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We Salute Eunice As Our Bigelow Tea Fan Of The Month!

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We met Eunice, our August Fan of the Month, on Facebook, where her signature wit provides regular smile therapy for all of us at Bigelow Tea. She loves to talk tea, always with a twinkle in her eye! Consider this response to our request for photos: “[I]f you want to know what I look like, picture Sophia Loren with gray hair.” Getting to know Eunice better has been delightful, and we thought many of you would enjoy hearing her story as well.

A proud “cheesehead” and Green Bay Packers fan from Wisconsin, Eunice now divides her time between her home state in the summer and Dallas in the colder months. “I’ve retired many years ago from doing everything from working in the phone room of a newspaper, to doing housekeeping at private residences, to secretarial work, to working at a meat-packing plant. And that’s in addition to raising four children. I’ve been widowed for some time now, and enjoy spending time with my family.” Reading, doing puzzles, gardening, playing “Smear” (a card game) and volunteering are among her current passions. One organization she works with helps women through abusive relationships.

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Eunice’s favorite Bigelow Tea flavor is “Constant Comment”®, which she steeps with cloves in a tea ball. “I like the pungent clove taste that it adds to the tea.  My mother used to make an orange tea with a very strong clove flavor and this brings back memories of that.”

Although Eunice “enjoys every day as it comes,” she describes a perfect autumn day as one spent  “sitting on my front porch among the beautiful colors of the changing trees, watching the ducks fly south while sipping iced tea (Bigelow, of course) and reading.  Anytime I can spend with nature makes me happy.”  Eunice, you make us happy! Cheers!

 

Bigelow Tea Shares A Special Garden Gift!

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Gardens have a way of making the heart sing. Whether found in your own backyard or verdant landscapes in distant places, the alchemy that occurs with seeds, soil and the natural elements is something to behold! Here at Bigelow Tea, gorgeous spring blooms and plants remind us why we appreciate the earth and its many gifts, and why we make land preservation a major part of our sustainabili-TEA efforts. So we are excited to highlight the American Classic Tea Sampler, a lovely gift item from our very favorite garden: The Charleston Tea Plantation!

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When you give someone one of these samplers, you are giving more than just tea. Along with three packets of each of our six delicious American Classic Tea flavors, the recipient will also get a little bit of Americana. You see, American Classic Tea is grown right here at the largest working tea garden in the United States. Since 2006, more than 200,000 visitors have toured our 127-acre tea garden on South Carolina’s Wadmalaw Island. People are drawn, year after year, by the tranquil setting and the opportunity to see the lush camellia sinensis tea plants that thrive in the island climate.

It’s hard to believe how close the U.S. came to losing this American treasure to new development. David C. Bigelow, son of founder Ruth C. Bigelow, tells the remarkable story of how the Bigelow family was inspired to purchase the tea garden at auction in 2003 to preserve it for future generations. One of the benefits of the purchase was that production of American Classic Tea resumed after a long hiatus, thrilling tea lovers who remembered the tea’s unique flavor and longed to taste it again. Now you can try this homegrown garden gift, too … and share it with others by giving an American Classic Tea Sampler!

 

Bigelow Tea Looks At TEA-time For National Golf Month!

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Is there anything more invigorating than 18 holes of golf on a beautiful summer day? Relaxing too— unless you tend to slice and get stuck in the rough too often, causing you to throw your new club into the closest pond! Bigelow Tea knows all about golf of course (who can you name who has better “greens”!?) and we know there’s one definitive thing that makes for a fantastic game, no matter your handicap: our fabulous Iced Teas! Despite all the sand traps of the game, we keep our chins up and play on because the game (as life) provides many pleasures. And with August being National Golf Month, we have an extra reason to get out there for a few rounds!

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There are so many Bigelow Tea varieties and flavors that you can sip over ice to make your golf game swing, from the traditional Half & Half Iced Tea & lemonade to our deliciously different Perfect Peach Herbal Iced Tea. Long cool sips of your favorite iced tea out on the links make for the perfect golf game, no matter what your handicap is!

Besides getting out on the course during National Golf Month, you can also enjoy watching one of the major golfing events of the year, the 2013 PGA Championship, a classic sporting event. Or, you could have fun revisiting some golf-centric movies. From the classic 1950’s social comedy Pat and Mike to the more recent classic Caddyshack, there are many great golfing films that share the “agony and the ecstasy” of the game. So keep your golf balls clean, your shots straight, and enjoy plenty of fresh brewed iced tea as you enjoy National Golf Month!  

Image by kulicki via Flickr.com

Bigelow Tea Community Garden Delivers Vegetables To Bridgeport Rescue Mission

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This week was a very exciting time for our Community Garden project, as Bigelow Green Team members from Fairfield, CT picked our first harvest from the garden and hand delivered tomatoes, zucchini, squash, cucumbers and basil to the Bridgeport Rescue Mission. Today’s first offering tipped the scales at 12.5 pounds!!!

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Bigelow Tea’s Green Team members who participated included Cindy Manning (who served double duty as our photographer), Jen Leclair, Pat Sorgenti and Jim Gildea. On hand to accept the harvest—which began with plantings in beds outside our Fairfield, CT headquarters back in June—included Chef Paul Byron Manager of Food Services and Donna Romano, Community Manager of the Bridgeport Rescue Mission. It looks like our garden will have plenty more vegetables, which we will deliver, and which will be put to great use by the Bridgeport Rescue Mission in true Greening, Wellness and Community spirit!!!

 

Bigelow Tea Promotes Exercising With Your Kids

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As a family owned and operated company, Bigelow Tea understands the importance of kinship and preserving the health and well-being of every family member. This week of August 4-10th is Exercise with your Child Week, and we think that is one TEA-rrific idea!

Whether your child is a toddler or a teen—or somewhere in between—exercising together is not only a health benefit, but a great way share family time. Exercise guidelines recommend that kids should do at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to make the children jog around the track. Try going for a family bike ride, taking a nature walk with the dogs, or simply running around the playground. The key to exercising with your child is just having fun! You might even want to make an afternoon out of it … go on a picnic and bring a ball to kick around. And don’t forget some good old fashioned BIgelow iced tea for the adults to refresh after a tough game of kickball! We think our Green Tea with Peach would be just perfect over ice!

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And if you do want to kick the exercising up a notch during Exercise with your Child Week, consider training for our Bigelow Tea Challenge on September 29th! The event includes a Kids Fun Run, a 2-mile non-competitive fitness walk, and a 5K race. For now, just get out there with your children, get moving and have some fun. Always hydrate after… with any of our delicious iced teas!

Photo by Elyse Patten via Flickr.com

Bigelow Tea Wants To Help Simplify Your Week!

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At Bigelow Tea we think the simple things in life—like sipping tea!—can certainly be some of the best. That’s why we embrace the sentiment behind Simplify Your Life Week, which is celebrated during this first week in August.

There are many ways to use this week as an opportunity to simplify. Over a nice tall glass of Bigelow Iced Tea, take a pen and paper and write down what’s important to you. Once you know your priorities, simplifying will be easy.

One of the best ways to simplify your life is to get organized and de-clutter. Organizing With Erin has a great list of ways to begin that includes keeping a “to do” list and planning your day the night before.

Or, perhaps during Simplify Your Life Week, you can find different ways each day to reduce the stress in your life. Some fun ideas, from Ohio State University, include:

  • Thinking of something that would be a total “waste” of your time. Then doing it!
  • Putting on your favorite music, then singing & dancing!
  • Getting out of your rut: eat breakfast in the evening, turn off the TV, start a new hobby

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And because peaches are ripening this month, we’d also like to add some “peachy” suggestions to the list. How about going peach picking? Or making a peach pie? Or, simply, brewing a pot of Perfect Peach herbal tea? Whether sipped hot or over ice, it’s a delightful way to enjoy life … simply.

 

Bigelow Tea Celebrates The Power Of Friendship

btmondayYesterday, August 4th, was International Friendship Day – a great reminder to make time for friends at every stage of life. Although the demands of school, career and family often take top priority, it’s important to recognize the myriad ways friends enrich our lives. By keeping us socially and emotionally connected, friends are actually good for our healthBigelow Tea believes in the power of friendship and heartily recommends bonding over a cup of tea. So grab a BFF – or two – and put the kettle on to celebrate all the laughs and tears you’ve shared!

Whether you have just a few close chums or a vast circle of friends, let them know how much they mean to you. Summer is the perfect time to invite friends over for an outdoor gathering that includes plenty of iced tea in a rainbow of flavors and colors. The icy pitchers look gorgeous on the table! Our quart-size tea bags are super convenient, but don’t forget that it’s simple to brew iced tea by the pitcher with our regular tea bags as well.  Try our Winning Combination: Green Tea with Mango and Perfect Peach Iced Tea in honor of National Peach Month!

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Sharing a signature cocktail is another special treat for friends. May we suggest a toast to friendship with our Green Tea FruiTEA Cosmopolitan! Delish! Of course, sometimes the quietest moments are the most meaningful among the best of friends – when a wordless glance exchanged over a cup of tea brings a sense of peace and belonging. We hope your cup is always full of love from cherished friends!

Image by Pepe Pont via Flickr.com

Bigelow Tea Gets Hands on During National Ice Cream Sandwich Day

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On August 2, Bigelow Tea is taking a “hands-on” approach to eating ice cream. This date marks National Ice Cream Sandwich Day, and this portable “sammie” is definitely worth biting into. Plus, there are so many varieties to enjoy. Not only can the frozen confection that is placed inside vary in flavor but so can the sandwich’s top and bottom layers—think cookies, cake slices, wafers, or evenprofiteroles!

And while eating them is most certainly delightful, ice cream sandwiches are also fun and easy tomake. Start off with our recipe for Vanilla Caramel Tea-licious Ice Cream Sandwiches, below. It packs in richness with our Vanilla Caramel Tea. And speaking of tea, since it’s August now—and the height of peach season—we think our peach teas would be great to sip alongside this dessert. Maybe serve our Perfect Peach Herbal Iced Tea with your icy sandwiches. Enjoy!

Vanilla Caramel Tea-licious Ice Cream Sandwiches

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Ingredients:

1 ¾ cups (409mL) whole milk
Bigelow® Vanilla Caramel Tea Bags*
2 cups (500mL) heavy cream
2 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup (160mL) sugar
48 chocolate or vanilla wafers – 2 ½ inches in diameter

Yield: Makes 1 quart (1L) = 24 ice cream sandwiches

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*Delicious alternatives – any of our Bigelow® Teas – suggested flavors are “Constant Comment®”, Vanilla ChaiPlantation Mint®, French Vanilla or Spiced Chai.

Instructions:

Requires Ice Cream Maker
In a small saucepan, combine ½ cup milk (reserve remaining milk for later use) and 6 Vanilla Caramel tea bags over medium heat until bubbles are visible. Remove from heat and let steep for 6 minutes. Squeeze tea bags, remove and discard.

In a small mixing bowl, beat the eggs, add the tea/milk mixture, remaining milk, cream and sugar. Pour back into sauce pan and heat over low heat until the custard thickens but does not boil. Remove from heat and strain; chill.

Pour into ice cream maker and follow manufacturer instructions. Place in a plastic container and store in freezer until ready to make sandwiches.

To make sandwich:
Let ice cream soften slightly, then place a small scoop on flat side of cookie, top with another cookie and press gently. If desired, roll the sides of the sandwiches through rainbow or chocolate sprinkles to coat ice cream. Freeze on a baking sheet for 1 hour; wrap each sandwich in plastic. They will keep in freezer for up to one week.

Prep Time: 15 minutes – Cook Time: 45 minutes

Top Image by edenpictures via Flickr.com

The Bigelow Tea August Sweepstakes Starts Today!

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The Bigelow Tea August sweepstakes starts TODAY featuring the ultimate prize for iced tea lovers: our Golden Assortment! Six lucky winners will take home this extensive collection of black, green, herb and decaf favorites—perfect for creating your best fresh-brewed iced tea combinations. With 152 tea bags in all, you will have plenty of delicious teas to mix and match for some time!

Summer is prime time for enjoying refreshing iced tea, and once you become accustomed to fresh-brewing it yourself, you’ll be hooked! It’s so easy and takes just minutes. Did you know any Bigelow Tea can be enjoyed over ice? Just follow these simple steps for brewing by the glass or pitcher. And the fun really starts when you combine different flavors … check out our own Winning Combinations and iced tea recipes, or experiment with your own! Each Golden Assortment comes in a handy reusable tin that keeps your teas organized and accessible for brewing anytime.

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To enter, “Like” our Facebook page and click on the sweepstakes icon under our large cover photo. The sweepstakes ends on August 30. Look for the announcement of the six winners on our Bigelow Tea blog. Good luck, and happy summer!

 

A Bigelow Tea-Inspired Dessert Is The Perfect Party Favor For Any Host

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Graduation parties, dinners, cookouts … the social calendar is chock-full right now. That means you may be piping up to ask, “what can I bring?” A lovely gesture, to be sure, but it’s even nicer to offer something specific – and out of the ordinary. A Bigelow Tea-inspired recipe would be just right! And since you can’t go wrong with dessert, we’re highlighting a few wow-worthy treats that are easy to make and have that tea-licious extra something to show how much you care. Try one the next time you’re invited!

Peach No-Bake Cheesecake

Ingredients:

4-6 Bigelow® Perfect Peach Tea Bags
1 box No-Bake Cheesecake Mix
Box-stated milk amount
Sliced peaches (optional)

Instructions:

Slightly ahead of time, place milk and tea bags in a saucepan. Heat over medium heat until bubbles just start to form on sides, stirring constantly. Remove pan from heat. Let steep 10 minutes. Remove tea bags. Either refrigerate until cool or quick cool in the freezer. (Do not leave in freezer longer than 30 minutes.)

Prepare cheesecake according to package directions using tea and milk mixture instead of milk. 

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Raspberry Royale Angel Food Cake

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Ingredients:

Angel Food Cake:

1 Bigelow Raspberry Royale Tea Bag
½ cup boiling water
1¾ cups sugar
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup cake flour, sifted
12 egg whites (the closer to room temperature the better)
1½ tsp. cream of tartar

*Raspberry Royale Icing:

1/3 cup brewed Bigelow Raspberry Royale Tea
1½ cups sugar
¼ tsp. cream of tartar
Dash of salt
2 egg whites
½ tsp. pure vanilla extract

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350˚F.

Place 1 Raspberry Royale Tea Bag in ½ cup of boiling water – let steep for 10 minutes.  Set aside.

Sift half of the sugar with the salt and cake flour.  Set remaining sugar aside.

In a large bowl, combine egg whites, brewed tea and cream of tartar.  Beat with electric mixer on medium speed.  Slowly sift the reserved sugar into the egg white mixture, beating continuously until medium peaks form.  Sift enough of the flour mixture into egg white mixture to just dust the top.  Using a spatula, gently fold the flower mixture and egg mixture together.  Using flour mixture, dust and fold again and continue repeating until all of the flour mixture is incorporated.  Spoon the mixture into an ungreased tube pan.

Bake for 40 minutes or until knife inserted in cake comes out clean.

Cool upside down for one hour before removing cake from pan.

*Optional:  Top with Raspberry Royale Icing:

Place Raspberry Royale Tea Bag in 1/3 cup of boiling water – let steep for 10 minutes.  Set aside.

Place sugar, cream of tartar, salt, brewed tea and egg whites in the top of a double boiler.  Beat with a handheld electric mixer for 1 minute.  Place pan over boiling water making sure that the top of the pan does not touch the boiling water, but sits above it.  Beat on high speed with electric mixer for 7 minutes.  Beat in vanilla.  Remove from heat and spread on cake.

Recipe submitted by Sarah Henery
Bigelow Recipe Contest 2011
 

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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

Instructions:

These chewy brownies are packed with intense chocolate and mint flavor, thanks to Bigelow® Plantation MintTM 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.

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