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Archives for the ‘Tea Tips’ Category

Just In Time For Dinner: Pair Bigelow Tea With Late Summer Recipes

Your kids may be stocking up on school supplies and it’s getting dark earlier, but it’s not fall yet! And while that sunshine is still shinin’ and your iced Bigelow Tea is overflowin’, don’t forget that late summer produce is at its peak awesomeness. A few favorites are tomatoes, sweet corn, peaches, peppers, melons, zucchini, strawberries and blueberries. Mmm… so fresh and delicious! And, hey, guess what?! They – naturally – go well with tea, and they also make for some amazing dishes. Here are a few recipes where the spotlight is on fresh produce. Enjoy!

Chopped Veggie Salad

Ingredients
½-1 cup each:

  • Cucumber (scoop out seeds) diced
  • Tomatoes (scoop out seeds) diced
  • Green yellow and red peppers diced
  • Carrots diced
  • Zucchini diced
  • 3 tablespoons Scallions diced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • ½ cup of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon Zest

Instructions

Cut up all veggies and place in a bowl. Mix. Add dill, parsley, lemon juice and lemon zest. Dress with any Bigelow Tea Vinaigrette.

Cucumber and Bell Pepper Noodle Salad

Ingredients

  • 4 Cucumber, English, cut into long noodles
  • 2 Red Bell peppers, long julienne
  • 2 Yellow Bell peppers, long julienne
  • 4 Scallion, long bias cut
  • 2 ounces Rice vinegar
  • 1 ounces Sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon White Pepper

Instructions

Cut cucumber on mandolin into long julienne.
Cut peppers into long julienne and scallion into long bias cut.
Toss with rice vinegar, sesame oil and salt and pepper.

Tea Marinated Grilled Tofu

Ingredients

  • 8 – 6 inch wooden skewers
  • 1 – 14 oz. package extra firm tofu
  • Bigelow® Green Tea with Pomegranate Tea Bags
  • Bigelow® Earl Grey Tea Bags
  • 2 cups hot water
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus additional for sprinkling
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into 1 inch rounds
  • 8 Baby Bella mushrooms, cleaned (about 8 oz.)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil (for brushing)
  • Non-stick grill spray

Instructions

Tofu is a great vegetarian, low-calorie alternative for your grill, and marinating it in tea gives it great flavor and color. A touch of honey adds sweetness and helps to create a beautiful grill marks as it caramelizes. First, set wooden skewers in water and allow to soak for approximately 30 minutes. Next, sandwich the block of tofu between two plates lined with a few layers of paper towels. Place something heavy on top plate (like a can) so tofu can drain for 10-15 minutes. In large bowl, combine hot water and tea bags and steep for 5-7 minutes. Squeeze out tea bags into bowl, remove, and add salt and honey to tea. Stir until honey is dissolved. Cut tofu into 1 inch cubes, and add to bowl. Set aside to marinate for 15 minutes. Thread 2-3 cubes of tofu and 2-3 pieces of vegetables onto each soaked skewer, being careful not to pack the skewers too tightly. Brush each skewer with canola oil and season with a pinch of salt. Spray a gas grill with non-stick grill spray and preheat to medium-high. Place skewers on grill, and cook for approximately 2-3 minutes per side, until grill marks appear and tofu begins to form a nicely colored crust. Note: be very gentle when turning skewers (use a grill spatula), as the tofu is delicate. Remove from grill and serve hot.

Peach No-Bake Cheesecake

Ingredients

Instructions

Slightly ahead of time, place milk and tea bags in a saucepan. Heat over medium heat until bubbles just start to form on sides, stirring constantly. Remove pan from heat. Let steep 10 minutes. Remove tea bags. Either refrigerate until cool or quick cool in the freezer. (Do not leave in freezer longer than 30 minutes.) Prepare cheesecake according to package directions using tea and milk mixture instead of milk. Garnish with sliced peaches, if desired.

Date Night? Go Classic With Bigelow Green Tea

Ready for your next Bigelow Tea-inspired pairing? How about Bigelow Green tea matched up with Lemon Ginger ShrimpJasmine Rice with Fruits, and Perfect Peach Upside-Down Cake for your next dinner date? Whether you’re cooking for a first date – or the thousandth time dining together – this menu will *not* disappoint. I mean, after all, it’s made by YOU (and you’re one heck of a catch).

Speaking of catch… let’s talk the “why” behind pairing green tea with seafood. Bigelow’s traditional green tea is smooth and mellow on the palate, with clean notes of green melon and grass. This delicate, fresh-tasting brew allows the unique notes of seafood to shine. Incidentally, this makes it a perfect pair for other lighter fare, such as rice and chicken.

With such a versatile drink to pair, think about sharing a few small plates together. Also, take this as an opportunity to go local – check out a farmer’s market or see what produce is in season at the local grocery store. Think berries, tomatoes, radishes, peppers, garlic, corn, lemons, limes and melons. Here are a few favorite recipes to get you started. They’re all pretty simple, and can be enjoyed outside or on-the-go (picnic, anyone??). Have fun! And, while you’re at it, have that date of yours join you for some of the cooking! Making a meal together is loads of fun, and if there’s chemistry in the kitchen, you’re onto something good!

Lemon Ginger Shrimp

Ingredients

8 cups boiling water
½ – 1 lb fresh or frozen shrimp cleaned and deveined
4-5 Bigelow® Lemon Ginger Herbal Tea Bags

Instructions

Put 8 cups water in a pot. Add 4-5 Lemon Ginger Herbal Tea Bags. Bring water to a boil. Add shrimp to boiling water and cook approximately 3 minutes or until shrimp are pink. Drain. Shrimp can be used over pasta with garlic olive oil, steamed broccoli and sun dried tomatoes.

Bigelow Jasmine Rice with Fruits

Ingredients

3 cups brown rice
4 qt water
Bigelow Green Jasmine Tea bags
1 teaspoon salt
2 green onions, sliced thinly
½ cup raisins
½ cup dried cranberries
1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter
½ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

Rinse rice in several changes of cold water until water runs clear. Drain well in a sieve. Bring water and tea bags to a boil, set aside. Meanwhile melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add rice, green onions, salt, pepper and fruits. Stir until onions start to soften and rice starts to get white around the edges 8-10 minutes. Remove tea bags from water, squeezing well, discard. Carefully pour Bigelow tea water over rice-it will bubble and steam up- stir and reduce heat to low. Cook, covered, until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat, raise lid and cover rice with a cotton (non terrycloth) dishtowel, replace cover. Let stand, covered and undisturbed, 10 minutes. Open lid and remove dishtowel, fluff gently with a fork. Note: Basmati rice can be used instead of brown rice, for extra jasmine flavor.

Perfect Peach Upside-Down Cake

Ingredients

¾ cup boiling water
Bigelow Perfect Peach Herb Tea Bags
¾ cup butter or margarine; softened, divided
½ cup brown sugar
1 can (16-oz.) sliced peaches, well-drained
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ teaspoons grated lemon or orange peel (optional)

Instructions

Pour boiling water over tea bags. Let steep 10 minutes. Remove tea bags, squeezing out liquid. Meanwhile, drain peaches in a colander; transfer to a plate and pat dry with paper towels. Set aside. In small skillet, melt ¼ cup butter. Add brown sugar and cook over medium heat until brown sugar is dissolved. Pour mixture into bottom of 9″” round cake pan. Arrange peaches on sugar mixture. Preheat oven to 350° F. In small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. In large mixer bowl, beat remaining ½ cup butter with granulated sugar until combined. Add eggs and lemon peel, and beat at medium speed until smooth and creamy about 2 minutes. Alternately beat in flour mixture and tea mixture, beating well after each addition. Spread batter evenly over peaches. Bake 35-40 minutes or until cake tests done. Remove from oven and let stand on wire rack 10-15 minutes. Loosen cake from sides of pan and invert cake onto serving plate. Serve warm.

Bigelow Tea Lemon Chicken Salad Recipe? YES PLEASE!

Seeking a new method to dishing out tasty chicken? Bigelow Tea is here to add some zest—and Green Tea to your poultry! Bigelow Tea’s recipe for Green Tea with Lemon Chicken Salad gets its goodness from Bigelow Green Tea with Lemon—which @Jacyce524 tweeted is “soooo good.” Combine it with some fresh ingredients, and you’ll have the centerpiece of your next lunch event. Chicken salad with a fresh, lemony twist. Delish!

Green Tea with Lemon Chicken Salad

Created by Daniel J Lestrud, CEC, CCE

Ingredients

For the chicken:

For the salad:

  • Salad ½ cup celery rib, diced
  • 1 cup white grapes, sliced in half
  • ½ cup red onion, diced
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper

Instructions

Place chicken with carrot, celery, sweet onion and Bigelow Green Tea with Lemon in medium sized pot and cover with cold water.
Bring to a simmer and cook till chicken is firm and 165 internal. Let cool in poaching liquid.
Remove chicken form cool liquid and shred by hand into bowl.
Add diced celery, diced red onion, grapes, mayonnaise, sour cream, dry mustard, salt and pepper. Mix well and chill.
Serve as part of a salad or in a sandwich.

Bigelow Tea Shows Off Its Sense Of Humors, Thanks To Chocolate And Tea!

Before there was modern medicine, there was humorism. And then, chocolate and tea (and other New World goodies, like coffee) messed up everything. What exactly does that mean? Grab your mug of Bigelow Tea and let’s get learning.

The concept of humors – also known as humorism or humoralism – was a system of medicine detailing the makeup and workings of the human body. It was adopted by Ancient Greek and Roman physicians and philosophers, including Hippocrates and Galen. Basically, the belief was that the human body was made up of four humors, or fluids: blood, phlegm, black bile and yellow bile. (A little gross, we know.) The key to this pseudo-medical system was finding equilibrium. Every person had a unique humoral composition and if the individual’s body fell out of balance, they’d get sick.

For centuries, this is how medicine worked: get sick, then eat this or drink that. For example, if someone had a fever, the belief was that they were too hot, so they needed to eat something cold. Anyhow, this worked well enough until new foods were introduced that didn’t fit into the pre-assigned categories. When chocolate, tea and others were brought to the Western world in the 1600s, madness ensued (or maybe, the tea hit the fan??) because they were considered to be dietary chameleons. In fact, in 1687, Nicolas de Blegny, physician and pharmacist to France’s Louis XIV, even wrote a book on the “correct” usage of tea and chocolate to cure illness. How about that?

Eventually, modern medicine became the way of the present (and future) – thanks to technology and inventions like the microscope. Long story short: tea and chocolate may have been disrupters at one point, but they powered through. And with Bigelow Tea, you get the best of both worlds – even in the same cup (or dish). Take Bigelow’s Chocolate Chai Tea – chocolate coupled with black tea and spice… ab fab (absolutely fabulous) or the ever so popular Benefits Chocolate and Almond Herbal tea (serious yum!!). Curious to take these tea and chocolate from mug to plate? Here are a few favorite recipes! Enjoy!

Earl Grey Milk Chocolate Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 10 bags Bigelow Earl Grey Tea*
  • 2 cups (12-ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup (6-ounces) milk chocolate chips
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions

In 2-quart saucepan, over medium heat, bring evaporated milk to a simmer. Add 10 tea bags; steep 5 minutes. Remove bags from evaporated milk and squeeze to remove liquid; discard bags. Add remaining sauce ingredients to tea milk mixture. Stir until chocolate chips melt (2 to 3 minutes). If necessary, heat over low heat to help melt chocolate chips. To serve: place a scoop of ice cream in bowl. Top with Earl Grey chocolate sauce. Refrigerate remaining chocolate sauce. Re-heat refrigerated Earl Grey sauce over low heat until softened to desired consistency.

Chewy Chocolate Mint Brownies

Ingredients

  • Bigelow Mint Medley Herbal Tea Bags
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 ¾ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup (1-½ sticks) unsalted butter
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 9×13 inch baking pan, greased and floured

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and set the rack on the middle setting. Place tea bags in ½ cup of hot water. Set aside to cool, and then remove tea bags, squeezing out liquid from bags. Meanwhile, place 1-¼ cups of the chocolate chips and butter in a metal bowl. Set over a saucepan filled with about 2 inches of water, to create a double-boiler. Heat on low and let chocolate and butter melt, stirring frequently. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together eggs and sugars until well blended. Add the cooled tea mixture and whisk to combine. Add a few tablespoons of the melted chocolate/butter combination to the egg mixture and stir to combine. Add the remaining chocolate and incorporate. Lastly, add the flour and remaining ½ cup of chocolate chips, mixing until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake approximately 25 minutes. Center will feel firm but still moist. Bake 5-10 minutes longer for a drier brownie. Place pan on a wire rack to cool completely before cutting into 20 squares.

Darjeeling & Dark Chocolate Pots

Ingredients

  • ½ cup whole milk
  • Bigelow® Darjeeling Tea Bags
  • ¾ cup bittersweet chocolate chips (60% cacao content) or semi-sweet chips
  • 1 egg
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

In a glass measuring cup, heat milk in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, or until very hot. Alternatively, this step can be done in a small saucepan over medium-high heat on the stovetop. Place the tea bags in the hot milk and allow to steep for 2 minutes. Thoroughly squeeze out tea bags into milk before discarding. Meanwhile, place chocolate chips in a blender and process until finely chopped. Pour the hot tea infused milk over the chocolate and blend until smooth, about one minute. Add egg and a pinch of salt and blend again to incorporate fully. Note: It is important that the milk is hot to ensure the chocolate melts completely and creates the right consistency. Divide mixture evenly between four tea cups (or individually sized ramekins) and place in refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes. During this time, the mixture will firm up to the consistency of pudding. Serve chilled, with any combination of the following garnishes: whipped cream, fresh raspberries, or fresh mint leaves.

YouTube Famous: A Look Back at Bigelow Tea’s Favorite Videos

Think back to your favorite family home video – the clothes that people are wearing (those high-waisted shorts!), the hairstyles (80s hair!), everything that’s changed in the world since then (whoa, technology!). Well, just like you love your family videos, Bigelow Tea does, too. That’s why it’s so much fun to do a flashback and highlight a few fave videos from YouTube.

Learn about the story behind “Constant Comment®” – told by Co-Chairman David Bigelow:

President and CEO Cindi Bigelow adds a bit of wit and fun while showing you how to make a yummy Greenie Martini. Watch until the end – otherwise you’ll miss the shake-off.

Learn the art behind the perfect cup of tea (don’t worry, the tea police won’t come after you if you don’t!):

And then there was that time one of our employees, Jamaar Wright, wrote a rap for Bigelow Tea (it’s pretty cool).

So, yeah, while a lot has changed over the years, one thing that never changes is this: a good cup of tea makes everything better. Wouldn’t you agree?  #TeaProudly

Get A Ticket To The Hydration Station With Bigelow Tea!

As the mercury rises this month, you’re gonna want to stay hydrated! This is soooo important – not only when it’s hot outside, but all the time! And what better way to stay refreshed and hydrated than with some iced Bigelow Tea?! Yup, everyone agrees. But, why exactly is it so important to drink up?

Take a look:

Why hydrate?

According to the American Heart Association, keeping the body hydrated helps the heart more easily pump blood through the blood vessels to the muscles. And, it helps the muscles work efficiently.

And why summer?

During the summer months, your body requires more replacement fluids and cooling methods than at other times throughout the year.

What are you waiting for?

Time to drink up! Try a nice tall glass of iced tea. Just note that decaffeinated tea will be more hydrating that caffeinated. Of course, Bigelow offers plenty of herbal teas to choose from. And there are loads of awesome iced tea combos to get you going – don’t stop ‘til you get enough! Perfect Peach and Pomegranate Pizzazz is a fan favorite, and so are Pomegranate Blueberry Iced Tea, and Cranberry Hibiscus and Orange & Spice® Iced Tea.

Don’t forget to make it fun!

Add an extra layer of fabulous (and fun!) with a twist – literally! Once you make your tea, try adding fruit and herbs, like lemon, berries and mint.

Anything else?

Other great selections are water or sparkling water, milk, and sugar-free beverages in moderation. Smoothies are also a great alternative! Like a Blueberry Green Tea Protein SmoothiePerfectly Peachy Pineapple Smoothie, or Bigelow® Herbal Tea Smoothie. Mmmm…. Enjoy!

If you come up with a super cool way to hydrate this summer (Iced tea combo! Infusion ideas! Smoothie recipes!), tag #TeaProudly and let us know!

All The Tips For Making Iced Tea Perfect Every Time

Summer’s in the air, tea lovers, and you know what that means… countless glasses of iced tea! Don’t worry, though, Bigelow Tea has everything you need for some cool sipping. Whether you love fruity flavors like Pomegranate Pizzazz®, Red Raspberry™ or Perfect Peach®, or crave the delicious combo of tea and lemonade, get ready to be refreshed. BTW- you may be a pro at making a hot cup of tea on a cold day, but creating iced tea perfection has its own set of in-the-know tips. President and CEO Cindi Bigelow will help you out, though. Check ‘em out:

All ya gotta do is try. 

Try pairing different teabags together to give your iced tea a tasty twist that’s all your own. Bigelow Tea has more than 150 flavors to choose from, including a bunch of specialty iced teas to get you started. Remember, it’s certainly not against the rules if you choose to ice your favorite hot tea, yum!

Big spoon or little spoon? 

Once you decide on a flavor and the water is boiling, have a glass ready. Then, put a spoon in it before pouring in the hot water. The spoon will capture incoming heat and prevent your glass from breaking- who knew! Don’t forget to leave some room for the ice!

Steep, baby, steep.

If you’re making just a glass for yourself, give two teabags a couple of minutes to steep, but for a quart (like if you’re pouring for a party) make sure to steep between 6 to 10 minutes. Feel free to play around with time lengths to find your perfect brew. Once the tea has steeped, add those ice cubes (be generous).

Sweeten the deal. 

Besides sugar, think out of the box and try agave or honey. Spruce your iced tea up further with a slice of lemon or a sprig of mint.

What is your favorite Bigelow Tea to enjoy over ice? Tag #TeaProudly and share!

As If You Need More Reasons To LOVE Tea! 

Okay, so maybe history wasn’t your favorite subject in school, but when it comes to tea—and its thousands of years of history—there are a lot of facts, figures, science and an art that surround this humble yet fabulous drink. Yup, tons! Add that to Bigelow Tea’s more than seven decades of experience and passion for each ingredient in every cup, and you’ve got one heck of a beverage. But, do you know what really goes on when it comes to a bag of tea? If not, that’s okay, but there’s some pretty cool stuff. Here are a few tidbits for you to understand just exactly what’s in that cup of yours and why it’s just so darn amazing.

Relax, relax!

Studies say theanine (also called L-theanine) can stimulate the immune system as well as the mind, leaving the body with benefits similar to yoga. Om-mazing, right?! Theanine actually binds with the caffeine in tea, which is what makes the tea-drinking experience so different from the jolt you get from coffee.

It’s all in the leaves, friends.
Theanine is a component of the camellia sinensis plant, so it’s found in green teablack tea or oolong tea. While herbal teas, such as chamomile, don’t contain leaves from the camellia sinensis plant, these teas can also be very relaxing because of the herbs used.

Tannins, oh tannins.

It’s not necessarily the caffeine that some people are sensitive to in tea—it might be the tannins. This natural component of tea that gives it its color may not agree with some people when the tea is consumed on an empty stomach. A high amount of tannin can taste astringent, and in general, a high-quality tea will be lower in tannins, providing a better flavor.

Never the same.

Sourcing is super important when it comes to making quality tea. Bigelow Tea sources many ingredients from family farms that have not only known the Bigelow family for decades but also provide high quality ingredients like the mint and the lemon used in a variety of Bigelow tea flavors.

Have any good facts or neat stories about tea? Tag them with #TeaProudly to share with our community of tea lovers and research junkies. Tea lovers, unite!

3 Reasons Why Every Day in July Should Include Tea And Ice Cream

Ice cream is totally an acceptable meal during summer. And you know what goes great with ice cream? Bigelow Tea. Besides, a balanced diet during National Ice Cream Month is basically a glass of iced tea in one hand and an ice cream cone in the other, right?! If you’re not quite convinced, here are three reasons why you should include both in your July repertoire.

  1. I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! Who doesn’t love a dripping cone of the good stuff? Plus, it’s got quite the history. Did you know that ice cream’s origins are known to reach back as far as the second century B.C.? Legend has it that Alexander the Great enjoyed snow and ice flavored with honey and nectar, and more than a thousand years later, Marco Polo returned to Italy from the Far East with a recipe that closely resembled what is now recognized as sherbet. In America, the first advertisement for ice cream appeared in the New York Gazette on May 12, 1777, when confectioner Philip Lenzi announced that ice cream was available “almost every day.” And then, during World War II, the first “floating ice cream parlor” was built for sailors in the western Pacific. Those soldiers deserved it!
  2. Keep things local! Okay, so ice cream is delicious, but it’s also a great reason for repeatedly going to the local ice cream shop. In fact, family-owned businesses make up the majority of ice cream makers in the U.S., according to the International Dairy Foods Association. For generations, these “mom and pop” ice cream parlors have been meeting our nation’s craving for a favorite frozen dessert. Yum! And, as a family-owned business, Bigelow Tea is celebrating all things “made in the USA” this month … and we’re excited to add local ice cream shops to the list!
  3. It’s hot out there! Chill out with some homemade ice cream. How about a scoop of Green Tea with Peach or Mint Tea Chocolate Chip Ice Cream! (Holy smokes, both sound incredible.) Don’t worry, recipes for both are right here! If you try your hand at either, be sure to tag #TeaProudly so we can drool… errr, swoon! Enjoy!

Green Tea with Peach Ice Cream

(pictured at top)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (500mL) heavy cream
  • 1 cup (250mL) half-and-half
  • ¾ cup (180mL) sugar
  • Dash of salt
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5mL) vanilla extract
  • 20 Bigelow® Green Tea with Peach Tea Bags
  • 1 cup (250mL) diced fresh or canned peaches, drained

Instructions

Combine heavy cream and half-and-half in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, being careful not to boil. Turn off the heat; add sugar and salt, stirring to dissolve. Add the vanilla and the tea bags and let the mixture cool to room temperature, occasionally stirring and gently pressing the tea bags to infuse cream with the tea flavor. When cool, cover tightly and place in the refrigerator overnight. Before freezing, pour the mixture through a sieve set over a large bowl. Press the tea bags to release flavor. Add the diced peaches and freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Mint Tea Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk
  •  6 Bigelow Mint Medley Herbal Tea bags
  •  3/4 cups sugar
  •  6 large egg yolks
  •  2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  •  1/4 teaspoon salt
  •  1 cup half-and-half
  •  1 cup heavy cream
  •  1 1/3 cups of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

In a mixer, (I heart my KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer), beat the sugar into the eggs until thickened and pale yellow. Beat in flour and salt. Set aside.

Bring the milk to a boil in a heavy medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Stir in the tea bags, cover, and set aside to steep for 15 minutes.

Gently press down on the tea bags to make sure all of the mint flavor gets into the milk, and then remove the tea bags. (Side note: I actually ripped open one of the tea bags – and loved how the tea looked swirling around in the milk. If this happens to you, you can strain your milk through a fine mesh sieve, or just leave it be. It didn’t bother any of us and looked pretty cool!)

Add the half-and-half and return to a simmer over low heat. Slowly beat the hot milk and half-and-half into the egg yolks and sugar. Pour the entire mixture back into the pan and place over low heat. Stir constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon until the custard thickens slightly. Be careful not to let the mixture boil or the eggs will scramble. Remove from the heat and pour the hot tea custard through a strainer into a large, clean bowl.

Cover and refrigerate until cold or overnight. (I let mine sit overnight to enhance the tea flavor, but if you want to speed up the cooling process, set it into an ice bath. Just make sure your mixture is completely chilled before adding to the ice cream machine.)

Stir the chilled custard, and then freeze in 1 or 2 batches in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

When the ice cream is semi-frozen, slowly add 1 1/3 cups of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips and let the ice cream machine mix it in.

When finished, the ice cream will be soft but ready to eat. For firmer ice cream, transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze at least 2 hours.

*This recipe is adapted from The Ultimate Ice Cream Book by Bruce Weinstein.

Beat The Heat: 5 Ways To Stay Hydrated With Tea This Season!

Sunshine on your mind? Keep it there, for sure, but consider adding another mantra to your day: “Must keep hydrated, must keep hydrated!” And for that, Bigelow Tea has some great tips on keeping cool (temperature-wise, of course… you’re pretty awesome already).

First, though, do you know why it’s important to stay hydrated, especially when it’s hot outside? Well, you see, our bodies are about 60% of water by weight, and proper hydration is essential for our overall health. Water helps regulate body temperature, optimizes our blood pressure, and keeps our joints lubricated, among other bodily functions. Because your body loses water through breathing, sweating, and digestion, it’s important to rehydrate by drinking plenty of liquids and eating foods that contain water, such as fruit and vegetables. As summer temperatures increase – along with lots of outdoor activities – our bodies work really hard to stay cool. And with all that water loss, that’s why it’s so darn important to hydrate. Don’t worry, though, Bigelow Tea keeps it easy for you! Here are 5 of our favorite ways to keep that water flowin’ (and that body in tip-top condition):

  1. It’s such a good hydration… it’s such a sweet sensation! Because, sometimes, it’s just more fun to eat a freeze pop. Turn this summer fave into a tool to refuel and rehydrate. Looking for a few recipes? How about Iced Tea & Lemonade Ice PopsEndless “Pop”sibilities (Popsicles)Green Tea and Coconut Popsicles or Pomegranate Pizzazz Iced Tea Popsicles? Yum!
  2. Give me iced tea…please! Chill out and rehydrate after a long day by sipping on an herbal iced tea. Here’s a great video with President and CEO Cindi Bigelow on how to make the perfect glass!
  3. Oh, wait, soup in the summer? Yes. Summer soups are totally a thing. From gazpacho to summer corn chowder, soup can be a hearty way to get those liquids in! Other favorites include Slow Cooker Ramen or Green Tea Ramen Soup, or Seared Scallops in Lemon Broth.
  4. Fruits and veggies, oh my! Thankfully, there are loads of delicious fruits and vegetables that supply an ample amount of water. And, even better? Many of them are in season, like watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries, raspberries, oranges, spinach, cucumbers, lettuce, celery and green peppers. Eat them on the go or add them to your go-to dishes! And, hey, you can never go wrong with a recipe that includes several of them, like a Spinach Salad Spectacular with Raspberry Vinaigrette!
  5. Ice, ice, maybe? The next time you make iced tea, try freezing some in an ice cube tray. Then use the ice tea cubes in place of regular ice cubes to keep iced tea cool, fresh and flavorful! Yup, it’s that easy!

However you hydrate, share your tips with your fellow tea enthusiasts. It’s a great chance to #TeaProudly – plus, staying well and playing safe in the summer heat is super important, no matter how you do it!