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Archives for the ‘Selecting Ingredients’ Category

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!

Life Is Easy Breezy With A Cup Of Bigelow Benefits Tea In Hand!

Wow. Have you ever had one of those days where it’s high-speed-not-stopping-anytime-soon? Sooo exhausting! Well, instead of getting to the point where you’re about to tear your hair out from the stress, stop. Take a breath. And reach for a cup of Bigelow Benefits tea. Why? Well, first, they’re awesome. Second, they’re totally delicious. Third, it’s Stress Awareness Month—treat yo’self to some relaxation. Finally (as if you needed another reason, right?!), each tea is masterfully blended with the goodness (dare we say, benefits?) of wellness ingredients, which tackle those moments in life that require a breather.

With a focus on always delivering a beautiful cup of tea, these inspired combinations of herbs and spice ingredients are so imaginative and flavorful, you’ll want to enjoy them morning, noon and night — and all the moments in between. Whether you’re searching for a bit of balance, having a good day, not feeling well, or feeling like you could really use a day at the spa (but don’t have the time to hit pause on your insane life), make a mini-escape with one of these teas.

Radiant Beauty (Blueberry & Aloe Herbal Tea) 

Containing aloe (known for its incredible hydration and skin soothing abilities) and blueberry (yummy and high in antioxidants!), this flavor is designed to make you feel like you’re glowing—inside and out! So, why aloe? Isn’t that something you lather onto a sunburn? Well, yes, but it also has quite the medicinal past. For thousands of years, aloe has been used for a variety of conditions, such as burns and skin irritations. In the 18th and 19th centuries, it was actually one of the most frequently prescribed medicines due to its active compounds that may reduce inflammation, and stimulate skin growth and repair. Cool, huh?!

Stay Well (Lemon & Echinacea) 

We’re still in that yucky tail-end of cold and flu season. Don’t let it get you down! Support your health with a tasty combination of Echinacea and lemon.

Balance (Cinnamon & Blackberry Herbal Tea)

Spring is right around the corner and what better time to re-calibrate than a new season? Get back to balance with the sweetness of cinnamon, known for having a positive effect on blood sugar.

Calm Stomach (Ginger & Peach)

Settle an upset tummy or just give digestion a kick with this ginger and peach-infused flavor.

Sleep (Chamomile & Lavender Herbal Tea) 

Chamomile and lavender are known for lulling you into snooze-land safely. Amp up your zzz’s with this relaxing blend… You’ll be chilling with those sheep in no time.

Refresh (Turmeric Chili Matcha Green Tea) 

Give your mind and body a pick-me-up with spicy-sweet turmeric, green tea, and a bit of pepper to pep things up. Unfamiliar with turmeric? No problem. Known as the “golden spice,” turmeric dates back nearly 4,000 years in India and has been used for its medicinal properties. Wanna hear some history? The Hindu religion recognizes the herb as sacred, and there is a wedding day tradition in which a string is tied around the bride’s neck by her groom. Known as a mangala sutra, the necklace is dyed yellow with turmeric paste. In some communities, the groom ties the first knot while his sister ties the rest of the knots. The ritual indicates that the woman is married and is often compared to the Western exchange of wedding rings.

Good Mood (Chocolate & Almond Herbal Tea) 

If you weren’t in a good mood before sipping on this flavor, you will once you finish a mug. A complex blend of smooth almond, sweet chocolate flavors and blackberry, Good Mood does just what its name promises. Besides. It’s chocolate. Who can say no to chocolate??

Whatever your life, mind or body is crying out for, Bigelow Benefits Tea is here for you. Tag #TeaProudly and share your favorite Benefits flavor!

This is What World Water Day Means To Tea

bigelow tea water

Water, water everywhere- and Bigelow Tea gets just how important it is to have more than a drop to drink!

World Water Day takes place today, March 22nd, which gives us a chance to give some love to water-related concerns around the globe. The day was introduced in 1992 when the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development recommended an international observance for water. Since then, people have used this day as a perfect opportunity to learn and share more about water and its local and global importance.

So what does this day have to do with tea? Water is, of course, of the utmost importance to making a terrific cup of the good stuff! Depending on what tea you’re drinking, each variety has its own rules for water. Here are some tea tips to always keep top of mind!

  • Fresh, cold water is a must-have for tea perfection. It’s the oxygen in the water that opens up the tea leaf for full flavor extraction, so you should make sure that you let tap water run for around 30 seconds before filling the tea kettle! And if using bottled water, be sure to shake the bottle to oxygenate the water first.
  • What to do with black, oolong, herb and rooibos teas: You’ll always want to bring water to a rolling boil, then immediately pour it over the tea bag.
  • The rules for green and white teas: Bring water just to the point where tiny bubbles begin to form, then pour it over the tea bag pronto.

Cindi Bigelow also spills the beans (or should we say tea leaves?) on how water plays a role in brewing the perfect cup of tea in the below fascinating video. Did you know how much more delicious tea can be when the water is just right? Then watch and be amazed!

So, how do you like to brew your tea? Share your secrets for making your cup just right, and tag #teaproudly!

Image by Evan Wood via Flickr

When Life Gives You Bigelow Tea I Love Lemon, Smile!

bigelow tea I love lemon cup

Pucker up! Lemons are tart, tangy, citrusy and sour, and they add an abundance of flavor to life. It’s no wonder that Bigelow Tea has real lemon peel in a number of flavors. One in particular is even named for how much people enjoy the fruit—I Love Lemon (because who doesn’t?).

Throughout history, lemons have been used for many purposes—as a remedy for epilepsy, 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.

It’s probably no surprise that lemons provide a lot of vitamin C, but they are also a good source of iron, fiber, vitamin B6, calcium, and copper, as well as bigelow tea lemon rindfolate and potassium. Research has suggested that lemons may help with DNA cell protection, immune system regulation and inflammation relief.

bigelow tea I love LemonAs a third generation family-owned company, Bigelow Tea is proud to have partnered with a family-owned lemon peel supplier for the last 30 years. As an essential ingredient in 23 of Bigelow Tea’s blends, 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. 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.

And those lemons make the perfect ingredient for the delicious I Love Lemon herbal tea. Made with lemongrass, lemon peel and lemon verbena, this flavor is the go-to for lemon lovers. Kimberly from Walden loves drinking it hot with honey, and enjoys it as part of her morning ritual. It’s one more way the sour lemon can make your day a little sweeter!

Another Reason To Be #TeaProudly…Learning The ABC’s Of Tea Leaves With Bigelow Tea

We all know that drinking tea soothes souls and invites conversations but hey, what exactly is in that mug and how does tea become the most perfect beverage in the world? Take a break, sit back and check out this awesome video where third generation president and CEO Cindi Bigelow (of Bigelow Tea of course) gives us the scoop on tea leaves and more. Here is a brief rundown that sums it all up:

  • The three types of tea all come from the leaf bud and leaves of the Camellia Sinesis plant. You’ve got your green,  your black and your Oolong. And It’s all about the air…exposure for different amounts of time is what gives you the various tea types.
  • The black tea Bigelow uses originates from either Sri Lanka or India where the tea leaves and buds come from the highest mountains and gardens for an extra beautiful tea!
  • Green tea is unfermented, which means it’s not exposed to air. It’s steamed or pan fried and then chopped up, leaving a vibrant green color and one-of-a-kind taste.
  • Black tea is chopped up so that all the juice in the leaves and leaf bud’s vein is exposed to air; it ferments for about 6-8 hours, and then the coppery black colored tea is dried and chopped again.
  • Oolong tea is semi-fermented. The leaves and bud are chopped and exposed to air for around 3 hours, then dried or chopped.
  • These types of teas all have different caffeine contents, because as they are exposed to air, the caffeine comes out. But where do the various types stack up, caffeine-wise? Here’s a cheat sheet:

bigelow-tea-caffeine-meter

  • Drink your veggies in a tea cup? We’ll take it! Tea is like drinking the brew of a vegetable, as Cindi says. Tea is high in antioxidants and a good choice for a healthier lifestyle, according to the tons of studies done on the drink!

As you can see, there’s always more to discover about the amazingness of tea which is all part of living the #TeaProudly lifestyle. Tell us here, via social (using #TeaProudly) or join us on www.teaproudly.com, and let us know what you find most interesting about this beautiful beverage?

Savor The Snap in Bigelow Tea Ginger Snappish Herbal Tea

bigelow-tea-gingert-snappish-seasonal-tea

Here we go….winter is coming and we are ready for cozy evenings! Just picture it: a roaring fire, warm socks, maybe PJs or your favorite sweats, and a mug of Bigelow Tea Ginger Snappish® Lemon Herbal Tea. This “snappy” melt-in-your-mouth tea will remind you of gingersnap cookies baking in the oven. Savory, sweet and just a smidge spicy, Ginger Snappish herbal tea is made with quality ingredients like lemon peel, lemongrass, ginger, cinnamon and natural gingersnap. And it’s perfect to drink right before bed since it’s caffeine-free!

And what is ginger anyway? Well, it’s a spice that can be found in many places—gingerbread cookies, pumpkin pies and served fresh with sushi (yum!). This amazing spice starts as a gnarled, knotted, bumpy root of the ginger plant which is the source of this wonderful spice. In Sanskrit, the root was known as srigavera, which translates to ‘root shaped like a horn’ – a fitting name for its appearance.

Ginger dates back over 3,000 years to Asia, and was used for medicinal treatments in India and China. From there it spread to Europe via trade, and during the Middle Ages, it was favored as a spice for its ability to disguise the taste of preserved meats. Henry VIII is said to have used a ginger concoction in hopes of building a resistance to the plague. Even today, ginger is used as a remedy for nausea and other stomach ailments.

Ginger coupled with real lemon peel gives Ginger Snappish a whole lot of zing. The lemon peel used is 100% grown in the USA from the same California supplier we have used for over 30 years (yeah, we are #TeaProudly about that fact!).

So if you’re in the mood for a real treat made with fresh ingredients, brew up a mug…we bet you’ll love it in a snap!

Grab a Mug of Good-For-You Ingredients Found In NEW Line of Teas: Bigelow BENEFITS

bigelow-tea-wellness

✔All natural green and herbal teas with the goodness of wellness ingredients you know and trust

✔ Exceptional flavor

✔ Non-GMO

✔ Gluten free

✔ Blended & produced in the USA

Yes, all the above is true which is great news for tea lovers everywhere who want to make tea a part of a healthy lifestyle. Bigelow Tea is so proud (we call that #TeaProudly) to announce a new line of wellness teas called Bigelow BENEFITS that are meant to be enjoyed every day. Infused with enthusiasm for putting good things into our bodies that support clean eating habits, this new line of teas masterfully blends all natural green and herbal teas with the goodness of wellness ingredients. With a focus on always delivering a beautiful cup of tea, these inspired combinations of herbs and spice ingredients (all with names you know and trust!), are so imaginative and flavorful, you’ll want to enjoy them morning, noon and night — and all the moments in between. Yum!bigelow-tea-balance

Balance your being with a warming cup of Benefits Cinnamon & Blackberry Herbal Tea, or keep well with a cup Lemon & Enchinacea.  We’ve got seven delicious flavors to enjoy throughout every day.

Radiant Beauty (Blueberry & Aloe Herbal Tea) – smooth and delicious fruity flavor with blueberry sweetness and subtle aloe notes

Stay Well (Lemon & Echinacea) – authentic Echinacea and crisp lemon flavor with a smooth, relaxing herbal finish

Balance (Cinnamon & Blackberry Herbal Tea) – sweet and spicy cinnamon top notes with a smooth balanced sweet and tart finish

Calm Stomach (Ginger & Peach) – a blend of spicy ginger, soothing peppermint finished and sweet peach

Sleep (Chamomile & Lavender Herbal Tea) – a calming, full-bodied floral lavender flavor with a sweet chamomile finish

Good Mood (Chocolate & Almond Herbal Tea) – complex blend of smooth almond, sweet chocolate flavors and blackberry

Refresh (Turmeric Chili Matcha Green Tea) – balanced green tea and matcha pair with earthy turmeric and a mild peppery kick

So let us know which tea you are going to try first or better yet which is your favorite from our new tea line, BENEFITS.  But don’t worry, we won’t make you choose if you love them all as much as we do.  Grab a mug and share with friends and family and let us know how you Tea Proudly at #TeaProudly!

Bigelow Caramel-Infused Teas And Ooey-Gooey-Caramel-y Recipes!

bigelow-tea-salted-caramel

 

Who can’t resist decadent flavors?? And with the weather getting cooler outside in much of the U.S., this is the perfect time to enjoy all things sweet, buttery-rich and just a bit toasty….make way for Bigelow Tea caramel flavors—Vanilla CaramelCaramel Chai and Salted Caramel.

Besides delicious, what exactly is caramel? And why on earth do we love it so much!? From sauces to wrapped treats, caramel is a versatile piece of sweetness. While its exact history is unknown, it is documented that around 1650, American settlers were making hard candies in kettles. Between this time and the early 1880s, candy makers began to add fat and milk while boiling sugar and water, creating what is now known as ooey-gooey caramel. Caramel candy’s popularity increased greatly when Milton S. Hershey opened Lancaster Caramel Company in 1886. Soon after, caramel candies were being shipped across the United States and to Europe.

Jump ahead to today and check out the real pieces of caramel in each of the Bigelow Tea caramel flavors. Salted Caramel is an all-natural blend of hand-picked black tea and delicious caramel with just a hint of salt; Caramel Chai Black Tea is made with spices, real bits of caramel and molasses crystals; and Vanilla Caramel is smooth and sweet, thanks to the rich caramel and creamy vanilla ingredients. Pick a flavor, add a splash of cream and a hint of sweetener and you’ll have the perfect bit of awesomeness in your mug of tea!

If that’s not enough to lock down your caramel craving, check out one of these crazy amazing Bigelow Tea recipes showcasing caramel. Hey, why not pair a caramel tea with a slice of Vanilla Caramel Bread Pudding and make all your dreams come true!

Vanilla Caramel Bread Pudding

bigelow-tea-bread-pudding-recipe

Ingredients

14 or Bigelow® Vanilla Caramel or Bigelow® Eggnogg’n Tea Bags
2 ¼ cups (560mL) whole milk
½ cup (125mL) unsalted butter
1 cup (250mL) sugar
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon (5mL) cinnamon
1 teaspoon (5mL) vanilla extract
½ cup (125mL) raisins
16 slices of challah bread

Vanilla Caramel Sauce:

¼ cup (60mL) unsalted butter
½ pound (224g) powder sugar
Reserved tea infused milk

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Heat milk over medium heat, add Bigelow® Tea Bags (either Vanilla Caramel or Eggnogg’n) and raisins; remove from heat and let steep fo 5 minutes. Remove tea bags, squeezing out all excess milk/tea. Strain tea infused milk; reserve raisins. Measure out 2 cups (500mL) and set aside the remaining tea infused milk for sauce. In food processor, combine butter and sugar until well blended; add eggs, 2 cups (500mL) tea infused milk, cinnamon and vanilla. Continue processing until well blended. Lightly butter a 9″ x 13″ baking dish. Break up the bread into 1″ cubes and layer in pan. Scatter the raisins over the top. Pour tea/milk mixture over the bread; soak for 5 to 10 minutes. Gently press down on the bread to make sure it is covered by the mixture. Cover with foil and bake for 35-40 minutes. Remove foil and bake for additional 10 minutes to brown top. The pudding is ready when the custard is set, but still soft. Make the Vanilla Caramel Sauce while bread pudding is baking, by melting butter over medium heat in a saucepan. Add powdered sugar to the melted butter and whisk to blend. Add reserved Vanilla Caramel or Eggnogg’n infused milk to taste. Pour sauce over the baked bread pudding and allow to soak in 2-3 minutes. Serve warm.

Tango With Mango—Bigelow Green Tea With Mango, That Is!

bigelow tea green tea with mango travel mugImagine the taste of a juicy, sweet sun-ripened mango. Now, couple that flavor with the smooth and delicate taste of green tea, and you’ve got a cup of pure joy—or what we like to call—Bigelow Tea Green Tea with Mango.

So, first, let’s talk a bit about the green tea part of Green Tea with Mango. Green tea is made from Camellia sinensis leaves—the same leaves make black and Oolong teas, too. However, the difference is in the production process; green tea is the least processed, thus providing higher amounts of the antioxidant polyphenols known as EGCGs, which is why so many make it part of their healthy lifestyle. Green tea is made by immediately steaming or pan-firing the newly harvested leaves, rather than exposing them to air. This process ensures that no oxidation occurs, and this special handling makes for a more delicate brew that is typically lower in caffeine than black and Oolong teas.

bigelow tea green tea with mangoNow, how about the mango? As one of the most popular fruits in the world, the mango was first grown in India over 5,000 years ago. Here’s a fun mango fact: legend says that Buddha meditated under the cool shade of a mango tree! Over the years, mango seeds traveled from Asia to the Middle East, East Africa and South America beginning around 300 or 400 A.D. Sweet in flavor and extra juicy, mangoes are enjoyed on their own or in a variety of recipes—they also make for a tasty tea flavor!

You are in for a tropical treat whether you sip Bigelow Green Tea with Mango hot or over ice. It’s certainly a flavor that can be enjoyed year ‘round, but don’t just take it from us… @Pizzamaid can tell you, “IT IS SO DELICIOUS.”