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Bigelow Tea and Disney Share A Passion For Tea Parties!

The Disney fans at Bigelow Tea were fascinated by some of the wonderfully creative touches that folks at The Walt Disney Family Museum put together at the museum’s first Mad Hatter tea party.  Not surprisingly, we love tea parties, and the Alice and Wonderland theme made it all the better!

The Queen of Hearts (played by Donna Tuggle, the museum’s Director of Visitor Experience and Interpretation) set the tone of the party by announcing:

“It will be my party, as the Mad Hatter has disappeared—and all he has left is his hat!”

members-only event, this Very Merry Unbirthday Tea Party wowed kids and adults alike as they watched a whimsical Wonderland costume parade during which a cornucopia of Alices, White Rabbits and Mad Hatters all mischievously tried to remove the Queen of Hearts from her throne (although unsuccessfully)!

And what is a tea party without nibbles and tea? Food and drink were available in abundance, starting with the Unbirthday cake itself alongside delectable cookies that read “Eat me” and tantalizing bottles with the tempting words “Drink me.”  Fit for a Queen, the fanciful feast also included scones, finger sandwiches, petit fours, tarts and, oh yes, cupcakes galore!

We hope this party inspires you to have your own wonderful Wonderland tea party. One thing’s for certain: the Walt Disney Family Museum is an enchanting place to visit!

And now, we must go, as “we’re late, we’re late… for a very important date!” Tea time of course!

Images 1 and 2 via Disneypartyblog.com, Image 3 via A-mad-tea-party-with-alis.blogspot.com.

 

Bigelow Tea For Sharing, Nourishing and Sustaining Friendships

Lifelong friendships are something to cherish, and Bigelow Tea knows that drinking tea together makes even the closest friendships stronger. There’s something special about taking a few moments out of the day to sit with someone special and share a warm, calming cup of tea.

Consider, for example, the enduring friendship of Eleanor Brown and Catherine Rea, which was chronicled recently in a UK-based newspaper. The two women, both of whom are now 96 years old, moved into the same neighborhood on the same day, back in 1950. Eleanor describes their first meeting in the article:

I had moved in that morning and Catherine arrived a little bit later,” she recalls.

The first thing I said was: ‘Would you like a cup of tea?’

“I made her one and then I said: ‘We’ll soon get our little houses together, won’t we?

They’ve been “bosom buddies” ever since! In fact, after both suffering serious falls this year, they even moved into the same elder-care home.

Sharing a cup of tea was the beginning of this beautiful friendship. It truly warms our hearts here at Bigelow Tea to think that there are many friends like Eleanor and Catherine out there … friends who share tea like Chamomile and Earl Grey as they share their lives with one another. Tea for two is certainly a special thing indeed!

Image by Wonderlane via Flickr.com

Bigelow Green Tea For The Taste – And the Polyphenols!

There is a tea for every taste, but if you’re most interested in tea’s reported health benefits, remember that you can alwaysgo for the green! And it’s a bonus that Bigelow Tea’s many green tea varieties taste so delicious, too!

The latest research suggests that it’s the high levels of naturally occurring polyphenols in green tea that make it such a great choice for your health. Here at Bigelow Tea, you know that we’ve been avid followers of polyphenols studies on our blog. Scientists are interested in polyphenols because they act as antioxidants in the body, scavenging for free radicals that can damage cells. Researchers at the University of Maryland say free radicals are linked to heart disease and general aging of the body.

Although polyphenols are also present in black tea and Oolong tea, green tea has the highest concentration. And green tea contains a type of polyphenols called catechins; scientists at the University of Geneva have found a link between catechins and raised fat oxidation in the body – meaning that green tea polyphenols may temporarily increase metabolism of body fat!

But back to the flavor… if you’ve never tasted our green tea, give it a try! Bigelow Tea’s green tea has distinctive toasty notes that set it apart from all others. Some people prefer the delicate flavor as is, but it pairs wonderfully with other flavors, such as MintPomegranateMango or Wild Blueberry & Acai. Or try your favorite Bigelow Tea classics – like Constant Comment or Earl Grey – in their green tea versions.

Go ahead, your body and your taste buds will thank you!

A Truffle To Savor, Courtesy Of Bigelow Tea!

It’s still hot out there, and while we at Bigelow Tea never hesitate putting on the teapot, we could certainly do without turning on the oven! But most homemade desserts require at least some baking … so what’s a person with a sweet tooth to do in the lingering heat?!

Bigelow Tea comes to the rescue with a decadent dessert that requires no baking, is super-chocolately and has a hint of floral jasmine! Our Jasmine Green Tea Truffles are simple to make—just five ingredients including Bigelow Jasmine Green Tea—and they go into the freezer, not the oven. Perfect for this time of year!

So, when you’re assigned a dessert for the next block party or school picnic, give these tea-riffic truffles a try!

Ingredients:
¾ cup (180mL) whipping cream
Bigelow® Jasmine Green Tea Bags
9 ounces (252g) good semisweet chocolate, chopped

Coating:
5 ounces (140g) good semisweet chocolate, chopped and melted
Cocoa powder and icing sugar for dusting

Instructions:
Place cream in small saucepan. Add tea bags and simmer for a few minutes or until tea has infused cream; remove tea bags and squeeze out excess cream.
Pour hot cream over chocolate. Stir gently to blend and cool at room temperature. Beat with a whisk until fluffy and place in refrigerator for about an hour.
Make sure your hands are cold, rub with ice cubes. Using a melon baller, place a small amount of the chocolate mixture into your cold hands and roll into a ball. Place on a cookie sheet and continue until all chocolate is used. Place in freezer until solid.

Coating:
Melt chopped chocolate.  Dip frozen truffles into melted chocolate with a toothpick, place on clean tray. Return to freezer for 30 minutes. Once coating is set, dust with icing sugar or cocoa powder.

Yield: Serves: 24 – Prep Time: 20 min. – Cool Time:1 hr fridge, 30 min freezer

Bigelow Tea Spots Jennifer Garner Taking A Spin On Disney’s Tea Party Ride

How fun to see this picture of actress Jennifer Garner and her adorable daughter Violet taking a whirl on Disneyland’s iconic Mad Tea Party ride! Glimpsing those bold, brightly colored cups makes our hearts glad here at Bigelow Tea! In fact, we’re inspired to pay homage to this spinning tea cup inspired attraction, which has delighted millions of people over the past 40 years.

Jennifer Garner

It’s no surprise that celebs like Jennifer are willing to brave the paparazzi to enjoy this particular Disney experience with their families. Although all five Disney parks offer a version of the spinning cup ride, the first – an American classic – was built in 1971 in the Fantasyland section of the Magic Kingdom in Anaheim, California. Fun fact: the California ride, unlike the newer incarnations at the other parks, is completely open to the elements and must be closed for safety when it rains. Of course, being able to look up at the sky while spinning adds to the magic!

The original Mad Tea Party ride at Disneyland

Disney and tea lovers alike may recall that the ride was inspired by the “unbirthday party” scene in the Disney version of Alice in Wonderland,  based on the fantasy tale Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. The classic story has given us so many wacky and witty references to tea, including the maddest tea party ever!  The mayhem of the Mad Hatter and tea in Wonderland was revived once again in the 2010 Tim Burton film, starring Johnny Depp.

Although written by Carroll in 1865, Alice’s story still entertains today – making it as timeless as a great cup of tea and those magical spinning cups!

Photo 1 by PCN via babble.com, photo 2 by vt1819 via Flickr.com, photo 3 by Karon Liu via Flickr.com

 

Bigelow Tea Wants to Know: Where do you like to drink your tea?

“Each cup of tea represents an imaginary voyage.”
~Catherine Douzel

Whether it’s a nook and cranny somewhere in the house, the comfort of your own bed or the local bistro…we all have our special places where we like to go to relax and savor a nice cup of teaBigelow Tea would love to know where that special place is for you.  Do tell!

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO ENJOY YOUR CUP OF TEA?customer surveys

Photos via Sodahead.com and Solacetemple.wordpress.com

Floss, Brush, and Drink Some Bigelow Green Tea!

At Bigelow Tea we welcome any tips on how to sustain better health, and when it comes to a beautiful smile … we’re all ears! Since we love to smile (the bigger, the better!) we were thrilled to learn of a study that indicates that the catechins found in green tea may have anti-inflammatory properties, which help to maintain healthy gums!

A beautiful smile goes a long way.  But if your gums need a little TLC, smiling can be problematic. Gum disease is a common issue, whether it’s a case of mild gingivitis or more worrisome periodontitis. It’s a well-known fact that we should brush and floss regularly—when we wake up, after meals, and before we go to sleep—because oral health has a direct impact on overall physical health. It’s like a domino effect to the heart, blood circulation and, even, the brain. So keep brushing, flossing … and drinking that green tea!

Although we didn’t really need an excuse to sip our Bigelow® Green Tea concoctions, this study, published in The Journal of Periodontology has certainly brought a smile to our faces!

So, do sip your favorite flavor of Bigelow® Green Tea … and bare those pearly whites, surrounded by healthy, pink gums! As Dale Carnegie once said:

“A smile is nature’s best antidote for discouragement.
It brings rest to the weary,
sunshine to those who are frowning,
and hope to those who are hopeless and defeated.

A smile is so valuable
that it can’t be bought, begged, borrowed, or taken away against your will.
You have to be willing to give a smile away
before it can do anyone else any good.”

Images via benefitsdrinkinggreentea.com and Bestdentistnews.com

Water Quality Is Always Important To Bigelow Tea!

Water quality is something that Bigelow Tea takes very seriously…we know that our Bigelow® teas are delightfully flavorful and aromatic, but it takes water to make a great cup of tea; if the water’s good, then our tea taste’s fabulous.  It’s as simple as that. However, if the water is sub-par and metallic in taste, then the quality of the tea will be affected, and not in a good way!  So since August is National Water Quality Month we wanted to highlight the importance of water quality and how it impacts our tea experience, and perhaps more importantly – our health and the environment.

First, know your water quality. Metals, bacteria, fertilizer, industrial waste and chemical pollutants can all seep into our drinking water and the water we bathe in. Although the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires water suppliers to comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act, each of us can take our own measures to ensure that our household water is safe.

Here are a few  other ideas:

  • Install faucet filters.
  • Buy a filtered pitcher.
  • Install a whole-house distiller.
  • Protect your local water supply by using low phosphate detergents.
  • Boil water when you’ve received an advisory/warning about contamination.  However, it may increase the levels of some contaminants (such as lead and nitrates).
  • Lead test kits are available; consider testing your water for lead, especially households with children, pregnant women, and anyone with a sensitive immune system.

And then, have relax with a cup of your favorite Bigelow® tea – with fresh, clean water!

Images via Examiner.com and Freshandhealth.com

Bigelow Tea Enjoys The Art of Mary Cassatt, A Great American Painter Of Tea!

Mary Cassatt’s “Five O’Clock Tea” (1880)

Mary Cassatt’s celebrated paintings may capture the private and social lives of women from another era, but the rituals and emotions depicted in those works are timeless. It’s not surprising to us art lovers at Bigelow Tea that this great American Impressionist often painted women enjoying tea. After all, tea was an important part of daily life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries too. And while we’ve dispensed with the gloves, bonnets and elaborate silver service, American women today still love tea!

In Mary’s day, a social visit was an occasion to bring out the best tea service and enjoy gossip and conversation. Women also found quiet time for tea, just as many of us do now with a cup of Bigelow Tea Chai or Constant Comment! Paintings such as Five O’ Clock Tea (above) offer a colorful glimpse of lovely Victorian tea rituals in the late 19th century. Additional worksLady at the Tea TableThe Cup of Tea 1 and Afternoon Tea Party—present more of Mary’s astute teatime observations. Each painting evokes a different mood or feeling through the women’s facial expressions and body language.

Mary Cassatt’s “The Cup of Tea II” (1879)

It’s fascinating to learn that Mary was a woman very much ahead of her time. Although she loved to paint women with their children, she opted not to marry and have children herself so that she could pursue a career as an artist—over the objections of her well-to-do Pennsylvania family.  She lived much of her life in France, befriended Impressionist painters including Degas, and built a reputation as America’s great Impressionist.

Let’s raise a cup of tea to Mary Cassatt’s brilliant and enduring body of work!

Image (top) by freeparking via fotopedia.com
Image (bottom) via teatropolitan.wordpress.com

 

Life’s a Peach at Bigelow Tea!

Life is indeed a peach when you enjoy your Bigelow Tea every day! And during August, which happens to be National Peach Month, everything is peachy keen. So, today we’re sharing one of our delectable peach-inspired recipes. Plus, to help you beat the hot August heat, we’ve got a few thirst quenching peach inspired libations for you to try out. Enjoy!

Grilled Green Tea Chicken and Peaches

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken – cut up  (about 4-5 pounds)
¾ cup water
Bigelow Green Tea with Peach Tea Bags
⅓ cup honey
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Freshly grounded pepper and salt, to taste
4 fresh peaches, halved and pitted

Serves 4

Instructions for Marinade:

In a small saucepan over medium high heat, bring water to boil, add teabags and reduce heat;  simmer 10 minutes, reducing liquid by ¼.  Stir in honey and black pepper.

Instructions for Grilling Chicken:

Preheat grill. Rub chicken with olive oil, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.  Place chicken on grill, turn to medium low heat (or use “Indirect” cooking according to grill instructions) and brush with Green Tea with Peach marinade. Cover grill and cook chicken 15 minutes, brush again with marinade, and cook for another 15 minutes; turn over and brush with marinade and continue cooking for another 20 minutes. Check chicken with a meat thermometer (should read 140-150°F). Remove from heat.

Brush peaches with marinade and place cut side down on grill. Grill for 3-4 minutes. Turn, brush with marinade and grill for another 3-4 minutes.

Just Peach Smoothie

(the kids will love this!)

Ingredients:

Bigelow Perfect Peach Bigelow Herb Tea Bags
¾ cup boiling water
1 ½ cups light fat free peach yogurt
1 cup fresh peaches
1 cup frozen peaches
2 teaspoons of honey

Serves 4

Instructions:

Combine boiling water and tea bags.  Allow to steep for ten minutes, discard the tea bags.

Chill tea in the refrigerator.  In a blender combine yogurt, fresh and frozen peaches, honey and chilled tea. Blend until smooth.   Top with a mint leaf and enjoy!

Peach Chai Iced Tea

(Iced Bigelow Tea and peaches: a refreshing combination for summer!)

Ingredients:

1½ cups cold water
Bigelow Perfect Peach Herbal Tea Bags
Bigelow Spiced Chai Tea Bags
7 cups of cold water

Instructions:

Recipe created by Dorinda of Covington GA
3rd place winner 2007 Iced Tea Recipe Contest

Place 1½ cups boiling water over tea bags in a 4-cup glass measuring cup. Let steep for 10 minutes. Squeeze and remove tea bags, let the concentrated tea cool.
Pour concentrate into a 3-quart pitcher. Add the cold water and stir. Pour into ice-filled glasses and serve.

Image (top) via Meadorchards.com.