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Bigelow Tea Loves Raven-Symoné’s Creative Use of Tea!

Here at Bigelow Tea, it’s great fun to keep track of all the ways to use tea outside the kitchen: as a mouthwash, an eye compress, and a hair conditioner to name just a few. So when we heard that actress Raven-Symoné uses tea to dye her tights the perfect shade for red carpet appearances, we just had to share her ingenious idea – passed down by her mom!

You may remember Raven as adorable Olivia on “The Cosby Show” and later as star of “That’s So Raven” on the Disney Channel, but she’s all grown up and now starring in a new ABC Family show called “State of Georgia.” She’s still got that spunky smile and lots of attitude!

She revealed her tea-and-tights trick on the CBS show “The Talk,” explaining that she places sheer stockings in a tub with tea bags to darken them to match her skin tone (we can only imagine that Bigelow Tea bags are her top choice)! Raven says the stockings cover what she calls her “strawberry legs” caused by dark pores. Flesh-colored tights allow her to forego body makeup when wearing a short dress or skirt. Raven’s approach certainly gives new meaning to the term “tea-stained”!

We say bravo to Raven for being so open with her fans about her beauty regimen, and for reminding us of tea’s amazing versatility. Do you have a creative way to use tea? Tweet us or give us a shout on Facebook!

Image via People.com

Hispanic Heritage Month: A Time For Celebrations And Bigelow Tea!

At Bigelow Tea we love the fact that our tea drinkers are made up of people of all nationalities, ethnicities and genders. After all, tea is the “universal” language! This month we’d like to acknowledge the Hispanic tea fans who love their cup of tea, as it’s Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 through October 15!

Tea is an important part of so many world traditions, and we’re delighted that the Hispanic community embraces Bigelow Tea. As Cindi Bigelow said, “The Hispanic community are a very important part of our consumer base and the research clearly shows that, as consumers, they remain loyal to brands based on taste and quality, both areas where Bigelow Tea differentiates itself.” In order to make it easier for Spanish-speaking individuals to become familiar with our products, Bigelow Tea has also developed bilingual packaging on many products.

Hispanic Heritage Month is replete with events and celebrations throughout the nation. We hope that you make Bigelow Tea a part of the fiesta too! So, whether our Hispanic customers are drinking a cup of Vanilla Y Caramelo with friends or making one of our Spanish-inspired recipes for the family, we look forward to being a part of the celebration!

Image via Socializr.com

The First Flush Festival Is A “Top 100 Event” Brought To You By Bigelow Tea!

Bigelow Tea—and countless tea lovers and music fans—already know that our annual First Flush FesTEAval is a blast, but now the entire nation is going to know it! Our Charleston Tea Plantation’s First Flush FesTEAval has been selected by the American Bus Association as one of the 2012 Top 100 Events in North America!

The ABA’s experienced tourism selection committee has been choosing events for their “top 100” for thirty years. Our tea-lover’s event, which takes place annually on a Sunday in May on Wadmalaw Island in the heart of South Carolina’s Low country, was selected from thousands of nominations across North America!

“The attractiveness of the First Flush FesTEAval as a don’t-miss entertainment value is only part of why its selection this year is such a distinction for the First Flush FesTEAval,” said Peter Pantuso, ABA’s president and CEO. “The real news here is that the First Flush FesTEAval has been recognized…at a time when reenergizing domestic tourism is so important to our spirit and our economy. The honor gives the First Flush FesTEAval an important boost in visibility among professional tour planners.”

 

The outdoor festival, which celebrates the first tea harvest at our Charleston Tea Plantation, features great music, fantastic foods and the incomparable American Classic iced tea, served in biodegradable corn cups! Last year we were lucky enough to have Grace Potter & the Nocturnals headline the event.

Bigelow Tea is thrilled and honored to have our First Flush FesTEAval named one of 2012’s Top 100 Events – and we look forward to seeing you there next year for the Sixth Annual celebration!

Delicious Bigelow Tea Recipes To Kick Off International Eat An Apple Day!

Bigelow Tea is really falling for apples! With this delicious fruit spilling forth from the produce aisle and farmers’ markets in such an abundant variety, how can we resist? It’s only fitting, then, that the apple gets its own day of recognition: September 17thInternational Eat An Apple Day! In honor of that day we’d like to share a few of our favorite apple-inspired recipes enhanced by – what else? – signature Bigelow Teas, of course!

Although it’s hard to beat the sweet-tart crunch of a fresh apple, cooked apples are truly sublime. These two recipes offer a slightly different take on the traditional apple pie. Bon appétit!

Roast Pork Loin with Spiced Apple Cider Apples

Ingredients:

3 ½ cups (975mL) boiling water, divided
1 box Bigelow Apple Cider Herb Tea Bags
2 ½ lb (1kg) pork loin roast
1 clove garlic, sliced
¼ cup (50 mL) olive oil
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper

Serves 8

Apple Garnish:
4 large firm cooking apples, peeled and cut into slices
(example: Fuji, Granny Smith, Cortland)
1 cup (250mL) reserved (from above) Bigelow Apple Cider tea
2 tablespoons (30mL) brown sugar

Instructions:

Boil water and add 20 tea bags. Let steep for 5-8 minutes. Remove bags by squeezing well and discard. Make slits in the roast and insert garlic slices.  Combine 2 ½ cups Bigelow Apple Cider Herbal Tea with olive oil, bay leaves and salt and pepper in a large plastic bag, add pork roast and marinate for 8 hours or overnight in refrigerator.

Refrigerate 1 cup reserved Bigelow Apple Cider Herbal Tea for Apple Garnish.

When ready to roast pork, preheat oven to 350ºF. Remove meat from marinade, place meat in roasting pan and put into oven and roast for approximately 60 minutes or until meat is no longer pink inside and thermometer reads 160ºF.  Meanwhile, prepare apple garnish by combining reserved 1 cup Bigelow Apple Cider Herbal Tea and brown sugar, place in large skillet, add apple slices and cook on medium heat until liquid has reduced and apple is tender and flavored with tea.  Serve slices of pork with apple garnish.

Bigelow® Cinnamon Stick® Baked Apples

 

1 ½ cups hot water
4 Bigelow® Cinnamon Stick® Tea Bags
6 medium apples (Cortland, Granny Smith, or any other slighlty tart baking apple)
3 tablespoons, plus 6 teaspoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400ºF and place rack in middle of oven.

In a measuring cup, steep tea bags in hot water for 5 minutes. Thoroughly squeeze tea bags into cup before discarding. Add 3 tablespoons brown sugar to tea and stir until dissolved. While tea is still hot, add butter and stir to combine. Set aside.

Horizontally slice the top of each apple off and reserve. Using a melon baller or spoon, scoop out the core and seeds of the apple, making sure not break through the bottom.

Place the apples in an 8×8 inch (or 7×10) glass or ceramic baking dish and spoon 1 teaspoon of brown sugar into each cavity.

Gently pour prepared tea over the top of the apples and bake for about 40 minutes, or until apples are soft.

Image (top) by iMaffo via Flickr.com

Help The Community By Running With Bigelow Tea!

Fun, fellowship, fitness and philanthropy … all in one event!  Yes, it must be our annual Bigelow Tea Community Challenge road race and associated activities, coming up on Sunday, September 25th! It’s a wonderful opportunity for members of the community to see friends, enjoy early fall weather and help benefit a number of local organizations, including the Burroughs Community Center, the Center for Women & Families and the YMCA of Fairfield.

This year’s event takes place at the Wakeman Boys & Girls Club in Southport, Connecticut.  The kid’s “Scamper” (100 yard dash) begins at 9 a.m., followed by a ½ mile race for children at 9:10 a.m. and a 2-mile fitness walk at 9:30 a.m. Then the 5K road race will start at 10:10 a.m. Food and drinks will be provided for all participants, and childcare is available as well. There’s also an exciting raffle with prizes, ranging from our tasty Bigelow teas to two plane tickets to anywhere (!) in the U.S., donated by Warren Travel Agency.

This family-friendly event has become a true community tradition, and it’s one that Bigelow Tea is so proud to organize and sponsor. The participation over the years by our neighbors and friends has made an incredible difference in the lives of many people in Fairfield, Bridgeport and the surrounding communities. We can’t thank you enough!

So let’s make this year—our 24th!—the biggest and best one ever. Register now, and join Cindi Bigelow and the rest of the Bigelow Tea team on September 25th. We can’t wait to see you there!

Bigelow Tea Digs National Organic Harvest Month!

Sustainable farming practices are a big part of what Bigelow Tea calls sustainabili-TEA – our commitment to work in harmony with nature to bring you the best tea possible. And since September is National Organic Harvest Month, it’s a perfect time to celebrate earth-friendly habits that are good for the soil and for everyone!

But first a little background on the term “organic,” not to be confused with “all natural,” free range,” “hormone free” or even “sustainable.” Products carrying the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Organic logo earn it by meeting strict standards for how food is grown, handled and processed. For instance, organic farmers rely on natural fertilizers such as manure or compost to promote soil nutrition, plant vigor and growth, while conventional growers use chemical fertilizers and insecticides within government guidelines. Organic farming practices are designed to encourage water and soil conservation, and to help reduce pollution.

So does that mean certified-organic foods are more nutritious and safer than their conventional counterparts? Well, the jury is out on both counts, but in the meantime many people are buying organic foods out of concern for the environment and to limit their exposure to pesticide residues. That’s why Bigelow Tea proudly offers 15 delicious organic tea varieties. Look for the USDA Organic stamp on each box!

Bigelow Tea has always sought out the most ethical producers for each and every tea we make. In fact, our tea suppliers, including farmers in Sri Lanka, India and China, understand and have been following sustainable farming practices for over 30 years! Their efforts ensure that each cup of Organic Ceylon or Organic South Indian Select that you brew at home is perfect every time – and that no fields or farmers were harmed in the process. Enjoy!

Image 1 by Lance Cheung for the USDA, via Flickr.com, Image 2 by forevertoemay, via Flickr.com

Bigelow Tea Salutes Patriot Day Community Efforts and Tea for the Troops

As America commemorates the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 on Sunday, we remember those we lost that bright and terrible day. We also honor our troops, who continue to sacrifice for our country both at home and away. Now officially recognized as Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance, September 11th is also a time for personal reflection and recommitment to our own communities. Here at Bigelow Tea, we are continually inspired by people who strive to make a difference.

Community service is integral to Bigelow Tea’s mission, so we were excited in 2009 to create the special Tea for the Troops, honoring the brave men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Bigelow Tea produced 100,000 boxes of American Classic Tea for the troops – 100 percent grown on American soil at our own Charleston Tea Plantation. It’s a small way of saying thank you to those who serve and protect. The many letters of appreciation we have received from the troops are truly heartwarming!

Aspen (left) and Autumn Cooper pack Tea for the Troops in Wesley Chapel, FL

Our extended Bigelow Tea family is also heartened to see how Patriot Day, established in memory of those who died in the terrorist attacks of September 11th, has spurred on more volunteerism across the country.  In 2009, a presidential proclamation declared Patriot Day a National Day of Service and Remembrance “as an opportunity to salute the heroes of 9/11, recapture the spirit of unity and compassion that inspired our nation following the attacks and rededicate ourselves to sustained service to our communities.” More than 63 million Americans responded by volunteering their time, efforts and hearts.

The momentum continues with the I Will page, which provides a forum for ideas in support of the 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance. Share yours with us on Facebook and Twitter!

What A Wonderful Surprise!

What a wonderful surprise that happened to me the other day.  I was at our company picnic at a local park, and having a ball playing softball when a man in a uniform started asking for my whereabouts.  At first I got a little nervous: did we not get our permit to use the park, did a resident in town possibly complain about our hooting and hollering?

So I ran off the field and met Commander Thomas F. Quinn.

“Cindi Bigelow?” he said.

“Yes sir?” was my response.

He extended a hand and said he represented Lt. Owen Fish Memorial, Post 143 Stratfield, CT.  He then handed me a certificate of appreciation for our distribution of our Tea for the Troops tea to the soldiers in our area-whether at Vet hospitals or local vet charities.  He wanted to let me know that all the local vets noticed our efforts for wanting to say thank you for their dedication to this country and this was his way of saying thank you back.

Well that was not what I was expecting to take place at our picnic but it really did make me smile…..”thank you sir, it is our pleasure to support your efforts in any way we can!”  Wow that was nice!!!

Cindi Bigelow

Making Memories With Grandparents And Bigelow Tea

More than ever, grandparents are vital, active members of their families. No longer just Sunday dinner guests, today’s grandparents are helping teach their grandchildren sports, taking them on outings and even helping around the house! That’s why Bigelow Tea is proud to recognize Grandparents Day on Sunday September 11th!

The annual day to salute “Grandma” and “Grandpa” began in 1979, when, congress, by joint resolution…authorized and requested the President to designate the first Sunday of September following Labor Day of each year as National Grandparents Day.” An excellent idea!

At Bigelow Tea we know first-hand that grandparents hold a special place in the hearts of their grandchildren, as we celebrate Cindi Bigelow’s grandmother, Ruth Campbell Bigelow. She thought tea drinkers would like a less astringent and more flavorful tea, and in the family kitchen created the Constant Comment blend. Bigelow Tea was on its way!

We hear regularly from our dedicated Bigelow Tea customers who remember sharing tea with their grandparents. One story, from Heidi Prom, made our hearts swell:

We would skate our hearts out for my grandpa, and when we were done we got to race back to my grandma’s car and get warm. We couldn’t wait! My grandma would be waiting in there, snug and warm and tell us how proud she was of us. Then she would get out her red plaid thermos and pour us a cup of “her” tea. It was so sweet and so warm and went through us like a warm, wonderful blanket. Except this was a warm blanket of love from her, like her outstretched arms to keep us from shivering.

The tea? Well, it was Constant Comment!

This September, we encourage all tea lovers out there to brew a pot of tea and share it with a loving grandparent. Nothing is better than spending time together making memories and sipping a cup of hot tea.

Image by Joe Shlabotnik via Flickr.com

Bigelow Tea Recognizes National Prostate Cancer Month

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and Bigelow Tea continues to learn and share more about this potentially deadly disease which is of particular concern to men over 40. We’ve all heard the statistics; the Prostate Cancer Foundation tells us that it’s the most common non-skin cancer in America, and it’s the second leading cause of cancer death in American men (second to lung cancer). The American Cancer Society estimates that about 240,890 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. this year and that about 33,720 men will die of prostate cancer in 2011.

These are distressing statistics, but scientists are also discovering good news about early prevention and treatment of this disease. Much of the scientific research has revolved around elements found in tea that may provide a positive effect on prostate cancer. For instance,  studies have shown that antioxidants that naturally occur in green tea (and also found in blueberries and pomegranates,  some of the ingredients in tea blends we’ve created at Bigelow Tea!) are reported to help neutralize the free radicals that are linked to the development of cancer.

These potent antioxidants provide medicinal powers that boast an array of health-promoting properties. Antioxidants can destroy certain bacteria and viruses, enhance our immune system, and combat several cancers – including prostate cancer, providing substantial free radical scavenging activity. They may even protect cells from DNA damage.

The steady stream of good news and potential benefits is hard to ignore. So this September Bigelow Tea takes a positive outlook, encouraging all our tea drinking fans to step up their awareness in combating this disease. And also a friendly reminder too: men, see you doctor for that check-up!

Image by Like_the_Grand_ Canyon, via Flickr.com