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The Bigelow Tea Recipe Contest Grand Prize Winner Is…

Bigelow Tea is thrilled to announce the delicious results of our Recipe Contest! Congratulations to Grand Prize Winner Diane Halferty, who garnered the most votes for her delectable White Chocolate Mint Mousse Tea Cups! Diane will receive a year’s supply of her favorite Bigelow Teas (one case of 6 boxes per month) and a personalized engraved wooden tea chest filled with teas ! Great job Diane!

Diane’s recipe was among the 15 chosen by Bigelow Tea as a contest finalist based on originality as well as creative use of brewed Bigelow Tea. Then it was up to you – the public! – and our three highly discerning guest judges to vote for the ultimate Bigelow Tea-inspired recipe. Thank you to everyone who voted on Facebook and our contest landing page – and to all those who submitted such wonderful recipes. Bigelow Tea fans are truly creative … no surprise to us! Stay tuned to our blog for more information about Diane and how she developed her winning recipe.  We all want the secret to her chocolate molds, right?

For more ways to enhance your cooking with tea, check out our Bigelow Tea recipe file. And try whipping up Diane’s yummy dessert this holiday season!

White Chocolate Mint Mousse Tea Cups

Ingredients:

1-1/2 cups bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
6 ounces white chocolate baking chips
2 cups whipping cream, divided
6 Bigelow Tea Plantation Mint or Mint Medley tea bags
3 large egg yolks
Scant ½ cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 drops red food color
2 tablespoons crushed candy canes (about 6 miniature candy canes)

Yield: 24 mini cups 

Instructions:

Line 24 mini muffin cups with petit four paper cups. In 1-quart saucepan, melt bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips over low heat, stirring frequently. Spoon about 2 teaspoons of the chocolate into each paper cup. With back of small measuring spoon, spread chocolate up sides to within 1/8 inch of the top. Chocolate should be warm enough to spread. Refrigerate about 20 minutes or until completely set.

Carefully remove paper cups from chocolate cups.

Meanwhile, melt the white chocolate chips in a double boiler over simmering water. Heat ¾ cup of the whipping cream and the tea bags in a saucepan just until it begins to boil. Carefully remove tea bags and squeeze excess moisture from them into the pan.

Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and salt until pale yellow. Add the hot cream-tea mixture to the eggs, a little at a time, to temper, whisking constantly. Pour the custard into the melted chocolate while still over the double boiler and whisk until smooth. Stir in the vanilla and remove from the heat; cool mixture.

Beat 1-1/4 cups of the cream to whipped cream consistency. Whip half the cream into the tea mixture and then fold in the remaining cream.

Spoon or pipe whipped cream mixture into chocolate cups. Refrigerate until serving. Just before serving, sprinkle with candy.

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Bigelow Tea Looks Forward To Commemorating The Historic Tea Party

Something tea-related is brewing in the city of Boston, and Bigelow Tea wants to share it with you. In June of 2012, the new and exciting Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum will open to the public!

For the past decade, in the wake of a fire, Boston has had no tourist spot to mark the events of the Boston Tea Party. Now, however, a new museum is being built to commemorate the historic time that those bold patriots carried out their ingenious plan to protest taxation without representation. In fact, the new museum will allow visitors to relive it – the museum’s creators are making movie-studio quality exhibits, featuring a virtual Samuel Adams and King George III. They’re said to be so “state-of-the-art” that visitors won’t know if they’re seeing real people or illusions.

In addition to a museum, the site will feature replicas of three merchant vessels boarded by patriots back in 1773: the Beaver, the Eleanor and the Dartmouth. According to Boston.com, “Other plans include the installation of new docks and boat ramps, floating art displays, and barges to host musical and other performances. Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino has likened the effort to creating a Boston Common on the water.”

As ardent tea lovers, here at Bigelow Tea we know that the history of our United States is awash in the history of tea. We can’t wait to see this new museum devoted to the Boston Tea Party, one of the events that helped spark the American Revolution, and we’re impressed with the plans for the finished museum and ships.  But in the meantime, we can just wait while we sip our English Teatime!

Image via Bostonteapartyship.com

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Bigelow Tea Looks At Research Suggesting Caffeine May Reduce Skin Cancer Risk

Scientists report encouraging new research linking caffeine consumption with an apparent reduction of risk for some skin cancers. This report comes from researchers at Rutgers University and the University of Washington … and what great news it is for Bigelow Tea lovers who prefer their English Breakfast or Earl Grey with caffeine!

Previous studies have indicated that those who drink caffeinated beverages are less likely to contract non-melanoma skin cancers. Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer. In this latest study, published in the August 15 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Scientists, the Rutgers/University of Washington research team discovered that caffeine may guard against certain skin cancers by inhibiting a protein enzyme in the skin – essentially signaling cells damaged by UV exposure to stop dividing. This process helps prevent the damaged cells from becoming cancerous. In fact, researchers now want to investigate whether adding caffeine to sunscreen would improve its efficacy … so caffeine-laced sunscreens could be in our future, though more study is needed. Fascinating!

When weighing caffeine levels, remember that black teas generally have more caffeine than green teas. And tea typically has less caffeine than coffee (the amount depends upon preparation habits).

Tea lovers can add these newest reports to all the other well-documented health benefits of tea, like the research that suggests that the antioxidants in tea may help prevent basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, the two most common forms of skin cancer. Of course, drinking tea won’t allow you to bake in the sun unprotected, but isn’t it nice to know this soothing and delicious drink is so good for you? So go ahead … rev up your skin’s defenses with your favorite caffeinated Bigelow Tea!

Image by tudor-rose, via Flickr.com

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It’s National Family Stories Month Put The Kettle On And Brew Some Bigelow Tea

If you haven’t had a chance to sit down with your family in a while, November provides a great opportunity to get back into the practice! Put on the kettle to brew a pot of Bigelow Tea, and spend some time together during National Family Stories Month!

Fall’s cooler weather and earlier twilight makes for more indoor time, and it’s a wonderful season to pull out old photo albums and to share some of the family’s history with the next generation(s).  It’s also a great time to update—or start!—a scrapbook. Keeping a record of today’s events will make it easier to share those stories with future generations to come. If you’re truly ambitious, you might even consider putting some of your family’s stories into writing … either online in a blog, a family website or on paper!

However you choose to commemorate your family’s stories this month, it’s always best to ensure that there is some steaming Bigelow Tea nearby! Our suggestions? If you’re gathering at night or working on a scrapbook in the wee hours, some Chamomile Mint will do the trick. And if you’re having a daytime event or need a little tea-inspired boost, English Teatime is a great selection!

We hope you’ll enjoy your tea and take the opportunity to reacquaint yourself with your family!

Image by dewittn via Flickr.com

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Women Speaking, Women Leading

What a fun day I had the other week. Network for Executive Women invited me to speak on a panel in front of 450 members about leadership while offering words of advice for developing future leaders.

It was an honor to spend two hours on the stage with Laura Sen, CEO of BJ’s, Paula Price, VP and CFO Ahold, Ken Romanzi, COO of Ocean Spray.  Kim Zilliox was the panel moderator and I have to say was brilliant at it!  The audience was completely engaged and asked some superb questions when Kim finished her line of questions.

The event was held in Newton, Mass. and the drive up and back was crystal clear.  The energy in the room was upbeat and the panel had fun playing off each other.  It was a great day that I know I will remember for a long time.  I hope the audience picked up some interesting and valuable concepts that they can apply to their business lives that will indeed make a difference.  From the people I talked to afterwards, I think we might have just done that…that is good!

Cindi Bigelow

 

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At Bigelow Tea Getting To Know You Is Definitely Our Cup Of Tea

Here at Bigelow Tea we’ve begun to realize that songs about tea are quite often songs about love! Whether it’s a Gershwin song or the much-loved (and sung) “Tea for Two,” music, tea and love seem to go together beautifully!

One quaint example is the song “Getting to Know You” from The King and I, a 1956 musical starring Deborah Kerr and Yul Brunner. The song, written by the legendary duo of Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein, includes lyrics about tea. Ms. Kerr sings:

Getting to know you, putting it my way,
But nicely,
You are precisely,
My cup of tea(!)

The song is a classic, and the expression “my cup of tea” is one of great affection. In fact, the history of the phrase shows that being compared to a cup of tea is quite positive indeed! The Phrase Finder says that “In keeping with the high regard for tea, most of the early references to ‘a cup of tea’ as a description of an acquaintance are positive ones, i.e. ‘nice’, ‘good’, ‘strong’ etc.”

Singing about tea and love, and comparing something—or someone—to a “cup of tea” can only make us smile. Here at Bigelow Tea our customers are, as Deborah Kerr would say “precisely” our cups of tea! So enjoy your tea today … and remember the affection and goodwill that a simple cup of tea brings to so many people!

Image via reneeashleybaker.wordpress.com, featuring Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner in, The King and I

 

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Bigelow Tea Salutes American Heroes During Military Family Appreciation Month And Veteran’s Day

November is that special month when we at Bigelow Tea, and people all across the country, honor the brave men and women who serve and have served in our armed forces. We truly appreciate the sacrifices made by our military families (which is why we created Tea for the Troops), and Military Family Appreciation Month is an opportunity to give thanks to them all for helping to protect our cherished freedoms.

The men and women who fight for our liberty are heroes, and their families are making sacrifices too. Tearful farewells, joyous reunions, daily worries and the pain of grief: these are what our military families endure in service to our country.  Their sacrifices, made each day, are no less heroic than those of their husbands, wives, sons and daughters on active duty. Bigelow Tea appreciates these brave military families.

Today on November 11, we also celebrate Veteran’s Day—to honor the American men and women who have served in the military. The day began on November 11, 1918, when an armistice agreementwas signed signaling the temporary ending of hostilities between the Allied nations and Germanyduring World War I. Legislation was passed in 1938 to officially recognize November 11 as Armistice Day. After World War II and the Korean War, the word “Armistice” was replaced with “Veterans,”to honor American veterans of all wars.

The red poppy, which bloomed across some of the bloodiest battlefields during World War I, became a symbol of remembrance of the blood that was shed by the brave soldiers who died for our freedoms.  At Bigelow Tea, we take this moment to lift our hands to our hearts and bow our heads in silent remembrance and gratitude.

Image (top) via Blissfullydomestic.com,
Image (middle) via Newresource.com,
Image (bottom) via Ambergrisdaily.com.

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Tony Reno of WICC 600 Visits Bigelow Tea

How exciting to get a visit today from radio WICC 600’s Tony Reno and Alissa Balouskas who toured the Bigelow Tea Headquarters for part of Tony’s Town Tour series. What a treat!

As everyone in the Greater Bridgeport, CT area knows, Tony hosts Tony & Mike in the Morning with Mike Bellamy and the Italian House Party on AM Radio 660

Great guy!  Great shows!!

You can listen in every Monday through Friday from 5-10am, on Sundays from 9am-2pm or visit Tony’s Town Tour at wicc600.com.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Cindi Bigelow

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Bigelow Tea Checks Out Americans’ Growing Taste For Tea!

Americans’ taste for tea continues to grow in the 21st Century according to the latest published industry reports!

At Bigelow Tea we know that one reason for tea’s ever-increasing popularity is that research repeatedly touts tea’s health benefits. One recent report stated the following: “Bolstered by consumers’ thirst for tea’s variety of flavors and healthy qualities, tea has shown resilience in the economic downturn. The category has experienced solid growth in the last year, with double digit gains from refrigerated tea.” That’s great news!

In addition, the 2011 State of the U.S. Tea Industry Report cited the explosion of tea options as a big factor in piquing consumer interest in tea, driving the wholesale numbers in the U.S. tea market from under $2 billion in 1990 to closing in on $8 billion in 2010. “Given the … intrinsic qualities of tea, and the lifestyle and consumption trends that appear to have become firmly established … only one logical conclusion seems possible; the future for tea in the United States looks very hot indeed!”

We certainly concur! But sales numbers and market fluctuations aside, Bigelow Tea stays focused on the basics – providing our devoted tea fans with the finest teas, and packaged for maximum flavor and freshness. Whether classic teas like Earl Grey and Constant Comment, or innovative blends like Green Tea with Blueberry and Lemon Ginger Herb Plus with Probiotics, you can count on pouring a delicious cup every time!

We love to see new reports on tea’s healthy profile and watch its growth in popularity. But for us tea has a timeless appeal and versatility. We’re in it for the long haul!

Photo by Naama via Flickr.com

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Go Green with Bigelow Tea for National Diabetes Month!

At Bigelow Tea, we stand proudly behind all that is green: green energy, the practice of Reuse-Reduce-Recycle, our 100% commitment to Sustainabili-TEA and, of course our amazing green tea!  Over the years, we’ve extolled the virtues of this wonderful antioxidant-filled elixir … but since November is National Diabetes Month we wanted to share via many studies exactly how regular consumption of green tea may be beneficial to diabetics (and to those who are at risk of becoming diabetic).

The American Diabetes Association defines diabetes as “a group of diseases characterized by high blood glucose levels that result from defects in the body’s ability to produce and/or use insulin.”  The statistics are daunting: as of January 2011, nearly 26 million American adults and children suffer from diabetes (18.8 million diagnosed, 7 million undiagnosed).  This means that over 8 percent of the entire American population has diabetes in one form or another. Additionally, there are approximately 70 million Americans who are at risk.

As Americans, we need to become more proactive with our health. This may mean some lifestyle changes such as healthier eating habitsexerciseweight management, and stress reduction. And don’t forget a daily indulgence of that delicious libation, green tea! Studies have shown that the catechins(specifically epigallocatechin gallate/EGCG) found in green tea, help to significantly lower blood glucose levels by enhancing the body’s insulin function and inhibiting the absorption of glucose in the intestines.

And brimming with natural, aromatic scent and subtle flavors, green tea is an amazing tonic. One thing is for certain: you will never be bored with our Bigelow Green Teas.  We have a treasure trove of flavors to choose from, you may even want to try them all! Enjoy … and, stay healthy!

Image (top) via ihenshin.com

 

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