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Phil Simms, a True Friend of Bigelow Tea

Phil Simms and Cindi Bigelow

Had a great time recently with a team of managers in New Jersey and Phil Simms.  We have been so fortunate to work with him for over four years and he truly is a friend to our family.  He spent over an hour sharing stories and talking tea….it doesn’t get better than that….Love you Mr. Phil.

Cindi Bigelow

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New Study Shows Link Between Tea Drinking and Reduced Risk of Heart Disease

Image via: www.sxc.hu

At Bigelow Tea, we know that tea is a soothing and comforting beverage, in which we happily imbibe for its flavor alone. But it’s a great thing when science provides a new look at the healthy properties in tea!

A long-term study in The Netherlands that appeared in the American Heart Association journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, has some fascinating findings.  With an enormous group of participants, the study found that those who drank black tea experienced lowered risk of death by heart disease. The results suggest that the protective benefits in tea were significant with at least two cups of tea a day, but that three-to-six cups of tea a day appeared to offer even greater protection!

The exhaustive 13-year study summarized that among the 37,000 participants, those who drank three to six cups of tea a day had a 45% lower risk of death from heart disease, as compared to those who drank one or fewer cups a day. Researchers suggest that it’s the powerful antioxidants called flavonoids found in both black and green tea (and coffee) that may explain the protective effect seen in the study.

The study’s findings are summed up nicely in a recent ABC Medical Minute, with Dr. Timothy Johnson.  Rachel K Johnson, PhD, nutritionist and a professor at the University of Vermont, comments on the study that “The perception has been that green tea is the ‘healthy’ tea, but this study suggests black tea may be just a good for the heart.”

It was noted that none of the participants in the study had known heart disease when the study began; the results then do not indicate any protective benefits for those already suffering with the condition. However, these findings of benefits from the properties found in tea, is great news, for both green tea and black tea lovers everywhere!

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A Bruegger’s Bagel and a Cup of Bigelow Tea, How Perfect!

I had the most enjoyable morning yesterday with the CEO of Bruegger’s Bagels, Jim Greco. We met at a Bruegger’s bakery in Shelton, Connecticut where we were able to say hello to customers and learn how to make bagels!

Bruegger’s just made Bigelow Organic their tea of choice for all Bruegger’s bakeries! How perfect….a delicious bagel and a cup of Bigelow Tea. Jim was so delightful and so much fun. The staff was fantastic as were all the customers. There was one group of men who have gone every day to this Bruegger’s since the store opened (yes seven days a week)! How loyal is that? It was also very heartwarming that many of their customers only drank Bigelow Tea (I knew the Bruegger’s customer had good taste).

Anyway, stay tuned for the video we shot yesterday. It was so great, especially when I took orders from customers and tried to fulfill them-I am not the best bagel cutter. But Jim and his staff were more than patient.

It was truly a super morning…we are delighted to be their partners. Jim and every member of the Bruegger’s team are definitely now part of the Bigelow family!

Cindi Bigelow

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Celebrating the Bigelow Tea Family Tree in Photographs

Image via David C. Bigelow’s Archive

You know that family and community are both very important here at Bigelow Tea, ever since the very beginnings of Ruth Campbell Bigelow’s foray into the world of Constant Comment® now 65 years ago. With Bigelow Tea, we know that keeping company with family and friends makes life that much all the more delicious.

In that spirit, we believe one familial branch deserves a more prominent place in our vast family photo album. Enter Camellia Sinensis, the granddaddy and chief contributor to cup after cup of our storied past. In fact one could argue it is our family tree. Muse enough for David C. Bigelow, Co-Chairman Bigelow Tea, to grab his trusty camera and snap these family portraits during recent visits to the Charleston Tea Plantation, documenting our favorite evergreen.

Image via David C. Bigelow’s Archive

More than just a pretty face, the tea tree is capable of prodigious growth. Here you see the stages of growth, starting with the tiny cuttings…

Image via David C. Bigelow’s Archive

And with plenty of nurturing, the tea plants grow and grow….

Image via David C. Bigelow’s Archive

And zoom to the mature healthy plants, getting ready for harvest time. How quickly the kids have grown!

Throughout the celebrated history of Bigelow Tea, Camellia Sinensis has reigned alongside our fantastic Herbal Teas. Tea appreciation has generated tea societies and countless tea experiences across the globe. Author Erika Dillman writes that “After water, tea is the most consumed beverage in the world. It’s drunk hot, cold, plain, with sugar, with milk, and in the Himalayas with yak butter.” (We wonder if that’s for special occasions only.)

Suffice it to say, Camellia Sinensis has deep roots in our Bigelow Tea history, so welcome its bounty home to your family for a picture-perfect sip.

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Brilliant! Bigelow Tea Cameos On T.V’s The Big Bang Theory

Image via Wikipedia

In a genius move, Bigelow Tea shared the spotlight with the smartest guys on TV—the cast of CBS’s The Big Bang Theory. In a past episode (original air date 5/24), main characters Howard and Rajesh accompany Sheldon to a local coffee shop to meet his blind date—who, as Big Bang fans will agree, may be a little too perfect for Sheldon, the geeky genius.

Image via cbs.com

Bigelow Tea on Display!

But we, and fellow Bigelow Tea fans, did find a little perfection of our own in that coffee shop.  It was the perfect placement of a well-stocked array of Bigelow Teas….we like to think the cameo appearances of our Green Tea, Constant Comment and Cozy Chamomile Tea was a natural prop to the coffee shop set. After all, isn’t that where you find your favorite cup of tea away from home? Which only proves what we at Bigelow have always known: no coffee shop is complete without tea!

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“Way of Tea” The Japanese Tea Ceremony

Image via Japanese-tea-ceremony.net

Harmony (wa) – Respect (kae) – Purity (sae) – Tranquility (jubuo)

These four words are the essential principles of the Japanese Tea Ceremony (or Chanoyu, meaning “hot water for tea”) –  words to live by. In Japanese culture, the tea ceremony is an elaborate event, dating back more than 1000 years, when tea leaves were brought from China to Japan by Buddhist priests, who incorporated the tea ceremony into daily religious life. Later the ceremony became a social occasion focused on aesthetics, spanning a spectrum of Japanese culture –attire, ceramics, décor, floral design, cuisine and even the delicate sculpting of ashes in the fireplace! The Japanese tea ceremony became an art form, taken so seriously that each participant – whether the host (teishu), the host’s assistant (the hanto), or the guests – is required to perform the ritual according to specific guidelines:

Image via Asia-art.net

Traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony Procedure

The Host:

  1. Clean the serving bowls.
  2. Boil a pot of water.
  3. Serve a sweet treat before the tea – combination of the sweet and bitter (tea) flavors symbolizes Harmony.
  4. Mix powdered bitter green tea (Matcha) and water, then serve the tea to guests

The Guest:

  1. Bow when you receive the bowl of tea (chawan)
  2. Take the chawan with your right hand and place in palm of your left hand.
  3. Turn the chawan clockwise, three times, before taking a sip.
  4. When drinking your tea, slurp loudly – this lets the host know that you enjoyed the tea.
  5. With your right hand, wipe the the chawan where your lips touched.
  6. Turn the chawan counterclockwise, once, and return it to the host.

Bigelow Tea knows that tea is a wonderful ritual to be enjoyed in good company and in peaceful solitude, like our Japanese friends! (Cheers!)

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Bigelow Tea Wants to Know: What Do You Drink Your Tea In?


 

Secret Garden Cup and Saucer

 

 

Honey Bee Mine Mugs


Cattitude Travel Tumbler

Double-Wall Insulated Glass Cups

Ever notice that what you drink your tea in says a lot about who you are and how you live? Think about it. Traditionalists’ wouldn’t drink tea from a Styrofoam cup, yet, if you’re hopping from meeting to meeting, you don’t have time for porcelain teacups. Busy moms, a.k.a. super multi-taskers, clutch their tea mugs while deftly preparing school lunches. If you always make the time to chill out and breathe – then perhaps the Japanese tea bowl is our cup of tea. And we just love our travel tumblers!

Bigelow Tea wants to know, which one are you?  Do tell!

What Do You Drink Your Tea In?online survey


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Chill Out With Bigelow Tea on National Relaxation Day!

Photo via flickr.com

“I still need more healthy rest in order to work at my best
My health is the main capital I have and I want to administer it intelligently.”

~ Ernest Hemingway

Okay, it’s time to turn off the computer, unplug the phone and hide that remote! Taking a day to relax now and then is as important for your health as good nutrition and physical exercise.  Since August 15th is National Relaxation Day, Bigelow Tea wants to remind each and every one of us to just chill out:  put the kettle on, stretch your legs, breathe some fresh air and make the day all about you.

There are times when we find ourselves so busy that we seem to go on “work auto-pilot.” Well, Bigelow Tea would love to share some of our R&R (yes, that’s Rest & Relaxation!) tips with you:

  • Sleep. Nap. Close your eyes.  This is a must.
  • Meditate ….or just daydream!
  • Get outside for a nice, leisurely walk, or take a ride on your bike.
  • Go fishing – commune with nature.
  • Read. There’s nothing like a good book!
  • Write down your thoughts – keep a journal or diary.
  • Go to the spa and pamper yourself.
  • Relax at the beach.
  • Play with your pets. Guaranteed to put a smile on your face (and theirs)!
  • Take a long bubble bath.
  • Scrapbook or do some arts and crafts.
  • Listen to some great music. And dance – yes, even dancing alone is fun, too!

And remember to begin and end your day with a cup (or teapot!) of your favorite Bigelow Tea. It will help you de-stress and you’ll feel rejuvenated.  Cheers to healthy living!

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And the Oscar Goes to … Tea!

If we were to take tea’s role in the movies as our sole source of “who is drinking tea,” we may be inclined to think that only English sisters from Jane Austen novels and kooky mad-hatted fellows partake of the beverage! Fortunately, at Bigelow Tea, we know that this is most certainly NOT the case in the real world.

Tea does play a lovely and important supporting role in two films based on Jane Austen’s novels: Sense & Sensibility and Pride & Prejudice. In both movies there are several scenes where the main characters—sisters—are pouring tea, sharing tea and drinking tea. It’s all very proper and English and civilized.

Image via Coffeeworks.blogs.com

Quite on the opposite end of the spectrum are the scenes from this year’s Alice and Wonderland and the original classic Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971) where the Mad Hatter and Mr. Wonka certainly enjoy their tea. In the recent Alice, Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter joins a tea party in a bizarre world filled with characters like the Cheshire Cat and the White Rabbit.

And Willy Wonka, played by Gene Wilder takes a few moments to sip from a daffodil teacup at the end of the song “Pure Imagination” … and then he eats the teacup itself!

Image via Coffeeworks.blogs.com

We know tea has played a role in other great films over the years…but we’d love to hear from you, our tea-drinking fans. What’s your favorite movie that features tea in a scene? Let us know!

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Bigelow Tea Wonders: Does Hot Tea Beat the Heat?

Image Via bhg.com

It’s sweltering outside and the air is heavy with humidity. Waves of heat are radiating off the streets and the pavement is nearly melting. The Dog Days of Summer are here. Naturally, you reach for… a steaming hot mug of tea. Sounds crazy, right?

But maybe not. It was British Prime Minister William Gladstone who famously remarked in the late 1800s, “If you are cold, tea will warm you; if you are too heated, it will cool you…”

People in the warmest climates such as central Asia, India, and Africa have sworn by this age-old custom. The theory is that drinking a beverage closer to your body temperature does a better job of cooling you off, because the body doesn’t have to expend energy (producing heat) to warm up the cold liquid. You’re better able to absorb the liquid, the thinking goes, when its temperature is closer to 98.6 degrees. In contrast, an icy Frappuccino, for instance, can make the heat of the day seem even more unbearable.

Photo via www.flickr.com

Another school of thought holds that a hot drink makes you sweat, which works to cool you off the same way perspiration does. Naysayers who doubt that a hot drink can make you feel cooler say that you’ll raise your body temperature more than the sweat will lower it.

But even skeptics agree that taking in fluids – whether it’s iced or steaming – is the right prescription for avoiding heat stroke on a sweltering day. Here at Bigelow Tea, we strongly concur. Hot tea, cold tea: it’s all good. Gladstone was on to something after all.

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