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Archives for the ‘Steps To A Great Cup’ Category

Bigelow Tea, And Well All Tea Lovers Actually, Want To Know If You Add Milk To Your Tea?

bigelow-tea-vanilla-chaiOne thing we know for sure is that with so many people drinking tea (82% of Americans to be exact—that’s more than 158 million people), there are that many ways to enjoy a cup! That is one of the beautiful things about drinking tea…you can customize each mug to your heart’s delight and include milk, honey, sugar or even a slice of lemon! But while some parts of making the perfect cup of tea are a must like putting in the tea bag in first before pouring over the water (says president and CEO Cindi Bigelow who has three generations of tea experts behind her!), other options are completely up to you which always makes tea drinking an lovely adventure!

One hotly talked about topic in our tea drinking community (which we call #TeaProudly which is an awesome community of tea drinkers which we will tell you about a bit later so stay tuned!) is do you add milk or not to your tea, so let’s share some info about this very topic. If you like to add milk, do you know when to add it in? Does the milk go in first or the bigelow-tea-spiced-chai-teahot water? The British Standards Institute (BSI) believes to have the answer to this tea lover debate. 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! So many options….we love that!

Hey and did you  know that Bigelow Tea’s delicious Chai tea varieties are amazing with milk and sugar like our classic Spiced Chai? Facebook Fan Virginia Gordon thinks Vanilla Chai is “delicious with a splash of cream and teaspoon of sugar!” Thanks Virginia for sharing your #TeaProudly thought. The good news for everyone is that whether you add your cream or milk before or after the hot water, our spicy chai flavors will make an amazing cup so grab a mug and well, #TeaProudly!

Bigelow Tea Shares How To Make the Best Iced Tea Ever!

bigelow tea iced tea

Bigelow Tea is excited for iced tea weather and for all of you iced tea fans out there, we have a few pointers on making the perfect batch (or individual glass) of this flavorful, fresh, delicious beverage! Take a look:

  • Do some experimenting. Pair different teabags together to give your iced tea a taste twist. Bigelow has 130 flavors to choose from plus specialty iced teas to get you started.
  • Grab a spoon. In a recent video, third generation president and CEO Cindi Bigelow recommended putting a spoon in your glass before pouring in hot water. It will capture incoming heat and prevent your glass from breaking.
  • Watch your prep time. For a glass, give two teabags a couple of minutes to steep, but for a quart focus on steeping somewhere between 6- 10 minutes or experiment to find your perfect brew.
  • Be sweet to your palate. Besides sugar, consider agave or honey. Spruce your iced tea up further with a slice of lemon or sprig of mint.

For those on the go, Bigelow has ready-to-drink iced teas available in stores. Or perhaps ice your favorite hot tea like Cheryl Jones who loves our Green Tea with Pomegranate cold on ice (thanks for your post on our Facebook page). What is your favorite Bigelow tea over ice?  We want to know!

Bigelow Tea Talks Teapots

bigelow tea tea potBigelow Tea fans know that the perfect cup of Bigelow Tea starts in the teapot or tea kettle, but may not know much about them. Here’s a quick lesson! A tea kettle is heated on a stovetop and a teapot is not heated but the tea is steeped inside it.

bigelow tea green tea pot

A brief history of the teapot reveals that when tea and teapots were introduced to Great Britain in the early 1600s the original Chinese teapots were undifferentiated from wine-pots, which have a handle and spout. In 1694 the British East India Company indicated that all their teapots needed a grate before the spout to hold back tea leaves. Ceramic teapots are now available in a variety of colors and sizes like this Lime Green Curve Teapot (pictured above and available on the Bigelow Tea website) but they weren’t made in Britain until the 1690s!

tea pot bigelow teaToday, people typically use either stovetop or electric kettles to heat the water for their tea. Facebook Fan Marian Herbet says “a blue kettle heats my water on the stove in the winter. When the Summer comes I use an electric kettle.” Electric tea kettles quickly and quietly boil water while traditional kettles are used on a stovetop (like the Catalina Tea-Kettle in Stainless Steel, pictured above). This traditionally shaped kettle heats up quickly and keeps hands safe with a heat-resistant stay-cool lid and handle. You’ll know your water is ready when you hear the whistle!

In any case, make sure to let your water come to a rolling boil and immediately pour over your favorite Bigelow Tea flavor and of course, enjoy every sip!

The Water You Pour Over Your Bigelow Tea Makes A Difference!

water_bigelow teaWhat beautiful alchemy takes place when boiling water and Bigelow Tea meet in your mug! Ah, the aroma! But you might be missing a few steps that ensure that every cup of tea you brew tastes as good as it smells. It turns out the condition of the water poured over your tea makes a big difference.

For starters, please don’t consider re-using the water left in your tea kettle from the last time you brewed. Fresh, cold water is essential to making a great cup of tea. It’s the oxygen in the water that opens up the tea leaf to bring out all that wonderful flavor. So always let the tap water run for 30 seconds before filling the kettle. If you’re using bottled water, give it a good shake to aerate (oxygenate) the water.

And here’s another teapot tip to improve aeration: take the chill off the pot by rinsing it first with hot water. Next, consider the type of tea you’re making to determine how long to leave the kettle on the stove. For black, oolong and herbal teas, it’s best to bring the water to a full, rolling boil. Green and white teas are more delicate, so the ideal time to pour the water is before the boiling point when tiny bubbles just begin to form.

Now the fun part: steep (black tea 2-4 minutes, green tea 1-3 minutes and herbal tea 4 minutes or more) with the mug covered to seal in all the tea goodness, and remember — no squeezing the tea bag! Final step? Inhale deeply and enjoy! As @mik_cm tweeted, the perfect cup of tea is worth waiting for!

Image by Evan Wood via Flickr

Five Tips For Brewing The Perfect Cup Of Bigelow Tea

It’s virtually impossible to make a mistake when brewing a cup of Bigelow Tea, right? When you think about it, it’s simply water and a bag of tea leaves (and the cup, of course!). However, what many people don’t realize is how much tastier their tea can be if they put a few extra steps into the preparation.

In the above video clip, Bigelow Tea President and CEO Cindi Bigelow offers  +suggestions on how to make your next perfect cup of tea. Here are the key steps:

  1. Always start with fresh, cold water: The air bubbles in fresh, cold water unfurl the tea leaf for full flavor extraction.
  2. Be sure not to over-boil the water! For blackoolongherbal and rooibos teas, bring water to a rolling boil, then immediately pour over tea. For green and white teas, bring water
    just to the point where tiny bubbles begin to form before pouring over tea.bigelow earl grey
  3. Place your tea bag in the cup before adding the water: While this step is based on your preference, the Bigelow family — who has been brewing cups of tea for 70 years— puts the tea bag in first.
  4. Don’t lose steam — let the tea steep: Retain the flavor and goodness of the tea by steeping the tea (try covering the cup with a saucer). All Bigelow Tea packages list recommended brew times.
  5. No squeezing the tea bag: Try not to squeeze the tea bag when you remove it from your cup. By squeezing it, you release the last bit of the tea’s tannins, which are very bitter and affect the overall taste of your cuppa.

Whether you’re brewing your first cup of tea or have been enjoying tea for years, every drink of tea should be special. These steps should help ensure your tea is at peak flavor and refreshment. Enjoy!

Bigelow Tea Is Curious: Do You Know How To Brew A Proper Cuppa?

bigelow tea earl grey

Since 1945, Bigelow Tea and its fans have made quite a few cups of tea—and waited patiently for it to thoroughly steep. Just think about how many minutes have been spent steeping tea over the course of 70 years and three generations! A research team from the UK also got to thinking about steeping and brewing … and found out that most people are actually too impatient to wait for their tea!

Yes, Researchers surveyed 1,000 people about their tea-drinking habits and found that only 16% of people let the water brew—or steep—for the recommended time of between two and five minutes.  (Proper steeping time does vary depending on the type of tea; for example, it’s recommended that Bigelow Tea Lemon Ginger Herbal Tea Plus Probiotics should steep for four minutes). The study also found that nearly half remove the tea bag and leave their tea to cool for five minutes before drinking it.

If you want to be part of that 16%, just take a look at your box of Bigelow Tea! You will find the recommended brew times right on the packaging. You can also check out a video featuring Bigelow Tea’s third generation President and CEO Cindi Bigelow as she demonstrates how to brew the perfect cup of tea.

If you feel like waiting for your tea to steep is time wasted, just use it as a moment to relax, like @MichellaLee27, who tweeted “Watching tea steep is one of my favorite past times. And current times, actually.” A few minutes can make all the difference for that perfect cuppa tea!

Photo by @youngicedavis via Instagram

Cindi Bigelow’s Step-by-Step Secret to Brewing the Perfect Cup of Bigelow Tea

How do you brew the perfect cup of tea? Cindi Bigelow, President & CEO of Bigelow Tea recently collaborated with the HooplaHa network channel to bring you a tea mini-series, including How to Brew the Perfect Cup – Tea Time with Cindi. Cindi reviews a few step-by-step tea making tips like the importance of using fresh water, not over-boiling the water, covering the tea cup as it’s steeping, and…. please don’t squeeze that tea bag. Watch the clip and find your answer to a top tea question—are you supposed to add the tea bag or water to the mug first?  Find out exactly how the Bigelow family makes their tea in this video!