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Leadership, Sacrifice And Courage: Bigelow Tea Spends A Day With Retired Navy SEAL Jason Redman

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It’s not every day we get to meet a hero. But a few weeks back, that’s exactly what we did. Decorated former United States Navy SEAL Lieutenant Jason Redman spent a few awe inspiring hours at the Bigelow Tea headquarters in Fairfield, Connecticut, where he personally addressed Bigelow employees.   The visit was shared via live feed to our teams in Louisville, KY and Boise, ID. As founder and spokesperson of the Combat Wounded Coalition, a nonprofit organization that supports combat wounded warriors and families of the fallen, and author of the memoir The Trident: The Forging and Reforging of a Navy SEAL Officer, Jason spent some time talking about leadership, teamwork and overcoming adversity. It was an honor and privilege to hear him speak.

Jason served 21 years with the U.S. Navy — 11 years as an enlisted Navy SEAL and 10 years as a SEAL officer. In 2007, he was severely wounded in a firefight in Iraq after his team was ambushed. While recovering at Bethesda Naval Medical Center, Jason bravely faced his challenges by writing a bright orange sign to hang on his door, which became a statement and symbol for wounded warriors everywhere. It read:bigelow-tea-sign

Attention to all who enter here. If you are coming into this room with sorrow or to feel sorry for my wounds, go elsewhere. The wounds I received I got in a job I love, doing it for people I love, supporting the freedom of a country I deeply love. I am incredibly tough and will make a full recovery. What is full? That is the absolute utmost physically my body has the ability to recover. Then I will push that about 20 percent further through sheer mental tenacity. This room you are about to enter is a room of fun, optimism, and intense rapid regrowth. If you are not prepared for that, go elsewhere.  

— The Management

The original sign on the door, signed by President George W. Bush, now hangs in the Wounded Ward at the National Naval Medical Center Bethesda as an inspiration to his fellow service men and women.

After 37 surgeries, Jason candidly shares his experiences and positive attitude to motivate others and to continue to raise awareness of the sacrifices of America’s courageous military forces and their families. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Valor, the Purple Heart, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, two Combat Action Ribbons and the U.S. Army Ranger tab, along with numerous other personal and unit awards.bigelow-tea-cindi-bigelow-jason-redman

Just as Jason is committed to the U.S. military community, so are we. In 2009, we launched the “Tea for the Troops” program, which sends specially designed boxes of 100% American-grown tea from the Charleston Tea Plantation to U.S. military personnel overseas and in the States. To date, we have sent more than 5 million tea bags to service men and women. We also became an official sponsor of the USO in 2015. We deeply appreciate the sacrifices the members of our military—and their families—have made to keep our country free, and we will continue to support them, one tea bag at a time.

Thank you, Jason, for your service. You are an inspiration to us!

Top image: Jason Redman speaking to Bigelow Tea employees

Lower image (L-R): Cindi Bigelow, Jason Redman and his service dog, Kharma, and Jason’s wife, Erica.

Congratulations Cindi Bigelow!

Cindi Bigelow, Award Winner

 

Cindi Bigelow, third generation president and CEO of Bigelow Tea, was honored with Moffly Media’s Good Corporate Neighbor award at the 9th Annual Light a Fire Awards. The prestigious award is in recognition of the ongoing support, among other things, provided through the annual Bigelow Tea Community Challenge (now in its 29th year) that to date has donated $1.4 million to 20 Connecticut based charitable organizations. These organizations’ programs and tireless efforts continue to provide important educational services, housing, food, crisis counseling, after-school tutoring, wellness and recreational programs to often-overlooked members of Bigelow Tea’s local community.

Congratulations Cindi!

Give The Gift Of Bigelow Tea This Holiday Season

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Party Hosts
Work Colleagues
Family and Friends
Gift Exchanges (Secret Santa, anyone?!)
Teachers and Bus Drivers
Neighbors
Mail Carriers …

…holy cow the holiday list is long and this probably isn’t everyone, right?  A plate of homemade cookies (BTW we’ve got the perfect recipes for some awesome cookies!!) and a card will do the trick for most of these special people, but there must be a few on the list that really deserve something a bit more….something from the heart, a gift of pure joy. We have the perfect idea: a tin or box of Bigelow Tea, specially designed by Kate D. Spain, the artist behind the KD Spain® brand!  Woohoo, perfect right?

Kate says, “When we bring something naturally beautiful into our lives, we gain a finer connection to it, to our surroundings, and to each other. New possibilities for sources of our happiness are able to root, grow, and blossom.” Wow, we could not have said it better…between the Bigelow teas and her designs, we are calling this collaboration #TeaProudly to the max!

Check out these three exclusive designs and get one or all in time for your holiday gift giving:

Limited Edition Holiday Tin of Tea (pictured above)

This limited edition tin contains an assortment of 15 of our favorite flavors that are sure to make every tea lover’s heart happy. You’ll receive 120 individually wrapped black teas, green teas, herbal teas and decaffeinated teas. And when you’ve enjoyed all the tea, you can reuse the designer tin. Refill it with tea, or use it to store special keepsakes because anything goes!

Limited Edition Tin of Tea

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This limited edition tin features a gorgeous hydrangea floral pattern with a light and lovely style that can work any time of year. This tin also contains 120 individually wrapped black, green, herbal and holiday teas.

Tiled Top Tea Box

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Last, but certainly not least, this limited edition wooden box measures 4″ x 6″ and contains a ceramic tile top with artwork by Kate D. Spain. The box contains 32 teabags: 8 Earl Grey,  8 Green Tea, 8 English Teatime and 8 Sweet Dreams. Once you sip your way through the tea, fill it with more of your favorite Bigelow flavors, or use it to store your recipe cards, photo prints or jewelry as a few suggestions.

Quantities are limited for each of these gifts and they’ll go fast! Be sure to snag one (or two) soon—one for the recipient, one for you (obviously!).

Let Bigelow Tea Spice Up Your Table With These Two Dinner Recipes

bigelow-tea-constant-commentIf you drink Bigelow Tea, you know that each cup is packed full of flavor, aroma and spice. Take a leap from the cup to the plate with these recipes for Moroccan Lentil Stew with Cinnamon, and Pork, Fennel and Leek Casserole. Both dishes are slam-packed with spice and flavor — thanks to the additions of Bigelow Tea Cinnamon Stick and “Constant Comment®” — and perfect for wowing your guests at the dinner table. Add a loaf of crusty bread and a pot of Bigelow Tea English Teatime to complete the experience. Just be prepared when everyone starts asking for the recipe!

Moroccan Lentil Stew with Cinnamon

Ingredients

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  • 4 cups hot water
  • Bigelow® Cinnamon Stick® Tea Bags
  • ½ lb. dried brown lentils, rinsed well
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 lbs chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 – 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes in sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup dry roasted almonds, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoon Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped

Instructions

Combine four cups hot water and four Cinnamon Stick® tea bags and allow to steep for approximately 5-7 minutes. Add tea and lentils to a large stew pot. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for approximately 20 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Remove to a large bowl and set aside. In the same pot, add olive oil and saute onions and garlic until softened. Add cut-up chicken and cook until cooked through and no longer pink inside (about 10 minutes). Add diced tomatoes and cooked lentils to the pan and heat through. Season with salt and pepper. Add chopped almonds and parsley and serve.

Pork, Fennel and Leek Casserole

Ingredients

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  • 1 cup (250mL) chicken stock
  • 1 cup (250mL) water
  • Bigelow Constant Comment Tea Bags
  • ¾ cup (180mL) boiling water
  • ¾ cup (180mL) apple juice
  • 1 tablespoon (15mL) butter
  • 1 small fennel bulb
  • 3 leeks, cleaned, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 pound (500g) pork tenderloin, cut into medallions
  • ¼ cup (60mL) flour
  • 1 tablespoon (15mL) olive oil
  • 1 – 10 ounces (280g) package of frozen peas
  • 12 mini potatoes, unpeeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons (30mL) cornstarch
  • ½ cup (125mL) mint leaves, chopped

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Make Constant Comment tea with ¾ cup (180mL) boiling water, discard the tea bags, squeezing to extract as much liquid as possible. Add chicken stock and set aside. Melt butter in large skillet and add fennel and leeks and saute gently for 4-5 minutes or until soft, don’t brown. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Add pork to large plastic bag; add flour, season with salt and pepper, and toss until pork is well coated. Add olive oil to large skillet and brown the pork in batches over medium heat. Remove pork and add apple juice, increase heat and stir up the brown bits from the bottom. Add the tea mixture and boil, add pork, fennel, leeks and potatoes. Cover and place in oven. Cook for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and add peas, mix cornstarch with a little cold water to make a paste and add slowly to hot liquid. Return to oven and continue cooking until sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper if needed and garnish with chopped mint leaves.

 

Butter Cookies, Vanilla Chai Cashew Brittle, and Orange Spice Madeleines, OH MY! Bigelow Tea In The Recipe Mix This Holiday Season!!

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December Goals

Cozy Nights with Warm Blankets

Hot Tea

Yummy Food

People We Love

With so much to look forward to, it’s no wonder we all love this time of year, right?  So how can we together make the holiday season super bright? Why not combine to-die-for dessert recipes that take some of our favorite Bigelow tea flavors served up in delicious new ways along with your elbow grease?  After all, we are here to help you celebrate big — direct from your own kitchen. Go ahead, make one or make them all. (Besides, calories don’t count if it’s homemade, right?!)

Lemon Lift® Glazed Butter Cookies

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Ingredients

⅔ cups confectioners sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
Bigelow Lemon Lift® Tea Bag

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 ½ cups confectioners sugar until mixture is a glaze consistency, adding a few drops yellow food coloring, if desired.

The Crowning Glory to your Holiday Cookies

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Ingredients

1 cup water
Bigelow Eggnogg’n Tea Bags
2 cups 10x confectioners sugar (powder sugar)

Instructions

Boil water. Place 4 tea bags in water and steep for 3-4 minutes. Remove tea bags and let liquid cool for ½ hour. Place sugar in mixing bowl. Add 2 tbsp. tea liquid and stir until completely mixed. Should be the consistency of honey. If not, gradually add more liquid in small amounts to reach desired consistency. Can be used as an icing for holiday cookies, scones, muffins, or ice cream.

Vanilla Chai Cashew Brittle

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Ingredients

2 cups water
4 tea bags of Bigelow Vanilla Chai Tea
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups corn syrup
4 cups raw cashews
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

Bring water to a boil and steep tea bags for ten minutes. Line two ½ sheet pans with silicon baking sheets and coat with butter, keep warm in oven (warm-200 degrees). Coat inside of stainless steel 4 quart sauce pan with whole butter and add tea, sugar and corn syrup and heat till sugar is dissolved.

Increase heat and cook till mixture reaches 260 degrees. Add nuts and butter and continue to cook till thermometer reaches 295 degrees. Stir constantly. Add baking soda and vanilla and stir as it foams up and pour immediately between the two sheet pans. Spread out evenly and thinly to the edges of the pans. Place on cooling racks and let cool completely. Remove from pans and break into pieces. Store in airtight container and store at room temperature.

Constant Comment Spice Cake

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Ingredients

½ cup milk
Bigelow Constant Comment® Tea Bags
½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1-⅔ cups flour
2-½ teaspoons baking powder
Confectioners sugar

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour a 9″ round cake pan. Combine milk and tea bags in a small saucepan. Heat over medium/low heat until bubbles form around the edge, stirring occasionally. (DO NOT BOIL.) Remove from heat and let cool (15-20 minutes); remove tea bags squeezing out liquid. Set aside. In large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until smooth. Add the eggs and whisk to blend. Add the cooled milk; continue to whisk until thoroughly combined. Add flour and baking powder; mix until a smooth batter forms. Pour batter into pan. Bake approximately 35 minutes, or until center of cake springs back when touched. Cool on wire rack before removing from pan. Let cool completely before serving. Dust top with confectioners sugar.

Orange Spiced Madeleines

(pictured below title)

Ingredients

1/2 cup unsalted butter
Bigelow Orange Spice tea bags
2 tablespoons boiling water
4 eggs
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour Madeleine pan or spray with nonstick cooking spray. In a microwave safe bowl, melt butter.  Place tea bags in 2 tablespoons boiling water and steep for 5 minutes then pour into melted butter. Meanwhile, beat eggs and sugar for 5 minutes on medium high speed. Once batter is pale and have doubled in volume, gently fold in orange zest. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Add sifted flour in three parts, gently folding flour into egg batter after each addition. Slowly pour butter into batter while folding it in. Spoon about 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of batter into each shell. Bake Madeleines for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool completely then sprinkle with powdered sugar and cinnamon.

Figs Brulée with Vanilla-Eggnog Ice Cream

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Ingredients

1 pint half-and-half
1 cup sugar
Bigelow Eggnogg’n® Tea Bags
2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise and scraped, seeds reserved, divided
12 egg yolks
18 figs
6 tablespoons butter, melted
½ cup sugar

Instructions

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the half-and-half, sugar, tea bags, and reserved seeds from 1 vanilla bean. Cook until the mixture just begins to boil; remove from heat, and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth. Using a ladle, pour 1 cup of the hot half-and-half mixture in a slow, steady stream into the beaten egg yolks, whisking constantly. Remove the tea bags from the half-and-half, and then add the egg-yolk mixture to the remaining half-and-half in the saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, or until the custard reaches 180º on an instant-read thermometer. Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a stainless-steel bowl set in an ice bath. Stir until the custard is very cold. Freeze the custard in an ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Preheat oven to 350º. Cut each fig in half, and place each half, cut side up, in a well of a muffin pan. In a small bowl, mix together the butter and reserved seeds from remaining vanilla bean. Brush the top of each fig with the butter mixture, and bake for 6 minutes. Remove figs from oven, and evenly sprinkle the cut sides of the figs with the sugar. With a culinary torch, hold the flame about 2 inches above the surface of the figs. Direct the flame in an even back-and-forth motion so that the sugar melts and browns. Serve two prepared fig halves with a scoop of ice cream.

Green Tea To The Rescue!

bigelow-tea-green-teaNearly 30 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes which is a fact we should all be concerned about as many Americans don’t even know they have the disease. Diabetes results from the human body not producing enough insulin to break down glucose. Glucose is a form of sugar that gets turned into fuel for the body. Without enough insulin, glucose levels build up which is why diabetes can be so harmful.

The good news is diabetics can manage their health in many ways: monitoring glucose levels, remaining physically active, eating well and staying hydrated to name a few. For tea drinkers, studies share good news: it has been reported that “Green tea is good for people with diabetes because it helps the metabolic system function better.” A 2013 research review published in Diabetes and Metabolism Journal highlighted a Japanese study that found people who drank six or more cups of green tea a day were 33 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than people who drank less than a cup of green tea a week.

Bigelow Tea has many delicious varieties—and tons of Green Tea options like Green Tea with LemonGreen Tea Chai and Earl Grey Green to name just a few. All Bigelow Teas are sugar-free and can be served without sweeteners, so together, let’s not only learn more about diabetes but help each other mange this difficult disease!

Savor The Snap in Bigelow Tea Ginger Snappish Herbal Tea

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Here we go….winter is coming and we are ready for cozy evenings! Just picture it: a roaring fire, warm socks, maybe PJs or your favorite sweats, and a mug of Bigelow Tea Ginger Snappish® Lemon Herbal Tea. This “snappy” melt-in-your-mouth tea will remind you of gingersnap cookies baking in the oven. Savory, sweet and just a smidge spicy, Ginger Snappish herbal tea is made with quality ingredients like lemon peel, lemongrass, ginger, cinnamon and natural gingersnap. And it’s perfect to drink right before bed since it’s caffeine-free!

And what is ginger anyway? Well, it’s a spice that can be found in many places—gingerbread cookies, pumpkin pies and served fresh with sushi (yum!). This amazing spice starts as a gnarled, knotted, bumpy root of the ginger plant which is the source of this wonderful spice. In Sanskrit, the root was known as srigavera, which translates to ‘root shaped like a horn’ – a fitting name for its appearance.

Ginger dates back over 3,000 years to Asia, and was used for medicinal treatments in India and China. From there it spread to Europe via trade, and during the Middle Ages, it was favored as a spice for its ability to disguise the taste of preserved meats. Henry VIII is said to have used a ginger concoction in hopes of building a resistance to the plague. Even today, ginger is used as a remedy for nausea and other stomach ailments.

Ginger coupled with real lemon peel gives Ginger Snappish a whole lot of zing. The lemon peel used is 100% grown in the USA from the same California supplier we have used for over 30 years (yeah, we are #TeaProudly about that fact!).

So if you’re in the mood for a real treat made with fresh ingredients, brew up a mug…we bet you’ll love it in a snap!

Thanksgiving Wishes To Warm Your Heart

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Bigelow Tea Celebrates National Family Week

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Family is everything at Bigelow Tea and for over 70 years, three generations have been dedicated to producing the most beautiful cup of tea, a tradition that started in 1945 in Ruth Campbell Bigelow’s kitchen in New York City.  Family tradition is something we know about so during this week of Thanksgiving (and well, every day of every week!), let’s together celebrate National Family Week.

bigelow-tea-constant-commentLet’s be honest, as much as we love a day filled with turkey, football, parades and cozy weather, don’t our actual favorite moments come down to the conversations, hugs, and laughs while sharing a cup of tea during this holiday time? If you agree, why not sit back with a slice of pie and a cup of tea (“Constant Comment®” always goes well with a conversation), and cherish those moments and this special time you can spend with family.   And when we say family, we also mean our community of tea lovers. Together, we not only appreciate sharing a cup, but we all have a love (and true passion) for tea, right? This is truly #TeaProudly (link here to teaproudly blog entry) so this National Family Week, we’re sending warm wishes out to our extended Bigelow Family—our amazing employees, our fantastic growers and vendors and of course to each and every tea drinker everywhere! Cheers to a wonderful week!

Bigelow Tea Loves A Good Tea Party—Especially One Hosted By Sofia Vergara

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Celeb tea parties have been all the rage this year, and Hollywood A-listers Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello are joining in on the fun! Both Sofia and Joe took to social media to give a sneak peek into a tea party they hosted—now that’s being a proud tea-drinker! Surrounded by close family and friends, it looked like the event was a success—smiling faces, tea sandwiches, scones and sweets, beautifully-arranged flowers, teacups, and guests happily drinking tea (of course).

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In an image captioned, “”What do u do when @clarissa_rezende brings u a @stefanbeharsucre cake from Brazil??!!!!!! Invite friends for Tea Partyyyyyyy,” the oh-so-lovely Colombian actress posed with a Stefan Behar Sucré cake that event decorator Clarissa Rezende brought back from São Paulo, Brazil.

We can just imagine being in Brazil with a Stefan Behar Sucré cake for a delicious treat—and perhaps a cup of tea to accompany a slice? After all, black tea is a popular Brazilian choice, either hot or iced, along with herbal teas such as mint and lemongrass.

Whether you’re having your cake and drinking tea, too, or celebrating good friends over good stories at a tea party, let’s keep showing how tea is such a big part of our lives. At Bigelow Tea, we love when celebrities share their tea-inspired moments, and we can’t wait to hear more of your stories, too. Show us your #TeaProudly moments and tell the world why you love to make a cup of tea part of your day!