first in the Maldives. The water was a see-through blue.  The weather looked outstanding.

Taking off from Mali

Just before the plane was getting ready to take off to Colombo (the capital of Sri Lanka) the attendant came up and said to us if we didn’t mind, they wanted to upgrade us to FIRST CLASS. Didn’t mind???  We almost fell out of our seats!  Emirates Air first class…never thought I would see that in my lifetime.  So our last part of our 24 hour journey was going in style.  Here we come Sri Lanka…..let the journey continue.

 

Bigelow President Cindi Bigelow, and VP of Tea Division, John McCraw, upon learning of upgrade.

Cindi Bigelow

 

Bigelow Tea Fan Of The Month Greta Eagan Goes Gluten Free In Style

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Bigelow Tea admires the way eco-fashion expert Greta Eagan has designed a busy and fascinating life around a gluten-free diet that includes her favorite Bigelow Tea: English Breakfast – a fitting choice for this native Brit! So we’re delighted to introduce Greta as our December Fan of the Month and to share her insights on how to happily live gluten free!

Greta explains that her interest in eco-fashion grew out of her concerns about the foods she was eating. “I realized that what I put next to my body was just as important,” she says. Her training in Sustainable Fashion at the University of London gave her the impetus to launch FashionMeGreen, a website that helps to bridge the gap between mainstream and eco-fashion. Somehow, after meeting with designers, photographers and clients, Greta also made time to work on a book about sustainability and fashion!

And her diet? Greta gave up gluten four years ago. “It makes such a huge difference in my life that I really strictly follow my gluten-free diet, and that means I have to plan ahead when I am traveling and carry snacks, as well as check out the menu of any restaurant before meeting someone for dinner,” she says.

As Greta knows, tea is a naturally gluten-free beverage. She appreciates the classic flavor of Bigelow Tea’s English Breakfast and calls it “a staple.” She avoids processed foods and focuses instead on “eating a diversified and colorful diet with more whole foods, especially veggies.”

If you haven’t already, check out our extensive collection of gluten-free recipes infused with tea! Greta even contributed her own delicious recipe for Maple and Miso Glazed Squash using our French Vanilla Decaffeinated Tea. Thank you Greta, for showing us how tea can be part of a stylish and gluten-free life!

 

Looking At Bigelow Tea And National Cookie Day!

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Don’t let this special day be forgotten during your busy holiday season: Bigelow Tea is pleased to remind you that December 4th is National Cookie Day! Did you know that the English word “cookie” comes from the Dutch word “koekje,” which means “little cake?” Cookies are perhaps the most comfortable of comfort foods. Making cookies as children is where we first learned about baking and the importance of measuring ingredients. Fresh baked cookies are about family, love and the holidays. And, yes, cookies are best friends with your favorite cup of tea!

And while cookies are perfect with tea, we remind you that Bigelow Tea is also perfect for cookie making! We’ve created many dessert recipes made with tea … and some are cookies!  Here are a few for you and your family to enjoy!

Lemon Lift® Glazed Butter Cookies

Ingredients: 

2/3 cups confectioners sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 Bigelow Lemon Lift® Tea Bag

Yield: Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Instructions:

Beat together the sugar and butter until smooth and creamy. Stir in flour and salt, blending until dough is formed. Divide dough in half; shape into disks and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350° F.
Roll dough on lightly floured surface to ¼” thick. Cut into shapes with cookie cutters, re-rolling scraps for additional cookies.

Place cookie shapes on ungreased cookie sheets and bake 12-15 minutes, or until edges start to brown. Remove cookies to wire racks to cool. Drizzle with Lemon Lift® Glaze.

*Lemon Lift® Glaze: Pour 2 tablespoons boiling water over 1 Bigelow Lemon Lift® tea bag in a small bowl. Let steep 5 minutes. Remove tea bag, squeezing out liquid. Gradually stir in 1 to 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar until mixture is a glaze consistency, adding a few drops yellow food coloring, if desired

Constant Comment® Meringue Cookies With Pecans

Ingredients:

1/4 cup hot water
2 Bigelow Constant Comment® Tea Bags*
Egg whites from 2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
¼ cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)(optional)
Parchment paper

Yield: Makes 24 cookies

*Variations: Mint Medley Meringues: Substitute Bigelow Mint Medley Herb Tea for the Constant Comment Tea and substitute chocolate chips for the pecans.

Instructions:

In a measuring cup, steep tea bags in hot water for 5 minutes. Thoroughly squeeze tea bags into cup before discarding. Allow tea to cool.

Preheat oven to 275º F and place rack on middle setting. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Beat egg whites on medium-high speed with an electric mixer, until soft peaks form (about 2 minutes). Add the lemon juice, then the sugar, a little at a time, and raise the speed of the mixer to high.

Add 1 teaspoon of the prepared tea and continue to beat on high until stiff peaks form (about 5 minutes). The mixture should be very voluminous and look like fluffy whipped cream. Don’t overbeat…the mixture should look glossy, not dry.

Using a 2 oz. ice cream scoop (or 2 spoons), place rounded mounds of meringue (about 2 tablespoons per cookie) onto prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with chopped nuts. Bake for 45 minutes, until firm to the touch. Turn off oven and allow the cookies to slowly cool as the oven cools (at least another hour). They will be crisp on the outside, with a slightly soft center. When they are finished, they will release from the parchment very easily.

Cool completely on a wire rack before storing in an airtight container on the countertop.

Image via moonstarsandpaper.blogspot.com

Bigelow Tea’s Sweepstakes Will Make The Holidays Bright

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

It’s that time of year again! With the holiday season fast approaching, the search is on for the perfect gift. Looking for something to make the holidays warmer and full of cheer?  Bigelow Tea has you covered with its amazing Holiday Sweepstakes!

The lucky winner will receive a $100 gift certificate for Bigelow Tea products … your choice! So whether it’s teas, gift baskets, treats or something else, whatever you select is guaranteed to make your holidays brighter!

Here’s how it works. Enter the Sweepstakes on our Bigelow Tea Facebook. Simply “like” the page, if you haven’t already, then click the Sweepstakes icon under our cover photo and follow the instructions. The Bigleow Tea Holiday Sweepstakes ends at midnight EST on December 9th, so be sure to enter by then.

One (1) lucky winner will receive a $100 gift certificate that can be used to purchase any teas or gift items offered on our Bigelow Tea website. That’s it. It’s simple to enter and exciting to contemplate winning!

Look for the announcement of the lucky winner on our Constant Comment blog. Good luck, and happy holiday shopping!

 

Winners Announced for the Bigelow Tea & Foodista.com Sweepstakes!

Saturday, December 1st, 2012

We want to thank everyone who entered our very fun sweepstakes with Foodista.com!  And thanks Foodista.com for sharing the great tea recipes!  Ok the winners of this amazing “Constant Comment”® Personali-Tea Basket are the following:

Alanna from Nova Scotia, Canada

Zahra from Alberta, Canada

Ross from Washington

And the winner of the wonderful Foodista cookbook and apron is:

Debbie from British Columbia, Canada

Congrats to everyone and happy tea drinking!!


Bigelow Tea’s Herbal Teas: A Tea By Any Other Name

Friday, November 30th, 2012

If you’re looking for caffeine free herbal teas with lots of luscious flavor, then Bigelow Tea is your next great find!  From spicy to sweet, we have a dynamic selection of herb teas. And if you’re curious about the difference between Herbal Tea and “regular” tea — well it’s no mystery. Here’s the deal!

Let’s begin our lesson with the Camellia Sinensis bush, which gives us the leaves for Black, Oolong and Green teas. The leaves are simply processed differently, which leads to the different tea types … and to that perfect cup of tea that we enjoy so much:

  • Black tea: the leaves are fermented for 6-8 hours, then dried and chopped.
  • Oolong tea: the leaves are fermented for half that time, about three hours, then dried and chopped.
  • Green tea: the leaves are steamed, dried and chopped. No fermentation takes place.

Now let’s look at Herbal TeaHerb teas are made from various plants, herbs and flower petals, not from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis. We still call it tea because we brew it using the same infusion process; combining a tea bag with (gently) boiling water. It’s that simple!

At Bigelow Tea we add in some innovative flavor blends like Orange and Spice and Chamomile Mango to give our customers a truly special cup of herbal tea! In fact, some of our herbal teas, like Pomegranate Pizzazz, not only offer a sublime tasting experience, but they can be used in your cooking repertoire too!

As William Shakespeare wrote in Romeo and Juliet, “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” We can’t say he was thinking about tea when he wrote that famous line, but we think it applies nicely to our sentiments about herbal teas!

 

Bigelow Tea LOVES Our Newest Personali-Tea Mug for the Green Tea Drinker

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

 

This is it! We’ve done it. We at Bigelow Tea have found the ideal gift for the Green Tea drinker: this adorable Green Tea Personali-Tea Mug! Not only does it hold a good amount of their favorite beverage, but it says a lot about them. The quote on the side tells us that the “Green tea drinker … loves the outdoors and is a natural at bringing people together. Knows how to live life to the fullest.” If this describes someone you know—or even yourself—you can check at least one person off your holiday shopping list!

With it’s fragrant but light and mellow brew, it seems clear that Green Tea and a green mug are perfect for someone who loves being outside and who loves the environment. In fact, a reusable mug like this one is inherently “green” because you can take it with you and use it over and over again! With our zero waste initiative here at Bigelow Tea, we have to say we love being green … and you know we love our Green Tea too! In fact, we offer green tea blends that range from fruity flavors like Peach Green Tea toChai Green Tea and even Earl Grey Green!

Yes, living life to the fullest and bringing people together … we think that’s the definition of a tea drinker in general. But when you add in nature and the outdoors, and put it all on this uniquely understated “green” mug, it pretty much says it all.  Happy gifting!

 

The Bigelow Tea And Foodista.com Sweeps Ends Soon! Enter To Win Delicious Prizes

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Who’s hungry for a fantastic Bigelow Tea sweepstakes featuring de-lish prizes? There’s still time to enter on our Facebook page by midnight EST on Nov. 30th for your chance to win a “Constant Comment”® Personali-Tea Basket OR prizes from the website Foodista, a passionate community of food lovers and our November sweeps partner!

We’re delighted to team up for this sweeps with Foodista, where you’ll find an abundance of user-added recipes —many by popular food bloggers!—as well as food news, cooking tips and more. If you haven’t already, check out the wonderful tea-infused recipes by Foodista contributors that we shared recently to get a “taste” of what the site has to offer. One helpful feature on Foodista is the Q&A page that allows you to ask a cooking question and get answers from others in the Foodista community.  Love it!

Now for your prize details. Three lucky Grand Prize winners will take home a “Constant Comment” basket containing the following:

  • An assortment of Bigelow “Constant Comment” teas with limited edition foil overwraps – 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

One lucky second-prize winner will receive a Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook with recipes from 100 top food bloggers, along with a chic Foodista apron! Total value: $29.99

To enter, “like” our Facebook page and click on the sweepstakes icon under our cover photo. The winners will be selected by random drawing on Dec. 1 and announced here on our Bigelow Tea blog. So grab a cup of “Constant Comment” and submit your entry TODAY!

 

CNNMoney Highlights Bigelow Tea’s Recipe for Success

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Bigelow Tea enjoys sharing its history with customers, and we’re excited to spread the news about a new video feature about our company produced by CNNMoney. The video explains how we have brewed a name for ourselves for more than 60 years to become the number one specialty tea company in the United States!

The video also showcases our pride in remaining a successful family-owned business. Co-Chairman David and Eunice Bigelow share our story and talk about how David’s mother, Ruth Campbell Bigelow, created our signature blend, “Constant Comment.”® The cameras were also rolling for a visit to our test kitchen and one of our factories, led by our third-generation President Cindi Bigelow.

So please check out the CNNMoney video. And, while you’re watching, enjoy a cup of your favorite Bigelow Tea!

 

Bigelow Tea Has the Ultimate “Constant Comment”® Gift For You

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

All year long, and especially as the holidays approach, people struggle trying to find the “perfect” gift for those they care about. Well, this year, Bigelow Tea has found it for you: the ideal present for your favorite “Constant Comment ®” tea devotee (or even for yourself). You won’t want to miss out on this absolutely adorable personali-tea mug designed for our wonderful “Constant Comment” lovers.

You know the type … and maybe you are the type. As the mug states, a fan of this tea “loves tradition but is always the first on the dance floor. Known to be sassy and sweet all in one!” Perhaps you know someone whose personality this describes to a “tea”!

Our “Constant Comment” tea is deliciously flavored with the rind of oranges and sweet spice. And if you love its zestiness, then perhaps you also like the boldness of the color red! It has been said that “red is usually chosen by people with open and uncomplicated natures, with a zest for life.” Sounds like people we’d like to hang out with!

Interestingly, not only does your favorite color say a lot about you, but the tea you drink can too. In fact, those who have a penchant for fruit-flavored teas are said to be fun and frivolous. Fun and frivolity? Count us in! This bright, red personali-tea mug will tell everyone what we already know … that excitement and playfulness isn’t just in the tea enthusiast, but it’s in the tea cup too!