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All The Tips For Making Iced Tea Perfect Every Time

Summer’s in the air, tea lovers, and you know what that means… countless glasses of iced tea! Don’t worry, though, Bigelow Tea has everything you need for some cool sipping. Whether you love fruity flavors like Pomegranate Pizzazz®, Red Raspberry™ or Perfect Peach®, or crave the delicious combo of tea and lemonade, get ready to be refreshed. BTW- you may be a pro at making a hot cup of tea on a cold day, but creating iced tea perfection has its own set of in-the-know tips. President and CEO Cindi Bigelow will help you out, though. Check ‘em out:

All ya gotta do is try. 

Try pairing different teabags together to give your iced tea a tasty twist that’s all your own. Bigelow Tea has more than 150 flavors to choose from, including a bunch of specialty iced teas to get you started. Remember, it’s certainly not against the rules if you choose to ice your favorite hot tea, yum!

Big spoon or little spoon? 

Once you decide on a flavor and the water is boiling, have a glass ready. Then, put a spoon in it before pouring in the hot water. The spoon will capture incoming heat and prevent your glass from breaking- who knew! Don’t forget to leave some room for the ice!

Steep, baby, steep.

If you’re making just a glass for yourself, give two teabags a couple of minutes to steep, but for a quart (like if you’re pouring for a party) make sure to steep between 6 to 10 minutes. Feel free to play around with time lengths to find your perfect brew. Once the tea has steeped, add those ice cubes (be generous).

Sweeten the deal. 

Besides sugar, think out of the box and try agave or honey. Spruce your iced tea up further with a slice of lemon or a sprig of mint.

What is your favorite Bigelow Tea to enjoy over ice? Tag #TeaProudly and share!

Go Wild With Bigelow Wild Blueberry With Acai Herbal Tea

Sweet and tart, sweetheart. That’s how best to describe a cup of Bigelow Tea’s Wild Blueberry with Acai Herbal Tea. Yup, acai. But how the heck do you even pronounce it? Easy. AH-sigh-EE. “Ahhh…..” (like the sound you let out when you’ve had a really long day and just got a minute to sit down and watch Netflix); “sigh,” (like what you do when you realize you ran out of tea); and “Eeeee” (like the “Wheeee – without the “W” part – you make when you’re on a roller coaster). See? Simple.

But what exactly is acai? And why does it pair so well with blueberry? And why will you absolutely love it if you don’t already? Funny you should ask…

Deep in the Amazon

Açaí is a delicious black-purple berry that resembles a large grape and grows on tall, slender palm trees in the Amazon, where it has been consumed in the form of a pulp (purée) for centuries. So, yeah, it goes pretty far back.

Here and there and everywhere

Acai has become pretty trendy these days. Look anywhere online or in popular juice bars or cafes, and you’ll see gorgeous acai bowls or smoothies. However, in different parts of the world – take Brazil for example – acai is also used as a sauce for fish dishes. Looking for a more savory recipe? Try this Blueberry Acai Vinaigrette. It’s great on a bed of greens or grilled chicken.

Oh, hi, blueberry and acas.

Acai is one of the ingredients in Bigelow’s Wild Blueberry with Acai Herbal Tea. Along for the ride – err, in the bag – are real blueberry pieces, rose hips, hibiscus, sweet blackberry leaves, apple, cinnamon and orange peel. Talk about a fruit bouquet. Mmm… Yes, please! Try a cup (hot or iced, both are nice!) and see just why it’s a fan favorite.

Have you tried Wild Blueberry with Acai yet? Love it? Tag #TeaProudly and share what you thought!

Fill Your Life With Good Tea And Good Company – #TeaProudly Style

Think about your inner circle. Those people that are most important to you. Go on, take a second. Make that list in your mind. Got it? Okay. Now, imagine sitting down with all of them at a table for a few hours – obviously with a few pitchers of iced Bigelow Tea, maybe outside in the sunshine. The laughs, the honest conversations, the memories, the feeling of being perfectly content with your favorite people.

That’s what #TeaProudly is all about.

Where did it all begin, you may wonder? As a proud third-generation family-run business, Bigelow Tea’s founder Ruth Campbell Bigelow created the flagship “Constant Comment” tea in 1945.  From that moment on—one tea bag at a time—Bigelow Tea has reinvented tea in America by providing tea lovers with a selection of more than 150 flavors of black, green, oolong, and herbal teas using premium ingredients and foil pouches for each tea bag, so you can sip and savor the highest quality, most delicious cup of tea.

But let’s get real, drinking tea is so much more, right? Tea is warm (even if it’s iced, it warms up the soul!) and cozy. It connects people and invites conversation, one cup at a time. Tea is second only to water as the most widely consumed beverage in the world and it’s especially cool that 82% of Americans drink tea—that’s more than 158 million people who count tea as a top beverage choice. Tea is now considered trendy, with 42 percent of Americans under age 30 preferring to drink tea and 27 percent drink tea exclusively. Historically, while tea holds a special place in many cultures near and far, today we consider tea drinking a proud American tradition! Just think, millions of us share the love of tea in common. This is something to talk about… something to share. As an industry leader, Bigelow Tea is taking the very tea movement inspired in America to the next level.

#TeaProudly is a celebration for those who find joy in the simplicity of the day-to-day – like a long conversation over a few glasses of iced tea. So, what are you waiting for? Grab those friends and loved ones, plan a get-together and chat your hearts out over some tea. Then, tell us about it. Tag your group shot with #TeaProudly and show the world how tea is bringing you together!

As If You Need More Reasons To LOVE Tea! 

Okay, so maybe history wasn’t your favorite subject in school, but when it comes to tea—and its thousands of years of history—there are a lot of facts, figures, science and an art that surround this humble yet fabulous drink. Yup, tons! Add that to Bigelow Tea’s more than seven decades of experience and passion for each ingredient in every cup, and you’ve got one heck of a beverage. But, do you know what really goes on when it comes to a bag of tea? If not, that’s okay, but there’s some pretty cool stuff. Here are a few tidbits for you to understand just exactly what’s in that cup of yours and why it’s just so darn amazing.

Relax, relax!

Studies say theanine (also called L-theanine) can stimulate the immune system as well as the mind, leaving the body with benefits similar to yoga. Om-mazing, right?! Theanine actually binds with the caffeine in tea, which is what makes the tea-drinking experience so different from the jolt you get from coffee.

It’s all in the leaves, friends.
Theanine is a component of the camellia sinensis plant, so it’s found in green teablack tea or oolong tea. While herbal teas, such as chamomile, don’t contain leaves from the camellia sinensis plant, these teas can also be very relaxing because of the herbs used.

Tannins, oh tannins.

It’s not necessarily the caffeine that some people are sensitive to in tea—it might be the tannins. This natural component of tea that gives it its color may not agree with some people when the tea is consumed on an empty stomach. A high amount of tannin can taste astringent, and in general, a high-quality tea will be lower in tannins, providing a better flavor.

Never the same.

Sourcing is super important when it comes to making quality tea. Bigelow Tea sources many ingredients from family farms that have not only known the Bigelow family for decades but also provide high quality ingredients like the mint and the lemon used in a variety of Bigelow tea flavors.

Have any good facts or neat stories about tea? Tag them with #TeaProudly to share with our community of tea lovers and research junkies. Tea lovers, unite!

This Is Why Honey And Bigelow Tea Are Worth Buzzing About

It’s sweet, it’s natural, and it’s one honey of an ingredient – especially in your mug of Bigelow Tea. There’s a lot to be said about honey, from its origins to its uses. Yeah, it’s easy to go on and on about it, but let’s be sweet and just share a handful so you can get back to your day. Here are a few reasons being a honey fanatic is a great way to bee:

Bee classic. Honey has a long history – production flourished in ancient Greece and Sicily, and was used to sweeten different foods. The spiritual and therapeutic use of honey in ancient India is documented in Ayurveda texts, which are more than 4,000 years old. Wow!

Bee unique. A lot of work goes into each jar of honey. To start, honey bees make honey from the nectar they collect from flowers. The 60,000 or so bees in a beehive may collectively travel as much as 55,000 miles and visit more than two million flowers to gather enough nectar to make just a pound of honey. And, on average, On average, a honey bee produces 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey over the course of its life. To put that into perspective, two tablespoons of honey would be enough to fuel a bee’s entire flight around the world.

Bee healthy. A source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, honey – particularly in its raw form – offers unique health benefits. According to research, it’s used as a natural cough suppressant, may help heal wounds and reduce allergy symptoms, and can offer a quick energy boost.

Bee sustainable. Unfortunately, bee populations all over the country are drastically declining. In the past few years, experts warned that four species of bees native to Connecticut, where Bigelow Tea’s headquarters are located, had disappeared from the state in the last 10 years. So, we decided to take action on the bees’ behalf and even planted more flowers on our corporate property along an urban train track fence in the hopes of providing bees with a better natural habitat.

Bee sweet. Honey adds a little sweetness to the day (and cup!), so we want to make sure it’s around for many, many days to come. It could be easy to take for granted, but we’d sure miss it if it ever ran out!  Add a little honey to your favorite Bigelow Tea, or try our Honey and Chamomile Vanilla Honey Herbal Tea before turning in for the night.

Bottom line: If a bee is buzzing by you, don’t panic. Just relax (maybe with a nice cup of tea) and assume that it’ll likely go about its business. And lucky for Bigelow – and all of us – those bees are in the business of making honey!

As If You Needed Another Reason to #TeaProudly With Bigelow! (Okay, How About 5??)

Whoa. Did you know that Americans consumed almost 84 billion servings of tea last year?? That’s ahhh-mazing! Just think, millions of us around the country share the love of tea in common. Historically, while tea holds a special place in many cultures near and far, today Bigelow Tea considers tea drinking a proud American tradition! And the Tea Association of the U.S.A. has the numbers to prove it – talk about #TeaProudly!

  1. Go halfsies? Each day, more than one half of the American population drinks tea. Regionally, the South and Northeast have the greatest concentration of tea drinkers.
  2. Like, obviously. Approximately four in five consumers drink tea, with Millennials being the most likely (87% of millennials drink tea). Yeahhh!
  3. Black tea for the win. About 80% of all tea consumed in 2016 was black tea, 16% was green tea, and the rest was Oolong, white and dark teas.
  4. Important import. The U.S. is the third largest importer of tea in the world, after Russia and Pakistan, and the only western country to grow in tea imports and consumption.
  5. Ice, ice, baby. Nearly 80% of tea consumed in America is served over ice.

Do you know how much we love tea at Bigelow? Let’s hope so! As a proud third-generation family-run business, Bigelow Tea founder Ruth Campbell Bigelow created the flagship “Constant Comment” tea in 1945. From that moment on, one tea bag at a time, Bigelow has reinvented tea in America by providing tea drinkers with a selection of more than 130 flavors of black, green, oolong, and herbal teas using premium ingredients and foil pouches for each tea bag so you can sip and savor the highest quality, most delicious cup of tea. Why? Well, of course it’s because YOU deserve the best!

If you love tea as much as we do, consider joining the #TeaProudly movement! #TeaProudly is a welcoming place that keeps all tea lovers informed about what’s brewing and gives rise to expression, both yours and ours together. We, and tea lovers across the country, want to hear from you about why you #TeaProudly, why you make tea your beverage of choice, when you drink it, who you share your tea moments with, and what special memories have been made over a warm, beautiful cup of tea. Join the conversation at http://www.teaproudly.com/ and tag your special moments using #TeaProudly. Cheers!

This Is Why People Love Bigelow Tea’s Raspberry Flavors

Amour, amore, amor, uh… more, please! At least when it comes to Bigelow Tea’s raspberry flavors! Have you tried them yet? If not, you’re gonna want to get on that. A cup of Red Raspberry™ Herbal Tea is out of this world. You can also choose from other flavors like, Raspberry Royale®Red Raspberry™ Herbal Iced TeaNovus Wild Encounter Herbal Tea and Charleston Tea Plantation Rockville Raspberry® Tea. Mmm… delish!

So, how much do you know about raspberries? Well, for starters, raspberries have grown wild and free around the world for centuries. The raspberry plant was believed to be a native to Turkey, and was even thought to have been gathered by the people inhabiting Troy in the first century B.C. Today, there are more than 200 species of the berry, and they come in all sorts of colors. And, hey, fun fact, according to the Telegraph, in the late 1950s, raspberries were brought down from Scotland to London on a steam train known as the Raspberry Special.

Curious what to do with all the ripe raspberries in your kitchen? Easy enough. A bowl of Sparkling Raspberry Ginger Splash is sure to wow guests at your next barbecue. Looking to make life a little sweeter this season? Hello, raspberry sorbet and Double Raspberry Tea-sicles. Or, simply enjoy a tall glass of Red Raspberry over ice (try it with a handful of fresh raspberries!), or a warm mug of it for a relaxing evening in.

Go ahead and find the joy of summer in Bigelow’s raspberry flavors—and continue to feel that sunshiny vibe all year ‘round! While you’re at it, tag #TeaProudly on social media and tell us how you’ll be enjoying the sweet, ‘lil fruit!

3 Reasons Why Every Day in July Should Include Tea And Ice Cream

Ice cream is totally an acceptable meal during summer. And you know what goes great with ice cream? Bigelow Tea. Besides, a balanced diet during National Ice Cream Month is basically a glass of iced tea in one hand and an ice cream cone in the other, right?! If you’re not quite convinced, here are three reasons why you should include both in your July repertoire.

  1. I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! Who doesn’t love a dripping cone of the good stuff? Plus, it’s got quite the history. Did you know that ice cream’s origins are known to reach back as far as the second century B.C.? Legend has it that Alexander the Great enjoyed snow and ice flavored with honey and nectar, and more than a thousand years later, Marco Polo returned to Italy from the Far East with a recipe that closely resembled what is now recognized as sherbet. In America, the first advertisement for ice cream appeared in the New York Gazette on May 12, 1777, when confectioner Philip Lenzi announced that ice cream was available “almost every day.” And then, during World War II, the first “floating ice cream parlor” was built for sailors in the western Pacific. Those soldiers deserved it!
  2. Keep things local! Okay, so ice cream is delicious, but it’s also a great reason for repeatedly going to the 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 a favorite frozen dessert. Yum! And, as a family-owned business, Bigelow Tea is celebrating all things “made in the USA” this month … and we’re excited to add local ice cream shops to the list!
  3. It’s hot out there! Chill out with some homemade ice cream. How about a scoop of Green Tea with Peach or Mint Tea Chocolate Chip Ice Cream! (Holy smokes, both sound incredible.) Don’t worry, recipes for both are right here! If you try your hand at either, be sure to tag #TeaProudly so we can drool… errr, swoon! Enjoy!

Green Tea with Peach Ice Cream

(pictured at top)

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

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.

Mint Tea Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk
  •  6 Bigelow Mint Medley Herbal Tea bags
  •  3/4 cups sugar
  •  6 large egg yolks
  •  2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  •  1/4 teaspoon salt
  •  1 cup half-and-half
  •  1 cup heavy cream
  •  1 1/3 cups of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

In a mixer, (I heart my KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer), beat the sugar into the eggs until thickened and pale yellow. Beat in flour and salt. Set aside.

Bring the milk to a boil in a heavy medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Stir in the tea bags, cover, and set aside to steep for 15 minutes.

Gently press down on the tea bags to make sure all of the mint flavor gets into the milk, and then remove the tea bags. (Side note: I actually ripped open one of the tea bags – and loved how the tea looked swirling around in the milk. If this happens to you, you can strain your milk through a fine mesh sieve, or just leave it be. It didn’t bother any of us and looked pretty cool!)

Add the half-and-half and return to a simmer over low heat. Slowly beat the hot milk and half-and-half into the egg yolks and sugar. Pour the entire mixture back into the pan and place over low heat. Stir constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon until the custard thickens slightly. Be careful not to let the mixture boil or the eggs will scramble. Remove from the heat and pour the hot tea custard through a strainer into a large, clean bowl.

Cover and refrigerate until cold or overnight. (I let mine sit overnight to enhance the tea flavor, but if you want to speed up the cooling process, set it into an ice bath. Just make sure your mixture is completely chilled before adding to the ice cream machine.)

Stir the chilled custard, and then freeze in 1 or 2 batches in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

When the ice cream is semi-frozen, slowly add 1 1/3 cups of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips and let the ice cream machine mix it in.

When finished, the ice cream will be soft but ready to eat. For firmer ice cream, transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze at least 2 hours.

*This recipe is adapted from The Ultimate Ice Cream Book by Bruce Weinstein.

Beat The Heat: 5 Ways To Stay Hydrated With Tea This Season!

Sunshine on your mind? Keep it there, for sure, but consider adding another mantra to your day: “Must keep hydrated, must keep hydrated!” And for that, Bigelow Tea has some great tips on keeping cool (temperature-wise, of course… you’re pretty awesome already).

First, though, do you know why it’s important to stay hydrated, especially when it’s hot outside? Well, you see, our bodies are about 60% of water by weight, and proper hydration is essential for our overall health. Water helps regulate body temperature, optimizes our blood pressure, and keeps our joints lubricated, among other bodily functions. Because your body loses water through breathing, sweating, and digestion, it’s important to rehydrate by drinking plenty of liquids and eating foods that contain water, such as fruit and vegetables. As summer temperatures increase – along with lots of outdoor activities – our bodies work really hard to stay cool. And with all that water loss, that’s why it’s so darn important to hydrate. Don’t worry, though, Bigelow Tea keeps it easy for you! Here are 5 of our favorite ways to keep that water flowin’ (and that body in tip-top condition):

  1. It’s such a good hydration… it’s such a sweet sensation! Because, sometimes, it’s just more fun to eat a freeze pop. Turn this summer fave into a tool to refuel and rehydrate. Looking for a few recipes? How about Iced Tea & Lemonade Ice PopsEndless “Pop”sibilities (Popsicles)Green Tea and Coconut Popsicles or Pomegranate Pizzazz Iced Tea Popsicles? Yum!
  2. Give me iced tea…please! Chill out and rehydrate after a long day by sipping on an herbal iced tea. Here’s a great video with President and CEO Cindi Bigelow on how to make the perfect glass!
  3. Oh, wait, soup in the summer? Yes. Summer soups are totally a thing. From gazpacho to summer corn chowder, soup can be a hearty way to get those liquids in! Other favorites include Slow Cooker Ramen or Green Tea Ramen Soup, or Seared Scallops in Lemon Broth.
  4. Fruits and veggies, oh my! Thankfully, there are loads of delicious fruits and vegetables that supply an ample amount of water. And, even better? Many of them are in season, like watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries, raspberries, oranges, spinach, cucumbers, lettuce, celery and green peppers. Eat them on the go or add them to your go-to dishes! And, hey, you can never go wrong with a recipe that includes several of them, like a Spinach Salad Spectacular with Raspberry Vinaigrette!
  5. Ice, ice, maybe? The next time you make iced tea, try freezing some in an ice cube tray. Then use the ice tea cubes in place of regular ice cubes to keep iced tea cool, fresh and flavorful! Yup, it’s that easy!

However you hydrate, share your tips with your fellow tea enthusiasts. It’s a great chance to #TeaProudly – plus, staying well and playing safe in the summer heat is super important, no matter how you do it!

This Is Why Bigelow Tea Is A True Blue Fan Of The Blueberry

Warmer weather = blueberries. And when it comes to fresh, sun-ripened blueberries, absolutely nothin’ compares to them – in your baked goods, drinks, salads or simply popped into your mouth by the handful! Yup, blueberries are totally amazing, which is EXACTLY why Bigelow Tea has captured their flavor in a few different teas, like Benefits Blueberry and Aloe Herbal TeaWild Blueberry with Acai Herbal Tea, and Green Tea with Blueberry. Because while these ‘lil berries deserve their own month every July, you can still enjoy their deliciousness all year ‘round.

So, what’s the blueberry’s story? Here are some facts about this little blue dynamo’s journey from farm to table.

They’re as (North) American as blueberry pie

According to folklore, blueberries are one of only a few fruits native to North America. However, it wasn’t commercially grown until the 1900s. We know, we know… Apples tend to be more popular in American history and traditions, but really, it should be red, white and blueberry!

20-ish Shades of Blue

You may not realize it, but there are 19 varieties of blueberry that are grown around the world today. The most common is Vaccinium corymbosum, the northern highbush blueberry, which we all know, love and snack on.

A Cultural Phenomenon

In 1981, Ronald Reagan’s inauguration sparked the creation of the blueberry-flavored Jelly Belly. In fact, more than 6,000 pounds of them were consumed throughout the festivities!

Offering a burst of flavor in every bite, blueberries are also fab in all types of dishes! Celebrate all month with these recipes for Fabulous Melon and Blueberry Fruit SaladBlueberry Acai VinaigretteRaspberry Royale Tea Jelly with Blueberries, and Red, White and Blueberry Grilled Chicken Salad with Black Tea Raspberry Dressing. Or, relax poolside with a Pomegranate Blueberry Iced Tea or Wild Blueberry Delight. Is your mouth watering yet? Mmm…

Whether you’re brewing or cooking, sipping or savoring, Bigelow Tea wants you to make the most of National Blueberry Month. Share your top blueberry moments with a #TeaProudly tag, and take a moment to enjoy the sweet, plump fruit. It’s never been so fun to be blue!