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Happiness Is Honey (And Bigelow Tea!)

 

Oh, hey, honey. You’ve been around for a really long time, and guess what? You are totally loved. Not just by Bigelow Tea, but all over the world! And to all those honey lovers out there, here are just a few reasons why honey is the best – and no, it’s not just because September is National Honey Month!

For starters, honey is ancient… in the best of ways, of course! Honey production flourished in ancient Spain, Greece, Sicily and India, and was used to sweeten different foods. The spiritual and therapeutic use of honey in India is documented in Ayurveda texts, which are more than 4,000 years old. However, cave paintings in Spain from 7000BC show the earliest records of beekeeping, and there are fossils of honey bees that date back about 150 million years! Wow! A source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, honey—particularly in its raw form—offers unique health benefits. According to research, it’s used as a natural cough suppressant, may help heal wounds and reduce allergy symptoms, and may offer a quick energy boost.

But, to become the honey we all know and love, did you know how much work goes into a jar of honey? To start, honey bees make honey from the nectar they collect from flowers. The 60,000 or so bees in a beehive may collectively travel as much as 55,000 miles and visit more than two million flowers to gather enough nectar to make just a pound of honey. And, on average, a honey bee produces 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey over the course of its life. To put that into perspective, two tablespoons of honey would be enough to fuel a bee’s entire flight around the world.

Honey in general is a golden color, yet not all types are alike. The color and flavor can depend on where the honeybees get their nectar. Honey can have a lighter hue and a mild taste or be darker with a stronger flavor. In fact, according to the National Honey Board, there are more than 300 types of honey available in the United States, from flower sources ranging from alfalfa to tupelo!

Unfortunately, bee populations all over the country are drastically declining. In the past few years, experts warned that four species of bees native to Connecticut, where Bigelow Tea’s headquarters are located, had disappeared from the state in the last 10 years. So, we decided to take action on the bees’ behalf and even planted more flowers on our corporate property along an urban train track fence in the hopes of providing bees with a better natural habitat.

Honey adds a little sweetness to the day (and cup!), so we want to make sure it’s around for many, many days to come. It could be easy to take for granted, but we’d sure miss it if it ever ran out! Add a little honey to your favorite Bigelow Tea (it’s awesome!), or try a cup of Chamomile Vanilla Herbal Tea with Honey before turning in for the night, and let’s show those bees how much they’re loved. Because without them, we wouldn’t have honey.

This Is Why Bigelow Tea Is All About National Organic Harvest Month

September is here and you know what that means… there’s no better time to dig into all things organic – like the steep by Bigelow line of craft teas. Why? Well, for starters, it’s Organic Harvest Month. And, it’s fall, which means produce is plentiful. Finally – and most importantly – it means drinking delicious and fabulous and yummy tea, so why not?!

From Organic Green Tea and Rooibos Hibiscus Herbal Tea to Oolong and Jasmine Green Tea and more, Bigelow Tea brims with lots of choices for those who prefer organic teas. But, hang on a sec, let’s first take a moment to address the terms “organic” and “USDA Organic,” which can be confusing.

Oooh, organic, you say?

Organic farming, the practice of growing and processing food without synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, dates to the 1940s in the United States. In an effort to bring uniformity to the system, Congress passed the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 requiring the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to establish standards for organically grown agricultural products (also known as the National Organic Program). The guiding principles of the program include preservation of natural resources and biodiversity, and support for animal health and welfare, while prohibiting the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Today’s consumers can be assured that products labeled with the USDA Organic seal meet stringent U.S. organic certification requirements. Look for the stamp on each box of Bigelow organic tea!

Tea joins the party

If you haven’t tried steep by Bigelow teas yet, you really need to get on that – they’re divine. Each of the 13 USDA Certified organic teas delivers a unique flavor experience by combining flavors like sweet peachy notes with earthy dandelion and smooth, malty teas with flowery top notes (just to name a couple).

These premium teas are also non-GMO and gluten free! Engage all the senses – beginning with the creative packaging to the wonderful aromas and fab flavors that follow. Made with exceptional care under the careful watch of Bigelow family tea blenders, this line is what we like to call our “microbrew”: rich-in-flavor teas that will enhance life’s everyday moments.

Check out the awesome flavor choices:

  • Sweet Cinnamon
  • Chai
  • Lemon Ginger caffeine free Herbal Tea
  • Dandelion & Peach Rooibos & Green Pure Green Tea Green Tea with Pomegranate Pure Green Decaffeinated Tea
  • Earl Grey
  • Oolong & Jasmine Green Tea
  • English Breakfast Certified Fair Trade Tea
  • Mint caffeine free Herbal Tea
  • Rooibos caffeine free Hibiscus Herbal Tea
  • Chamomile Citrus caffeine free Herbal Tea

So, go ahead – count yourself in! People take pride in going organic, being more natural and being kind to the environment. Mix in a little #TeaProudly and you can be doubly impressive among fellow tea-drinkers. From premium flavors to natural ingredients – you won’t be disappointed. Enjoy!

5 Reasons to Love Bigelow Green Tea

As one of the most popular drinks in the Far East, green tea goes waaaaay back and has been valued by men and women for centuries (the first #TeaProudly generation for sure!). According to legend, in 2737 BCE, Chinese emperor Shennong was resting under a Camellia tree and boiled some water to drink when dried leaves floated down and infused with the water. Captivated by its fragrance, Shennong took a sip and found it refreshing (we can relate to that refreshing part).

While there’s no way to know if this is the true birth of green tea, millions of people still find its flavor delightful. Green tea is made from Camellia Sinensis leaves that are immediately steamed or pan-fired to avoid oxidation, which results in a delicate, ultra-smooth flavor. Bigelow Tea offers a multitude of yummy green tea flavors and as the dog days of summer wind down, green tea can help you beat the heat and stay hydrated. (whew!)

Here are five more good reasons to drink versatile and delicious Bigelow Green Tea:

  1. Looking for a quick afternoon pick-me-up? When that after-lunch food coma hits, the refreshing flavor of Earl Grey Green can give you a little boost (and keep you from falling asleep at your desk!)
  2. Whether you want to cool off after a session at the gym or just chill and kick back with a good book, the cool, clean flavor of Bigelow Green Tea with Mint will make your taste buds sing. (La la la!)
  3. There’s more to green tea than just good taste—not only is it packed with flavor, it’s also is high in polyphenols known as EGCGBigelow Green Tea with Pomegranate as an option adds a delightful tang to a healthy lifestyle. Yay!
  4. A  soothing way to unwind after a hectic week, whisk yourself away to paradise and relax with the delicate aroma of Jasmine flowers in  Bigelow Jasmine Green Tea (ahhhhhhhhhhh).
  5. Believe it or not, the bright, grassy notes of green tea pair well with the delicate flavors of fish and shellfish, too! Baked Catfish Fillets with Lemon Lift® Tea Shallot Glaze recipe is a lusciously light dish that’s ideal for a tasty late summer lunch or dinner. Yum!

Hot or cold, the remarkable flavor and versatility of green tea is undeniable! Add some zing to the last days of summer (or year-round!) and experiment with your own fabulous tea flavor combinations. Share your favorites with the world and tag #TeaProudly!

This Is Why You Should Start Your Day With A Mug of Bigelow Earl Grey

A true classic, Earl Grey is a tea fit for a queen (more on that later). Ask anyone. A cup of Bigelow Tea Earl Grey tea will make your day. This refined, yet bold, black tea is highlighted by bright and fragrant citrus notes – thanks to the finest bergamot oil sourced year after year exclusively from Calabria, Italy. Wait, you may ask, what’s so special about this bergamot oil?

The single town of Calabria is where 80% of the world’s citrus bergamot fruit is grown. Since the 1970s, Bigelow Tea has worked with the family farmers in Calabria who supply the best oil of bergamot to create this classic blend. Another third-generation operation, these family bergamot farms are dedicated to expertly growing citrus bergamot fruit without the use of pesticides, using natural, organic methods from orchards that have been in existence for over 80 years. They’re all about the integrity of the flavor – just like the Bigelow family.

So, about that queen? Yes, the Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth starts her morning with a pot of Earl Grey tea. In fact, this cheeky writer even spent a week eating – and drinking – like the queen. And, well, suffice to say, she enjoyed quite a few mugs of Earl Grey. Who can complain about that?!

Another fan of Earl Grey? Bob. Who’s Bob, you may wonder? Just the coolest guy ever who also happened to be president and CEO Cindi Bigelow’s CPR instructor. And, hey, there’s even a fun – and entirely impromptu – moment on camera where he tells us why he has been a Bigelow Tea Earl Grey devotee for more than 40 years. Wow! As he emphatically explains in this fun video, the best thing about our Earl Grey is the purity of the ingredients: black tea and natural oil of bergamot. Tag #TeaProudly if you agree!

Go Wild With Bigelow Wild Blueberry With Acai Herbal Tea

Sweet and tart, sweetheart. That’s how best to describe a cup of Bigelow Tea’s Wild Blueberry with Acai Herbal Tea. Yup, acai. But how the heck do you even pronounce it? Easy. AH-sigh-EE. “Ahhh…..” (like the sound you let out when you’ve had a really long day and just got a minute to sit down and watch Netflix); “sigh,” (like what you do when you realize you ran out of tea); and “Eeeee” (like the “Wheeee – without the “W” part – you make when you’re on a roller coaster). See? Simple.

But what exactly is acai? And why does it pair so well with blueberry? And why will you absolutely love it if you don’t already? Funny you should ask…

Deep in the Amazon

Açaí is a delicious black-purple berry that resembles a large grape and grows on tall, slender palm trees in the Amazon, where it has been consumed in the form of a pulp (purée) for centuries. So, yeah, it goes pretty far back.

Here and there and everywhere

Acai has become pretty trendy these days. Look anywhere online or in popular juice bars or cafes, and you’ll see gorgeous acai bowls or smoothies. However, in different parts of the world – take Brazil for example – acai is also used as a sauce for fish dishes. Looking for a more savory recipe? Try this Blueberry Acai Vinaigrette. It’s great on a bed of greens or grilled chicken.

Oh, hi, blueberry and acas.

Acai is one of the ingredients in Bigelow’s Wild Blueberry with Acai Herbal Tea. Along for the ride – err, in the bag – are real blueberry pieces, rose hips, hibiscus, sweet blackberry leaves, apple, cinnamon and orange peel. Talk about a fruit bouquet. Mmm… Yes, please! Try a cup (hot or iced, both are nice!) and see just why it’s a fan favorite.

Have you tried Wild Blueberry with Acai yet? Love it? Tag #TeaProudly and share what you thought!

This Is Why Honey And Bigelow Tea Are Worth Buzzing About

It’s sweet, it’s natural, and it’s one honey of an ingredient – especially in your mug of Bigelow Tea. There’s a lot to be said about honey, from its origins to its uses. Yeah, it’s easy to go on and on about it, but let’s be sweet and just share a handful so you can get back to your day. Here are a few reasons being a honey fanatic is a great way to bee:

Bee classic. Honey has a long history – production flourished in ancient Greece and Sicily, and was used to sweeten different foods. The spiritual and therapeutic use of honey in ancient India is documented in Ayurveda texts, which are more than 4,000 years old. Wow!

Bee unique. A lot of work goes into each jar of honey. To start, honey bees make honey from the nectar they collect from flowers. The 60,000 or so bees in a beehive may collectively travel as much as 55,000 miles and visit more than two million flowers to gather enough nectar to make just a pound of honey. And, on average, On average, a honey bee produces 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey over the course of its life. To put that into perspective, two tablespoons of honey would be enough to fuel a bee’s entire flight around the world.

Bee healthy. A source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, honey – particularly in its raw form – offers unique health benefits. According to research, it’s used as a natural cough suppressant, may help heal wounds and reduce allergy symptoms, and can offer a quick energy boost.

Bee sustainable. Unfortunately, bee populations all over the country are drastically declining. In the past few years, experts warned that four species of bees native to Connecticut, where Bigelow Tea’s headquarters are located, had disappeared from the state in the last 10 years. So, we decided to take action on the bees’ behalf and even planted more flowers on our corporate property along an urban train track fence in the hopes of providing bees with a better natural habitat.

Bee sweet. Honey adds a little sweetness to the day (and cup!), so we want to make sure it’s around for many, many days to come. It could be easy to take for granted, but we’d sure miss it if it ever ran out!  Add a little honey to your favorite Bigelow Tea, or try our Honey and Chamomile Vanilla Honey Herbal Tea before turning in for the night.

Bottom line: If a bee is buzzing by you, don’t panic. Just relax (maybe with a nice cup of tea) and assume that it’ll likely go about its business. And lucky for Bigelow – and all of us – those bees are in the business of making honey!

Lemons, Lemons, Lemons (According to Bigelow Tea!)

 

Pucker up, buttercup! The tart, tangy, citrusy and sour taste of lemon isn’t going anywhere – at least not in your favorite Bigelow Tea! In fact, there’s even real lemon peel in a lot of different flavors because you deserve the best (and the zest!).

Throughout history, lemons have been used for many purposes – as a toothpaste, invisible ink and even a bleaching agent. Though the lemon’s origins are said to have come from the base of the Himalayan Mountains, the fruit is now cultivated in tropical and temperate climates around the world, with California leading production in the United States.

And you know what? That’s EXACTLY where the lemon in your Bigelow Tea flavors come from. As a third-generation, family-owned company, the Bigelow family takes pride in developing and maintaining relationships with suppliers who embody similar practices and values. Bigelow Tea is proud to have partnered with a family-owned lemon peel supplier for the last 30 years. As an essential ingredient in many of Bigelow Tea’s flavors, lemon peel requires the perfect blend of sweetness and tartness to deliver the flavor profile the Bigelow family requires. Hailing from Central Valley California, the lemons used are 100% USA grown and meet strict USDA, FDA, and California standards ­– they’re not messing around, and neither are we. The Bigelow family’s supplier has perfected its state-of-the-art processes to harvest, juice, and zest some of the world’s best lemons since opening their groves in 1947.

The next time you sip your favorite Bigelow Tea flavor, check the ingredients to see if lemon peel is part of your blend and rest assured you have a combined 140 years of experience in your cup! So brew, sip, enjoy! When it comes to lemony goodness, Bigelow Tea is an expert, so your tea is in good hands – long before that mug is in your hands.

From Ruth Bigelow’s Kitchen To Yours: 6 Facts About “Constant Comment” Tea

The awesome story of Bigelow Tea begins with “Constant Comment”®, the iconic blend of orange and sweet spice created by Ruth Campbell Bigelow in her kitchen in 1945. But how much do you know about the very beginning? If not a lot, that’s about to change right now!

  1. A Fresh Start
    Picture this: in the early 1940s, Ruth and her husband, David Sr., decided to start a tea business. But, that’s not where they began. Initially, Ruth had owned an interior design company called Ruth Campbell Design, and was very successful. But when the Great Depression hit, both Ruth and David Sr. lost their jobs. It was then that she decided to make tea.
  2. Manhattan Roots
    When they started to talk more seriously about tea, the Bigelows lived in a small apartment in Manhattan. They felt strongly that, for the company to be a success, they needed a home where they could begin. Searching the local streets, they found a brownstone, just off Second Avenue, which was in terrible disrepair. Optimistic, they bought it with the last of their life savings, and plastered and repainted it themselves—talk about fixer uppers! It was in this home, in 1945, that Ruth and David Sr. opened the doors to the new Bigelow Tea Company. Little could they have imagined that their dream would one day grow to be America’s #1 Specialty Tea company!
  3. Orange and Spice, and All Things Nice
    Inspired by an early Colonial recipe, Ruth spent several weeks of trial and error blending black tea with orange rind and sweet spices. Finally, she created her own special blend and shared it with friends. Anyone who tasted it couldn’t stop commenting—the name “Constant Comment”® was a natural choice for the tea.
  4. That One Shop
    Ruth knew she was on to something with her blend and took “Constant Comment” to every store she could. One shopkeeper told Ruth that he had been opening the container for customers to take a whiff of the incredible aroma, and it was flying off the shelves! Ruth took this idea one step further and set up a jar of “Constant Comment” in each case of tea, with the directions to “open and whiff.”  Shops across the country placed this little jar by their cash registers and sales grew.
  5. All in the Family
    Jump ahead more than 70 years to today, where Ruth’s granddaughter, Cindi Bigelow, serves as the third-generation president and CEO. If you’re a fan of “Constant Comment” tea, Bigelow Tea or tea overall, you’ll love hearing Cindi Bigelow herself tell this story of this original creation while sharing more about her personal (and professional) love of tea! In a month that celebrates mothers around the world, it’s heartwarming to know that this love for tea runs strong through three generations – from the mother of “Constant Comment” all the way to Cindi today.
  6. Shhh… It’s a Secret
    To this day, “Constant Comment” is a secret recipe that only Cindi’s parents, 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.

Every Bigelow Tea flavor is blended to be remarkable, but it’s the very first that got so much talk it still carries the famous name. What was the first “comment” you had when you tried “Constant Comment” for the very first time? Tag #TeaProudly with your memory!

This Is What You’ll Find In The Bag: An Inside Look At Bigelow Tea Ingredients

 

To Bigelow Tea, each and every ingredient tells a story. Call it commitment to quality or just call it delicious! Since 1945, Bigelow has sourced handpicked leaves from high-elevation gardens where the best tea plants are grown so all tea drinkers can enjoy the best possible cup of tea every time. And, as a third-generation family business, Bigelow selects ingredients only from suppliers who share the same passion for quality. Many of these trusted partners have worked with Bigelow Tea since the company’s founding, over 70 years ago, and are now, well, like family! To us, it’s the heart and soul of all we do—it’s what we like to call being #TeaProudly.

Lush Lemons

Take lemon for example. Did you know Bigelow Tea has partnered with the same family-owned lemon peel supplier for the last 30 years? Lemon peel is an essential ingredient in many Bigelow Tea flavors, and the perfect blend of sweetness and tartness is critical to deliver the flavor profile the Bigelow family requires. Hailing from Central Valley California (a chill place for a chill beverage), the lemons used are 100% USA-grown and meet strict standards. The Bigelow family’s supplier has perfected its state-of-the-art processes to harvest, juice, and zest some of the world’s best lemons since opening their groves in 1947.

M-m-m-mint

Another great example is our supplier of 100% American-grown spearmint which gets masterfully blended into several Bigelow mint teas. What makes this mint so special…mint is mint right? Well, this mint is grown exclusively in the northwest corner of the United States by a family company of multi-generational growers. We’ve been a loyal customer to the family since the early 1960s, when Bigelow Tea set out to develop a tea with the refreshing taste of spearmint. Today, a father-and-son team meticulously harvests acres of spearmint two times each year, with care and craftsmanship that cannot be beat, tracking all their mint from crop to cup for quality and accountability. Pretty, awesome, right?

Calabria… It Must Be Italian!

That brings us to one of Bigelow Tea’s most beloved varieties—the oh-so-irresistible Earl Grey! What makes Bigelow’s Earl Grey so special is the real oil of bergamot sourced year after year exclusively from Calabria, Italy. The single town of Calabria is where 80% of the world’s citrus bergamot fruit is grown. Since the 1970s, Bigelow Tea has worked with the family farmers in Calabria who supply the best oil of bergamot to create this classic blend. Another third-generation operation, these family bergamot farms are dedicated to expertly growing citrus bergamot fruit without the use of pesticides, using natural, organic methods from orchards that have been in existence for over 80 years. They’re all about the integrity of the flavor and the bergamot oil. We can totally get behind that.

From the top of the Sri Lankan mountains—where those high-elevation gardens flourish—to ingredients sourced from farms and companies proven through generations, Bigelow Tea has never and will nevercompromise on ingredients—or on the family recipes. You can count on that.

What’s your favorite Bigelow flavor or ingredient? Tag #TeaProudly and let us know!

Bigelow Tea Owned Charleston Tea Plantation, A Tea Journey Past and Present

Bigelow Tea has been an American classic since 1945 and while we all know and love the company’s tasty tea, Bigelow has another gem to celebrate, the Bigelow owned Charleston Tea Plantation which is America’s largest working tea garden located on the historic Wadmalaw Island. This South Carolina destination has ideal climate for growing the Camellia Sinesis (tea!) plant. Bigelow purchased the plantation in 2003 and has created a literal tea oasis; besides producing American Classic Tea, the plantation is also a beautiful setting for weddingseducational tours, and even a variety of music festivals.

NPR shared what life is like on the Charleston Tea Plantation in an interview with America’s only fulltime tea taster, William Barclay Hall. Hall gives fascinating insight into growing tea the old-fashioned way:

  • The Charleston Tea Plantation grows cuttings in a nursery for four years instead of planting seeds. These bushes are, unbelievably, descendants of the same plants that were first brought to region in the 1700s.
  • Talk about a taste for tea — Hall is a third generation tea taster (his father and grandfather held the roles before him) who was trained in London. During his training, he tasted as many as 800 teas a day, five days a week!
  • Tea is one of the only commodities in the world bought and sold based on taste, according to Hall. Because tea is harvested on average every 15 days, the taste is always changing based on everything from the temperature, to the amount of rain, to the time of year.
  • Pests stay away from tea! The caffeine and tannins in tea repel insects, so the Charleston Tea plantation doesn’t need to use any pesticide, herbicides or fungicides.
  • Tea leaves are placed on “withering box” screens for 18 hours, and then macerated in a grinder. Hall then steeps, tastes and blends every single batch until he thinks it tastes absolutely right.

Now you know: a little piece of tea history continues on in the modern world, all thanks to Bigelow!