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Archives for the ‘How We Make Tea’ Category

Bigelow Tea Packaging Makes Storage a Cinch!

Among the many things to love about our Bigelow Tea varieties—in addition to the great taste and reported health benefits—are their freshness and full-bodied tea flavor! That’s why we put as much effort into making our packaging as we do our teas, ensuring that every cup you brew will be perfect. No need to purchase special containers for storing your Bigelow Teas!

That said, it’s helpful to understand the principles behind the packaging. It is the prolonged exposure to air, light and moisture that will diminish the potency of your tea and flavorings. So each Bigelow tea bag is individually wrapped in a foil pouch to seal in all the wonderful flavor and freshness. The tea bags themselves are of the highest quality—rated a 10 on a 1-10 scale for ability to maintain freshness. And our amazing loose teas come in special tins that protect the delicate tea leaves and flavorings. Either way, when you tear open a pouch or pop the lid, you get a burst of intense tea aroma that you know will create a deeply flavorful cup of tea!

Of course, the quality of the tea going into our bags and tins is just as important. Check out this video, where Bigelow Tea President Cindi Bigelow demonstrates how you can actually see the difference between our teas and those of lesser quality. You’ll be amazed:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-T2XsjMNmc&feature=youtu.be[/youtube]

Storage? No problem! Simply place the box of Bigelow Tea foil pouches or tin of loose tea in a cupboard away from heat and light. And never put tea in the refrigerator or freezer. The most important thing though, is to make sure that wherever you store your tea, it’s within easy reach so you can brew up a delicious cup anytime!

Bigelow Tea’s Teabags and Wrappers Are Much More Than Just Packaging!

Believe it! Your Bigelow Tea teabags and the wrappers that envelop them have a significant impact on the aroma and taste of the tea you drink! While many people think wrappers and teabags are simply forms of packaging, at Bigelow Tea the bag and the foil wrapper are carefully crafted components, integral to the overall tea-drinking experience.

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When tea lovers got together with Cindi Bigelow for a Tea Social in New York City in January, Cindi talked to her special tea guests about the often-overlooked teabag and its wrapper. Stephanie from The Tea Scoop was at the event, and afterward she shared a fantastic summary of Cindi’s lesson on her blog. Check it out!

As part of the event, participants learned that wrappers (or barriers) are rated from 0 to 10, with a 10 keeping the teabags freshest. Bigelow Tea wrappers are rated a 10. Simply opening the wrapper of a Bigelow Tea bag and enjoying the aroma of what’s inside gives consumers an idea of how important a wrapper can be. As Stephanie at the Tea Scoop happily noted:

“When I sniffed Bigelow, I found the strength of the aroma startling.”

Cindi also asked the guests to tear open teabags and see what’s inside. Some teas contain filler: tea dust, stems, and “prills” of flavoring and small leaves. Bigelow Tea, however, contains tea leaves, real ingredients (like orange rind in Constant Comment) and spices—never dust or prills. As Stephanie at The Tea Scoop put it, “I was completely blown away by the difference.”  Check out Cindi’s demonstration in this video:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-T2XsjMNmc[/youtube]

Try this at home and see; smell and taste the difference a premium tea bag and wrapper makes. At Bigelow Tea, we take the quality of our ingredients and materials seriously, so we can provide the best tea-drinking experience possible!


ExperTEAS Video, Part 1

Learn more about the tea you drink with Cindi Bigelow, President, Bigelow Tea.

Making Sustainable Choices: Bigelow Tea Celebrates Everything Green — Arbor Day, and Every Day

Preserve our planet with material reduction.

Preserve our planet with material reduction.

Trees, glorious trees! We enjoy their beauty, appreciate their shade and plant them as living memorials for loved ones. They provide a safe habitat for wildlife, improve our air quality and moderate our climate. Trees sustain us – with antioxidants contained in their fruit, nuts and, yes, their tea leaves! There is nothing more serene than the sound of leaves rustling gently in the summer breeze.  Trees keep us centered.  And in return, we need to protect, respect and replenish them.

Arbor Day dates back to 1872, when Nebraska journalist and politician Julius Sterling Morton, who devoted his career to improving agricultural practices, believed the economy and environment would benefit from planting trees. He proposed a special day dedicated to planting trees and raising public awareness. His birthday, April 22, became the annual Arbor Day for the State of Nebraska. As the idea spread past the Nebraskan border, other states followed suit and, today, Arbor Day is celebrated nationwide.

We at Bigelow Tea are committed to following sustainable farming practices. In 2003, Bigelow Tea purchased the Charleston Tea Plantation, America’s only tea garden, to save it from real estate development. Our work at the Charleston Tea Garden is a labor of love: crops are healthy and pesticide-free and our plantation staff is an integral part of the Bigelow Tea family

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Hard work and dedication means sustainable choices today for tomorrow. The “fruit” of our labor: American Classic® Tea.

At Bigelow Tea, we do not waste our resources. We’re almost 100% paperless and fully dedicated to recycling — in fact, 85% of our packaging is biodegradable or recyclable. Anything that can be recycled is recycled. Simply put, we practice Sustainabili-Tea — everyday.

Two high-energy days have just come to an end…and I can feel it!

Worked with key team members to keep driving Bigelow Tea forward and the enthusiasm was truly electric. Had some interesting variables to add to the formula, like a son that was ill and basically had me up the first night till 7:30 AM…yes that is right, I finally went to bed at 7:30 AM on the first day of our meetings. The meetings and kick off were to take place at 8 AM. Needless to say, I was excused from the team till noon on day one! Worked out great though, they could start to work together without the influences of “the boss” being in the room. Not that I like to miss part of a meeting, but it was effective. Day one finished up around 7 PM — then we gave the team a homework assignment for the evening. That didn’t go over too well initially but we eventually got past that!

Next day, we hit the ground running again at 8 AM (my son was more cooperative that night, he let me sleep but had me up around 5 AM when his stomach ache kicked in again). Day two was even better than day one — even more ideas, even more higher level thinking, and even more laughs. That night we finished up a little after 6 and then off we all went to dinner. A few glasses of wine, some pasta and even more smiles and then I headed home.

Today I got to reflect back on my two days and I have to say I could not be more pleased with the outcome. I have to say this company has the most passionate individuals working here…they love tea and this company more than anything. It was a great two days, but I think I might have to check out a little early today. My body feels like it just finished a marathon…cup of Cozy Chamomile tea anyone?

Cindi Bigelow

Always Checking, Always Upgrading

I was upgraded with a new computer the other day, and boy, I did not realize how “slow” my old one was. I really did not think I needed a new one but I had the oldest and it was time for mine to be retired. I have come to really enjoy the speed and features of the new one. Like my computer, we at Bigelow Tea continually look at our equipment to make sure we are upgrading when we need to. Our oldest machine is 15 years old and the newest are just a couple of years old. Every year we rebuild the equipment to make sure it is staying in tip top shape but there is a difference between the age group. The older machines are driven more by gears, levels, and mechanical means where as the new machines are driven by servo motors and computers. The speed is slightly different as well, the older ones run around 150 tea bags per minute where as the new are over 300. We have tried to balance out our tea bag capacity to the demand of each flavor and the location where we make the tea bag. During the busy season we need to run all the equipment just to keep up but then during the summer months we can cut back on the number of machines that need to run.

One of our greatest assets is our flexibility to run a variety of tea flavors and package them in the appropriate boxes. With our three facilities and their equipment, we can juggle what flavors are run and where. It also takes a bit of planning to make sure we have all the components in the right location at the right time. Of course our forecasts are not always 100% right so at times we do scramble to keep the machines running but so far we have not missed shipping the product to our customers.

We continually work at forecasting demand for different teas and different quantities in order to streamline production. We are also working on being able to rapidly change and produce different teas with little lead times. This isn’t just changing machines, but more changing a way of thinking about how we produce tea, and what the processes are and how to make everything faster, and more reliable.

My new computer sure is faster, and so far more reliable than the old. I don’t think many of us would still enjoy our home computers or work ones if they still operated the same as the first ones or were as slow as our first ones. Here at Bigelow we are not happy if we don’t constantly improve as well.

Dean

Days to Remember….

It looks like we are having another one of those odd winters. Words like, warmer than most, colder than average, more snow, less snow are being said and at the end of it there is not much we can do to change what goes on. So just sit back and make a nice hot cup of tea and enjoy it. The other day we had 6 to 12 inches of snow but it was too dry to do anything but shovel. After a day or two we had some warmer weather and it was just right for making a snowman. Now the weather has turned warmer and rainier so the snowman has almost melted away but more snow is forecasted so who knows maybe a “snow” relative will be joining the leftovers.

Our production takes on some of the same highs and lows; we have good days, we have bad days, the tea machines run well, they run poorly, but in the end we can look back and realize that we had a far greater percentage of good than bad, but as with the weather, sometimes the bad seems more significant than the good.

You always hear people say “Remember when we had that 6 inches of snow that messed up everything!” or “Remember that ice storm?” When did you last hear somebody say “Remember that beautiful day with sunny skies and nothing bad happened?” We tend to remember the bad or dramatic or funny, and not the good old dull boring everything is fine and everyone is happy. In production, you want everyday to be “boring” with no problems, and everyone happy. We want to make the tea perfectly every time. We don’t want machines to break down, or errors to occur, and even more than that, we don’t want anyone to get hurt. However, when our days are well run, no one, unfortunately, leaves work saying “What a great day for our machines, I’ll remember this day forever!” That’s a shame because those are the days to talk about and remember!

Dean

Hooting and Howling for the Bigelow Tea Customer Service Team

Just finished up National Customer Service week and what a fun week it was. This is a week for all companies to honor all those critical individuals that bring in the orders and enhance the customer’s experience with a company! We have, as I am sure many companies do, a super CS (customer service) team lead by an amazing positive guy. They did such a good job of making it a true celebratory week. They served breakfast and homemade lunches, they sent out daily emails sharing with all the employees some of the critical facts on what our CS dept does each year.

I made sure I went in and did my daily “hooting and howling” followed by hugs for all. Yes it was a fun week. I actually miss it. I went in to the CS dept today and said how much I missed the celebration….they told me I was welcome to come in “hooting” anytime….maybe I’ll just do that….woo woo woo!

Cindi Bigelow

Boise turns 25

In 1983, the Dow Jones Industrial Average passed the 1200 mark for the first time, Terms of Endearment was big at the box office and the Academy Awards, the Redskins beat the Dolphins, and the Orioles took the Phillies in four games.

Bigelow Tea Company was looking to increase service to the Western United States by adding a packaging facility out west. Several cities were being considered and after a stop in Salt Lake City, which had many nice features it was then on to Portland, Oregon to see what they had to offer. On the way out to Portland the plane made a scheduled stop in Boise, Idaho. Back then the Boise metropolitan area had about 270,000 people and was a pretty quiet little town tucked up against beautiful mountains and fertile farm ground. Based upon that short plane stop another trip was made back to investigate Boise further and in the end it was decided that Boise was to be our new western home.

With plenty of production space and a strong work ethic in the local population, it was felt like this could be a good home for a Bigelow packaging facility. Once the initial 15,000 square foot building was secured, employees were hired and you might say the rest is good history.

Fast forward 25 years to 2008 and the Boise population has increased to 635,000 and Bigelow has a 60,000 square foot production facility that produces a quality product utilizing an employee population with an average tenure of over 12 years.

To help us celebrate this milestone, several “seasoned” folks from corporate headquarters made the trip to Boise to help celebrate this important milestone by reminiscing about the early days while looking forward to continued success at the Boise plant.

Local dignitaries from the Idaho State government, Chamber of Commerce, Buy Idaho, and key vendors, spoke of their appreciation for the contribution Bigelow Tea has made to the quality of life in the Boise area. Everyone joined the Bigelow plant employees in a bar-b-q lunch and cake celebration that capped this special and memorable event.

Dean

Family Reunion Month

“Family reunions are occasions that renew the feelings of love, pride, and support that nurture our lives” ~ Source ~ Proclamation 5351 — Family Reunion Month, 1985.

June has rolled on by, school is finally out for the summer and Family Reunion Month is here. It’s time to re-connect, re-unite and re-discover one another. Perhaps you will be celebrating family with an old-fashioned potluck picnic or more formally to incorporate a milestone birthday or anniversary. Maybe this is your first reunion or another in a long tradition of reunions, but no matter what, you will want to have a good variety of food and beverages on hand to help keep the fun, conversation and “constant comments” going.

The cornerstone of Bigelow ® Tea is family and true pride is taken, not only in Constant Comment ® Tea but in all of the products and recipes offered. Make Bigelow part of your family reunion this year.