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Bigelow Tea Appreciates The Busy Tea Service At Downton Abbey!

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It’s the hot drama of the season, BBC’s Downton Abbey, with its aristocratic family and servants living on a country estate in the early decades of 20th century England. The show started off as a huge hit in the UK, and by season two it was cemented as a worldwide event, more popular than any other offering in the history of “Masterpiece!” Here at Bigelow Tea we’re mesmerized by the drama … and we’re particularly enthralled by all of the tea being consumed! The busy Crawley house is ensconced in tea culture, with everybody, both master and servant, enjoying their daily cup. Accordingly, Downton has become a cause for celebration among millions of tea fans like us!

The passion runs deep. Many fans on this side of the pond greeted season three with afternoon tea parties, from New York to San Francisco, celebrating all the stars of Downton, including Maggie Smith, the newly introduced Shirley McClain, and their prominent co-star: tea!

The abbey that serves as the setting of the BBC production is also a star. For centuries Highclere Castle has been the real-life home of the aristocratic Carnarvon family, hosting kings and queens.  The family also welcomes visitors and guests for special events. What an experience it would be to enjoy high tea at this world famous castle!

We have our own kind of tea-loving “aristocracy” in the U.S. too, from Tom Cruise to Meg Ryan, and many other tea-drinking celebs! Just like in Downton Abbey, Bigelow Tea knows that tea is for everyone, and we’re proud help write that script.

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However you enjoy your tea—whether it’s English Teatime from silver teapots with savory finger sandwiches or English Breakfast in a big ol’ mug on the couch in your jammies—watching the latest intrigue and gossip from Downton Abbey is most certainly our cup of tea!

Image by zOxx via Flickr.com

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Celebrate National Wedding Month With Bigelow Tea And Our Charleston Tea Garden!

Despite its bleak reputation weather-wise, February still shines as the season of love! Many proposals take place on Valentine’s Day, and for couples planning a spring, summer or even a fall wedding … now is the time to begin preparations. No wonder the bridal industry has declared it National Wedding MonthBigelow Tea knows that one of the first decisions brides and grooms make when planning a wedding is picking the venue. And boy do we have a wonderfully romantic suggestion: our own Charleston Tea Garden—the largest working tea garden in the U.S.!

Tucked away on Wadmalaw Island in the heart of South Carolina’s Lowcountry, the Tea Garden features breathtaking views of tea fields and towering live oaks, as well as several options for planning a unique celebration in a natural setting brimming with old-fashioned southern charm. One lovely tradition is for couples to trade vows under the branches of the Tea Garden’s oldest live oak, fittingly named “the Wedding Tree.”

And the Pavilion, located in the tranquil tea fields, is an ideal spot for the reception. It provides overhead lighting and ceiling fans, and can be decorated myriad ways to reflect a special theme or your personal style. In need of inspiration? Wedding trend watchers are seeing a growing preference for elegant details evoking the style depicted in the popular PBS series Downton Abbey and recent film adaptations of Anna Karenina and The Great Gatsby. Think crystal glassware and gold silverware and chargers, darling. But elegance doesn’t have to be stuffy. As wedding planner Ivy Robinson tells Bridal Guide, couples often take an eclectic approach “combining natural, outdoorsy details with elegant elements.”

Whether you prefer minimalist décor or plenty of glitz, Charleston Tea Garden provides a stunning backdrop for an unforgettable wedding day. Cheers!

 

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Bigelow Tea Sweet February Sweepstakes Winners Announced

We are so excited to announce the winners of our “Sweet February” sweepstakes, congratulations to everyone!!

 

 

The below 14 winners won our I Love Tea tin (pictured above).  Bigelow Tea will contact you to confirm your address for delivery of your prize.

Robin from Missouri

Karen from California

Joseph from Michigan

Juli from Texas

Donna from Ohio

Kim from Ontario

Kendall from Colorado

Suzan from Indiana

Alisa from Kentucky

Marsha from New Jersey

Darryl from Missouri

Mona from Texas

Charlotte from Alabama

John from West Virginia

 

And the below 14 winners won our Valentine Tea duet (pictured above).  Bigelow Tea will contact you to confirm your address for delivery of your prize.

Sheila from New Mexico

Shannon from Pennsylvania

Martha from Michigan

Beverly from Texas

Shannon from North Carolina

Marina from New York

Lora from Arkansas

Erica from California

Maureen from Ohio

Teisha from Maine

Tara from New Mexico

Mike from California

Holly from Ohio

David from North Carolina

Congrats to everyone!!  Now check out our latest sweepstakes on Facebook featuring the Life of PI movie…many many winners!!  Good luck!


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Enter Bigelow Tea’s and 20th Century Fox’s Life of PI Sweepstakes!

Do you love a good movie and a hot cup of Bigelow Tea?  If you do, be sure to enter the “Bigelow Tea Relaxing Moments Life of PI Sweepstakes” this month! The sweepstakes, which starts today, is co-sponsored by 20th Century Fox, and there are some amazing prizes that include a Blu-Ray Player, the Life of PI movie, and a personalized Bigelow Tea chest!

Life of PI, one of the feature prizes in the “Bigelow Tea Relaxing Moments Sweepstakes,” is an exceptional movie that garnered eleven Oscar nominations (in just a few days we’ll see how many the film takes home!).   A gripping tale of wonderment, and discovery, Life of PI is the story of how one boy survived for 227 days on a boat in the middle of the ocean. You won’t want to miss it! A movie for the whole family, Life of PI is perfect for a movie night accompanied by your favorite variety of Bigelow Tea!

Here’s a run-down on the prizes for this months’ sweepstakes:

Grand Prize

Twenty-five (25) lucky Grand Prize winners will receive one (1) Panasonic Blu-Ray Player and one (1) personalized Bigelow Tea chest (pictured above).

First Prize

Fifty (50) lucky winners will receive one (1) Life of PI video (available at Walmart on March 12, 2013) and one (1) personalized Bigelow Tea chest.

Second Prize

One hundred (100) lucky winners will receive a $25 Walmart gift card and one (1) box of Bigelow Tea (winner’s choice with a coupon).

To enter for a chance to win, go to our Bigelow Tea Facebook page, “like” us (if you haven’t already), then click the “Sweepstakes” icon under our cover photo and follow the instructions.

It’s our way of celebrating life’s quiet moments and togetherness. Look for an announcement of the winners on our Constant Comments blog. Good luck!

 

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Bigelow Tea Loves The Teapot And All The Love She Holds!

Bigelow Tea thinks it would be nice to give the often-underappreciated teapot a little love! Like “Bert and Ernie” or “Simon and Garfunkel,” a tea bag and a teapot go hand-in-hand; one is just not quite as good without the other.

At Bigelow Tea, we love our teapots, like the pretty Green Tea for One set, above. And we think that a special teapot turns any tea time into a special occasion. They’re our cozy companion: the vessel that holds and steeps the finest beverage on earth!

Do we sound passionate? Well, teapots stir passions indeed, like the story of the man who recently returned a tea pot that “disappeared” over 75 years ago from the Waldorf Astoria in New York. He says he remembers the teapot from his home as a child, and he later stored it in his own home for years. But the innocent teapot’s source troubled him, so he was compelled to return it to the world renowned hotel where it came from—but not until he spent hours polishing off 75 years of illicit tarnish!

We’ve written much about the venerable teapot. We’ve looked at the world’s biggest teapot, elegant teapot quotes and interesting teapot-tidbits. We’ve explored the beauty of the teapot in art and flipped our lids over shapes, sizes and design.  We’ve even invited you to whistle along with popular songs, like I’m A Little Teapot!

Now, we’re not trying to cause a tempest in a (well, you know!) … but we just want to spout off a little about our good friend, our cherished confidant and fellow tea lover: the ubiquitous teapot. Hug yours today!

 

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Cindi Bigelow Travels To Sri Lanka Journal: Homeward Bound

This is my last journal entry. We certainly documented a lot of what happened on this trip. But believe me that was not everything. I tried to balance giving the reader a real feeling of going along with us into this special land as well as to catalog the trip for future generations. It was hard to pick and choose what to share, but I did my best to mention as much as possible.

So now we are flying home. As I said before, we left the hotel at midnight and got to the airport a good two hours early. I fell asleep in a chair while John worked. On the plane we went, our first four-hour leg to Dubai. That is when the journal writing began!  The same was true in Dubai airport where we have a 2.5-hour layover and then onto Emirates Air once again to fly back to New York.

Writing, writing and more writing. I had so much to share. John worked tirelessly to review over 2,000 photos and videos that we had taken, to pick out which ones were best to capture our journey. So many memories for such a precious trip. How could we do it justice?

Well we can only hope we did Sri Lanka proud and we were able to share the message of how proud we are to be the number one importer of what we consider to be among the finest teas in the world.

Thank you, “Serendib,” little gem of an island now called Sri Lanka, for welcoming us with open arms. We are honored to share your fine teas with the United States of America.

Forever grateful,
Cindi, John, the entire Bigelow family and all our wonderful employees


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Celebrate Presidents’ Day With a Cup of Bigelow Tea!

It’s Presidents’ Day, and Bigelow Tea wants to take a moment to recognize the leaders of our country! Officially, President’s Day is still called “Washington’s Birthday” by the federal government.  However, this national holiday is now viewed as a way to honor and celebrate all United States presidents both past and present on the third Monday of February.

A perfect Presidents’ Day activity this year might be to brew up a cup of tea and watch Lincoln, the Oscar nominated and Golden Globe winning movie starring Daniel Day-Lewis. It would be a great way to honor of one of the nation’s most respected presidents. Bigelow Tea sure likes “Honest Abe,” and it has been said that his nickname came from a tea-related experience! As the story goes, Lincoln mistakenly gave a customer ¼ of a pound of tea when the person had ordered ½ pound. So, very early the next morning, Lincoln walked a long way to deliver the correct amount of tea. Clearly, even President Lincoln appreciated the importance of tea!

Interestingly, with Lincoln star Daniel Day-Lewis hailing from London, England, we think he probably enjoys a cup of tea on a regular basis too!

Beginning with the tea trade in the colonies, continuing with the Boston Tea Party and the U.S.’s many tea loving Presidents, tea has been an important part of American life, both past and present.

So celebrate today’s holiday with one of America’s favorite traditions by brewing a cup or two of your favorite Bigelow Tea in honor of all of America’s presidents.

Image by robert.claypool via Flickr.com

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Cindi Bigelow Travels To Sri Lanka Journal: Winding Down

Back to the Hilton hotel (where we had stayed when we first arrived in Colombo) for another quick stay. We said our goodbyes to Ishanka. My only regret is that I didn’t know his language so we could have communicated more. I had so many questions I wanted to ask him and really wasn’t able to.  I think he knew how much we appreciated what he had done for us and how we enjoyed our time together. Maybe someone will translate this and read it to him. Thank you Ishanka for taking such good care of us.

At the hotel we were met by our new friend, Anuradha; he was what is called a journey ambassador.  He had greeted us the first night and had taken amazing care of us from that first meeting forward.

We told him we had only 10 minutes to get ready for our next meeting and he quickly shepherded us to our own rooms. It really was like greeting an old friend when we saw him!  “Hello” I shouted when we saw his face (in my rather loud American voice). He just smiled and let us know he was happy to see us.

Up to the room and down in no time, ready for our second-to-last  meeting of the trip. This was another longtime partner that we had never met face to face. Idris Shabbir of Adam Expo was there in the lobby with a huge warm smile. The only problem was that at this point I was starting to run on empty. It was after 3 and we needed to be back here at 6 p.m. for one last meeting. Idris was bright, eager and well prepared with a comprehensive agenda. In the car we went, heading to his tea blending facility. Unfortunately the Colombo traffic, which was starting to cause me to have a slight version of PTS, was extremely heavy. What should have taken only 15 minutes took over 45. My brain was racing. How could we see two plants, hold a business meeting, drink teas and be back in two hours when drive time was one hour each way?

Needless to say Idris had to substantially shorten his agenda. I knew he was disappointed but there was nothing we could do;  we were flying out that night and I desperately needed a few hours’ sleep.

Bigelow Tea VP John McCraw and I got a lot out of the meeting and a lot of good follow-up points, but I couldn’t help but feel bad that we had so shortchanged Idris. Over time he will see that it was not the case. Our understanding of what we saw would benefit him over the long run, but that wasn’t going to make me feel better at the moment. (Sorry Idris … please forgive me.)

But as tough as it was to accomplish we were back at the Hilton by 6 p.m. There we were once again greeted by our friend, Anuradha. And once again we had to tell him we had another meeting in 10 minutes!  He just laughed. I am sure he thought “those crazy Americans,” and if he did he would have been right.

Up to the room I went to try and freshen up a little when the phone rang. It was our dear partner, Niraj. He was unable to meet us at 6. It was a disappointment that we wouldn’t say goodbye in person. This man had taught me more about tea than I had ever imagined, spending countless hours imparting his knowledge of tea and of this beautiful country. I will cherish my time with him forever, and I pray our paths will cross again so I could let him know what he has done for me, my family and the business.

But I took a sigh of relief. It meant that we would have a little more time to relax before departing the hotel at midnight for a 3 a.m. flight out to Dubai. Now it was time to rest and process. Now it was time to reflect. Now it was time to be alone.

Cindi Bigelow

 

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The Time To Enter Bigelow Tea’s “I Love Tea” Sweepstakes … Is Now!

Don’t forget to enter Bigelow Tea’s February sweepstakes to win the fantastic I Love Tea Tin or our Valentine Gift Duet! The deadline to enter is approaching fast … midnight EST, February 19!  Don’t miss out!  Our tin is filled with a variety of 120 individually wrapped Bigelow Tea black and flavored black teas that fourteen (14) lucky winners will receive and our Valentine Gift Duet is our White Chocolate Obsession Tea, which blends the heavenly taste of rich, decadent chocolate and robust black tea and Sweetheart Cinnamon Herb Tea, a tantalizing cinnamon and sweet apple herb tea.

But in order to possibly enjoy all of the delicious teas, you have to enter to win! Remember, taking a chance is easy! Just “like” our Bigelow Tea Facebook page, click on the Sweepstakes icon under our cover photo and follow the instructions. That’s it!

Look for an announcement of the winners on our Constant Comments blog. Don’t miss out on your chance of winning and enter now! Best of luck to all of our tea loving friends!

 

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Bigelow Tea Takes Valentine’s Day To Heart

Today is Valentine’s Day, and Bigelow Tea has discovered some fun facts about this holiday. So, while sipping a cup of your favorite Bigelow Tea, read up on our neat findings for this special day!

*The origin of Valentine’s Day appears to come from both pagan and Christian traditions. In ancient Roman times, an annual celebration called Lupercalia was held in February and featured fertility ceremonies. Around 496 A.D., Pope Gelasius I declared February 14 to be St. Valentine’s Day.

*The story behind the real Saint Valentine remains unclear. One popular opinion is that he was a priest who performed weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry. He was put in prison and sentenced to death.

*In Japan, for Valentine’s Day, women give chocolates to men. Men reciprocate on “White Day,” or March 14.

*Valentine greetings, first in words and song, go as far back as the Middle Ages. The oldest known Valentine, still in existence, dates back to 1415. After being captured in battle, Charles, the Duke of Orleans, penned one to his wife from the Tower of London.

*In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced valentines in the U.S. Last year, Americans purchased 150 million Valentine’s Day cards, according to the Greeting Card Association! And Valentine’s Day is the second-largest holiday for giving greeting cards, behind Christmas.

*During Valentine’s Day 2009, according to The Nielsen Company, consumers bought more than 58 million pounds of chocolate candy. It rang up $345 million in sales!

At Bigelow Tea, we like to celebrate Valentine’s Day with our seasonal teas. Our White Chocolate Obsession Tea blends the decadence of white chocolate with robust black tea, and Sweetheart Cinnamon Herb Tea provides warmth with its sweet cinnamon taste. Do you “heart “one or the other, or want to try them both? Consider our Valentine Tea Twin Pack, which makes for a lovely pairing year-round.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all our fellow tea lovers!

Top image by AForestFrolic, via Flickr.com

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