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Terry Francona Is Our Champion!

All of us at Bigelow were very upset when we heard the news that Terry Francona would not be managing the Red Sox next year.

I am not a baseball expert, I could not tell you the first thing about managing a professional team but I can say this with authority: Terry Francona is the quintessential gentlemen.  In the opportunities I have had to be together with him, he was kind, intelligent, engaging, positive and a wonderful ambassador for the team.

All of us at Bigelow want to wish Terry the very best in whatever will be his next chapter and he will remain on our team in whatever capacity his new career takes.  Terry…we love you and are proud to call you a member of our family.  You are our champion!

Cindi Bigelow

 

Bigelow Tea Goes Down Under For Australian Tea Customs

What do kangaroos, vegemite and people drinking tea have in common? They’re all very familiar sights in Australia! Yes, it’s true: those living in the “land down under” really enjoy their tea. Which prompts us at Bigelow Tea to shout out a “g-day” to our Aussie mates!

Long ago, Queen Victoria began drinking tea (and nibbling sandwiches and other treats) between lunch and dinner. Soon, her idea of a late afternoon tea break spread to other parts of the British Empire, including Australia. According to the English Tea Blog, in Australia “these days, even school children participate in the taking of afternoon tea, having their ‘after-school tea time snack,’ including such treats as chocolate crackles (a combination of crunchy rice cereal and sweet chocolate coating).”

And, while Europeans brought tea to the continent, the Aboriginal people added their own cultural twist to steeping it, resulting in what is known as “Billy Tea.” Here’s how make this Australian campfire tradition:

billy is a metal can with a wire handle. This is filled with water and suspended over a fire. When the water boils, it is removed from the fire, and a handful of tea leaves are added. This is then left to brew for a few minutes.

The next part requires some level of caution and skill. In order to get the tea leaves to sink to the bottom, the billy is swung back and forth at arm’s length. This requires a purposeful swing; any hesitant action could result in a painful scalding.

Finally, the tea is poured into metal mugs, with milk and sugar added (although it’s unlikely the early settlers would have had access to either).

A traditional Billycan on the fire

If you visit Australia, you’ll surely have the opportunity to enjoy afternoon tea time. And, if you venture into the outback, you just might get treated to some Billy Tea as well. Enjoy it alongside some freshly cooked Damper!

Image #1 by Linh_rOm via Flickr.com
Image #2 by Johan Larsson via Flickr.com

Bigelow Tea Raps And Grooves To Community And Family

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rhu20J1as6A&feature=youtu.be[/youtube]

At Bigelow Tea, we’re devoted to our Family, so, it’s no surprise that Cindi Bigelow was on board when her family of employees approached her about the concept of a Bigelow Tea Rap Video! The video, written and performed by Bigelow Tea blender Jamaar Wright, pays homage to the positive work environment and community at Bigelow tea.

Several Bigelow Tea employees (and Cindi herself !) are seen dancing and grooving in the background –  join in and dance with us!

This is special. Enjoy!

Add Bigelow Tea to Your List of Superfoods

“Superfoods” are the heroes of the grocery store: nutrient-dense and minimally processed foods that have earned their stripes as potent defenders of our health. And the health watchers at Bigelow Tea have noticed that while lists of top superfoods can be somewhat subjective, tea always seems to make the cut!

Tea may seem like an unexpected addition to this category, which includes a wide range of fruits, veggies and other whole foods; after all we think of tea as a beverage, not a food. But when you consider what makes a food “super” – including being rich in antioxidants – both green and black teas are highly qualified! Although there’s no standard definition for these foods, the term has gained a lot of traction in recent years, promoting such previously unsung foods like blueberries, salmon and pomegranate, which are packed with natural vitamins and minerals.

While doctors and nutritionists advise against overhyping any single food or supplement as a “cure-all,” many recommend eating a wide range of superfoods to help maintain weight, prevent disease and prolong our health and lives. Nutritionally minded folks appreciate tea for its many reported health benefits, like the polyphenols, the powerful antioxidants that scavenge free radicals that can damage cells. Free radicals have been linked to heart disease and general aging of the body. Green tea gets extra attention for its high levels of ECGC, another powerful antioxidant that Bigelow Tea has mentioned often on our blog.

So when making your next grocery list, try adding a new leafy green or fruit to give your diet a boost, and of course make sure you have plenty of Bigelow Tea on hand! We can’t think of anything more “super” than starting the day with Constant Comment or unwinding in the evening with a soothing cup of Green Tea With Pomegranate!

Photo by 451Owaza, via Flickr.com

Enter Bigelow Tea’s Recipe Contest To Win A Year’s Supply of Tea And A Personalized Tea Chest!

Excitement is certainly brewing for our Bigelow Tea Recipe Contest! We’re looking for the best and most original recipe that uses Bigelow Tea. Submit your recipe on our Facebook page or here by October 30th for the chance to win a year’s supply of Bigelow Tea of your choice (one case of six boxes per month) plus one personalized Bigelow Tea chest filled with tea!

Eligible submissions will be posted to a public viewing gallery on Facebook as well as our contest landing page on the blog. Bigelow Tea will choose the top 15 finalists, and then judges and culinary experts Michelle JaffeNicole J. Straight and Jackie Gordon along with the public (that’s you!), will vote for the Grand Prize Winner! You can vote from November 7-November 18 on Facebook or on the contest landing page!

More important details:

  • Your entry must include a completed online registration form along with the recipe (optional: a photo of the completed, prepared recipe).
  • Your easy-to-prepare recipe must include brewed Bigelow Tea as an ingredient plus all ingredients for the recipe need to be in exact U.S. measurements. We need complete directions including required utensils, timing, serving amount and any other relevant information. All ingredients used must be readily available.
  • Your recipe must use brewed Bigelow Tea, not loose tea.
  • Your recipe must be an original work that has never been previously published.
  • You must be a legal U.S. resident, 21 years or older at the date of your entry.

Submit your amazing Bigelow Tea recipe today! Good luck!

Tea Plays A Supporting Role At The 2011 Emmys

 

The Emmy Awards seem to always generate constant comment, both before and after the show, so Bigelow Tea began thinking about our own Constant Comment tea and how tea may have been part of the Emmys this year!

One thing we noticed is that on the red carpet a few stylish ladies were wearing tea-length dresses! The dress getting the most post-Emmy buzz was worn by Kaley Cuoco, who stars on The Big Bang Theory. Red carpet watchers praised her chick black tulle Romona Keveza dress and her simple makeup. We thought all the ladies looked fabulous that night!

 

Actress Amy Teegarden

In addition, one of our favorite young actresses – whose name makes us smile – was on the red carpet: Amy Teegarden(don’t you just love that?!) from Friday Night Lights; she attended the Emmys wearing a giant smile, gorgeous earrings and a dress that also received rave reviews!

And while we think champagne may have been the beverage of choice for many of those in Hollywood, we’d venture to guess that many Bigelow Tea lovers enjoyed the Emmy telecast from their comfy sofas…with a cup of tea! Constant Comment Green Tea, perhaps?

All that, plus a joke from the show’s host Jane Lynch about her daughter attending a “tea party,” made the Emmy Awards a beau-TEA-ful evening!

Now that’s entertainment!

Image 1 by WEBN-TV via Flickr.com
Image 2 of Amy Teegarden by david_shankbone via Flickr.com

 

New Friends in Venice

My new friends and I…..had a ball feeding the pigeons on my beautiful week off with my dearest friends in Venice…..sono felici

 

Cindi Bigelow

 

It’s T-Time At Bigelow Tea!

T might just be our favorite letter of the alphabet at Bigelow Tea… and today we’re going to talk aboutT cells. Why? Because research is showing that green tea may increase the body’s number of T cells! T cells are a type of white blood cell that helps a body’s immune system. Medicine.net defines them as “soldiers who search out and destroy the targeted invaders.” So the more of these guys, the better!

We’ve reported before that an amino acid found in tea, L-theanine, is said to boost the capacity of gamma delta T cells, the body’s first line of defense against infection. Now new research suggests that “a compound in green tea has a powerful ability to increase the number of ‘regulatory T cells’ that play a key role in immune function.”  The study, published in Immunology Letters, says that this increase in regulatory T cells “may be one of the underlying mechanisms for the health benefits of green tea, which has attracted wide interest for its ability to help control inflammation, improve immune function and prevent cancer.”

For those of us who love green tea, finding out about added health benefits really is icing on the cake! Now, as we sip our Jasmine Green or Green Tea Chai we feel optimistic that our army of T cells is nice and strong … and ready to keep us healthy!

Image by leojmelsrub via Flickr.com

Bigelow Tea Serves Up Some Palatable P’s: Pork Chops, Plantains And Pomegranate Pizzazz®!

Join Bigelow Tea this September, as we bid a fond farewell to the sizzling days of Summer and usher in the colorful and cool season of autumn! What better way to celebrate than with some mouthwatering roasted chops (pork chops that is!) some tasty plantains, and our very own antioxidant-packed Bigelow Pomegranate Pizzazz Tea®!

Bon appétit!

Roasted Pork Chops Pomegranate Pizzazz ® over Mashed Plantains

 

Ingredients:

4 cups of water
¼ cup kosher salt
2 tablespoons honey
3 garlic cloves, mashed
3 sprigs of rosemary
1 tablespoon peppercorns
10 Bigelow Pomegranate Pizzazz® teabags
4 (¾ inch thick) rib pork chops 8-10 ounces each (about 2 pounds total)
1 cup of boiling water
½ cup orange juice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Olive oil
4 large yellow plantains, rinsed and sliced into 2-inch chunks with peel on
1 tablespoon canola oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 large shallots, diced (about ½ cup)
Salt and pepper

Yield:   Serves 4

Instructions:

Combine water, salt, honey, garlic, rosemary and peppercorns in a large pot, cover and bring to a fast boil. Remove from heat. Add 5 Bigelow Pomegranate Pizzazz® teabags. Steep 20 minutes. Remove teabags from brine, extracting as much liquid as possible. Allow to cool and chill until ready to use. The brine should be completely cold before adding the pork chops.

Combine pork chops and brine solution in a large plastic bag, Chops should be completely submerged. Place the sealed bag in a large glass bowl or container and refrigerate, at least 2 hours or up to 4 hours.

Plantains Directions:

Put plantains in a heavy saucepan with enough cold water to cover. Bring to a rolling boil. Lower to medium heat and simmer covered until the plantains are tender and peeking out of the peel, about 20 minutes. Drain plantains, reserving cooking liquid. When cool enough to handle, peel and mash the plantains until smooth, adding cooking liquid as needed. Set aside.

Remove the pork chops from the brine, rinse and pat dry. Discard brine solution. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Working in two batches, carefully add pork chops to skillet and brown, about 3 minutes on each side. Transfer seared pork chops to a baking pan and set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Add 5 Bigelow Pomegranate Pizzazz® teabags to boiled water. Steep 5-8 minutes. Remove teabags, extracting as much liquid as possible. Add brewed tea, orange juice and brown sugar to the skillet and simmer until reduced by about half. Pour sauce over pork chops and place the baking pan in preheated oven. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally registers 150°F, 7-9 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to rest 5 minutes before cutting.

While the pork chops roast, wipe the skillet clean and heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté about 3 minutes. Add the plantains and sauté until heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve the pork chops over the mashed plantains. Pour sauce over pork and garnish with a sprig of rosemary.

Bigelow Tea Enjoys Eric Clapton’s Music And His Affinity for Tea!

The Tea lyrics, below, are quite literally music to our ears at Bigelow Tea! British musician and songwriter Eric Clapton sang about green tea in “You Better Watch Yourself,” a song he recorded in 2010.

Why don’t you drink some hot green tea, sonny boy?
Why don’t you drink some hot green tea, sonny boy?
Oh, it’ll be better for you, better for your sweet tooth
Hey, you better stop drinking that wine, sonny boy.

You Better Watch Yourself, Eric Clapton

 Don’t these lyrics put you in a tea frame of mind? The legendary guitarist does in fact enjoy a cup of tea, and has been known to have tea nearby at rehearsals and performances.

Eric Clapton in rehearsal: keep the tea near! 

Then there’s the lyrics to “Slow Down Linda,” which Clapton co-wrote with Eric Patrick, which are further indication that Clapton has been a tea lover for quite some time (or at least since 1983 when the song was released on his album Money and Cigarettes)! Not only does the song state “you know I can brew my tea,” but a line later in the song goes as follows: “And you can wolf down your dinner in the time it takes to drink my tea.”

Perhaps now, as you listen to some of your favorite Clapton songs like “Layla“ and “I Shot the Sheriff“ you will sip a cup of tea as you appreciate this all-time great guitarist, writer and performer’s music even more! Bigelow Tea rocks!

Image One by PedalFreak via Flickr.com

Image Two via myspacecdn.com/images