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Archives for the ‘Tea Facts and History’ Category

Bigelow Tea Takes A Look At The Oldest Tea Book In The World

bigelow tea classics of tea

Bigelow Tea has written about the ancient history of tea as well as its own 70 year history of proudly producing the finest tea in America. Previously, Bigelow Tea shared a bit of information about the oldest tea book in the world, The Classic of Tea, by Chinese writer Lu YüThe Classic of Tea is a fascinating book looking at tea’s many components, all described precisely, from growing to production and preparation.

The Classic of Tea’s message of mindfulness and respecting the preparation of tea is fundamental to Bigelow Tea’s own history and success. Dedication to the details defines Bigelow Tea and has for three generations of the Bigelow family as witnessed by David C. Bigelow when he hand painted tea labels for his mother Ruth back in 1945 as well as third generation president and CEO Cindi Bigelow example of sharing via video the steps required to make “the perfect cup of tea.”

bigelow tea historyHand painted Bigelow tea can, circa 1945!

The hard work and passion started by Ruth 70 years ago continues today which is why Bigelow tea is the #1 specialty tea leader in the U.S! As the Bigelow family always says, “we hope our tea delights you!”


Bigelow Tea Rallies Behind The USO

bigelow tea news

Reaching out to a high school friend, Bigelow Tea’s third-generation President and CEO Cindi Bigelow cemented the company’s relationship with the United Service Organizations (USO), making it an official sponsor of the non-profit organization that supports the U.S. military community.

Bigelow Tea first partnered with the USO when Cindi reached out to high school friend Jeff Hill, now the USO’s Regional Vice President for the U.S., to develop a path for distributing 100% American grown tea, grown at the company’s Charleston Tea Plantation in South Carolina, to troops as a heartfelt way of saying “thank you” for the huge sacrifices they make. Bigelow Tea is now committing to donating a minimum of 350,000 tea bags annually to the USO. The tea bags will be used to support the USO’s ongoing mission of lifting the spirits of America’s troops and their families.

bigelow american classic teaThis commitment ensures the continuation of Bigelow’s already existing Tea for the Troops program, launched by Cindi in 2009. To date, the Tea for the Troops program has donated more than 4 million tea bags to U.S. service personnel.

bigelow american classic

This year, Bigelow Tea also became a financial sponsor of the USO’s 2015 Warrior Week that recently took place, in Virginia Beach, Virginia, in association with the USO of Hampton Roads and Central Virginia Inc. In addition, Cindi and Bigelow Tea Project Manager Tim Richmond, an Iraq war veteran, cycled alongside service men and women in Warrior Week’s Ride 2 Recovery Memorial Challenge that culminated in Virginia Beach. This was their third Ride 2 Recovery event.

“It is such a moving experience, and an honor, to ride along with our veterans,” said Cindi. “Not a single soldier had one word of complaint. Just listening to them makes you truly realize the magnitude of what these heroes selflessly do to protect our country. It is why it is so important to give back. I must have cried a dozen times when I walked away from these conversations. Not with pity but with tremendous admiration for them,” she said.

And, she added, “At Bigelow Tea, whose company mission it is to enrich life’s everyday moments by infusing passion into all we do, we are grateful to our service men and women, to Jeff Hill and the USO for allowing us to be even a small piece of everything they do to improve the lives of our beautiful troops.”


Bigelow Tea Pours Out Tea Wisdom From The Oldest Tea Book In The World

bigelow tea facts and history

Bigelow tea recognizes the deep impact that tea has played in American history as well as world history. And as Bigelow Tea is celebrating its 70th year in 2015 (Bigelow Tea fan Jackie Lee tweets that she loves the 70th Anniversary packaging!) history is deep in the values of this family-run company. But let’s go back further… like 2,500 years, when tea was considered a medicinal brew including herbs, seeds and leaves found in Southwest China.

Over the next 1,000 years, tea’s popularity spread throughout Asia, becoming imbedded in religious and social culture. By the Tang Dynasty (AD 618–907) specific tea etiquette was essential, and Chinese writer Lu Yü wrote The Classic of Tea, the oldest known tea book! Lu Yü wrote of Tea as an expression of harmony and order, stressing the need to slow down when making and drinking tea.

bigelow tea Ruth Bigelow

Of course Bigelow Tea has its own classic book, My Mother Loved Tea, a loving tribute from David C. Bigelow to Bigelow Tea Matriarch Ruth Campbell Bigelow. Current President and CEO Cindi Bigelow – David’s daughter and Ruth’s granddaughter – says “This book does such a terrific job … it recounts the beginning years perfectly!!”  70 years may not reach back to the Tang dynasty, but just taste what three generations of passionate tea lovers have done!


Bigelow Tea Wonders If You Add Milk To Tea

bigelow tea vanilla chai

The beauty of tea is that each drinker can customize his or her cup and decide whether to include milk, honey, sugar or even a slice of lemon! While some parts of making the perfect cup of Bigelow Tea are a must per third generation president and CEO, Cindi Bigelow, who always recommends putting in the tea bag in first before pouring over the water—other options are a matter of personal choice.

One hotly debated topic in the tea world is do you add milk or not to your tea, so let’s talk about milk today. If you do like to add milk, do you know when to add it in? Does the milk go in first or the hot water? The British Standards Institute (BSI) believes to have the answer to this tea community discussion. They state that the milk is best poured before the tea and that the brewing water should not be above 185°F to prevent scalding the milk. Of course not all tea drinkers agree with the BSI. Author George Orwell prefers pouring his milk in last to control the ratio of milk to tea. Even Queen Elizabeth II reportedly enjoys her tea by adding the milk afterwards!

bigelow tea spiced chai

Bigelow Tea’s delicious chai tea varieties are amazing with milk and sugar like our classic Spiced ChaiFacebook Fan Virginia Gordon thinks Vanilla Chai is “delicious with a splash of cream and teaspoon of sugar!” The good news is that whether you add your cream or milk before or after the hot water, Bigelow Tea’s spicy chai flavors will make an amazing cuppa! Enjoy!


Bigelow Tea Goes Wild for Blueberries

Bigelow Tea blueberry

It’s not just summertime that’s synonymous with fresh ingredients bursting with flavor—Bigelow Tea is, too! With highest quality crafted varieties, you can always be sure to find a blend that matches the season to a tee. This July, take some time to celebrate National Blueberry Month with a cup of Wild Blueberry with Acai Herbal Tea.

With a perfect balance of flavor, this divine Bigelow blend offers a mouthwatering combination of sweet wild blueberries and tart acai (pronounced AH-sigh-EE). Both blueberries and acai berries are armed with antioxidants—nutrients that may help protect you from cell damage and different health conditions. Other palate-pleasers like hibiscus, sweet blackberry leaves and cinnamon round out this blend, making it the quintessential summer beverage.

Prepare it iced, hot, mixed in a cocktail, or add it to a fab recipe like Melon and Blueberry Fruit Salad, and know that Wild Blueberry with Acai Herbal Tea won’t disappoint. Toast National Blueberry Month and take your tea to the next level by adding a handful of fresh blueberries like @beautifullyunique_ did! Mmmm… Now that makes an invigorating and refreshing treat! Betcha won’t be able to stop at just one cup!


Bigelow Tea Reflects On America And Independence Day

bigelow tea apple cinnamon

The land of the free and the home of the brave … that is America, the country we celebrate as we head into Independence Day weekend. Bigelow Tea is proud to be American-made and American-run. For three generations, the tea you love has been blended and boxed right here in the USA.  Yes, 4th of July is a great time for barbecues and iced Bigelow Tea, but it is also a day to remember those who gave the United States its independence and those who continue to fight for peace and freedom on our behalf.

bigelow tea american classic

One small way Bigelow Tea supports those in the military is by sending them tea. Third generation CEO and President, Cindi Bigelow, started the Tea for the Troops program as “our way of saying thank you to the men and women fighting for our country.” To date, almost 4 million bags of Bigelow Tea have been sent to troops serving in German, Iraq, Afghanistan and Korea.

bigelow tea warrior week

In addition, Bigelow Tea was proud to recently sponsor Warrior Week in Virginia. Cindi and Tim Richmond, a veteran and Bigelow Tea Project Manager, cycled in the 80-mile Ride 2 Recovery Memorial Challenge on May 29. The ride was followed by a beach reception sponsored by Bigelow Tea.

As you enjoy a beautiful summer weekend—and possibly sip some iced American Classic or American Breakfast tea— please take a moment to remember the significance of Independence Day and all that it means to be an American.


Bigelow Tea: Made In The USA

bigelow tea berry

This weekend, millions of people will honor Independence Day, a time when families celebrate their American heritage … and the Bigelow Tea family is no exception. Seventy years and three generations ago, family-owned and operated Bigelow Tea planted its roots in American soil. To this day, every batch of tea is still blended and packaged in the United States, and each Bigelow Tea employee is based here, too. America is a land of opportunity, and Bigelow Tea wants to help keep those opportunities plentiful.

July is the perfect time of year to celebrate — the weather is warm, the family gatherings give everyone a reason to smile, and barbecues with endless pitchers of iced tea are the perfect excuse to get outside. Toast to the weekend with a glass of Bigelow Tea Iced Tea and Lemonade or cool down with a round of Bigelow® Frozen Iced Teas, made with Lemon Ginger Herbal Tea —a flavor that @angiejromero claims is “positively the best tea around!” If you’re in the mood for a drink with a kick, try a recipe for Simply Summer White Sangria, made with Bigelow Tea Pomegranate Pizzazz or quite simply have a cup of our American Breakfast tea hot or cold!

So grab that mason jar, pick out your favorite Bigelow blend, and join in the celebration: of family, of tea, of America.

Image via The Seaman Mom

Bigelow Looks Back at the History of Afternoon Tea

bigelow tea history of tea time
A cup of Bigelow Tea is delicious any time of day, but there’s something classic and whimsical about sitting down for afternoon tea. The idea of afternoon tea is said to have originated in the early 1800s in England by Anna, the 7thDuchess of Bedford. Anna proposed having tea around four or five in the afternoon to ward off hunger pangs between lunch and dinner. Some time earlier, the Earl of Sandwich had the idea of putting a filling between two slices of bread. These habits soon became popular at social gatherings and started a trend that survives to this day: afternoon tea!

Afternoon tea takes on many forms, but more formal events include teacakes and breads, fresh fruit, cucumber sandwiches, and scones with Devonshire cream and jam (with tea, of course).  Embrace the tradition by incorporating Bigelow Tea recipes like I Love Lemon® Quick Bread and Fabulous Melon and Blueberry Fruit Salad for extra fun and flavor. And, don’t forget the tea! Sip to your heart’s content with a ‘cuppa Bigelow Tea Earl Grey or a robust Darjeeling.

Whether you’re hosting guests or taking time to enjoy a “tea party for one” like @graceglimmersBigelow Tea has the perfect blend to make your afternoon tea a success!

bigelow tea earl grey

Looking Back Through the Years of Bigelow Tea for Family History Day

bigelow tea facts and history

The year was 1945, and Ruth Campbell Bigelow spent weeks blending black tea with orange rind and sweet spices. Soon she emerged with the first cup of what we now know as “Constant Comment®.” Three generations and 70 years later, Bigelow Tea remains family-owned and operated, and is the #1 specialty tea company in the country. Given that Family History Day is this Sunday, June 14, there’s no better time to celebrate the history of Bigelow Tea!

bigelow tea ruth bigelow


After creating “Constant Comment,” Ruth began to sell it from store to store. One day, a shopkeeper shared that he had opened a container of Ruth’s tea to allow his consumers to enjoy the amazing aroma. “One whiff and they were sold!” he exclaimed. Ruth immediately started including an “extra” little jar of “Constant Comment” labeled “open and whiff” with each case shipped. Stores across the country placed this whiffing jar by their cash registers. It was a defining moment that helped Bigelow Tea grow and succeed, and to this day, Bigelow Tea fans like @joelance comment on the blend’s sweet and spicy aroma.

bigelow tea jar

This weekend, take a minute to learn some of your family history either by calling a family member or researching your ancestry online. There’s no better way to discover the defining moments of your family than over a mug of Bigelow Tea.

Top image via @homecookingmemories

Bigelow Tea Celebrates A Record-Breaking Iced Tea Day

bigelow tea iced tea

Iced Tea Day 2015 is here, and Bigelow Tea is going big this year to celebrate the singular summertime pleasure of fresh-brewed tea over ice! Excitement has indeed been brewing as the Town of Summerville, S.C., the birthplace of sweet tea, today attempts to shatter the Guinness World Records for the largest glass of iced tea, using 116 pounds of tea leaves from Bigelow’s Charleston Tea Garden!

Our shared goal is to make a 1,400-gallon, nearly 12-foot “glass” of iced tea (once it’s decorated with a straw, a lid and a lemon!) sweetened with 2,100 pounds of local sugar to create sweet tea, the South’s preferred version of iced tea, chilled to a cool 42◦ with 2,800 pounds of ice. A record-smashing tea party is planned for this evening in Summerville, after the Guinness adjudicator verifies the new world record.

bigelow tea charleston tea garden

Adding to the fun for Bigelow Tea is the special connection the company has to both the Charleston Tea Garden and Summerville. Acquired in 2003 by Eunice and David Bigelow and the family-owned #1 specialty tea company (now in its 70th year), the Charleston Tea Garden is a 120-acre working tea farm located on picturesque Wadmalaw Island, just south of Charleston.  The tea plants that thrive in the lush fields were transplanted there in 1963 from the former Pinehurst Tea Plantation in Summerville.  Today, the Charleston Tea Garden grows 100% American-grown tea — without the use of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or insecticides — that goes into the making of gluten-free, non-GMO American Classic Tea® and Charleston Tea Plantation loose and bagged teas.

Bigelow Tea is proud to be a part of the rich history of tea in America and thrilled to support Summerville’s epic tea party! Happy Iced Tea Day!