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Archives for the ‘#TeaProudly’ Category

Small Acts Of Kindness With Bigelow Tea

It’s the holiday season! Grab your scarves, hug your loved ones, decorate, savor all things cozy (like a mug of Bigelow Tea!) and… be kind.

Each holiday season offers a wonderful reminder of all the reasons why we love to support those in need in our local community…this is our Mission…it’s how we define being good corporate citizens! Our goal always is to work together to make our communities the best that they can be, and it is always about doing the right thing as third generation CEO and president Cindi Bigelow has said many times. Take a cue from these amazing stories where Bigelow employees give back and give back again (pretty incredible!) …take a look:

 

Operation Gratitude

Cheryl Moccia crocheted 20 scarves for Operation Gratitude Scarves for Troops program, which sends handmade scarves and hats to troops all over the world. These “gifts from home” are just a small way we can say thank you from the States while troops are overseas. Thanks to Cheryl’s kind heart (and nimble fingers!), the scarves will be shipped to Operation Gratitude – along with a master carton of tea!

Operation Hope

The Bigelow Tea Marketing and Sales teams donated clothing and holiday gifts to be distributed locally in Fairfield by Operation Hope. The program is called Hope for the Holidays and Bigelow has sponsored many families over the past few years. It’s one time when re-gifting is totally okay with us.

CT Food Bank Thanksgiving Giving

Bigelow Tea is especially pleased to announce that a donation for $8,000, made possible by funds raised at the annual Bigelow Tea Community Challenge in September, was made to the Connecticut Food Bank. The donation will provide 16,000 meals to people in Connecticut who struggle to meet monthly living expenses, often at the expense of groceries. The Connecticut Food Bank feeds Connecticut’s hungry year ’round by supplying food and resources to member agencies throughout Fairfield County and the rest of the state, as well as through direct food distribution programs.

Upcycled Ornaments from Louisville Plant

Giving comes in a lot of forms, including giving back to the planet and giving to our future. In that spirit, Bigelow Tea employee Kim Medley from Bigelow Tea’s Louisville facility made a tree topper from recycled scrap from the Bigelow Tea plant! We love putting recyclable material to good re-use.

Holiday Fair – Sustainability/Community Relations

Bigelow Tea hosted local vendors to show their wares and welcome employees to shop for holiday gifts. The featured vendors had a variety of handmade goods, including AKA Collectibles, who makes ornaments out of wood; Backyard Beekeepers, who craft goods out of beeswax and honey; and the Pilot House Yes We Can program, which features handcrafted art made by adults with special needs. Even when you’re shopping, you can still be giving, right?!

Hopefully these ideas inspire everyone to help the local community during the holidays and throughout the year. Whether you’re sharing a cup of tea or providing much-needed support, every good deed makes a difference!! Here’s to giving, and cheers to everyone giving back! After all, this is one more reason to #TeaProudly!  Happy Holidays to all!

10 Reasons To Fall In Love With Bigelow Tea

The #TeaProudly community loves to swap tips and stories about tea because there are sooooo many different reasons to love it, right? Check out this list of why tea is awesome and Bigelow Tea in particular is special:

  1. Tea is a simple treat and easy to make. Grab a tea bag, boil some water and combine in a mug. Easy peasy!
  2. Bigelow Tea’s quality ingredients. Since 1945, family-owned and operated Bigelow Tea has sourced top-quality handpicked teas from high-elevation gardens and herbs from the world’s finest family farms.
  3. Tea brings people together. From founder Ruth Campbell Bigelow’s rich classic blend, “Constant Comment,” to 150 flavors, brewing a pot of tea to share with friends or family gives an opportunity to sit down, chat and enjoy some quality time together. So important!
  4. Drinking tea is a great way to unwind. Relaxing with a cup of Cozy Chamomile can help make the stress of the day melt away. Many non-herbal teas have calming properties too studies say—black and green tea contains an amino acid called L-theanine, which has been shown to promote relaxation and help reduce feelings of stress, anxiety and irritability.
  5. Tea can give you a boost without the jitters. According to the Tea and Herbal Association of Canada, tea is known to contain 66 percent less caffeine than coffee.
  6. A cup of I Love Lemon herbal tea is a fave for many singers who indulge in a warm cup of tea with honey before performing to get their vocal cords and throat in tip-top shape!
  7. Bigelow tea is serious about taking care of the global community through sustainability, supporting U.S. troops and a commitment to our employees’ health and happiness.
  8. 158 million Americans drink tea. That’s quite a large number so it must be something special!
  9. The caffeine and tannins in tea repel pests, so there is no need to use any pesticides, herbicides or fungicides, ever!
  10. All-natural Bigelow herbal tea blends like Cranberry Apple, for example, contain real pieces of fruit for maximum sweet- tart fruity flavor! Delish!

Want to share your stories about why you drink tea? Tag #TeaProudly to let the world know what tea means to you!

10 Fabulous Facts You Might Not Know About Tea

Ahhhh, wonderful, warm soothing tea. Who wants a cup? Apparently, a lot of us do—87 percent of millennials drink tea! So….tea lovers, want to expand your tea knowledge? Cozy up with a mug of your favorite Bigelow Tea and check out these ten fabulous facts about tea:

  1. White, green, oolong and black teas come from the leaves of the same tea plant species, Camellia sinensis. (now that’s a fun fact!)
  2. Herbal tea isn’t really tea at all. It’s made from an infusion or blend of leaves, fruit, bark, roots, or flowers of almost any edible non-tea plant. (Wow, who knew?)
  3. Sri Lanka is one of the best places on earth to grow tea. Bigelow Tea founder Ruth Campbell Bigelow fell in love with tea from the region and initiated a partnership with tea growers that has continued for over 70 years!
  4. The word tea comes from the Chinese T’e, which was the word in the Amoy dialect for the Camellia sinensis plant. In Mandarin, the word was ch’a, which is where the word chai is derived from. No matter how you say it, tea is delicious!
  5. Did you know that tea can be deliciously paired with food, just like wine?
  6. Earl Grey tea contains oil of bergamot, a fragrant citrus fruit with a green color similar to a lime. (Mmmmmmm.)
  7. 85 percent of tea consumed in United States is iced, according to Peter Goggi, president of Tea Association of the USA. Sip on, iced tea lovers!
  8. The tea bag was accidentally invented by an American. In 1904, tea and coffee importer Thomas Sullivan sent out samples in small silk pouches to customers. They popped the bags right into hot water and voilà—tea bags are by far the most popular way to brew tea these days!
  9. English author George Orwell penned the essay, “A Nice Cup of Tea,” first published in the London Evening Standard on January 12, 1946. His rules for making tea cover matters such as the best shape for a teacup and the advisability of using water that is still boiling. (Writers sure are a passionate bunch!)
  10. We can thank Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford, for the traditional English teatime as we know it. In 1840, Anna started nibbling on a light afternoon meal with tea to help stave off hunger pangs in between lunch and the late dinner hour. Makes sense–who wants to hear their stomach growling all day?

Thirsty for more tea knowledge? Read on and tag #TeaProudly to share more fun facts with the world!

Old vs. New – And All the Other Reasons Why Tea is Steeped in History!

Alright, so history might not be your favorite subject, but when it comes to tea, it goes waaay back! Actually, if you think it’s pretty cool to drink tea now, just think – 2,100 years ago, others did, too! So, grab your fave Bigelow Tea flavor and let’s do a then vs. now.

Afternoon Tea

Then: Many tea drinkers may think of afternoon teatime as a British tradition (even though the post-lunch, pre-dinner cup and nibble has roots across numerous cultures). Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford is the woman to thank for the traditional English teatime as we know it. In 1840, Anna started partaking in the light meal to help stave off afternoon hunger pangs in between lunch and supper.

Now: Today, traipse into an afternoon tea party and be ready to see a scene with three-tiered serving stands filled with treats like tea sandwiches, petit fours, scones, and clotted cream. From fancy hotels to teahouses to your own kitchen, afternoon tea has come a long way since an afternoon snack – it’s a full-fledged event!

Iced Tea

Then: Richard Blechynden has often been attributed with making the first iced tea at the World’s Fair in St. Louis in 1904. As sales for his hot tea dropped while summer temperatures rose, he purportedly poured tea over ice to entice fairgoers. Some dedicated research tells another story, though, with iced tea’s roots reaching as far back as 1879, when Marion Cabell Tyree created a recipe for green tea over ice, which was published in a community cookbook called Housekeeping in Old Virginia. Later, in 1884, another recipe for iced black tea surfaced from the Boston Cooking School.

Now: Iced tea has become so popular, that there was even a bill introduced in 2003 that proposed a requirement for all Georgia restaurants that serve tea to serve it sweetened over ice. It was later determined to be an April Fool’s joke as an attempt to bring humor to the Legislature, but Georgia State Representative John Noel allegedly said that he wouldn’t mind if it became law!

Book About Tea

Then: Long ago—in 1211 to be exact—a famous Buddhist priest by the name of Eisai wrote what is known to be the oldest book on tea in Japan: Kissa Yojoki (“How to Stay Healthy by Drinking Tea”). Kind of cool to know that even in the 1200s, tea was a part of a trend of healthy living…

Now: Today, there are countless books, podcasts and blogs about tea. A quick snapshot of the popularity of tea articles today, the Tea page on Reddit has nearly 100,000 subscribers, more than one million subscribers on social media, and receives about 150 posts to share each week.

Tea in America

Then: Letters between John and Abigail Adams mention tea. One from July 1774 describes a hostess only serving coffee since tea (during the American Revolution) was considered unpatriotic. Fortunately, Americans came back around to this delightful beverage—and not just for throwing it into harbors.

Now: On any given day, more than 158 million Americans are drinking tea. Clearly, things have changed since the 1700s.

Sought after by noble, innovated by inventive brewers and written about for centuries, tea has a storied history. So, the next time you’re confronted by a historical fact and feel your eyes glazing over, just think about how tea was probably livening things up behind the scenes. Do you have a favorite tea-related story to tell from your own history? Tag #TeaProudly on social media and share it with us.

#TeaProudly Tea People!

Recognizing the passion behind the joy of drinking tea, #TeaProudly has become a community in which we all share moments, comments, recipes, and images where we embody all that tea means to us as individuals and a group. At www.teaproudly.com and with #TeaProudly, the community has grown!

Morning tea ritual before the kiddos are up?  #TeaProudly!  Special dessert made to celebrate Pumpkin Spice flavor mania? #TeaProudly!  Nightcap cozying up with your pup and herbal tea? #TeaProudly! Engaging with #TeaProudly has made the ritual of drinking, sharing and finding new and different ways to enjoy tea the bridge that brings our community together and solidifies the growing tea movement.

And if you doubt the power of the tea, there are plenty of facts and figures that show us #TeaProudly folks are onto something.  Did you know:

Need more reasons to take pride in the #TeaProudly community with Bigelow tea in your cup?  Well as an industry leader and a proud third generation family run business, we continuously innovate, offer new flavors, recipes and ways to enjoy our 140+ flavors of black, green, oolong, and herbal teas which use premium ingredients and foil pouches to ensure the highest quality, most delicious cup of tea.

So share, check-in and let your friends and family know what tea means to you. #TeaProudly tea people!

5 Ways You Can Practice Gratitude At Home, Tea In Hand

(Blog and Picture by Carmen Sognonvi of Top Flight Family!)

This time of year always inspires us to be a bit reflective, maybe even more so than the New Year does. It’s the perfect time to make changes in our life – the landscape is literally changing, so why shouldn’t we? The fall leaves and the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday remind us to think about all we have to be grateful for. And that’s a great time to instill gratitude in the children in our lives. If you feel the same way, try one (or all) of these 5 ways families can practice thankfulness at home. Brew up a pot of Bigelow Tea and get started!

  1. Practice what you preach. Before we suggest anything, know that your kids are watching you and taking notes! If you force them to eat their vegetables and never eat anything green yourself, you’ll be called out. The same goes for any activities you want your children to partake in. Sometimes, we have to force ourselves to take the time we need to recharge. Kids look up to you, so be a good role model.
  2. Keep a gratitude journal. Whether you do this one solo or as a group, the simplest way to count your blessings is to put them down on paper. Choose a beautiful notebook and a fancy pen, so you’ll be encouraged to write daily. Or sit around the kitchen table and discuss what you’ll write. (Sometimes kids need a reminder of all the little things they encountered in a single day.) Then jot it all down. Brew up a cup of tea and take some time to reflect. There’s something so soothing about sipping some warm tea as we sit down to share our thoughts.
  3. Meditate. It’s hard for kids to sit still. Scratch that. It’s hard for all of us to sit still these days! Show your family members how to take brief periods of time each day to sit in silence, clear their minds, and focus on their breath. Because our minds tend to reel, give your children an intention of thankfulness to focus on while they’re sitting. They can either say the word over and over or they can visualize all of the things and people they are grateful for. You can start with a minute a day and work up from there.
  4. Say thank you more often (and mean it). Do you thank every stranger that holds the door, hands you something, or helps you in some way? Make it a point to say the words thank you more often. Make it a part of your normal lexicon and encourage your kids to do the same. This simple, verbal expression is a good reminder for us all.
  5. Send thank you cards. This is not only a great habit to model for your children, but also a small gesture that really means a lot to the recipient. Hand-written thank you cards for any and all occasions are vastly underrated. When possible, throw in a $5 coffee shop gift card or a drawing your children made of the interaction to take it a step further.

Tag #TeaProudly and share the other ways you like to practice gratitude in your family!

Bigelow Tea’s First Social Craze: “Constant Comment” Tea

Isn’t it awesome to see a post or a photo from a year or two or five ago? It puts all the craziness of life in perspective, right? Well, let’s rewind over 70 years. We’re going all the way back to 1945 in the Big Apple – c’mon! Let’s take a stroll down a tree-lined block. Here we are. That brownstone right there. Imagine it with a sepia filter if you like. That’s where it all started: Bigelow Tea, America’s classic, family-owned tea blender. It all started with a kitchen and an enterprising woman who never gave up on her amazing vision.

Inspired by an Early Colonial recipe, founder Ruth Campbell Bigelow disappeared into her kitchen to create a better cup of tea. After weeks of trial and error, blending black tea with orange rind and sweet spices, she emerged with the first cup of specialty tea, which would become known as “Constant Comment®”. It got its name from the “constant comments” of her friends. How cool is it that today Bigelow Tea’s friends and fans are still “commenting” about Bigelow Teas all over the web?

Back at the beginning, Ruth couldn’t simply tweet about her teas (no social media then, obviously…). So, when it came time to market her product, one shopkeeper told Ruth that the aroma of “Constant Comment” was a big selling point. She promptly set up a jar of “Constant Comment” labeled with the directions: “open and whiff.” It was an instant teaser of what’s to come – like a GIF for your nose! Shops across the country placed this whiffing jar by their cash registers and the sales began to grow!

The rest, as they say, is history. And though Ruth never saw the power of the worldwide web, she’d be thrilled to know that “Constant Comment” is still generating buzz! In fact, you can even join our Facebook group dedicated to loving “Constant Comment” – check it out!

Plus, “Constant Comment” even has its own admins-only rules (the tea, not the Facebook Group). To this day, it is made following a secret recipe that only Bigelow Tea Co-Chairmen Eunice and David Bigelow know and blend. It has stood the test of time and continues to fill cups, kitchens and hearts.

And while we can’t share the recipe, you can still like, love and favorite the tea in your cup each day. So drink up, #TeaProudly, and think about how far this tea has come in 70 years. Not bad when “Internet famous” usually only lasts about 70 seconds!

Why Bigelow Tea Takes Pride In Working Women Everywhere


Ambitious. Confident. Passionate. Fierce. Fearless. Brilliant. Trailblazing. Inspiring. These are just a few words to describe female entrepreneurs and businesswomen. So, consider this a shout-out to women in the workforce – especially during National Business Women’s Week®. If anyone knows what it’s like to overcome barriers as a woman in business, it’s Bigelow Tea founder Ruth Campbell Bigelow and her granddaughter, Cindi Bigelow.

Let’s start at the beginning. In 1945, inspired by an Early Colonial recipe, Ruth disappeared into her New York brownstone kitchen to create a better cup of tea. After weeks of trial and error, blending black tea with orange rind and sweet spices, she emerged with the first cup of specialty tea, which would become known as “Constant Comment®”. And Bigelow Tea was born. The company continues to be 100% owned and managed by the Bigelow family, and is one of the nation’s leading producers of specialty teas, which includes more than 140 varieties of flavoredtraditionalgreenherbaldecaffeinated, and iced teas.

Times have changed, but the role of the woman in business still deserves to be celebrated. Today, Ruth’s granddaughter, Cindi (pictured at the top), is president and CEO of the company. Each day, Cindi brings the spirit of her grandmother into every decision she makes for the company. In a country where only 5 percent of companies have female CEOs, Bigelow Tea has thrived—against all odds—to be not only the #1 specialty tea company in the USA, but a part of the conversation about women entrepreneurs.

Not only is it National Business Women’s Week, it’s Boss’s Day on Oct. 16! Which, incidentally, was created by Patricia Bays Haroski in 1958. She was working as a secretary for State Farm Insurance Company in Deerfield, Illinois, at the time and chose to register it on the 16th, which was her father’s birthday. And whether your boss is a man or woman, it’s a manager’s job to ensure that everyone thrives in the workplace. So really, these events go hand-in-hand.

Speaking of hands, it’s a perfect time to raise the cup of tea in your hand. (Don’t have one? Brew a cup; there’s no time like the present!) Raise a cup to the women in business and the bosses in your workplace. They carry a lot of responsibility and keep your workday running – which is no small feat! Better yet, invite them to sit down with a cup of tea, get their perspective, and #TeaProudly over your business successes!

5 Reasons To Rise And Shine To Breakfast (And Bigelow Tea!)

Did someone say breakfast of champions? Because if that’s the case, then that could include just about anything as long as its coupled with a cup of Bigelow Tea, right?! No, but, really… Breakfast is such an important meal – a hearty breakfast gives you energy and fuel to get through your crazy busy day. Actually, some research even suggests that breakfast is linked to several health benefits, including weight management and improved mental performance. So, during National All-American Breakfast Month (and what’s more American than Bigelow Tea??), here are five reasons to rise and shine to a healthy meal.

Weight, weight, don’t tell me.

Many studies, in both adults and children, have shown that those who eat breakfast tend to weigh less than breakfast skippers. One theory suggests that eating a healthy breakfast can reduce hunger throughout the day. Less hunger may promote healthier food choices at other meals.

Healthy Breakfast = Possible Improved Mental Performance

Research involving adults and children has indicated that breakfast might enhance memory, attention, the speed of processing information, reasoning, creativity, learning, and verbal abilities. Plus, according to a study published in the journal Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, eating breakfast may improve cognitive performance, test scores and achievement scores in students, especially in younger children. Start the school day off on the right foot with a vegetable omelet, whole-wheat toast and a cup of Bigelow Tea. After all, a study published in Psychopharmacology, suggests that tea may also lead to improved cognitive functioning, including better working memory.

Oats and tea, please! 

Research done by the Harvard School of Public Health suggests that people who skip breakfast gain weight, which can lead to diabetes as well as high cholesterol and blood pressure—all of which can raise your risk of heart disease. How about a heart-healthy bowl of Cinnamon Spice Oatmeal coupled with a mug of Bigelow Tea green tea? According to research done by the American Dietetic Association, green tea may also lower cholesterol levels.

Wake up, eat breakfast, drink tea, work out, repeat

In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN), people who ate breakfast were more physically active during the morning than those who didn’t. That might be because a temporary increase in blood sugar gave them more energy.

Turn that frown upside down

In addition to cognitive benefits, studies also report that those who eat breakfast start their day in a better mood. And we don’t know about you, but a cup of tea always puts us in a better mood! Bigelow’s black teas, like American BreakfastEnglish Teatime and Spiced Chai, have a boost of caffeine that will kick start your day. (Don’t forget: A cup of Bigelow American Breakfast has 50% More Caffeine in every tea bag!)

So, go on. Grab your breakfast of choice, a mug of tea, and get this day started. Because with Bigelow for breakfast, you can’t go wrong! What’s your favorite thing to eat with your morning tea? Tag #TeaProudly and share!

Bigelow Tea Honors National Day Of Service And Remembrance

You don’t need an excuse to help others and make a difference in your community, but the September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance is a wonderful reason to volunteer – especially as you pay tribute to and remember the 9/11 victims, survivors, and those who rose up in service in response to the attacks. As a family-owned company with long-standing roots in our community, Bigelow Tea takes pride in the work our employees do year-round to assist organizations, those in need and great causes. Here are a few of our favorite stories:

Passing on sustainable practices to future generations.

“Inspired by the results of the composting program here at Bigelow Tea, our family also included composting into our weekly schedule at home. We have been separating out most of the kitchen waste, tea bags (a lot of those) and paper towels, etc. since the summer of 2013. Now that my children are older, the do-it yourself-style sand box has been ‘up-cycled’ to ‘organically’ create good soil over time… This is one way our children are learning that maintaining the cycle and balance in nature is possible even in a suburban environment and a small contribution like ours can make a difference.” Gabe K, Fairfield, CT

A source of inspiration.

For more than 18 years, Caroline House has successfully taught immigrant women English (ESL).  Caroline House also provides a free preschool, after-school and summer tutoring to elementary and middle school children, citizenship classes, and life skills classes. Caroline House has recently instituted a Sources of Inspiration Board. These women will serve as a resource for Caroline House students (and all of us!) for inspirational stories to give hope for the future. We are honored to have Janned Serrano as our first Sources of Inspiration Board member. She is Executive Assistant to Cindi Bigelow, President of Bigelow Tea, and Community Relations Coordinator.

Janned Serrano’s advice to Caroline House graduates:

  • Surround yourself with English-speaking people.
  • Speak English everywhere, even if it is not perfect.
  • Don’t be afraid to say “what does that mean?”
  • Read books written in English.
  • Take a risk. If someone asks you if you want to do something, say yes, even if you don’t know how.

Helping those in need.

“I was coming to work around 6:30 a.m. [one day] and… there was a soldier in full uniform with all his medals waiting by the side of the road. It was a rainy day and… he needed a ride to Boise. I stopped and offered to give him a ride to his destination. It turns out that he was going to a Wounded Warrior presentation… but his vehicle had a flat tire and he had to go on foot. He (Jim) told me his dilemma about being a forty-year veteran and how hard it is to get a job after being in the military that long; that the money just doesn’t last as long and not having a job does not help either. He told me a story about applying for a security job at a computer company in Boise and that he was told that he did not have enough experience in security to be considered for the position. I dropped him off at his destination, gave him my gratitude for his service and some money… If that is impacting our community in a positive manner, then I do that every day by serving as a leader in my community.” Javier Reyes, Boise, Idaho

Caring about the bees.

“I participated in a worthwhile community event, ‘Bee Night,’ which took place at the Medical University of South Carolina’s Urban Garden located in downtown Charleston. Bee Night was an event hosted by the Bee Cause Project, an organization whose mission is to educate young people about the importance of honeybees and their wellbeing. They do this by installing beehives in area schools. In 2013, the USDA released a report with concern that the U.S. does not have enough honeybees to pollinate crops, which would impact our nation’s food supply. Along with the many beehives that they have installed in area schools, they have installed an observation beehive at the MUSC Urban garden, a garden whose mission is to build a healthier community by growing crops and educating people with local, nutritious food. This Beehive was unveiled at ‘Bee Night’ and the community was invited to attend the special event. I took several gallons of unsweetened tea to the event. We sweetened the tea at the event with the honey produced by the bees and attendees enjoyed Charleston Tea Plantation tea sweetened with local honey.”  Jane Knight, Charleston, SC

Our community garden which grows fresh vegetables for the local Bridgeport Rescue Mission is another example of giving back as well as the annual Bigelow Tea Community Challenge which has raised over $1.4 million for local charities since its inception thirty years ago.

A big part of #TeaProudly is being able to share stories and memories which includes efforts make in service to others. Share your stories about something as involved as landscaping or building a house for a family in need, or as simple as brewing a cup of tea and sharing some time with a homebound person in your neighborhood. Regardless, take time to think about what you can do in honor of this day of service. Cheers!