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Is There Weed Killer In Your Teas?

The OCA has filed a lawsuit in which they challenge the use of the words “all natural” on our teas based on finding trace amounts of the herbicide glyphosate on the dry leaf. The amount detected was significantly below (62% less) EPA standards. At these microscopic levels on the dry leaf, it does not transfer into a brewed cup of tea. Our continual testing has confirmed we have no glyphosate in a cup of Bigelow tea.

We continually work with our growers to ensure they limit the amount of application of anything used on the tea bushes. It is important to keep this significantly low amount that was detected on the dry leaf in context. For these minuscule trace levels that were reported by the OCA’s test, the source can come from many different means (airborne, rainwater, etc.). At such microscopic levels, you will not be able to determine the specific source. The important fact to know is that we continually test with third party independent certified labs to confirm that our products are safe. We ask you to not lose sight of the fact that there is no glyphosate in a cup of our tea.

For 75 years, our family has based our entire reputation on the quality of our products. We are saddened by the fact that we need to defend ourselves about something that does not exist in a cup of our tea. – Cindi Bigelow, CEO

Fam Facts! Bigelow Tea Edition

This time of year is all about creating that warm, cozy, welcome feeling that comes from being with loved ones.  Whether family, friends, neighbors or co-workers, your “fam” is those people with whom you feel most comfortable and love spending time with whenever possible.

Bigelow Tea is a big fan of the fam… the company history and its very existence is rooted in traditions and relationships within the immediate family and beyond. For 70 years family owned Bigelow Tea has shared milestones and moments with everyone involved in the company and its success.

As the holiday season draws near and calendars fill with impending activities and must-do’s, scheduling family time is important and enjoyable.  For inspiration, take a rest, brew some Bigelow Tea and take this look into “fam-tastic” Bigelow family history…

  • The First Family of Tea – Ruth Campbell Bigelow created the first Bigelow tea recipe – the renowned “Constant Comment” of course – in 1945.  She proudly shared her new beverage with friends, family, neighbors and their “Constant Comment” about its deliciousness created a business.  Ruth’s husband, David E. Bigelow Sr., switched from a career in publishing to the tea biz to ensure the fledgling Bigelow Tea company started and stayed on good footing for the benefit of his family and that of its employees.
  • It Takes a Village, and a Farm! – As the decades passed, the “tea” torch and role of leader of the Bigelow tea family was passed to Ruth’s son, David Bigelow.  David, with the support and assistance of his wife Eunice, grew the company exponentially, bringing it to the mass market and creating the relationships and programs with the many growers, suppliers and tea industry leaders that continue to enhance the company today.  Today, Eunice and David are co-chairs of Bigelow Tea.
  • Modern (Tea) Family – Eunice and David’s daughter Cindi, now president and CEO, grew up in the tea business, with all the history and ethos of her grandparents and parents, but also with her own modern sensibility.  Cindi Bigelow continues to grow the company as well as focus on community and sustainability issues – a passion for her and the family. Under the leadership of Cindi, technology and social media has made an impact on Bigelow Tea and the way the company works and communicates with customers.

So now you know, the #TeaProudly community is truly a tea lovin family experience from the Bigelow family to yours, we are all in this together.

In Time for Father’s Day: Important Lessons From David Bigelow, A Father, A Role Model, Co-Chair Bigelow Tea

 

Hopefully it happens other times during the year, but Father’s Day (and the whole weekend) is a time when we appreciate what our dads bring to the table. They’re role models, they keep us on the right path, and they pass on their own experiences so we can thrive in the world. Whether you’re sitting over a cup of Bigelow Tea discussing old family stories or simply driving home – talking about what’s new in life – it seems every moment can carry some nugget of wisdom (or, at the very least, a few dad jokes).

It’s tough to say which is more important, showing appreciation for our fathers or sharing those moments that make them so special. The good thing is, in today’s busy life, taking some time out to spend with dad can be both. And chances are, whether you have a laugh or learn something new, you come away with just as much as he does.

As a family-owned company, Bigelow Tea owes much of its success to the patriarchs who have been leaders and advocates for the company (in concert with the matriarchs, of course!). It started with Ruth Campbell Bigelow’s husband who supported his wife in every way possible with what would become his family’s now third generation business (painting tea canister labels in their living room in the early days was one great example)! Today, Co-Chairman David Bigelow (pictured with president and CEO and daughter Cindi Bigelow) – one of only two people who know the secret Constant Comment blend – helps to support the company, ensuring the quality of our teas and the well-being of all employees.

Fathers have played an important role in the history of our business, and nowhere is that more apparent than for Cindi Bigelow, who has shared several stories and memories of her father – and his influence – for Father’s Day. Check it out, and from our family to yours, have a wonderful Father’s Day on Sunday!

Cindi Bigelow: Lessons my father taught me

During my first week on the job in our family business, my father taught me a lesson I never learned at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.

I had just received my MBA and was proud of that accomplishment. I immediately started work as the family company’s cost accountant and was ready to set the world — and Bigelow Tea— on fire with my bold ideas and innovative concepts.

On our first PC, I was putting together the company’s first bills of material, and I couldn’t wait to show the CEO — my father, David — what I had accomplished.

On my third day, he came down to see me.

“How’s it going?” he asked.

“It’s going great,” I said, and was about to explain the project when I noticed he was preoccupied with my “out-basket.”

“You have envelopes going out,” he said.

“Yes, they are my bills that need to be mailed.”

“But they don’t have any stamps on them.”

“I know,” I said.

He paused, reflected a moment and replied, “Gee, Cindi, if you don’t put stamps on your envelopes, then why should the other employees put them on theirs? So why don’t you go buy some stamps and put them on your mail.”

It was the first of many lessons I got from David Bigelow about business practices … and humility. And it was also a lesson in leadership, the kind of leadership that my father exemplified.

Over the years, there were hundreds of similar occasions that emphasized one of his foremost principles: The boss sets the tone, he/she sets the standard. The boss determines how high or how low the bar is for acceptable performance based on his/her personal actions.

You see, he was very democratic in the way he ran his business, and the employees revered him because he had a common touch. I should add that he displayed the same values and integrity as a father.

I’m not engaging in hyperbole when I say my father was a saint. Anyone who knows him always says he’s one of the finest men there is, although he would certainly disagree. To my biased thinking, he’s one of most giving, loving, intelligent and humble men I’ve met — in addition to being a great father. That’s quite an accolade from a daughter because it is even harder to be a successful parent than it is being a successful businessperson (and that is incredibly hard!).

The most important thing any father can do is give his children the assurance that whenever they turn around, he’ll be there — providing, protecting, advising, loving … all the things fathers are meant to do. And that is exactly what my father did for my sister and me. ​ All the years he was running the company, he never missed having dinner with us, and whenever I needed him, he was always there.

He never put his business before his family, and I’ve tried to be as conscientious in raising my own children.

Every Sunday after dinner, I’d ask, “Dad, can we get ice cream?” And the answer was always “yes.” Then, he’d take my sister and me to the local Carvel in Westport and buy us soft-serve cones.

He always offered support, and if he had to teach us a lesson, he did it by example and not criticism. Whenever I came home with a report card, he’d look at it and exclaim, “Cindi, oh my gosh! All A’s! I was lucky if I got C’s when I was your age.”

That praise made me one of the proudest girls in school. Years later, when I visited his alma mater, Avon Old Farms School, to watch as he received a lifetime achievement award, I discovered that he was far from “average.” He had received all the top awards from students and faculty, and then went on to Yale. However, he never bragged about the honors or used them as an opportunity to one-up someone else.

I would often sit in executive committee meetings and see him handle volatile issues with a higher level thought process and insight. Most importantly, what impressed me then and continues to impress me was his sense of fairness, not only as a father but also as a businessman. If there was ever anything that even hinted of unfairness, a whole new David Bigelow would show up at the door. This, even more than things like profit margins and marketing, motivated him. He’d get feisty if he thought someone was being wronged, either customers or employees. Many times, I’d hear him discuss company decisions and one of his first questions would be, “Is that fair for the employees?”

He raised me to have same sense of fairness as my moral compass in all aspects of my life. Another lesson he taught me was that leaders should do the right thing even when no one else is supporting them. Sometimes that means staying firm when you know what you’re doing is right and have the confidence that it will play out properly in the long haul. When he wanted to build a new plant but still stay in Connecticut, everyone said he was wrong for many reasons … wages, taxes, utilities. The list was endless. He went against all the members of his team because he knew if we wanted to maintain our outstanding manufacturing work force, we would have to rebuild and stay in state.

Thirty years later, I look at our Connecticut plant and see the most engaged and passionate workforce. They are the definition of the perfect plant. And we owe that to him.

He also taught me to be successful without being successful at someone else’s expense. ​For my father, the highest calling is to be a good, decent human being. He lives by that in business and with his family. He never compromises.

Over the years, he continues to be an inspiration as chairman of the board, a father and a husband.

Everyone should be as fortunate as I am, because one of life’s greatest blessings is to have a father committed to doing right in a world that often confuses right and wrong. His philosophy is very simple: be honest, be fair, be concerned about others more than yourself and remember that success has many different definitions. His always valued being able to look back at his accomplishments and know he thought of the greater good.

Thank you, Dad, for your many invaluable lessons and more importantly, the power of your example.

From Tea Entrepreneur To The White House, Bigelow Tea Presents Four Extraordinary Women Who Have Shaped History

bigelow tea constant comment ruth bigelowThere’s an unattributed quote circling the Internet these days—maybe you’ve seen it? “Here’s to strong women: May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.” And, goodness, that quote certainly rings true, especially during Women’s History Month. Which is why Bigelow Tea wanted to take a moment to recognize a few notable women, all of whom share a common thread: They were born in 1896. Let’s start with one that you’re probably a bit familiar with (I mean, you’re on the Bigelow Tea Blog, right?!).

Ruth Campbell Bigelow, Entrepreneur

bigelow tea ruth campbell bigelow In 1945, inspired by an early Colonial recipe and dissatisfied with the tea that was commonplace in the 1940s, Ruth Campbell Bigelow focused her energy on making a better cup of tea in the kitchen of her New York City brownstone. After weeks of trial and error, blending black tea with orange rind and sweet spices, she emerged with the first cup of specialty tea in the country. After that, she didn’t look back—“Constant Comment,”® and the Bigelow Tea Company we know and love was born. Today, we don’t need to look far to be touched by the leadership and spirit of pioneering women. At the helm of the family-owned company is third generation president and CEO Cindi Bigelow. Before assuming the role in 2005, Cindi spent 20 years in virtually all areas of the company that her grandmother founded. When you’re raised in an environment that embraces female leadership, you’re bound to step up, pitch in and find success.

Ethel Waters, Jazz Musicianbigelow tea ethel waters

The next time you choose a jazz playlist on Spotify, think of Ethel Waters. Ethel was an American blues, jazz and gospel singer and actress. Despite a very tragic and difficult childhood, she made history, garnering many recognitions and “firsts.” She was the first African American woman to appear on radio (in 1922), star in a show at the Palace Theater in New York (in 1925) and in a commercial network radio show (in 1933), and the first singer to introduce 50 songs that became hits (in 1933). She was also the first African American woman to be nominated for an Emmy Award in 1962. Recognized as one of the best blues singers of all time, Ethel also performed and recorded with such jazz greats as Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman. Talk about a star.

Louise McManus, Science Extraordinaire

bigelow tea louise mcmanus

Louise McManus was the first nurse to earn a Ph.D. As a member of the Teachers College of Columbia University faculty beginning in 1925, Louise founded the Institute of Research and Service in Nursing Education. She also helped to develop nationally standardized methods for nursing licensure in the United States, and created a “Patient Bill of Rights,” later adopted by the Joint Commission in Accreditation of Hospitals. Another scientist deserving of an honorable mention born the same year was Czech-American biochemist Gerty Theresa Cori. Gerty became the third woman—and first American woman—to win a Nobel Prize in science, and the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Thanks to the contributions of these trailblazing females, women today enter the fields of science and medicine with great role models.

Mamie Eisenhower, Fashionista With A Passion For Civil Rightsbigelow tea mamie eisenhower

A 1950s fashionista and self-defined hostess, Mamie Eisenhower was an American first lady and the wife of Dwight D. Eisenhower. She was also a woman who held a penchant for entertaining heads of state and leaders of foreign governments, and for the color pink. Actually, she decorated the White House with so much pink that the White House press corps referred to the place as “The Pink Palace.” The pretty pastel, which is now iconic to 1950s decorating (how about those pink bathrooms?), became known at “Mamie Pink.” However, Mamie was more than just the hostess with the most-ess.

She led the local and national fundraising drives for the American Heart Association in 1956, and later supported increased benefits and the formation of a retirement community for military personnel and widows. She also took a stand to combat segregation through such symbolic acts as inviting African American children to the White House Easter Egg Roll, and she accepted an honorary membership to the National Council of Negro Women.

Whether they’re revolutionizing a beverage market or breaking down social barriers, these women made their mark in history, and it reminds us all that we have the opportunity to do the same. And when you need a break from being absolutely amazing, sit back and regroup with a cup of tea. It’s a perfect way to recharge – you’ve got a lot to do, after all! Tag #TeaProudly on social media and tell us how YOU will go down in history.

Image of Ethel Waters by Florida Keys Public Library via Flickr
Image of Louisa McManus, courtesy of The Women Hall of Fame
Image of Mamie Eisenhower by Terry Saffron via Flickr

Forever And Always, “Constant Comment” Bigelow Tea

bigelow tea constant comment

Tea is second only to water as the most consumed beverage in the world which doesn’t surprise any avid tea drinker given the importance the beverage holds in many cultures, whether it’s a hearty daily tradition, a treat for a special ceremony, or a therapeutic blend to soothe and comfort. On any given day, over 158 million Americans alone are drinking tea and we are proud to be a part of this thriving community and honored that as a third generation family businessBigelow Tea continues to be part of the tea lovers’ community decades after the creation of the one and only “Constant Comment”®. Today, we offer over 130 flavors that will please any palate, but for National Hot Tea Month, what better time to get back to our roots by honoring this remarkable and historic tea that’s still a source of “Constant Comments” among all tea fans!

In case you aren’t familiar, here is the story of how Bigleow Tea got started: it all began in 1945 when Ruth Campbell Bigelow started on her mission to create a better cup of tea than what was commonly offered at the time. She was inspired by an early Colonial recipe that used orange rind and sweet spices. After tireless hours spent creating her own special blend, she shared it with friends who couldn’t stop commenting, and hence the name “Constant Comment” tea. Ruth knew she was on to something with her blend and took “Constant Comment”®   to every store she could. One shopkeeper told Ruth that he had been opening the container for customers to take a whiff of the incredible aroma, and it was flying off the shelves! Ruth took this idea one step further and set up a jar of “Constant Comment”® in each case of tea, with the directions to “open and whiff.”  Shops across the country placed this little jar by their cash registers and sales grew.  Jump ahead to today, over 70 years later, and here we are, a tea company beyond Ruth’s wildest dreams!

To this day, “Constant Comment”® is the same wonderful recipe that third generation president and CEO Cindi Bigelow’s grandmother, Ruth Campbell Bigelow, first created. It has stood the test of time and we know it will continue to fill cups and hearts for many more decades to come. Amazing when you think how this special product started on the shelves of local shops, and today it’s still a source of constant comments all over the Web… and the world! If you’re a fan of “Constant Comment” tea, Bigelow Tea or tea overall, you’ll love hearing Cindi Bigelow herself tell this story of this original creation while sharing more about her personal (and professional) love of tea!

Tell us, what was the first “comment” you had when you tried “Constant Comment” for the very first time?  Tag anywhere online with #TeaProudly so we can share in the fun.

“I Spy” A #TeaProudly Moment, Actually Many… Do You?!

There’s no question how much we love tea at Bigelow. As a proud third generation family run business, founder Ruth Campbell Bigelow created our flagship “Constant Comment” tea in 1945 and from that moment on, we have reinvented tea in America, one tea bag at a time. How, you may ask? Simple. We’ve been 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. We’re still American-made, we’re still the same family, and we’re always dedicated to giving you the highest quality, most delicious cup of tea. That’s our promise. And that’s what makes us #TeaProudly! 

#TeaProudly is a celebration for tea drinkers who take pride in even the littlest of tea drinking moments. Because at Bigelow, we take pride in everything we do — like this super cool new video which explains it all. 

Just as we love tea, we also love a good game of “I Spy.” Wanna play? Check out the video and see if you can answer all five questions! Find our answers (if you can’t guess them yourself) on our Instagram profile.  

  1. Which tea flavor pouch is opened at the beginning of the video? 
  2. Under our logo on the side of our building, is a defining phrase….what is it? 
  3. What’s at least one thing that we are dedicated to giving you more of? 
  4. What do we use to protect our tea bags? 
  5. Which fruit is featured? 

Join in on the tea conversation at www.teaproudly.com and tag your special moments using #TeaProudly

Another Reason To Be #TeaProudly…Learning The ABC’s Of Tea Leaves With Bigelow Tea

We all know that drinking tea soothes souls and invites conversations but hey, what exactly is in that mug and how does tea become the most perfect beverage in the world? Take a break, sit back and check out this awesome video where third generation president and CEO Cindi Bigelow (of Bigelow Tea of course) gives us the scoop on tea leaves and more. Here is a brief rundown that sums it all up:

  • The three types of tea all come from the leaf bud and leaves of the Camellia Sinesis plant. You’ve got your green,  your black and your Oolong. And It’s all about the air…exposure for different amounts of time is what gives you the various tea types.
  • The black tea Bigelow uses originates from either Sri Lanka or India where the tea leaves and buds come from the highest mountains and gardens for an extra beautiful tea!
  • Green tea is unfermented, which means it’s not exposed to air. It’s steamed or pan fried and then chopped up, leaving a vibrant green color and one-of-a-kind taste.
  • Black tea is chopped up so that all the juice in the leaves and leaf bud’s vein is exposed to air; it ferments for about 6-8 hours, and then the coppery black colored tea is dried and chopped again.
  • Oolong tea is semi-fermented. The leaves and bud are chopped and exposed to air for around 3 hours, then dried or chopped.
  • These types of teas all have different caffeine contents, because as they are exposed to air, the caffeine comes out. But where do the various types stack up, caffeine-wise? Here’s a cheat sheet:

bigelow-tea-caffeine-meter

  • Drink your veggies in a tea cup? We’ll take it! Tea is like drinking the brew of a vegetable, as Cindi says. Tea is high in antioxidants and a good choice for a healthier lifestyle, according to the tons of studies done on the drink!

As you can see, there’s always more to discover about the amazingness of tea which is all part of living the #TeaProudly lifestyle. Tell us here, via social (using #TeaProudly) or join us on www.teaproudly.com, and let us know what you find most interesting about this beautiful beverage?

Leadership, Sacrifice And Courage: Bigelow Tea Spends A Day With Retired Navy SEAL Jason Redman

bigelow-tea-navy-seal-motivational-speach
It’s not every day we get to meet a hero. But a few weeks back, that’s exactly what we did. Decorated former United States Navy SEAL Lieutenant Jason Redman spent a few awe inspiring hours at the Bigelow Tea headquarters in Fairfield, Connecticut, where he personally addressed Bigelow employees.   The visit was shared via live feed to our teams in Louisville, KY and Boise, ID. As founder and spokesperson of the Combat Wounded Coalition, a nonprofit organization that supports combat wounded warriors and families of the fallen, and author of the memoir The Trident: The Forging and Reforging of a Navy SEAL Officer, Jason spent some time talking about leadership, teamwork and overcoming adversity. It was an honor and privilege to hear him speak.

Jason served 21 years with the U.S. Navy — 11 years as an enlisted Navy SEAL and 10 years as a SEAL officer. In 2007, he was severely wounded in a firefight in Iraq after his team was ambushed. While recovering at Bethesda Naval Medical Center, Jason bravely faced his challenges by writing a bright orange sign to hang on his door, which became a statement and symbol for wounded warriors everywhere. It read:bigelow-tea-sign

Attention to all who enter here. If you are coming into this room with sorrow or to feel sorry for my wounds, go elsewhere. The wounds I received I got in a job I love, doing it for people I love, supporting the freedom of a country I deeply love. I am incredibly tough and will make a full recovery. What is full? That is the absolute utmost physically my body has the ability to recover. Then I will push that about 20 percent further through sheer mental tenacity. This room you are about to enter is a room of fun, optimism, and intense rapid regrowth. If you are not prepared for that, go elsewhere.  

— The Management

The original sign on the door, signed by President George W. Bush, now hangs in the Wounded Ward at the National Naval Medical Center Bethesda as an inspiration to his fellow service men and women.

After 37 surgeries, Jason candidly shares his experiences and positive attitude to motivate others and to continue to raise awareness of the sacrifices of America’s courageous military forces and their families. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Valor, the Purple Heart, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, two Combat Action Ribbons and the U.S. Army Ranger tab, along with numerous other personal and unit awards.bigelow-tea-cindi-bigelow-jason-redman

Just as Jason is committed to the U.S. military community, so are we. In 2009, we launched the “Tea for the Troops” program, which sends specially designed boxes of 100% American-grown tea from the Charleston Tea Plantation to U.S. military personnel overseas and in the States. To date, we have sent more than 5 million tea bags to service men and women. We also became an official sponsor of the USO in 2015. We deeply appreciate the sacrifices the members of our military—and their families—have made to keep our country free, and we will continue to support them, one tea bag at a time.

Thank you, Jason, for your service. You are an inspiration to us!

Top image: Jason Redman speaking to Bigelow Tea employees

Lower image (L-R): Cindi Bigelow, Jason Redman and his service dog, Kharma, and Jason’s wife, Erica.

Congratulations Cindi Bigelow!

Cindi Bigelow, Award Winner

 

Cindi Bigelow, third generation president and CEO of Bigelow Tea, was honored with Moffly Media’s Good Corporate Neighbor award at the 9th Annual Light a Fire Awards. The prestigious award is in recognition of the ongoing support, among other things, provided through the annual Bigelow Tea Community Challenge (now in its 29th year) that to date has donated $1.4 million to 20 Connecticut based charitable organizations. These organizations’ programs and tireless efforts continue to provide important educational services, housing, food, crisis counseling, after-school tutoring, wellness and recreational programs to often-overlooked members of Bigelow Tea’s local community.

Congratulations Cindi!

Thanksgiving Wishes To Warm Your Heart

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