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Giving Back Is All In A Day’s Work For Bigelow Tea Employees

Some of the Bigelow Tea employees who volunteered their time to read to children

In this season for giving thanks, we at Bigelow Tea recognize how fortunate we are to have such loyal customers who allow us to do what we love: bring you the finest teas! A big part of our mission is to give back to the community. “Do the right thing, and good things will follow.” It’s a philosophy imbued by company founder Ruth Campbell Bigelow and carried on by our employees. Today, we’re proud to highlight a few of the ways our Bigelow Tea “family” is making a difference.

Read Aloud Day – Bridgeport, CT,  Grades K-6

The Fairfield office has supported the Read Aloud Day program for six years, sending volunteers to read to children in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Here’s a sampling of the volunteers’ comments:

“What an amazing experience today was. The students were so excited when I entered the classroom … I couldn’t believe how engaged the children were when I was reading … I did tell the children I work for Bigelow Tea and we make tea bags. One little girl asked me what a tea bag was and before you knew it the whole class was talking about tea and who in their family drinks tea.”

“For me it was a great experience. I walked away from this feeling that It really mattered to those children that I was there and talked to them about the book as well as other random questions that they had to ask.”

United Way Day of Caring Diaper Drive

Bigelow Tea employees with just some of the thousands of diapers they collected for those in need

Oh baby! Employees from Bigelow Tea’s Fairfield, CT, and Boise, ID, offices collected 12,500 diapers to distribute to local mothers and families in need, along with baby wipes, powder, diaper rash cream and shampoo. It was our third year participating in this amazing event, and we can’t wait to do it again!

Thank you Bigelow Tea volunteers! We are so thankful for each and every one of you!

 

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Fan Of The Month Greta Eagan Celebrates Gluten Free Baking Week With Bigelow Tea!

It’s Gluten Free Baking Week, and that means it’s time to try some new recipes that just might turn into holiday staples. At Bigelow Tea we love creating food made with tea, and we’ve got a whole bunch of recipes that are gluten free. So let’s take a few minutes, preheat the oven, and bake up a tasty morsel!

Though we all love a good cake or a warm batch of cookies—especially when served with a cup of Bigelow Tea!—baking isn’t just about sweets. That’s why we wanted to share with you this new recipe, courtesy of Greta Eagan, for Maple & Miso Glazed Squash.

Greta is our December “Fan of the Month.”  She’s an eco-fashion expert, a tea lover, and she lives a gluten-free lifestyle full of veggies and whole foods … and her favorite Bigelow English Breakfast tea! We were so excited when Greta shared her baked squash recipe, particularly because it includes Bigelow French Vanilla Decaf Tea as an ingredient!

Give it a whirl during Gluten Free Baking week … we think you and your family will find it delightfully tas-TEA! Enjoy!

Maple & Miso Glazed Squash

Ingredients:

6 tablespoons grape seed oil for glaze (use additional oil for baking sheets)
3 acorn squashes (about 1 1/2 pounds each), halved, seeded, and sliced into one-inch-thick crescents
2 tablespoons mellow white miso paste
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/2 cup Bigelow Decaffeinated French Vanilla Tea (1 tea bag steeped for 5 minutes)

Instructions: 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line two rimmed baking sheets with aluminum foil, and brush with oil.

Boil water for a cup of tea. Pour about 1/2 cup hot water over the tea bag, cover and let steep for five minute. Mix up maple miso glaze by adding miso, maple syrup and grape seed oil, then gradually add the concentrated tea and mix until miso dissolves (use 1/4- 1/2 cup of tea). Try to avoid making your mixture too watery.

Lay squash pieces on baking sheets. Drizzle maple miso glaze over each crescent (reserve half the mixture for the other side). Roast about 5 minutes.

Remove baking sheets from oven. Using tongs, turn over pieces. Drizzle once more with glaze mixture. Roast until tender, about 20 minutes.

 

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With Heavy Hearts, Bigelow Tea Grieves For The Lives Lost Today

Our hearts go out to all the families that have been personally affected by this horrific crime in Newtown CT. A crime of this magnitude is unprecedented, both for our state and community. The aftermath of sorrow and pain is incomprehensible. Our deepest regrets for this horrendous crime go out to all. Our community will never forget the impact of what has taken place today. With heavy hearts, The Bigelow Family

(image via Flickr by Arne Hulstein)

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Bigelow Tea Dessert Recipes End Your Holiday On A Sweet Note

Just like the end of a great meal, it’s fitting to finish our week with Bigelow Tea dessert suggestions that will compliment your holiday dinner recipes. We’ve picked two delectable options that will top off your sides dishes and entrées which we featured earlier in the week here on our blog. What a wonderful way to complete a spectacular meal!

First, we recommend our Figs Brulée with Vanilla-Eggnog Ice Cream for its fresh take on serving figs where our Eggnogg’n Tea adds in extra flavor! And for our second suggestion, consider Vanilla Caramel Bread Pudding. What makes our version of this traditional dessert a bit sweeter is that we include our rich Vanilla Caramel Tea as a main ingredient. Enjoy preparing one or both of these dessert options, along with our other holiday recipes!

Figs Brulée with Vanilla-Eggnog Ice Cream

Ingredients:

1 pint half-and-half
1 cup sugar
Bigelow Eggnogg’n® Tea Bags
2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise and scraped, seeds reserved, divided
12 egg yolks
18 figs
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar

Yield: Makes 18 servings

Instructions:

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the half-and-half, sugar, tea bags, and reserved seeds from 1 vanilla bean. Cook until the mixture just begins to boil; remove from heat, and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth. Using a ladle, pour 1 cup of the hot half-and-half mixture in a slow, steady stream into the beaten egg yolks, whisking constantly.  Remove the tea bags from the half-and-half, and then add the egg-yolk mixture to the remaining half-and-half in the saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, or until the custard reaches 180º on an instant-read thermometer.

Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a stainless-steel bowl set in an ice bath. Stir until the custard is very cold. Freeze the custard in an ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Preheat oven to 350º. Cut each fig in half, and place each half, cut side up, in a well of a muffin pan.

In a small bowl, mix together the butter and reserved seeds from remaining vanilla bean. Brush the top of each fig with the butter mixture, and bake for 6 minutes.

Remove figs from oven, and evenly sprinkle the cut sides of the figs with the sugar. With a culinary torch, hold the flame about 2 inches above the surface of the figs. Direct the flame in an even back-and-forth motion so that the sugar melts and browns. Serve two prepared fig halves with a scoop of ice cream.

Vanilla Caramel Bread Pudding

Ingredients:

14 Bigelow® Vanilla Caramel or Bigelow® Eggnogg’n Tea Bags
2 ¼ cups (560mL) whole milk
½ cup (125mL) unsalted butter
1 cup (250mL) sugar
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon (5mL) cinnamon
1 teaspoon (5mL) vanilla extract
½ cup (125mL) raisins
16 slices of challah bread

Vanilla Caramel Sauce:
¼ cup (60mL) unsalted butter
½ pound (224g) powder sugar
Reserved tea infused milk

Yield: Serves 12 – Prep Time: 30 minutes – Cook Time: 40 minutes

 Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC).

Heat milk over medium heat, add Bigelow® Tea Bags (either Vanilla Caramel or Eggnogg’n) and raisins; remove from heat and let steep for 5 minutes. Remove tea bags, squeezing out all excess milk/tea. Strain tea infused milk; reserve raisins. Measure out 2 cups (500mL) and set aside the remaining tea infused milk for sauce.

In food processor, combine butter and sugar until well blended; add eggs, 2 cups (500mL) tea infused milk, cinnamon and vanilla. Continue processing until well blended.

Lightly butter a 9″ x 13″ baking dish. Break up the bread into 1″ cubes and layer in pan. Scatter the raisins over the top. Pour tea/milk mixture over the bread; soak for 5 to 10 minutes. Gently press down on the bread to make sure it is covered by the mixture.

Cover with foil and bake for 35-40 minutes. Remove foil and bake for additional 10 minutes to brown top. The pudding is ready when the custard is set, but still soft.

Make the Vanilla Caramel Sauce while bread pudding is baking, by melting butter over medium heat in a saucepan. Add powdered sugar to the melted butter and whisk to blend. Add reserved Vanilla Caramel or Eggnogg’n infused milk to taste.

Pour sauce over the baked bread pudding and allow to soak in 2-3 minutes. Serve warm.

Top Image by John Flanagan via Flickr.com

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Winner Of The Bigelow Tea $100 Gift Certificate Sweepstakes Announced

 

So happy to announce that Stacey from New Jersey won our $100 gift certificate good for any tea or gift on our website.  Happy Holidays and Enjoy!


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Bigelow Tea Lights Up A Party With Perfect Entrées for the Holidays!

With the holidays coming up, Bigelow Tea knows how important it is to enjoy a savory meal with friends and family and so we want to make life easier and exciting by sharing some holiday recipe options. Today we’re offering two of our favorite entrée recipes—and we’re confident you’ll find them both to be delicious. Try our Glazed Ham with Constant Comment Orange Sauce or our light and zesty Seared Scallops in Lemon Broth.  Both are sure to make tasty accompaniments to the side dishes in yesterday’s blog entry! Enjoy … and check back Friday for desserts!

Glazed Ham with Constant Comment® Orange Sauce

Ingredients:

2/3 cup (160mL) brown sugar
2 tablespoons (30mL) butter
12 Bigelow Constant Comment® Tea Bags

1 cup (250mL) hot water
½ cup (125mL) fresh orange juice
Zest of orange
1 teaspoon (5mL) ground cloves
1 – 6 to 8 pound (3 to 4kg) cooked ham
12 wholes cloves

Yield: Serves 12 – Prep Time: 10 minutes – Cook Time: 90-120 minutes.

Instructions:

Brew Constant Comment® tea bags in hot water. Discard the tea bags, squeezing to extract as much liquid as possible. Combine tea, brown sugar, butter, orange juice and zest with ground cloves in small saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and set aside.
Preheat oven to 325ºF (170ºC). Using a sharp knife, score the fat on top of the ham into diamond shapes, then press the cloves, stem side down, into each diamond.
Place ham in shallow roasting pan. Brush the Constant Comment® Orange Glaze on the ham liberally. Roast the ham for about 15 minutes a pound, brushing two to three times during the cooking process.
Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes before carving. Drizzle sliced ham with remaining sauce.

Seared Scallops in Lemon Broth

Ingredients:

2 cups (500mL) chicken broth
Bigelow I Love Lemon® Herb Tea Bags

2 teaspoons (10mL) butter
1 teaspoon (5mL) olive oil
1 pound (500g) sea scallops
2/3 cup (160mL) frozen peas
2 cups (500mL) cooked rice
Zest from a whole lemon

Yield: Serves 4 – Cook Time: 25 minutes – Prep Time 15 minutes.

Instructions:

Boil chicken broth in small saucepan, remove from heat and add Bigelow I Love Lemon tea bags. Infuse for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, rinse scallops and pat dry. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Add olive oil and butter to large non-stick skillet. When butter is foaming, add scallops and cook flat side down until well browned; turn and cook other side. Cook scallops for approximately 6-8 minutes total time.
Bring tea broth to a boil, add peas and cook 4 minutes.
Place ½ cup rice each in shallow soup bowls; place scallops evenly over rice, pour lemon pea broth over scallops and garnish with lemon zest.

Image 1 via public-domain-image.com

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Side Dishes Made With Bigelow Tea Really Make The Holiday Meal!

There are warm and tempting aromas coming from our kitchens this holiday season. That’s why Bigelow Tea is presenting our special holiday recipes…so we can provide some outstanding options for your perfect holiday meal! Today we want to share some side dishes and we can’t help but think, “so many festive sides, so little time!”

Here are two delicious tea-infused options that will delight you and your guests. What’s more, they pair beautifully with tomorrow’s Bigelow Tea entrée recommendations. So be sure to visit us tomorrow for main course recipes made with Bigelow Tea.

In the meantime, our French Style Green Beans and Carrots with Pomegranate-Balsamic Glaze  are a tasty and colorful addition to any table. And we’re sure you’ll agree that our Mashed Acorn Squash with Apple Cider Herb Tea is pure ambrosia. It’s true; the sides can make the meal!

French-style Green Beans and Carrots with Pomegranate-Balsamic Glaze

Ingredients:

1 cup hot water
Bigelow® Green Tea with Pomegranate Tea Bags
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon corn starch
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 pound fresh french-style green beans
½ pound carrots cut into 1 inch matchsticks
Salt and pepper to taste

Yield: Serves 6

Instructions:

Combine hot water and 4 Bigelow® Green Tea with Pomegranate Tea Bags and allow to steep for 5-7 minutes.
Place tea in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, and cook until liquid is reduced by half (about ten minutes).
Add balsamic vinegar and sugar. Stir to combine.
Add cornstarch and whisk vigorously until glaze is thickened and smooth. Set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, combine butter and olive oil. Heat until butter is melted but not smoking and then add carrots and green beans.
Saute vegetables until just tender, approximately 5 minutes (allow a few extra minutes of extra cooking time if using traditional green beans).
Add pomegranate-balsamic glaze, and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve immediately.

Note: Glaze may be prepared up to 2 days in advance. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator.

Mashed Acorn Squash with Apple Cider Herb Tea

Ingredients:

Non-stick cooking spray
1 cup hot water
Bigelow® Apple Cider Herb Tea Bags
4 lbs. acorn squash (about 4 medium or 2 large), cut in half and seeds removed
¼ cup packed brown sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt

Yield: Serves 6

Instructions:

Enliven your Holiday table with a new tea-inspired side dish! High-fiber acorn squash is a healthy alternative to potatoes, and when flavored with Apple Cider Herb Tea, is the perfect accompaniment to any festive table.
Preheat oven to 400º and place oven rack on middle setting.
Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray and arrange the acorn squash cut-side down on the pan. Bake for 40 minutes, or until flesh is soft. Allow to cool for approximately 15 minutes or until cool enough to handle.
Meanwhile, combine hot water and tea bags and allow to steep for 5 minutes. Thoroughly squeeze tea bags and discard. Set aside.
Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh of the acorn squash and place in large bowl. Mash with a fork.
Add ½ cup of the tea, brown sugar, butter and salt, and stir to combine, making sure the liquid is absorbed. Add more tea (1 tablespoon at a time) if the puree is too stiff.
Check seasonings, and add more salt if necessary. Serve hot.

Image 1 via Christmasstockimages.com

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Fairfield County Business Journal’s First Ever CFO OF THE YEAR AWARD Awarded To Bigelow CFO Don Janezic

Don Janezic

Recipient of the First Annual

Fairfield County Business Journal

CFO OF THE YEAR AWARD

OMG it was a wonderful event!  Please join me in congratulating Bigelow CFO Don Janezic on receiving Fairfield County Business Journal’s first ever CFO OF THE YEAR AWARD.  The Bigelow family and entire staff already know what a remarkably caring and diligent man Don is, but it’s especially gratifying to know that his professional peers outside the company recognize him with the same high regard that we do.  A consummate pro, it’s an honor to have him in our ranks.  Way to go Don!  We’re all so proud of youand wish you every continued success!

Cindi Bigelow

 

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‘Tis the Season for Bigelow Tea’s December Holiday Tea Assortment Sweepstakes


‘Tis the season for tea drinking! For our December sweepstakes, we’ve decided to give away our Bigelow Holiday Tea Assortment! This assortment features one box of each of four distinctive Bigelow Tea seasonal blends:

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

Total Value: $14.95

We’re delighted about filling teacups with good cheer. Twenty-four (24) lucky winners will receive our Grand Prize which contains 80 tea bags in all. And, because it’s a holiday giveaway, the Grand Prize comes wrapped in festive boxes tied and tagged. It’s ready for gift gifting upon arrival!

Our holiday assortment is the perfect present for any tea lover on your shopping list. Or perhaps you may choose to hold onto it as a personal gift to yourself. That way you can share your prize with visitors and serve our holiday blends to your guests.

To enter, we suggest you “like” our Bigelow Tea Facebook page and click on the sweepstakes icon under our cover photo. The sweepstakes ends on December 27th. Look for an announcement of the winners on our Bigelow Tea blog. Good luck and Happy Holidays!

 

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Cindi Bigelow Travels To Sri Lanka: First Full Day

Previously, we shared that Cindi Bigelow was heading to Sri Lanka to explore tea fields and tea auctions and it took many hours to get there. Enjoy Cindi’s account below of her first full day!

Sri Lanka Trip: First Full Day in Sri Lanka

OK, my first full day in Sri Lanka, it was better than I ever could have hoped.   Growing up in a 3-generation family tea business, I thought I already know a lot about tea but I learned so much! The people in this country are so passionate and so knowledgeable about this precious gem that they have been producing here since the 1860’s.  It is truly inspirational.

We spent the morning with one of our most long-time and treasured partners, Van Rees and their amazing team led by Niraj de Mel. He has over 30 years in the business and his knowledge of the industry was truly amazing. He is the quintessential professional, intelligent, poised, articulate and warm. He made our VP of the Tea Division John McCraw and I immediately feel at home. We felt as if we had known each other for years.

They took us through cup after cup of tea to share with us exactly what they look for when buying for us. Their ability to taste the smallest of nuances was both awesome and comforting.

These people could not be better partners. They knew exactly what we wanted and more importantly how the teas would hold up over time. That is of critical importance to my family. I could have listened to Niraj for days. Then we watched them prepare for a tea auction in which we would be attending tomorrow; I was so excited to being seeing a live tea auction!  Niraj, his associate Prasanna Panabooke and all the others on the team review 12,000 samples a week for color, for size, for quality; it is amazing to watch them in action.  It truly took our breath away to watch these guys work through the samples.  I could never have imagined how intricate and delicate a process it was for these wonderful people to consistently gets teas that match the Bigelow standard month after month. We were in good hands!

I also got to visit a Sri Lankan tea packer after leaving Niraj and was able to see their operation and their people packing different teas for various customers around the world. Different than us but valuable to see for sure.

In just a matter of a few hours, we had come to realize how much tea is steeped in centuries of tradition and what a global beverage it truly is.  I also feel so blessed that my family and i are a part of this tea community. After only one day in Sri Lanka i got a much better understanding of what tea means to the world. Now i could see first-hand how tea was the second most consumed beverage in the world (after water).

Back to the hotel we went for we needed to get ready for our next experience, dinner with our wonderful hosts.

We met up with Niraj and several of his associates at around 7pm. They took us to a wonderful Sri Lankan restaurant.  Besides the outstanding food that we enjoyed, the conversation with our Sri Lankan partners was fascinating. We not only talked tea but we talked global politics and Sri Lanka history. The conversation flowed and the evening flew by. It was the perfect end to the perfect first day!  This was clearly going to be a week like no other in my life.

Cindi Bigelow

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