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Bigelow Tea Community Garden Getting Greener By The Day!

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In true Greening, Wellness, Community spirit, the Bigelow Tea Green Team continues working on the Bigelow Community garden. As a reminder, the Bigelow Green Team planted tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, squash and even added in some basil. In true GWC spirit, we will be looking to donate our vegetables and herbs to a local nonprofit organization where they can use this product to help feed those who may be less fortunate.

Well, as spring turns to the heart of summer, we have begun to see our first tomatoes and cucumbers and it looks like even the basil is ready. Our garden has grown by leaps and bounds and soon more vegetables should be on their way. The Bigelow Green Team has attempted to be as green as possible with our garden venture. The garden had praying mantis pods that were hatched so the praying mantis would feed on the small insects such as aphids that can be harmful to plant growth. They will also work and advance to larger insect prey.  The praying mantis is a very effective, organic controller of insects/pests in the garden, and this will provide us a means of organic pest control which we hope will keep our garden pest free, thereby helping better the productivity of our plants.

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We are also in the process of setting up a rain barrel in an effort to collect rain water that can be used for watering our garden; in addition to saving water, the temperature of the rain water is better for the plants as it is closer to its natural environment then city-supplied water. Although we did not attach to a downspout, our rain saucer is busy collecting rain water. We also have a compost bin in the area to ensure all weeds are composted and returned back to the Earth.

We are excited about this project and continue to take pictures and document the project as it moves through each stage. We look forward to the next stage as the tomatoes turn red and are ready to eat!!!!

 

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Enjoy The Links & Some Bigelow Tea During Family Golf Month!

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We’re halfway through summer and at Bigelow Tea we’re excited about some quality time on the links because July is National Family Golf Month! You know we love the game of golf (maybe because we know so much about greens)! We enjoy any activity in the great outdoors that helps families play together, and July is a wonderful opportunity to take the whole clan out for a round. Fun and instructive, the historic game provides us all with life lessons of discipline, sportsmanship and etiquette.

Depending on where you live, you may enjoy all things golf  most any time of year, but the perfect summer weather just seems to add to the experience. Family Golf Month is a generous slice of July’s Americana, a real “Made in the USA” idea (although scholars tell us that the ancient Dutch game of ’kolf’ was brought by Dutch sailors to Scotland, where it eventually became the game we know today)!

It’s the same with our beverage of choice: although we enjoy Bigelow Tea every day the year round, there’s something special about TEA-ing off with a cold and invigorating glass of iced tea on a warm July afternoon. Better than a bag full of mulligan’s, Bigelow Tea’s Iced Tea is your best friend a hot summer day. Speaking of hot days—did you know that a golf ball will travel significantly further on a hot day?

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If you need to work on your game, here are some great golf tips. But the most important thing is to keep the iced tea coming! And since we’re in the golfing spirit, we’d like to suggest assorted Green Teas to sip after your day on the greens … or Lemon Lift to give your tee shot that extra oomph to help it land right in the cup!

Image By Thomson Al Fresco Via Flickr.com

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Bigelow Tea’s Cindi Bigelow Considers The Virtue Of Being Nice

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When I was invited to speak about leadership at a local high school recently, I found myself looking out into an audience of expectant faces – typical American parents concerned about their kids’ future at a time when jobs are scarce, college costs are high and people are debating the value of a liberal arts education.

I have two children, one who recently graduated with a degree in Spanish and English, and another who is studying business… so I know the competition is intense, compounded by the fact that some 78 million members of the Millennial Generation are entering the workforce at a time when some 76 million Baby Boomers don’t really want to retire.

The audience was looking for answers. I’m an established businesswoman and a parent. What could I tell them?

“What do you want your kids to be?” I asked. “Doctors? Lawyers? Investment bankers?” And I could see heads nodding in agreement around the room, at least until I threw them a curve ball and asked, “How many of you said in your minds, ‘I want my kids to be NICE?'” You could see their eyes open wide.

You see, in my mind, it’s of incredible importance, even though, I will admit, “niceness” isn’t on any curriculum at any liberal arts college I’ve visited. Furthermore, “niceness” isn’t part of any professional performance evaluation in Corporate America, probably because we sometimes operate under the misguided notion that nice guys, and girls, finish last. I’m here to dispel that notion. I look for “nice.” I need to see “nice,” not only in my kids, but also in my employees — all of them. Yes. I want my kids to be “nice” people, and I don’t really care if it’s one of the least-discussed values in modern America. But in my opinion, we need to talk about this virtue much more often. These words need to part of our daily lexicon.

A “good” education should make sure it’s teaching young people about values, and let’s be honest, young people need to focus on these virtues because in many ways, our society has taken kindness, niceness and compassion (things that our parents and grandparents in the Greatest Generation practiced so naturally), for granted. My list of what I want my kids to be is actually much longer than merely “nice.” In no particular order, I want them also to be:

  • Caring
  • Hard-working
  • Balanced
  • Fair
  • Resilient

I also have a list of what I don’t want them to be. I don’t want them to feel “entitled” or be disrespectful. And I certainly don’t want them to have an “attitude.” And how do I impart this important information to my kids? By “messaging” to them continually (maybe similar to how a company tries to advertise its products). This kind of steady repetition of values is essential in raising our children. “Say please and thank you.” “Hold the door.” “Be kind to your brother.” “Be friendly to the kid who doesn’t have any friends.” “Tell the truth even when it hurts.” “Learn how to say ‘I’m sorry.'”

And the good news is it works. I’ve seen the results.

This is how values were traditionally passed on from generation to generation, back in the era when we talked with our children at the dinner table and didn’t spend the time texting. The crazy thing is that research on the Millennial Generation shows they are looking for values, they crave them, and many are concerned with the direction our country is taking. There have been many studies of the Millennial Generation, particularly by marketers and retailers who recognize their buying power, not to mention politicians, who recognize their voting power.

Here are some of the relevant characteristics of a generation that is typically defined by its love of technology:

  • Some 63 percent of Millennials, as opposed to 55 percent of Baby Boomers, consider it their duty to care for their parents who are aging, according to a study by Focus on the Family. To me, that’s great news.
  • Equally important, 52 percent of people in the Focus on the Family study say that “being a good parent” is their most important goal in life. How can you argue with that personal goal?
  • At the same time, this is the generation that might just change the face of Corporate America. A poll by the Marist Institute of Public Opinion found that almost two-thirds of Millennials think the nation’s moral compass is pointed in the wrong direction.
  • In addition, they have a problem with “compartmentalization,” and 88 percent of them think people “have a different set of ethical standards in business than in their personal lives,” and 66 percent believe there should not be two sets of values governing people at home and in the office.
  • When it comes to the traditional juggling act of balancing work and family life, 75 percent of those polled said they believe they can balance the challenges of their careers — but not at the expense of their families.
What I find so inspiring is that the younger generation is already wired for success and committed to traditional values like kindness and compassion and integrity. We just have to keep reinforcing that message and not let our society’s love of professional and material success overshadow the importance of being a good and decent person.

When I finished the presentation I asked the group of parents one more time, “What do you want your kids to be when they grow up?” All of them raised their hands and said “Nice” at the same time. Made my heart warm and put a huge smile on my face!

Cindi Bigelow

Originally published by The Huffington Post


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A Chari-Tea Event Run By A Fan Features Bigelow Tea

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My name is Diane and I am from a little town near Erie, Pennsylvania. My daughter founded our Relay for Life team called The Forget-Me-Nots a few years ago to help raise funds for the American Cancer Society.

Last year our team hosted a Chari-tea Party that was a huge success. It was a ladies only event and we asked everyone to decorate a hat and we awarded the various winners with a tea gift package.  We had some very interesting hats!

It was so much fun and we ran out of seating because the ladies came and stayed until the end!  Now we have to find a bigger place to hold our event!  Not a bad problem to have, huh?

I think we offered just about every flavor of Bigelow Tea there is and the ladies really enjoyed them.  We are constantly being asked “when is your tea party going to be”?

It was a great event for a great cause with a lot of great women drinking great tea!!!  It was a win/win!!!

Diane from Pennsylvania

 

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Bigelow Tea Relaxes For National Hammock Day

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Ahhh, the lazy days of summer. At Bigelow Tea we work hard, but we do love to relax … and one of the best ways to do that in the summer is on a hammock, of course! On July 22, you just might find us outside, lazing around on a classic hammock with a nice cold glass of Bigelow Iced Tea in order to celebrate National Hammock Day.

That’s right, Hammock Day … “who knew?” It’s true. Although the hammock was created by the early Mayans and adopted by the military, its present-day status as a summertime backyard fixture has made the hammock the ultimate for kicking back in casual comfort.

Hammocks today can be strung between the trunks of two trees or attached to stands and placed anywhere your heart desires. Down at our Charleston Tea Plantation in South Carolina, our neighbor has been making rope hammocks since 1889! Pawley Island Hammocks credits riverboat captain Joshua John Ward, “Cap’n Jack,” with making the first hammocks on the island. Today, the company still makes these relaxation gems right here in the USA with care and attention to detail. We love sharing the island with them and producing our own “made in the USA” product: home-grown American tea!

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So let’s imagine a beautiful summer afternoon in a hammock. There’s a slight breeze giving the hammock a gentle sway and we’ve got a glass of American Classic iced tea in hand—maybe a Plantation Peach. Ahhh, yes, National Hammock Day, one of our favorites. Please wake us when it’s time to go back to work.

Image by return the sun via Flickr.com

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Bigelow Tea Scoops up National Ice Cream Month and Ice Cream Day

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Bigelow Tea has the scoop on indulging in ice cream this summer: July is both National Ice Cream Month and features National Ice Cream Day on Sunday July 21!

Now we have a very cool reason for repeatedly going to our local ice cream shop. In fact, family-owned businesses make up the majority of ice cream makers in the U.S., according to the International Dairy Foods Association. For generations, these “mom and pop” ice cream parlors have been meeting our nation’s craving for our favorite frozen dessert. As a family-owned business ourselves, Bigelow Tea is celebrating all things “made in the USA” this month … and we’re excited to add local ice cream shops to our list!

So visit your local ice cream parlor this month, and if you want to try making homemade ice cream, we have recipes for you! All feature Bigelow Teas like our Vanilla Caramel and Earl Grey. Or start with this one below, made with Bigelow Green Tea with Peach! Delish!

Green Tea with Peach Ice Cream

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Ingredients:

2 cups (500mL) heavy cream
1 cup (250mL) half-and-half
¾ cup (180mL) sugar
Dash of salt
½ teaspoon (2.5mL) vanilla extract
20 Bigelow® Green Tea with Peach Tea Bags
1 cup (250mL) diced fresh or canned peaches, drained

Yield: 1 quart -Prep time=10 min Chilling time=4-6hrs Freezing Time=25-30 min

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Instructions:

Combine heavy cream and half-and-half in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, being careful not to boil.

Turn off the heat; add sugar and salt, stirring to dissolve. Add the vanilla and the tea bags and let the mixture cool to room temperature, occasionally stirring and gently pressing the tea bags to infuse cream with the tea flavor. When cool, cover tightly and place in the refrigerator overnight.

Before freezing, pour the mixture through a sieve set over a large bowl. Press the tea bags to release flavor. Add the diced peaches and freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Top image by stu_spivack via Flickr.com

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Every Day Is “Get To Know Your Customer Day” At Bigelow Tea!

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Getting to know our tea Fans has been a top priority here at Bigelow Tea. We love hearing your tea stories! So it has been deeply gratifying—and just plain fun—to celebrate the lives of several remarkable individuals through our Fan of the Month feature, which we introduced back in September. Since Get to Know Your Customer Day is tomorrow, July 18—and we also happen to be celebrating all things “made in the USA” this month—we’d like to take a moment to thank our Fans, formal and otherwise, for sharing their all-American passion for Bigelow Tea!

It has been fascinating to learn about Fan favorites, from Green Tea with Mint and “Constant Comment®” to several flavors in between. We’ve also loved learning about the myriad ways in which our Fans integrate tea into their busy days.  We have profiled many talented bloggers whose specialties span the realms of art, food, homemaking, sustainable fashion, music and more. Although their lifestyles and interests are diverse, they all agree on one thing: tea time is an essential daily American ritual!

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Now that summer is in full swing, we get lots of great Fan feedback about how refreshingly delicious Bigelow Teas are over ice. In fact, any Bigelow Tea flavor can be enjoyed iced after fresh “homegrown” brewing! Be sure to check out our Everything Iced Tea page for iced tea tips and easy recipes. And, as always, keep in touch with us via Facebook or Twitter, because as far as we’re concerned, every day is another opportunity to get to know our valued consumers!

Image by Busy At Home blog

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“Constant Comment”® Tea Travels The World With A Bigelow Tea Lover

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I was introduced to “Constant Comment”® tea by an American friend and promptly fell in love with it!

Twenty years ago as a new bride I moved to the jungles of Papua New Guinea. My husband was an engineer at a copper and gold mine. I was about as far as I could get from my home in Canada. I shipped over 2 large jars of loose leaf “Constant Comment” tea.

You had to be a very good friend to be offered a cup of “Constant Comment” tea! The Australians who constituted most of the expat community had never tasted the tea and came to love it too.

Now my daughter has come to love Constant Comment tea as well.

Eva
Alberta Canada

 

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During Family Reunion Month, Bigelow Tea Says “Let’s Connect”

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July is a great time for Family Reunion Month, with children out of school and adults ready to take time off from work. As a family-owned businessBigelow Tea encourages all families across the country to reconnect with loved ones this summer. Whether it’s a simple get-together or a large family reunion, being with family creates memories that will last a lifetime.

From the youngest members of the clan to the family matriarch or patriarch, the whole gang can be involved in planning and making the day special. Someone can plan games, another family member can be the photographer for the day, and everyone should bring a dish to share. And, of course, someone has to be in charge of brewing up family-sized servings of Bigelow Tea iced tea!

To get you started, here are some tea-inspired recipes your family will enjoy. Have a great summer … and wonderful time with your family!

Green Tea and Mango Pasta Salad

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Ingredients:

2 quarts (2 litres) water
16 Bigelow® Green Tea Bags
½ teaspoon (2.5mL) salt
12 ounces (336g) Fusilli pasta
1 avocado, peeled, seeded and cubed
½ cucumber, peeled and diced
1 cup (250mL) red pepper, diced
2 large mangos, cut into cubes
Black sesame seeds for garnish, optional

Dressing:
1/3 cup (80ml) olive oil
2 tablespoons (30mL) fresh lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon (5mL) grainy mustard
Salt and pepper taste

Yield: Serves 8 – Prep Time: 15 minutes – Cook Time: N/A

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Instructions:

Bring 2 quarts (2 litres) of water to a boil, add tea bags and steep for 5 minutes. Remove tea bags, add salt and pasta; cook according to package directions. Drain.
In small bowl combine dressing ingredients and mix well. Toss pasta with dressing. Cool.
Add avocado, cucumbers, red pepper and mango and garnish with sesame seeds, if desired.

Mint Medley® Tabouleh Salad with Feta, Cucumber and Olives

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Ingredients:

Bigelow Mint Medley Herb Tea Bags
3/4 cups Bulgur Wheat (Tabouleh)
1 1/4 cups boiling water
1 large tomato, split and cut into 1/4 inch dice
1/2 cucumber, peeled, and cut into 1/4 inch dice
3/4 – 1 cup crumbled feta cheese, about 4 ounces
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
1/4 cup chopped pitted Greek olives
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
Plenty of freshly ground black pepper

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Instructions:

Pour the Bulgur wheat into a bowl. In a glass measuring cup, pour one cup of boiling water over the tea bags and steep for 4-5 minutes. Remove the tea bags to a small strainer and using the back of the spoon, press as much liquid as possible back into the cup. If needed, add additional boiling water to measure 1 cup, then pour it over the Buglur wheat. Let it stand until all the liquid evaporates, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Put the finished tabouleh (Bulgur wheat) in a salad bowl. Add the tomato, cucumber, feta cheese, scallions, mint and olives, turning to mix well. Pour in the olive oil; add salt and pepper and toss again. Taste to adjust the seasonings, if necessary. Serve over a bed of lettuce leaves.

Asparagus Salad with Earl Grey Tea Vinaigrette

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Ingredients:

Vinaigrette:
½ cup (125mL) Bigelow Earl Grey Tea (made using 2 tea bags)
2 tablespoons (30mL) orange juice
½ teaspoon (2.5mL) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon (15mL) rice wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoon (30mL) toasted sesame seed oil

Salad:
1 pound (500g) asparagus, washed and cut diagonally
½ red pepper, julienned
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped

Yield: Serves 4. Prep Time: 15 minutes. Cook Time: 10 minutes.

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Instructions:

To make the vinaigrette, boil water and add 2 Bigelow Earl Grey Tea Bags to ½ cup water. Steep for 5 minutes; remove bags and reserve tea.
Place tea, orange juice and sugar in a small saucepan or skillet and bring to a boil, reduce to about 2 tablespoons (30mL). Combine tea mixture, vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper and sesame oil together.
Bring a saucepan of water to a boil, add asparagus and blanch for 1-2 minutes. Rinse with cold water.
Arrange asparagus with julienned red pepper in an attractive platter and toss with Earl Grey Vinaigrette. Garnish with chopped egg.

Top image by roger_mommaerts via Flickr.com

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Bigelow Tea Turns Up The Heat During National Grilling Month!

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Happy National Grilling Month! The peak of summer grilling is here with its sizzle and all its mouth watering aromas. With legions of back yard grillers at attention across the country, Bigelow Tea looks at Grilling Month as a proud “Made in the USA” experience!  Whether you fire up the grill only on weekends or use it throughout the week, July is summer grilling central! So don’t forget the basics: always keep your grill clean, follow sensible food safety steps, and remember there’s nothing better than a cool iced tea for your grilling companion. It’s as easy as 1-2-3!

To help kick off the month, here’s one of our sizzling Bigelow Tea recipes that creates a complete summer meal. Enjoy!

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Bigelow Tea Glaze and Seasonal Vegetables

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Recipe Created by Joy Marr

Ingredients:

PORK TENDERLOIN:

5 cups boiling water
Bigelow Green Tea with Mango Tea bags
Bigelow Green Tea with Peach Tea bags
Bigelow Green Tea with Pomegranate Tea bags
1.2-1.5 lb. Pork Tenderloin whole
1 clove garlic, smashed
½ small yellow onion cut into in wedges
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (use only if oven baking tenderloin)
2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar (can substitute cider vinegar)
1 tablespoon honey (can substitute brown sugar)
1 tablespoon veg. oil
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoons of both Salt and pepper

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Instructions:

Bring 5 cups of water to a boil and add the Bigelow Tea bags, the clove of garlic and the onion wedges. Remove from heat and cover – let steep for 20-30 minutes. Remove tea bags squeezing well and discard, along with the garlic and onion. Divide the tea mixture -set aside 2 cups for the glaze to the remaining 3 cups add the vinegar, honey, oil, thyme and salt and pepper- stir. This will be the marinade for the pork.

Once the marinade tea has cooled down somewhat, pour into a large plastic bag; add pork tenderloin and marinate for 5 hours or overnight in refrigerator. While pork marinates make the glaze and ready your vegetables both can be set aside or refrigerated covered overnight.

Heat your grill to medium; while grill is heating drain tenderloin from marinade -discard marinade- and wipe loin dry, set aside. Pour 1/2 cup of the reserved tea glaze into a small vessel you can work out of. Place pork on grill. Cook for 8-10 minutes on medium. Open grill and brush liberally with tea glaze. Reduce grill to low, continue to cook pork over the next 8-10 minutes, turning pork and coating well with glaze, 2 or 3 more times, until thermometer reads 160′. Remove from heat and let rest for 8-10 minutes. Slice into medallions and serve with glazed vegetables.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR OVEN BAKING PORK

Prep time approx. 10 minutes

Oven time 20 minutes

Preheat oven to 325°F. Heat oil in a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. While pan is heating, drain tenderloin from marinade -discard marinade- and wipe loin dry. Carefully add tenderloin to hot pan and cook, turning until brown on all sides, 5-6 minutes. Baste liberally with tea glaze and place skillet with pork in oven and bake for 8 minutes. Open oven and baste liberally with tea glaze again. Continue to cook until thermometer reads 160′, about 12-15 minutes, basting pork again when you remove it from the oven. Transfer pork tenderloin to platter and let rest for 8-10 minutes. Slice into medallions and serve with glazed vegetables.

Yield: Serves 4

TEA GLAZE

2 cups reserved Bigelow Tea mixture
3 tablespoons honey
½ teaspoon black pepper
Pinch of salt

Bring remaining 2 cups of tea mixture to a simmer over med-high heat and cook to reduce. After 45 minutes or so, check it you want to have about 1 cup no less. Add honey, salt and pepper and set aside for later or refrigerate overnight.

SEASONAL VEGETABLES WITH BIGELOW TEA GLAZE

1 medium Acorn squash
2 medium carrots, peeled
2 medium Parsnips peeled (can substitute yellow onions)
2 tablespoons butter, salted
½ cup reserved tea glaze

Heat the oven to 400′. Place the butter in an oven proof pan and put in oven to melt while oven pre- heats. Cut the carrots and parsnips on the diagonal into 2″ pieces. Slice the acorn squash into rings 1″ thick rings-then cut in half. Remove the pan from the oven – place all the vegetables in pan and carefully toss with butter to coat. Bake for 10 minutes. Open oven and pour the tea glaze over the vegetables, stirring well to coat. Continue to bake until vegetable are tender- and can be pierced by a small knife point, approximately 15-20 minutes.

Yield: Serves 4

Top image by andrewmalone via Flickr.com

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