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Bigelow Tea Appeals to the Savvy Traveler!

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The first full week of May is recognized as National Travel and Tourism Week, a tradition celebrated now for 30 years. During this week, May 4 through May 12 in 2013, events are held in cities nationwide, celebrating the power and excitement of traveling. Bigelow Tea loves the opportunity to travel because there are so many fascinating places to explore, especially right here in the U.S. of A.

One of the best things about travel is that it contributes to our national economy; the travel and tourism industry supports millions of US jobs—in fact one out of every eight jobs in the U.S. depends on the industry! This adds up to $2.0 trillion, making a major economic impact in nearly every state. We all contribute to those numbers, whether we’re constant travelers or “Staycation” tourists.

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When it comes to traveling and enjoying this beautiful country, Bigelow Tea is pleased to remind you that our very own Charleston Tea Plantation is a premier destination for the savvy traveler, and for so many great reasons. Located on the beautiful Wadmalaw Island near Charleston, South Carolina,  the Charleston Tea Plantation is the cherished home of our American Classic Teas as well as the First Flush Festival, which was named one of the top-100 events in the US! And we’re also proud to point out that the city of Charleston itself was recently named a top city in the world destination!

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And of course when you do travel, Bigelow Tea is happy to come along in a Tea Wallet or your bag! Remember that wherever you are, if going out for tea isn’t an option, Bigelow Tea is portable and always convenient, perfect to take along with you. Enjoy your tea-time, anytime! What could be better?

Logo Graphic via ustravel.org

Bigelow Tea Offers Last-Minute Mother’s Day Suggestions

btwedStill trying to figure out Mother’s Day plans? Bigelow Tea has last-minute advice on making Sunday, May 12th quite memorable. First, be sure to pick a gift that shows thoughtfulness and taste. Our dark brown Wicker Teacup and Saucer basket ($25.95) holds a mix of 13 different tea varieties—from Chinese Oolong to Vanilla Caramel—and gives Mom a total of 104 tea bags to choose from. She can refill it later on with more tea, a plant or anything else!

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For a mom on the go, how about our brand new “Find Your Balance” hoodie? Luxuriously soft with a flattering shape, this hoodie will accompany Mom to the spa, on errands or on any casual day at home. Best of all, it has a tiny pocket on the front that’s just big enough for a key or your favorite Bigelow Tea bag!

Don’t stop there! Surprise her with another delight: a delicious treat everyone has a hand in making. Cook up family-friendly recipes like our Pomegranate Yogurt Dip and Fresh Fruit or Chewy Chocolate Mint Brownies. Happy Mother’s Day … and enjoy your time together as a family!

Pomegranate Yogurt Dip and Fresh Fruit

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Ingredients:

1 cup (250mL) plain yogurt (non-fat yogurt not recommended)
¼ cup (60mL) boiling water
Bigelow Pomegranate Pizzazz® Herb Tea Bags
3 tablespoons (45mL) powdered sugar
Chopped dried cranberries for garnish (optional)

Prep time: 10 minutes – Cook Time: 10 minutes.

Yield: Serves 4

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Instructions:

Pour boiling water over Bigelow Pomegranate Pizzazz® Herb tea bags. Let stand for 10 minutes. Mix yogurt and powdered sugar. Add 4 tablespoons (60mL) tea mixture and stir well. Place in an attractive bowl and garnish with cranberries (if desired). Place a variety of fruit such as pineapple, kiwi, mango, papaya and bananas around the dip

Chewy Chocolate Mint Brownies

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Ingredients:

Bigelow® Plantation Mint Tea Bags (or Bigelow Mint Medley® Herb Tea Bags)
½ cup water
1 3/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
¾ cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
4 large eggs, room temperature
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
9×13 inch baking pan, greased and floured

Yield: One 9″ x 13″ pan

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Instructions:

These chewy brownies are packed with intense chocolate and mint flavor, thanks to Bigelow® Plantation Mint Tea. If you prefer a caffeine-free tea alternative, substitute the same amount of Bigelow Mint Medley® Herb Tea.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and set the rack on the middle setting.

Place tea bags in ½ cup of hot water. Set aside to cool, and then remove tea bags, squeezing out liquid from bags.

Meanwhile, place 1-¼ cups of the chocolate chips and butter in a metal bowl. Set over a saucepan filled with about 2 inches of water, to create a double-boiler. Heat on low and let chocolate and butter melt, stirring frequently.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together eggs and sugars until well blended. Add the cooled tea mixture and whisk to combine. Add a few tablespoons of the melted chocolate/butter combination to the egg mixture and stir to combine. Add the remaining chocolate and incorporate. Lastly, add the flour and remaining ½ cup of chocolate chips, mixing until smooth.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake approximately 25 minutes. Center will feel firm but still moist. Bake 5-10 minutes longer for a drier brownie. Place pan on a wire rack to cool completely before cutting into 20 squares.

Yield:  24 Servings

 

Bigelow Tea Takes Time To Honor Teachers

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Odds are you remember your favorite teacher … his or her name, what grade you were in, what was special about that person. We at Bigelow Tea know how one great teacher can make all the difference in a world of learning. During this first full week in May, for Teacher Appreciation Week, we’d like to take the time out to honor all teachers who try to make a difference in every student’s life. Inspirational, devoted, and always striving for the best for each scholar, the teachers in our lives are a cornerstone of our education and our thirst for knowledge.

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So how do we show our appreciation for those who go that extra mile for us, push us to do our best, and help us discover our hidden talents?  We give them a moment to themselves and time to relax of course—and what better way to do that than with our Chai Personali-Tea Basket. It contains the perfect assortment of Chai tea flavors, some fabulous chocolate covered graham crackers, and the cutest personali-tea mug that reads “smart, thoughtful, and full of spice.” That fits some of our past teachers to a Tea!

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Another gift that will help our teachers unwind is our Charleston Tea Plantation Green Tea Candle Tin. What a nice way to help them relax their minds and spirits at the end of any long day at school. The vision is clear to us … a lovely cup of Bigelow tea, a scented candle and a favorite book. It’s the perfect combination for any educator!

We know the job of being a teacher is no easy task. But we also have learned that a wonderful cup of Bigelow Tea and a moment to relax can make the job just a tiny bit easier.

Image by woodleywonderworks via Flickr.com

Busy Bigelow Tea Fan Of The Month Ondria Witt Relaxes With Vanilla Chai

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Ondria Witt, our May Fan of the Month, is a mom on the move. We mean that quite literally! As a successful blogger, mother of a 2-year-old, homemaker and church volunteer, Ondria’s daily schedule is jam-packed with activities. We are impressed by all that she accomplishes and so glad to know that she somehow finds time to enjoy her favorite Bigelow TeaVanilla Chai!

As Ondria explains, she is up every day by 6 a.m. to squeeze in a few hours of work on her Mommy’s Block Party blog before breakfast. The blog has many devoted followers who depend on it for tips, recipes, product reviews and engaging personal stories geared to other busy moms and families. Once breakfast is finished and her husband heads off to work, Ondria is off and running. “I spend the morning hours doing several things at once, like checking email, returning phone calls while entertaining/playing with my son, and doing light housework. Let’s just say I don’t sit down very much,” says Ondria.

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Spending time with family both near and far is a top priority for Ondria. She makes sure to take a break for nightly family dinners before she rushes off to music rehearsals or meetings at her church. Her evenings typically include more blog work, bedtime stories and cuddling with her son.

No wonder this busy lady enjoys a Vanilla Chai break now and then! “I never, ever thought that I would be a chai tea drinker, because I love coffee so much. Once I tried the Bigelow Chai Teas, though, I was hooked!” says Ondria. “It’s so delicious and I love the spiciness to it. It’s wonderful to enjoy with breakfast/brunch, or anytime!”

We couldn’t agree more!

 

Watching The Kentucky Derby With Bigelow Tea

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We are huge sports fans here at Bigelow Tea, and one event we like to watch every year is the glorious pageantry of the Kentucky Derby! From the thrilling sounds of “My Old Kentucky Home” to the sights of the ladies’ hats and the colors adorning the dashing horses, this tradition-laden event is a must-watch!

The Kentucky Derby was first run in 1875 in Louisville, Kentucky.  At Bigelow Tea—where some of our favorite teas include rose hips—we were interested in the origin of the roses that are now synonymous with the Kentucky Derby, which is often referred to as the “Run for the Roses.”  Here’s what we learned:

The roses were first established as part of the Derby celebration when they were presented to all the ladies attending a fashionable Louisville Derby party. The roses were such a sensation, that the president of Churchill Downs, Col. Lewis Clark, adopted the rose as the race’s official flower. The rose garland now synonymous with the Kentucky Derby first appeared in the 1896 when the winner, Ben Brush, received a floral arrangement of white and pink roses. … In 1925, New York sports columnist Bill Corum, later the president of Churchill Downs, dubbed the Kentucky Derby the “Run for the Roses.”

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Several of our favorite Bigelow Teas are made with rose hips, including Chamomile Mango and Orange & Spice herbal teas! Those tasty teas are two that we love served over ice on a spring or summer day. In fact, we think they’d make a perfect accompaniment to a viewing of this year’s Derby!

So, on May 4th, join us in raising a glass of iced tea as we watch the horses line up and take off in this year’s Run for the Roses!

Image by kyngpao via Flickr.com

Bigelow Tea Announces Our Pinterest Sweepstakes Winners!

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We are so excited to announce the winners of our Pin To Win Bigelow Tea Sweepstakes.  Congrats to all!

 

Claudia from KS

Andrea from CA

Dawn from OH

Christina from MI

Gary from WA

Please note that all winners will be contacted by Bigelow Tea within 2 weeks in order to confirm your contact information so the prize can be awarded.

Enter Our Bigelow Tea May Sweepstakes To Win A Spa Gift Basket!

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May is for honoring mothers, but we think you’ll agree that this month’s Bigelow Tea sweepstakes prize will make every day feel like Mother’s Day for our three lucky winners! Each of the three winners will take home an Organic Tea Spa Basket filled with luxurious treats to delight the senses!

Everyone needs a bit of pampering now and then, and this carefully edited goody basket ticks off all the boxes for items to soothe body, mind and soul. It’s perfect for moms, moms-to-be or moms-at-heart! Each Organic Tea Spa Basket contains the following:

  • Tea-infused 6-oz glycerin hand therapy
  • 8-oz body silk lotion
  • 8-oz shower gel, plus moisturizing balm
  • Travel-size hand cream
  • 2-in unscented candle
  • 2, 3-oz jars all-natural Savannah Bee Tea Honey
  • 2 clover honey spoons
  • 6 blends of Bigelow Organic Tea Flavors, 48 tea bags in all

To enter for a chance to win, “like” our Facebook page (if you haven’t already!) and click on the sweepstakes icon under the large cover photo. The sweepstakes ends on May 31. Be sure to check our Bigelow Tea blog for the names of the three lucky winners. Good luck, and best wishes to all the mothers who enrich the world with love and care!

 

Bigelow Tea Shares Plans For Our 7th Annual First Flush FesTEAval!

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Bigelow Tea is revving up some exciting plans for the upcoming 2013 First Flush FesTEAval! Yep – it’s on its way and it’s never too early to plan, so be sure to mark your calendar for this annual bash, held on Saturday, May 18th. You’ll want to make a day of it at the Charleston Tea Plantation when you enjoy our grand tradition of celebrating the first flush—the first harvest of the year’s tea crop.

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You may remember that the First Flush FesTEAval was named one of the top-100 events in all of North America! You can’t beat the old-fashioned goodness of the event, with family fun, food and music—and of course lots of the plantation’s home-grown American Classic Tea! Tickets are available in advance through TicketFly.com and the Music Farm Box Office.

If you’re a music fan, you’re in luck. We’re proud to announce that the FesTEAval will be headlined by the popular Folk Rock band OLD CROW MEDICINE SHOW! Some of the other musical acts slated to appear include The Luke Cunningham BandGaslight StreetQuincy MumfordSun Dried VibesSouthwoodTyler Boone and Stop Light Observations. Plus, a special surprise guest will be there! With the great music, the tea, food trucks and a kids’ area, you have the makings of a fantastic day!

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The Charleston Tea plantation is made up of 127 acres of pristine grounds and an amazing gift shop, located on Wadmalaw Island and located just outside of Charleston, South Carolina. It was recently named one of the top destination cities in the world! Tens of thousands of tea lovers travel to America’s only Tea Garden every year to visit and tour, and of course to attend our First Flush FesTEAval! The gates open at 1 p.m., and the show starts at 2. We hope to see you there on May 18th!

For The Perfect Mother’s Day, Bigelow Tea’s Got You Covered!

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It’s never too early to start planning a party … especially one for Mom! Yes, Mother’s Day is coming soon, and Bigelow Tea wants to help you make it a great day for the mothers in your life.

Starting the day with a decadent brunch is one way to go, and we’ve got a recipe (below) for Vanilla & Cinnamon Baked Challah French Toast—featuring our Cinnamon Stick and French Vanilla teas!—that is unbelievably tastyand easy for the other family members to put together. No, Mom, you’re not allowed in the kitchen today!

After breakfast, pamper Mom with a few thoughtful cards and gifts. Handmade items from young children will turn into treasured keepsakes, and a tin full of Bigelow Tea will keep her heart warm for months! Our I Love Mom Tin of Tea (pictured at top) filled with 128 tea bags is a great way to go!

So don’t wait till the last minute; start preparing for your Mother’s Day extravaganza now. With a little advance planning, the day will go off without a hitch! By the end of the day, she’ll be sipping her favorite Bigelow Tea and thinking about just how lucky she is!

Vanilla & Cinnamon Baked Challah French Toast

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Ingredients:

12 slices of Challah bread, cut in half on the diagonal
½ cup of hot water
Bigelow® Cinnamon Stick Tea Bags and 2 Bigelow® French Vanilla Tea Bags

6 eggs
1 cup skim milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 – 8 oz package cream cheese, cut into small cubes
Non-stick cooking spray (preferably plain or butter flavor)

Yield: Serves 6-8

Instructions:

This do-ahead dish makes a perfect breakfast for overnight guests. It can be completely assembled the night before, and will bake while you’re brewing the morning tea. Serve with a fresh fruit salad for a delicious start to your day.

Lightly coat the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

Steep 5 tea bags in ½ cup of water for 5 minutes, and allow to cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs and salt. Add cooled tea and whisk to combine.

Arrange a layer of Challah bread in the prepared baking dish, and evenly distribute half of the cream cheese cubes on top.

Add a second layer of Challah bread, and slowly pour egg mixture over the top, allowing it to completely soak all the bread.

Top with remaining cream cheese cubes, cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight (or at least 2 hours).

The next morning, remove from refrigerator and preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, until the dish is completely set and lightly browned.

Cut into squares and serve with maple syrup if desired.

Take a Virtual Tour of Bigelow Tea’s Charleston Tea Plantation

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With Charleston, South Carolina designated as a must-see destinationBigelow Tea is sharing a video featuringanother wonderful reason for taking a trip down south: tea! Located on Wadmalaw Island, in the heart of South Carolina’s Lowcountry, our Charleston Tea Plantation is the perfect place for a day trip. If you’re thinking of going and want a preview … or you can’t make it there in “real life,” take a “virtual tour” around our 127-acre property.

Your tour guide, Cindi Bigelow, will take you through the factory and show you how our American Classic Tea is made. You’ll also see a gazebo used for weddings and other special events, and an antique trolley you’ll be dying to ride! Come join us and see what makes Bigelow Tea’s Charleston Tea Plantation and gift shop so special!