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Busy Bigelow Tea Fan Of The Month Tiffany King Takes A Break With “Constant Comment”®

January Fan of the Month Tiffany King won our hearts with her refreshing take on the work/life balance. “I’ve learned to work in chaos,” says this busy blogger and home-school mom of four. “Of course, I have to include a break for a cup of Bigelow Tea and a few gingersnaps.” And we love that on her Eat at Home blog, Tiffany wrote a post recommending keeping a pretty basket of tea handy. Her own basket includes her personal fave,”Constant Comment,”® as well as Vanilla Chai and Pumpkin Spice. Yum!

We recently caught up with Tiffany to learn more about how she manages a home that is doing triple duty as a hub for family, school and work activities. “Homeschooling is challenging, but we love it,” says Tiffany, noting that her two youngest children are taught at home, the oldest is in college and one takes college classes. Each day, after teaching, she shifts right into work mode. “I don’t have an office, so my work is done while the kids and their friends run in and out playing.”

Come evening, Tiffany’s kitchen becomes her “lab.” Making dinner often entails creating new recipes and photographing them for her blog, which is dedicated to helping busy people make quick and delicious home-cooked meals. Look for her Bigelow Tea-inspired recipe in a future post on our blog!

Tiffany cherishes the increasingly rare occasions when her whole family eats together: “We try to make Sunday lunch a time to come together for a meal and conversation.” And as Tiffany knows, there’s nothing like the orange-and-spice aroma of “Constant Comment”—the very first Bigelow Tea!—to evoke warm memories of time spent with loved ones. “My youngest daughter is a tea lover too and she shares my affinity for ‘Constant Comment.’ ” Beautiful!

 

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Bigelow Tea Supports Operation Bicycle And The City of Bridgeport Connecticut Police Department

The City of Bridgeport Connecticut Police Department’s Community Service Division in collaboration with the City of Bridgeport School Resource Office, recently conducted an “Operation Bicycle” fundraiser. Initially, this fundraiser was put into action to raise enough money to provide 200 bikes to children of struggling families for the holidays. The City was able to raise enough money and bikes from local merchants and private donors to be able to exceed their original goal of 200 bikes and ultimately were able to give out 300 bikes to city children at a special ceremony at Central High School on December 23, 2012.

Each of the City’s schools were represented as the Bridgeport Police Department asked each school to submit a list of 6 – 9 families who could use some help prior to the holidays. Having Bigelow Tea Corporate headquarters and our manufacturing Plant right next door in Fairfield, CT and our Direct Marketing facility right in the heart of Bridgeport, we here at Bigelow Tea, see every day the great work being done by the Bridgeport Police Department and were happy and fortunate enough to donate both a girl’s and boy’s bicycle to the event. The event’s organizer,  Police Sergeant Paul Grech said  it best at the ceremony “we just want to make some kids’ Christmas, a little better.

Congratulations to the Bridgeport Police Department for doing just that….and then some !!!

– Jim Gildea, Bigelow Tea

 

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In January, Cozy up with Bigelow Tea All Month Long During Hot Tea Month

For Bigelow Tea, January does not just mark the start of a new year and newly made resolutions … it also brings us one of our favorite times of the year: Hot Tea Month! What a perfect reason start drinking even more tea in 2013!

This month, we will be brewing up a lot of talk about our favorite beverage. So, we wanted to start off by reflecting on our history. We like to share how proud we are of our founder and family matriarch Ruth Campbell Bigelow. In the mid-1940s, she came upon a special colonial tea recipe that included orange peel and spices, and she decided to create a tea inspired by that recipe. After experimenting with flavors in her family kitchen, she finally created our very first tea, “Constant Comment”®.

For more than sixty-five years, our family has followed Ruth’s example by developing flavorful blends to reflect changing times and tastes. Our product line has expanded to include teas ranging from Black Tea to Green Tea to Herbal Tea and even organic tea!

Our newest black teas include Caramel Chai Black Tea and Chocolate Chai Tea. Both blends make for outstanding choices for getting cozy with hot tea in January.

As we kick of Hot Tea Month and reflect on the beginnings of Bigelow Tea, we hope that you’ll join us in raising an aromatic, steaming cup of Bigelow Tea. This month is a fabulous time to start sipping them all!

Top Image by CoCreatr via Flickr.com

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Bigelow Tea Joins In The Celebration Of Three Kings Day

Bigelow Tea is proud to take part in recognition of Three Kings Day, celebrated this Sunday, January 6th. For the Hispanic community and many others, Three Kings Day, or Los Reyes Magos, is one of the most important holidays of the Latin world, commemorating the “three wise men” that followed the star to Bethlehem, bringing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Celebrated twelve days after Christmas, Three Kings Day is also known as Epiphany. While children may still get presents on December 25th, Three Kings Day also rewards them with presents and candy for being good. There are also parades and festivals in communities across the country, even at Disneyland! Family gatherings include traditional treats like Rosca de Reyes, the “Mexican Kings Bread.”

Our teas can also be a part of Three Kings Day, either as a beverage or in one of our fantastic recipes. Here are two recipes that embrace the Hispanic influences of Three Kings Day: Roasted Pork Chops Pomegranate Pizzazz® over Mashed Plantains, and Chamomile-Mango “TresLeches!” Enjoy!

Roasted Pork Chops Pomegranate Pizzazz ® over Mashed Plantains 

Ingredients:

4 cups of water
1/4 cup kosher salt
2 tablespoons honey
3 garlic cloves, mashed
3 sprigs of rosemary
1 tablespoon peppercorns
10 Bigelow Pomegranate Pizzazz ® tea bags
4 (3/4 inch thick) rib pork chops 8-10 ounces each (about 2 pounds total)
1 cup of boiling water
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons (30ml) 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 1/2 cup)
Salt and pepper

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® tea bags. Steep 20 minutes. Remove tea bags 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® tea bags to boiled water. Steep 5-8 minutes. Remove tea bags, 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.

Serves 4

Chamomile-Mango “TresLeches”

Ingredients:

Pound Cake:

1 ½ cups all purpose flour
¼ tsp baking powder ¼ tsp salt
½ cup (1 stick) butter
1 ½ cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cup milk

Milk Syrup:

1 ½ cups evaporated milk
1 ¼ cups heavy cream
15 tea bags Bigelow Chamomile-Mango
1 ¼ cups condensed milk

Whipped Topping:

1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp powdered sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract

Yield: Serves 16

Instructions:

Preheat oven 350 degrees.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Using a stand mixer, beat butter until fluffy. Add sugar and beat until thoroughly combined. Add eggs one at a time. Make sure to mix well before each addition. Add vanilla. Mix dry ingredients with milk alternating flour mixture and milk until combined (beginning and ending with flour mixture). Pour batter into a buttered and floured 9×9 square pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until top is golden brown and toothpick comes out clean.

While the pound cake is baking prepare the milk syrup which will be used to soak the cake. Combine evaporated milk and heavy cream into a medium sized saucepan. Add the tea bags. Bring mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Do not boil. Let tea steep into the milk-cream mixture for approximately 45 minutes. Remove tea bags, squeezing out the excess liquid. Add the condensed milk and vanilla. Stir.

After the cake has cooled, use a skewer to poke holes into the cake. Make sure to make enough holes. Pour the milk syrup over the cake. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least three hours, preferably overnight.

When ready to serve, make whipped topping. Combine the cream, powdered sugar and vanilla in mixer. Beat until soft to medium peaks form. Cover the cake with whipped topping. Cut into pieces and serve. Top with fresh sliced strawberries.

Image by Congreso de la Republica del Peru via flickr.com

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Win a Year’s Worth of Tea in Our Bigelow Tea January Sweepstakes

Let’s start 2013 off right with a Bigelow Tea Sweepstakes!

Along with the excitement of January being Hot Tea Month, we are kicking off the new year with our first sweepstakes … and it’s one that will extend our celebration of tea for an additional eleven months! Yes, for our January sweepstakes, we are giving away a year’s supply of Bigelow Tea!

In our “Tea for a Year” sweepstakes, one lucky grand prize winner will receive a monthly case of our tea (containing six boxes per case) throughout the entire year. And the winner even gets to select the teas! We’ll send a list of available teas to choose from and, as the year goes by, we’ll mail the winner his or her favorite tea choices each month! In total, the winner will get 120 tea bags per month, plenty to brew all year long.

It’s so exciting to imagine winning this prize! Which teas would you choose? Green teasHerbal blends? Traditional black tea? It sure is fun to think about!

Our “Tea for a Year” sweepstakes ends January 31st. To enter, just “like” our Bigelow Tea Facebook page and then click on the “Sweepstakes” icon under our cover photo. The sole winner will be announced on our Bigelow Tea blog. Good luck, and, in meantime, enjoy Hot Tea Month!

 

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Make A Plan For 2013 That Includes Drinking Bigelow Tea!

Happy New Year! Time to turn the page to a fresh year, new accomplishments, and of course the year’s first cup of Bigelow Tea. We’re energized with the arrival of 2013, another year full of promise for our family-owned company, our great employees, and for all you tea lovers out there! It makes us think of that line from the old 1940’s Bing Crosby song Aren’t You glad You’re You?“Pardon the Grammar, but ain’t life grand!”

What are you planning to accomplish in the new year? Finishing a house project? Taking a class? Learning to dance?  Or maybe completing a 5K run with the “Rocky” theme thumping in your headphones? All great ideas … and all better yet when you start each day in 2013 with a brisk cup of tea!

With so many Bigelow Tea varieties to choose from—and 364 days to go!—there’s plenty of time and plenty of options for your daily cup. Get a jump on the year with our flavorful Wild Blueberry with Acai Herb Tea or our distinctive Vanilla Caramel Tea. It’s up to you where to start … but we hope you’ll heed this old adage attributed to Thomas Jefferson“Never put off for tomorrow what you can do today!”

And, as you start off the year, remember that January is Hot Tea Month— a grand beginning to what’s sure to be a great year. So enjoy your cuppa at breakfast, lunch, tea-time, and anytime. It’s one New Year’s plan that will be a pleasure to stick to all year long.

Happy New Year from Bigelow Tea!

Image by Steve A Johnson via Flickr.com

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Cindi Bigelow Travels To Sri Lanka: Dinner with the Ambassador

Previously, we shared that Cindi Bigelow was heading to Sri Lanka to explore tea fields and tea auctions.  Cindi shared her first full day and her experience of a tea auction and the importance of long term ethical tea partnerships.  In today’s post, she shares her experience of having dinner with the Sri Lankan amassador to the United Nations.

Sri Lankan ambassador to the United Nations, Dr. Palitha T.B. Kohona

We finished the evening having dinner with the Sri Lankan ambassador to the United Nations, Dr. Palitha T.B. Kohona.  That was another experience beyond words. To spend hours listening to the ambassador (who by the way was the foreign minister before this current position), talk about the history of this little gem of an island country they also call “Serendib,” was a true gift. The history, the people, the culture, and global influences he shared with us were so eye opening.  I learned more than I ever could have dreamed. Then his nephew joined us, Kasun, who (yes, you guessed it) was a tea trader. So of course that spurred another whole round of “tea talk.” We ate and chatted till midnight.  Then, completely overwhelmed with my new experiences and unsure how we managed to fit so much in one day, we headed back to our hotel, where we had to get up at 5 a.m. to head up into the mountains.

Wheeeee what a day!  Could not have prayed for more.  Okay tea gardens, here we come….

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Bigelow Tea Raises A Glass With Sparkly Beverages On New Year’s Eve!

As midnight as the countdown to 2013 approaches, we at Bigelow Tea say … let the festivities begin! It’s time to raise a glass and bid farewell to 2012 while we welcome the new year. We can’t think of a better way to start off the merriment than with two sparkly beverages! The first is a gorgeous holiday punch flavored with our classic “Constant Comment”®Tea. The second is the equally festive Mellow Limoncello Sparkler. Each can be prepared in a snap, so you won’t have to miss any of the fun. So, tonight, as you get ready to shout “Happy New Year,” treat yourself and your guests to a flute full of tea-infused fun!

Sparkling “Constant Comment” Tea Holiday Punch

Ingredients:

4 cups water
Bigelow Constant Comment® Tea Bags

2 quarts Sparkling Water**
1 12-oz. can frozen lemonade concentrate
1 12-oz. can frozen orange juice concentrate
1 8-oz. can crushed pineapple with juice
Orange Slices

Yield: Yields 25 4-oz. servings.

 

Instructions:

In a saucepan, bring water to boil, add tea bags, cover and steep for 5 minutes. Remove tea bags. Allow tea to cool; then chill.

Just before serving time, combine tea, sparkling water or Champagne, juice concentrates, and pineapple in a large punch bowl.

Garnish with Orange Slices

Mellow Limoncello Sparkler

 Ingredients:

2 cups (500mL) water
Bigelow I Love Lemon® Herb Tea Bags or Bigelow Lemon Lift® Tea Bags
½ cup (125mL) Limoncello Liqueur
Sparkling wine or sparkling water
Lemon slices

Yield: Serves 6. Prep Time: 10 minutes – Cook Time: N/A.

Instructions:

Boil 2 cups (500mL) water. Place Bigelow’s I Love Lemon® Herb (or Lemon Lift®) tea bags into teapot. Pour water over tea and let steep for 2-5 minutes. Chill.

When ready to serve, pour 1/3 cup (80mL) chilled lemon tea into a champagne or wine glass. Add 2 tablespoons (30mL) Limoncello Liqueur and fill up with chilled sparkling wine or water. Garnish with a thin slice of lemon.

Image by L.C.Nottaasen via Fotopedia.com

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Bigelow Tea December Sweepstakes Winners Announced

We are so excited to announce the Bigelow Tea December sweepstakes winners.  You will be contacted by Bigelow Tea directly to confirm your contact information.  Congrats to all!!

Valerie from New York

Bill from Oregon

Joann from Tennessee

Arlene from Illinois

Donna from Florida

Jan form British Columbia

Bridget from New York

Shana from Pennsylvania

Stephanie from Oklahoma

Philip from Utah

Daniel from Michigan

Nicole from New Jersey

Lorie from New York

Shirley from Mississippi

Mary from Missouri

Allen from Wisconsin

Darlene from Florida

John from Connecticut

Vicki from North Carolina

Kahlil from Virginia

Ariann from Pennsylvania

Rebecca from Missouri

Gary from Ontario

Mark from Pennsylvania


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Cindi Bigelow Travels To Sri Lanka: The Importance of Ethical Tea Partnerships and Long Term Relationships

Previously, we shared that Cindi Bigelow was heading to Sri Lanka to explore tea fields and tea auctions.  Cindi shared her first full day and her experience of a tea auction. Today Cindi shares the importance of long term and ethical tea partnerships.

After attending the tea auction, we had lunch with Dushy Perera, the head of the Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP), one of the organizations in the world working with the farms to ensure good practices both for employees and the fields.

He was fascinating and is doing such great work.  I am proud to say that all of the gardens we use in Sri Lanka are a part of this program.  Dushy has been in the tea business for 40 years.  Can you imagine his knowledge and passion to keep this beautiful industry strong and sustainable?

From there we went to visit another valued partner, Finlays, to continue our education of the Sri Lankan tea industry. The meeting was exceptionally touching to me because our time together started off with the long-time manager and friend to my family, Romesh Croos Moraes, who shared how much respect he had for three generations of the Bigelow family.  He said we were known for our unrelenting high standards for only the finest of their teas, and how much it meant to him being a man who truly loves tea and the tea industry.  Romesh told me how he always tells his team to never compromise when buying tea for the Bigelows. He tells them “they are real tea people. They know their tea.”  Needless to say, he and I had tears in our eyes.  There was a level of learning about what my family has meant to the tea industry that, to be honest, I didn’t fully realize until this moment. Of course I know my parents deserve all the credit for this rich relationship with these dedicated tea experts. And I know my parents have outstanding reputations in the industry. But this was still eye opening for me to listen to his words. Romesh was so sincere and so delighted that we came to see him, it was extremely touching.

Errol Bernard, Cindi Bigelow and Romesh Croos Moraes

After an unforgettable few hours, we had to say our good byes as we still had one more event to fit in!

Cindi Bigelow

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