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Third Generation President and CEO Cindi Bigelow Shares Fascinating Facts About Tea

bigelow tea cindi bigelow

Tea comes in a myriad of flavors and types, but there’s so much more to this drink than meets the eye. Third generation president and CEO Cindi Bigelow sat down with Naturally Savvy, a website focused on natural and organic living, to share some interesting tidbits about tea that you might not know. Here are some of the highlights:

The theanine in tea is what gives you that relaxed feeling.

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. 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.

The benefits of theanine are found in tea bush leaves.
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.

The tannin levels in a tea can affect people differently.

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.

Not all tea ingredients are the same. 

Sourcing is very 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.

Making time for tea everyday can be a great way to relax and revive as shared by Cindi Bigelow. How and why do you incorporate tea into your daily routine?

Bigelow Tea Uncovers the Mysteries of Chai

bigelow tea vanilla chaiWe love to respond to Bigelow Tea fan questions and this was a good one so we wanted to share it with you as well.  A reader asked. “What is Chai?”  The easiest definition of Chai is spiced milk tea, but let’s look a bit more closely at this historical brew.

Chai originated in the East and dates back to thousands of years ago as a concoction sipped by Eastern royalty, though it did not actually contain tea leaves at the time. The drink grew in popularity when the British set up tea plantations in India in the 1800’s, leading to widespread variations across the country and eventually the rest of the world.  Chai was often used as a healthful tonic for common ailments such as colds or indigestion.

Chai is typically a blend of rich black tea, ginger, cardamom, cloves, peppercorn, nutmeg and cinnamon.  It may also be made with green tea.  Spices and sweeteners may vary based on preference so if you are up for a tea change,  check out our Spiced Chai (also available in Decaf), Vanilla Chai, Green Tea Chai,  Chocolate Chai (Yum!), and Caramel Chai as they will be sure to keep you coming back to the kettle for another cup.

Now, how many of you hesitate to talk about how much you love Chai as an alternative to morning coffee or an irresistible beverage any time of day just because you are not exactly sure how to pronounce it?  Is it “ch I” or “k I?”  The answer is: ch I.  In fact, Chai is actually the word for tea in many languages.

bigelow tea chai tea

So now that you have some history and Chai and you know how to pronounce it, which Bigelow Chai flavor will be your first choice to try?

Bigelow Tea Shares Favorite A Few Interesting Tea Facts

At Bigelow Tea we love discussing and sharing interesting facts and history about our favorite beverage- tea! The folks over at Mental Floss put together this quick video of thirty-six of the most interesting facts about tea. Here’s a few to sip on:

  • Tea is the world’s 2ndmost popular drink. Water comes in at number one which coincidentally, is a crucial ingredient in making any cup of tea!
  • 85% of the tea sold in the US is iced tea per Mental Floss. At Bigelow, we sell a variety of special iced tea blends but we always encourage our fans to be creative and experiment with brewing their own iced tea at home with any Bigelow tea flavor!
  • Contrary to popular opinion, iced tea did not originate at the 1904 World’s Fair. A recipe can be found from an 1877 cookbook.
  • “Chai Tea” is redundant and actually means “tea tea”. We’ve put a modern twist on this ancient classic with Bigelow Caramel Chai.
  • In 1901, two American women invented the modern tea bag. Just 44 years before our founder Ruth Campbell Bigelow started Bigelow Tea in her kitchen in New York City!
  • If you find yourself in Zillah, WA, keep an eye out for the service station shaped like a teapot! Sounds like the perfect road trip to us!
  • English tea parties became popular around the 1840s when Queen Victoria and her friends would host tea and snacks between lunch and dinner. Check out our tips for hosting the perfect tea party here.
  • The London Tea Auction was a staple of tea trade for 300 years. Today there are actually E-auctions in India!
  • The British Standards Institute has a guide for preparing tea. Bigelow third generation president and CEO Cindi Bigelow also has her very own guide for the perfect cup of tea!

To learn more fun facts about tea, watch third generation president and CEO Cindi Bigelow’s video where she shares her tea expertise!

Bigelow Tea Takes A Look At The Craft Of Reading Tea Leaves

bigelow tea earl grey bag

As a third-generation, family-run business for 70 years, Bigelow Tea knows that history, tradition and even folklore can be a part of your daily cup. Tea leaf reading is one tradition that intrigues tea lovers around the world … so brew your favorite cup and join us for a little lesson on reading tea leaves!

For centuries, humans have embraced various practices of fortune telling, seeking a look at what the future holds. Some people believe that the tea leaves in your cup of tea are telling you something. Tasseography or tasseomancy is the practice of reading tea leaves to draw insights into a person’s life and events.

In the Victorian era in particular, the acceptance and practice of tasseography grew quickly. Fueled by a widespread interest in the occult, as well as the work of Sigmund Freud, Victorians were quite fascinated by the idea of self-analysis. Tea-leaf readings and fortunetelling became so popular, that many households owned specially-designed tea sets painted with symbols to facilitate readings. Victorian ladies would host tea-centric gatherings that included not only drinking tea, but also painting teacups and fortunetelling with tea.

Today, telling the future with tea is still practiced. Some people enjoy organizing parties featuring a modern-day tasseomancer, ready to give guests a reading.  Of course, as with any practice relating to fortune telling, tasseography may not be everyone’s cup of tea. While some people take their tea-leaf readings to heart and others simply enjoy it as entertainment, there is one thing on which everyone can agree on: the pure enjoyment of sipping a good cup of Bigelow Tea!

 

Bigelow Tea Reminisces About Tea Innovations Through The Ages

bigelow tea novus chamomile

From field to cup, tea takes a remarkable journey—one that has changed in fascinating ways with innovations in the tools used to prepare it for consumption. Nature provides the precious tea leaves, but human ingenuity and imagination make brewed tea possible. Bigelow Tea is proud to be celebrating 70 years as part of this great tea tradition!

Legend has it that a Chinese emperor discovered how to infuse tea more than 4,000 years ago when the wind blew leaves into the water he was boiling. As NPR notes in this excellent historical overview, people all over the world have been thinking up new ways to make and enjoy tea ever since. Tea was once pressed into cakes that were broken into pieces (then roasted and boiled), powdered and whipped, sipped from bowls, and incorporated into ancient Chinese rituals requiring up to 25 objects for the tea service. Invention of the tea bag was a happy accident in America in the 1900s when a merchant began selling tea leaves wrapped in silk pouches. Rather than remove the tea leaves as intended, customers put the bags right in their teapots instead. Genius!

Fast-forward to today. As a third-generation, family-owned tea company, Bigelow Tea embraces tradition while also striving to stay at the forefront of tea innovation. Hence the Bigelow team has worked to develop the signature foil pouches that protect the freshness and flavor of every Bigelow tea bag.

Bigelow Tea introduced another novel tea bag with the Novus line of premium full-leaf teas from the world’s finest tea estates. Each Novus tea is enveloped in a pyramid-shaped sachet that allows the delicate leaves to unfurl completely when steeped for a cup of tea that offers perfection in every sip! No wonder it’s a favorite of many Bigelow Tea fans—like @z_inita, who tweeted her love for Novus Citrus Chamomile Herb Tea.

Which Bigelow Tea variety do you prefer in your modern-day mug?

 

Bigelow Tea Green Tea Pairs Well With Favorite Foods

bigelow tea green tea classic mug

Of course, everyone knows that tea is a “drink with jam and bread,” … but what else goes well with a nice cup of Bigelow Tea? The first rule of pairing tea with food is that there are no rules—only suggestions. Bigelow Tea has created a page devoted to this topic, so check it out and explore some of the options. Today we’re focusing on Classic Green Tea, so here are some thoughts on what to nibble with your cuppa!bigelow tea green tea box

Bigelow’s classic green tea is grown at high elevation to extract the best flavor. This traditional green tea is smooth and mellow on the palate, with clean notes of green melon and grass. This delicate, fresh-tasting brew pairs perfectly with lighter dishes such as rice, chicken, fish and other seafood.

If you want to sip at lunch, try it with Smoked Chicken Salad Sandwiches. For dinner it pairs beautifully with Lemon Ginger Shrimp and a side of Jasmine Rice with Fruits. And if you’re into dessert, Green Tea perfectly compliments milk chocolate. Yum!

What’s your favorite thing to eat while you sip Bigelow Green Tea?

 

Bigelow Tea Highlights Tea Sommeliers 

bigelow tea sommelier

Move over wine sommeliers, there’s a new breed of beverage experts serving up great advice for pairing food and drink! Bigelow Tea is delighted to hear that tea sommeliers are emerging on the restaurant scene to share their passion for tea and help diners choose teas and foods that are matches made in culinary heaven.

As tea sommelier Aurelie Bessiere explained to NPR, “The whole idea of pairing tea with food is that you should have a tea that’s going to enhance the flavor of the food, or vice versa.” Tea sommeliers study the origins and nuances of teas, including their distinct aromas, to understand how food and tea pairings heighten different flavors. Atera and Eleven Madison Park in New York City are among the fine restaurants that include tea sommeliers as part of an overall effort to make tea integral to the dining experience. Bigelow Tea certainly hopes tea-centric dining becomes a trend!bigelow tea green tea

Of course, you don’t need a sommelier to experiment with tea pairing on your own at home. In need of inspiration? Check out the Bigelow Tea pairings page, and while you’re at it, learn why pairing Cozy Chamomile tea with Bigelow Tea’s recipe for I Love Lemon Quick Bread is an extra-special treat!

Thanks @gullyjuice187 for sharing your breakfast combo: oatmeal, raisins and Green Tea—and proving that the best food and tea pairings are the ones you prefer!

Image by Sebastiaan ter Burg via Flickr

Explore Bigelow Tea’s USDA-Certified Organic Varieties

bigelow tea organic

From Organic Green Tea with Pomegranate and Acai to the new line of Home Blend Bottled Iced TeaBigelow Tea brims with plenty of choices for those who prefer organic teas. In fact, you will find 20 Bigelow Tea varieties that are certified as USDA organic—truly something for every tea taste!

bigelow tea usda organicLet’s first take a moment to address the terms “organic” and “USDA Organic,” which can be confusing.  Organic farming, the practice of growing and processing food without synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, dates to the 1940s in the United States and grew to include many different rules and certifying agencies. In an effort to bring uniformity to the system, Congress passed the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 requiring the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to establish standards for organically grown agricultural products. The USDA administers the National Organic Program. Among the guiding principles of the program are preservation of natural resources and biodiversity, and support for animal health and welfare. The standards also prohibit the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

So today’s consumers can be assured that products labeled with the distinctive green and white USDA Organic seal meet stringent U.S. organic certification bigelow tea green tea certified organicrequirements. Look for the stamp on each box or bottle of Bigelow organic tea! If you haven’t explored these wonderful organic varieties yet, here’s your chance! Love black tea? Novus Organic South Indian Select Tea is an exotic blend to try. And in the green tea category, you’ll find favorites like Organic Green Tea and Novus Organic Jasmine Green Tea. Herbal tea lovers aren’t left out with such delicious blends as Organic Chamomile Citrus Caffeine Free and Organic Moroccan Mint Herbal Tea.

Do you have a favorite organic Bigelow tea? Get in on the conversation, like @_gl3ry_ , an organic green tea fan, did on Instagram! Happy tea drinking!

Welcoming Autumn With Bigelow Tea’s Fall Flavors

pumpkin_spice@lizlancasterjxn

Autumn officially begins today, and at Bigelow Tea that means it’s time to start thinking about fall flavors. Apples, pumpkins, caramel … these are some of the tastes and aromas that evoke that quintessential feeling of autumn. Bigelow Tea has several teas that are bursting with these flavors, so turn on the kettle and get ready to sip some fall in a cup!

bigelow pumpkin spice

Pumpkin Spice is a hearty spiced tea, the ideal blend to sip on a chilly morning or crisp afternoon. Pumpkin flakes, cinnamon, ginger and cloves give it its well-rounded flavor … and even though it has the taste and aroma of fall, it’s so good that it’s truly a blend for all seasons.

bigelow apple cider

Apple Cider is one of Bigelow Tea’s most delightful herbal teas. As @Bombshellexi simply put it on Twitter: “yummmmmmmmm.” It’s all natural, caffeine free, and made with apple, hibiscus and cinnamon. The seasonal flavors are perfect for celebrating the fall equinox today … or any occasion, really!

bigelow salted caramel

If you like sweet and salty, sip Bigelow Tea’s Salted Caramel. This hand-picked black tea has that melty caramel essence with a hint of salt. A fall treat, especially with a splash of milk and a little sweetener.

And if you want to celebrate the fall with our Harvest Tea Triple Pack, who are we to stop you?

bigelow variety

So, today, as we mark the transition from summer to fall, let Bigelow Tea and these seasonal blends remind you what makes fall so truly special!

 

Bigelow Tea Marvels At Queen Elizabeth II’s 46,000 Cups Of Tea!

BIgelow Tea Queen Mug Facts and History

Bigelow Tea was impressed when, on September 9thQueen Elizabeth II became the longest reigning monarch in British history! Having sat on the throne for sixty-three years and 7 months, the 89-year old Queen has brought regality and tradition to a new level. One of the traditions she has continued for her entire reign? Having tea every day!

According to sources, Queen Elizabeth II begins her day with a cup of tea and also enjoys a cup of afternoon tea, typically with her beloved corgis. If the Queen does in fact have two cups of tea every day, she would have had roughly 46,000 cups of tea over the course of her reign … and she’s still going strong!

The word in the palace is that the Queen prefers Darjeeling and Earl Grey, not surprising choices for a woman of distinction. Darjeeling black tea has often been called the “champagne of teas,” and is rich, fragrant and sophisticated—a tea befitting royalty. Earl Grey is an aromatic and traditional favorite, one that seems perfectly suited for a queen (we love to note that Bigelow Tea’s Earl Grey is particularly special, because the real oil of bergamot used in the tea comes from a family citrus farm in Calabria, Italy!

Darjeeling_Earl Grey

Bigelow Tea is curious to know if you could possibly calculate how many cups of tea you’ve consumed in your adult life. Can you match the 46,000 cups of Queen Elizabeth II?

Congratulations to Queen on this historical achievement. May her tea-drinking days continue for years to come!

Coronation teacup image by Essie via Flickr.com