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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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Cindi Bigelow Travels To Sri Lanka: Tea Auction

Previously, we shared that Cindi Bigelow was heading to Sri Lanka to explore tea fields and tea auctions.  Cindi previously shared her first full day and below she shares the experience of a tea auction.  Enjoy!

Niraj de Mel and Cindi Bigelow outside the Tea Auction (no photos allowed once inside)

A real Colombo Sri Lanka tea auction…it was everything I had heard of and more! Three rooms filled with tea exporters all bidding on specific type teas. Rooms were dedicated to either low-grown teas of certain grades (leaf sizes like the famous orange pekoe, or OP as it is called in the trade), or medium-to-high elevation grown teas and the original type teas of Ceylon (or Sri Lanka as it has been called since 1971), the type Bigelow buys.

Rooms filled with so many buyers who have such trained palates and discerning eyes that they can look at the leaf and tell you where on the mountains it was grown!  With one sip they can tell you the plantation it was grown on and if it was processed properly. They can even taste if the harvesters have done a good job plucking the proper “two tender leaves and a bud,” not mature leaves that are not nearly as pleasant to consume.

Our stay during the morning was certainly noticed. There was not one trader who wasn’t checking out who these new comers were!  It was so fun.

Cindi Bigelow

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Before the Season Ends: Don’t Forget to Enter Bigelow Tea’s December Holiday Assortment Sweepstakes

We may be starting to put some of our presents away, but you could receive one more special holiday delivery! Our Bigelow Tea December Sweepstakes comes to close on December 27th at midnight EST, and we want to remind you to cast your entry for a shot at winning our Bigelow Holiday Tea Assortment.

The Grand Prize in our sweepstakes, our tea assortment, captures four distinctive seasonal flavors. And we’re giving away 24 of them (Total Value: $14.95)!  Wrapped in festive boxes, each assortment contains one box of these Bigelow Tea favorites:

• Bigelow Pumpkin Spice Tea
• Bigelow Eggnogg’n® Tea
• Bigelow Apple Cider Herb Tea
• Bigelow Ginger Snappish Herb Tea

So don’t miss out! Enter our sweepstakes by December 27th at midnight EST. Just  “like” our Bigelow Tea Facebook page and click on the sweepstakes icon under our cover photo. Look for an upcoming announcement of the winners on our Bigelow Tea blog. Good luck … and we hope you have a happy new year!

 

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From Our Bigelow Tea Family To Yours … May Today Bring Comfort And Joy

We’ve been hustling and bustling all month, but today is a day for peace. As people all over the world gather with family and friends to celebrate, we at Bigelow Tea want to wish you a beautiful holiday full of love, laughter and tea!

The Bigelow family cherishes special moments and holidays that bring those we love closer together. Whether it’s a family meal shared around the dining room table or a simple slice of pie and a hot mug of Earl Grey tea sipped by the fire … today is all about the comforts of home.

So, sit back and appreciate the fruits of your December labor. The gifts are wrapped, the cards are mailed and the tree is lit. Take it all in and enjoy! From our family to yours … happy holidays. May your day be merry and bright!

 

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Welcome Your Holiday Guests Tonight With Bigelow Tea Appetizers!

On this special night, open your doors to neighbors, family and friends and greet them with a perfect appetizer: a little nibble with big flavor courtesy of Bigelow Tea. Here are two of our favorite tea-infused apps to welcome your holiday guests and any carolers who might stop by. We love these bites because you can assemble them in less than an hour, leaving more time to focus on enjoying the togetherness of the holiday. Enjoy … and have a very wonderfully merry evening!

Miniature Vegetable Quiches

Ingredients:

Tea Concentrate:

10 bags Bigelow Green Tea
1 cup boiling water

Vegetable Tea Mixture:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¾ cup diced colored bell peppers
½ cup asparagus tips/ cut into small pieces, 1/2 – 1 inch
½ cup frozen peas
1 tablespoon minced shallots
¼ cup tea concentrate

Egg Mixture:

6 large eggs
½ cup half and half
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
4-ounces (1/2 of an 8-ounce) package cream cheese, slightly softened, cut into 18-20 pieces

Dill, optional garnish

Yield: Makes 18-24 miniature quiches depending on size of mini-muffin tin (About 1 ½ cups vegetable mixture.)

Prep Time: 20 minutes; Baking Time: 15 to 18 minutes

Instructions:

Place tea bags in a 2-cup glass measure.  Add water.  Steep tea for 10 minutes.

Squeeze all liquid from tea bags into cup.  Discard tea bags.  (About ½ cup tea concentrate.)

Heat oven to 350 F.  Spray 2 (12-cup) muffin tins with baking spray (spray well or alternatively use paper liners); set aside.

In 10-inch non-stick skillet place olive oil.  Heat for 1 minute.  Add peppers, asparagus, peas, and shallots. Cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened.

Add ¼ cup tea concentrate to vegetable mixture.  Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until most of the tea is evaporated.  Remove from heat; set aside.

In large bowl stir together eggs, half and half, salt and pepper.  Mix well.

In bottom of each prepared mini muffin tin, place about 1 tablespoon vegetable mixture.  Top with piece of cream cheese.  Fill to top with egg mixture.

Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until very lightly browned near edges.  Remove from oven.  Cool slightly. Garnish with dill if desired.

I Love Lemon Asparagus Wrapped in Smoked Salmon 

Ingredients:

Bigelow® I Love Lemon Herb Tea Bags
4 cups water
1 lb fresh asparagus (approx. 30 stalks), peeled, and tough ends trimmed away
4 oz. light cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
8 oz. thinly sliced smoked salmon

Yield: Serves 10

Instructions:

This elegant hors d’oeuvre is surprisingly simple to prepare, and is as delicious as it is beautiful. By parboiling fresh asparagus in Bigelow® I Love LemonTMHerbal Tea, it becomes subtly infused with flavor and the perfect complement to smoked salmon. A touch of herbed cream cheese holds the wraps together for an impressive presentation.

In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to a gentle boil. Remove from heat, add tea bags and allow to steep for 5 minutes.

Remove tea bags, return saucepan to the heat and bring to a boil. Add asparagus and 1½ teaspoons of salt to the pan.

Parboil for 2-3 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Remove asparagus and immediately transfer to a bowl of ice water (to stop the cooking). Drain and pat dry. Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, fresh herbs and remaining ½ teaspoon of salt. Stir to combine.

Spread a thin layer of the cream cheese mixture (about ½ teaspoon) on each slice of smoked salmon.

Roll up one stalk of asparagus in each piece of smoked salmon, leaving the tips of the asparagus exposed (making it easier to pick up).

Arrange on a platter and serve at room temperature.

Photo by megapixel13 via Flickr.com

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Bigelow Tea Welcomes The Winter Solstice

Like it, love it or not so much, winter starts today, December 21. At Bigelow Tea we like to remember that this day not only ushers in colder temperatures and for some, snowy conditions, but it also makes for perfect tea drinking weather!

The first day of winter is also known as the Winter Solstice. According to The Farmer’s Almanac, the Winter Solstice—as it’s called in the Northern Hemisphere—occurs when “the Sun’s path has reached its southernmost position.” That means that the start of winter marks the shortest day of the year, due to the sun reaching its most southern point in the sky around noon today. So the good news is that after this date, the days will start getting longer! 

Around the world people have various traditions to celebrate the return of lighter days … and at Bigelow Tea we suggest enjoying a cup of tea! You can make the Winter Solstice shine by sipping something warm and perhaps a bit spiced. May we suggest our Spiced Chai Tea or one of our other chai blends?  Our Cinnamon Stick Tea is equally warming!

So, as we celebrate the Winter Solstice today with a mug of steaming hot tea, we also look forward to sharing more beverages and cozy afternoons all winter long!

Top Image by Hackworth via Flickr.com

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