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Archives for posts tagged ‘ingredients’

Bigelow Tea Owned Charleston Tea Plantation, A Tea Journey Past and Present

Bigelow Tea has been an American classic since 1945 and while we all know and love the company’s tasty tea, Bigelow has another gem to celebrate, the Bigelow owned Charleston Tea Plantation which is America’s largest working tea garden located on the historic Wadmalaw Island. This South Carolina destination has ideal climate for growing the Camellia Sinesis (tea!) plant. Bigelow purchased the plantation in 2003 and has created a literal tea oasis; besides producing American Classic Tea, the plantation is also a beautiful setting for weddingseducational tours, and even a variety of music festivals.

NPR shared what life is like on the Charleston Tea Plantation in an interview with America’s only fulltime tea taster, William Barclay Hall. Hall gives fascinating insight into growing tea the old-fashioned way:

  • The Charleston Tea Plantation grows cuttings in a nursery for four years instead of planting seeds. These bushes are, unbelievably, descendants of the same plants that were first brought to region in the 1700s.
  • Talk about a taste for tea — Hall is a third generation tea taster (his father and grandfather held the roles before him) who was trained in London. During his training, he tasted as many as 800 teas a day, five days a week!
  • Tea is one of the only commodities in the world bought and sold based on taste, according to Hall. Because tea is harvested on average every 15 days, the taste is always changing based on everything from the temperature, to the amount of rain, to the time of year.
  • Pests stay away from tea! The caffeine and tannins in tea repel insects, so the Charleston Tea plantation doesn’t need to use any pesticide, herbicides or fungicides.
  • Tea leaves are placed on “withering box” screens for 18 hours, and then macerated in a grinder. Hall then steeps, tastes and blends every single batch until he thinks it tastes absolutely right.

Now you know: a little piece of tea history continues on in the modern world, all thanks to Bigelow!

Life Is Easy Breezy With A Cup Of Bigelow Benefits Tea In Hand!

Wow. Have you ever had one of those days where it’s high-speed-not-stopping-anytime-soon? Sooo exhausting! Well, instead of getting to the point where you’re about to tear your hair out from the stress, stop. Take a breath. And reach for a cup of Bigelow Benefits tea. Why? Well, first, they’re awesome. Second, they’re totally delicious. Third, it’s Stress Awareness Month—treat yo’self to some relaxation. Finally (as if you needed another reason, right?!), each tea is masterfully blended with the goodness (dare we say, benefits?) of wellness ingredients, which tackle those moments in life that require a breather.

With a focus on always delivering a beautiful cup of tea, these inspired combinations of herbs and spice ingredients are so imaginative and flavorful, you’ll want to enjoy them morning, noon and night — and all the moments in between. Whether you’re searching for a bit of balance, having a good day, not feeling well, or feeling like you could really use a day at the spa (but don’t have the time to hit pause on your insane life), make a mini-escape with one of these teas.

Radiant Beauty (Blueberry & Aloe Herbal Tea) 

Containing aloe (known for its incredible hydration and skin soothing abilities) and blueberry (yummy and high in antioxidants!), this flavor is designed to make you feel like you’re glowing—inside and out! So, why aloe? Isn’t that something you lather onto a sunburn? Well, yes, but it also has quite the medicinal past. For thousands of years, aloe has been used for a variety of conditions, such as burns and skin irritations. In the 18th and 19th centuries, it was actually one of the most frequently prescribed medicines due to its active compounds that may reduce inflammation, and stimulate skin growth and repair. Cool, huh?!

Stay Well (Lemon & Echinacea) 

We’re still in that yucky tail-end of cold and flu season. Don’t let it get you down! Support your health with a tasty combination of Echinacea and lemon.

Balance (Cinnamon & Blackberry Herbal Tea)

Spring is right around the corner and what better time to re-calibrate than a new season? Get back to balance with the sweetness of cinnamon, known for having a positive effect on blood sugar.

Calm Stomach (Ginger & Peach)

Settle an upset tummy or just give digestion a kick with this ginger and peach-infused flavor.

Sleep (Chamomile & Lavender Herbal Tea) 

Chamomile and lavender are known for lulling you into snooze-land safely. Amp up your zzz’s with this relaxing blend… You’ll be chilling with those sheep in no time.

Refresh (Turmeric Chili Matcha Green Tea) 

Give your mind and body a pick-me-up with spicy-sweet turmeric, green tea, and a bit of pepper to pep things up. Unfamiliar with turmeric? No problem. Known as the “golden spice,” turmeric dates back nearly 4,000 years in India and has been used for its medicinal properties. Wanna hear some history? The Hindu religion recognizes the herb as sacred, and there is a wedding day tradition in which a string is tied around the bride’s neck by her groom. Known as a mangala sutra, the necklace is dyed yellow with turmeric paste. In some communities, the groom ties the first knot while his sister ties the rest of the knots. The ritual indicates that the woman is married and is often compared to the Western exchange of wedding rings.

Good Mood (Chocolate & Almond Herbal Tea) 

If you weren’t in a good mood before sipping on this flavor, you will once you finish a mug. A complex blend of smooth almond, sweet chocolate flavors and blackberry, Good Mood does just what its name promises. Besides. It’s chocolate. Who can say no to chocolate??

Whatever your life, mind or body is crying out for, Bigelow Benefits Tea is here for you. Tag #TeaProudly and share your favorite Benefits flavor!

This is What World Water Day Means To Tea

bigelow tea water

Water, water everywhere- and Bigelow Tea gets just how important it is to have more than a drop to drink!

World Water Day takes place today, March 22nd, which gives us a chance to give some love to water-related concerns around the globe. The day was introduced in 1992 when the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development recommended an international observance for water. Since then, people have used this day as a perfect opportunity to learn and share more about water and its local and global importance.

So what does this day have to do with tea? Water is, of course, of the utmost importance to making a terrific cup of the good stuff! Depending on what tea you’re drinking, each variety has its own rules for water. Here are some tea tips to always keep top of mind!

  • Fresh, cold water is a must-have for tea perfection. It’s the oxygen in the water that opens up the tea leaf for full flavor extraction, so you should make sure that you let tap water run for around 30 seconds before filling the tea kettle! And if using bottled water, be sure to shake the bottle to oxygenate the water first.
  • What to do with black, oolong, herb and rooibos teas: You’ll always want to bring water to a rolling boil, then immediately pour it over the tea bag.
  • The rules for green and white teas: Bring water just to the point where tiny bubbles begin to form, then pour it over the tea bag pronto.

Cindi Bigelow also spills the beans (or should we say tea leaves?) on how water plays a role in brewing the perfect cup of tea in the below fascinating video. Did you know how much more delicious tea can be when the water is just right? Then watch and be amazed!

So, how do you like to brew your tea? Share your secrets for making your cup just right, and tag #teaproudly!

Image by Evan Wood via Flickr

When Life Gives You Bigelow Tea I Love Lemon, Smile!

bigelow tea I love lemon cup

Pucker up! Lemons are tart, tangy, citrusy and sour, and they add an abundance of flavor to life. It’s no wonder that Bigelow Tea has real lemon peel in a number of flavors. One in particular is even named for how much people enjoy the fruit—I Love Lemon (because who doesn’t?).

Throughout history, lemons have been used for many purposes—as a remedy for epilepsy, a toothpaste, invisible ink and even a bleaching agent. Though the lemon’s origins are said to have come from the base of the Himalayan Mountains, the fruit is now cultivated in tropical and temperate climates around the world, with California leading production in the United States.

It’s probably no surprise that lemons provide a lot of vitamin C, but they are also a good source of iron, fiber, vitamin B6, calcium, and copper, as well as bigelow tea lemon rindfolate and potassium. Research has suggested that lemons may help with DNA cell protection, immune system regulation and inflammation relief.

bigelow tea I love LemonAs a third generation family-owned company, Bigelow Tea is proud to have partnered with a family-owned lemon peel supplier for the last 30 years. As an essential ingredient in 23 of Bigelow Tea’s blends, lemon peel requires the perfect blend of sweetness and tartness to deliver the flavor profile the Bigelow family requires. Hailing from Central Valley California, the lemons used are 100% USA-grown and meet strict USDA, FDA, and California standards. The Bigelow family’s supplier has perfected its state-of-the-art processes to harvest, juice, and zest some of the world’s best lemons since opening their groves in 1947.

And those lemons make the perfect ingredient for the delicious I Love Lemon herbal tea. Made with lemongrass, lemon peel and lemon verbena, this flavor is the go-to for lemon lovers. Kimberly from Walden loves drinking it hot with honey, and enjoys it as part of her morning ritual. It’s one more way the sour lemon can make your day a little sweeter!

Savor The Snap in Bigelow Tea Ginger Snappish Herbal Tea

bigelow-tea-gingert-snappish-seasonal-tea

Here we go….winter is coming and we are ready for cozy evenings! Just picture it: a roaring fire, warm socks, maybe PJs or your favorite sweats, and a mug of Bigelow Tea Ginger Snappish® Lemon Herbal Tea. This “snappy” melt-in-your-mouth tea will remind you of gingersnap cookies baking in the oven. Savory, sweet and just a smidge spicy, Ginger Snappish herbal tea is made with quality ingredients like lemon peel, lemongrass, ginger, cinnamon and natural gingersnap. And it’s perfect to drink right before bed since it’s caffeine-free!

And what is ginger anyway? Well, it’s a spice that can be found in many places—gingerbread cookies, pumpkin pies and served fresh with sushi (yum!). This amazing spice starts as a gnarled, knotted, bumpy root of the ginger plant which is the source of this wonderful spice. In Sanskrit, the root was known as srigavera, which translates to ‘root shaped like a horn’ – a fitting name for its appearance.

Ginger dates back over 3,000 years to Asia, and was used for medicinal treatments in India and China. From there it spread to Europe via trade, and during the Middle Ages, it was favored as a spice for its ability to disguise the taste of preserved meats. Henry VIII is said to have used a ginger concoction in hopes of building a resistance to the plague. Even today, ginger is used as a remedy for nausea and other stomach ailments.

Ginger coupled with real lemon peel gives Ginger Snappish a whole lot of zing. The lemon peel used is 100% grown in the USA from the same California supplier we have used for over 30 years (yeah, we are #TeaProudly about that fact!).

So if you’re in the mood for a real treat made with fresh ingredients, brew up a mug…we bet you’ll love it in a snap!

Tango With Mango—Bigelow Green Tea With Mango, That Is!

bigelow tea green tea with mango travel mugImagine the taste of a juicy, sweet sun-ripened mango. Now, couple that flavor with the smooth and delicate taste of green tea, and you’ve got a cup of pure joy—or what we like to call—Bigelow Tea Green Tea with Mango.

So, first, let’s talk a bit about the green tea part of Green Tea with Mango. Green tea is made from Camellia sinensis leaves—the same leaves make black and Oolong teas, too. However, the difference is in the production process; green tea is the least processed, thus providing higher amounts of the antioxidant polyphenols known as EGCGs, which is why so many make it part of their healthy lifestyle. Green tea is made by immediately steaming or pan-firing the newly harvested leaves, rather than exposing them to air. This process ensures that no oxidation occurs, and this special handling makes for a more delicate brew that is typically lower in caffeine than black and Oolong teas.

bigelow tea green tea with mangoNow, how about the mango? As one of the most popular fruits in the world, the mango was first grown in India over 5,000 years ago. Here’s a fun mango fact: legend says that Buddha meditated under the cool shade of a mango tree! Over the years, mango seeds traveled from Asia to the Middle East, East Africa and South America beginning around 300 or 400 A.D. Sweet in flavor and extra juicy, mangoes are enjoyed on their own or in a variety of recipes—they also make for a tasty tea flavor!

You are in for a tropical treat whether you sip Bigelow Green Tea with Mango hot or over ice. It’s certainly a flavor that can be enjoyed year ‘round, but don’t just take it from us… @Pizzamaid can tell you, “IT IS SO DELICIOUS.”

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 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!

Learn Why Bigelow Uses Tea From Sri Lanka

 

bigelow tea sri lankaHigh in the mountains of Sri Lanka grow acres of gorgeous tea plants renowned for yielding a light, bright brew prized as “the champagne of teas.” Bigelow Tea founder Ruth Campbell Bigelow fell in love with tea from the region and initiated a partnership that has endured for 67 years! Third-generation President and CEO Cindi Bigelow was thrilled to visit this tiny island country in South Asia to meet the folks who expertly hand-pick tea leaves used in Bigelow’s black teas.

For a rare peek inside the tea gardens of Sri Lanka, check out Cindi’s Sri Lanka journal and videos. And here are a few more interesting facts highlighting why Bigelow Tea embraces Sri Lankan tea producers as part of its extended global family:

  • The British planted the first camellia sinensis (tea) plant in Sri Lanka in the 1800s following a blight that had wiped out the coffee crop, sparking new traditions built around tea farming.
  • Today, tea cultivation is a $1.5 billion industry in Sri Lanka employing more than 1 million people who produce the world’s most expensive tea.
  • Before 1972, while under British colonization, the island was known as “Ceylon.” Hence tea from Sri Lanka is still called Ceylon tea.
  • Every tea estate in Sri Lanka with which Bigelow Tea does business is part of the Ethical Tea Partnership, which promotes fair treatment of workers and sustainable farming practices.
  • With high elevations that can exceed 6,000 feet, Sri Lankan tea gardens boast extremely favorable soil and weather conditions for growing delicate tea plants.
  • Each Sri Lankan estate prides itself on producing signature teas—much the same way vintners age wines for different tastes.

Enjoy the delicious results in your mug of Bigelow black tea! @Daniela441 tweeted his love for English Teatime. What’s your favorite Bigelow black tea blend?

Celebrate Spring With Seasonal Recipes From Bigelow Tea

bigelow tea seasonal recipes

Now that flowers are blooming and days are getting warmer, it’s the ideal time to enjoy the flavors of spring with delicious recipes from Bigelow Tea.

Add a little bit of spring sunshine to your meals by featuring aromatic flowers and fruity choices from Bigelow Tea as an epicurean theme. With over 120 flavors of specialty tea with the finest ingredients to choose from, there are countless ways to make dinner delicious. Lemon is one option that is great for springtime, and Bigelow Tea uses zesty yet sweet lemon that is grown with only the highest of standards.  Impress guests with this uplifting flavor by making Baked Catfish Fillets with Lemon Lift® Tea Shallot Glaze as a deliciously light main course.

Spring flowers are a feast for the eyes, and Jasmine Green Tea captures the joy of fresh blooms in every sip. Enjoy this fragrant experience at dinnertime with  Bigelow Jasmine Rice with Fruits.

No festive meal is complete without a luscious dessert. A thick slice of I Love Lemon® Quick Bread is a refreshing way to end the meal, along with a cup of your favorite flavor of Bigelow Tea to sip!

Did you enjoy these recipes? Let us know what you think!

Baked Catfish Fillets with Lemon Lift® Tea Shallot Glaze

bigelow tea lemon lift recipe

Ingredients

  • Bigelow Lemon Lift® Tea Bags
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • Butter
  • 4 catfish or other flat whitefish fillets, blotted dry
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • ⅓ cup flavored bread crumbs

Instructions

Pour ½ cup boiling water over Lemon Lift® tea bags and steep for 4 minutes. Remove tea bags; squeeze to extract as much liquid as possible. In a small bowl combine tea with mayonnaise and minced shallots. Mix until blended. Heat oven to 375º. Lightly butter a shallow heat-proof pan. Lay the fillets in a single layer and season with salt and pepper. Spread the tea/mayonnaise mixture over the fillets. Cover with bread crumbs. Bake for 20 minutes until fish is opaque and the top golden brown. Serve immediately.

Bigelow Jasmine Rice with Fruits

bigelow tea green tea with jasmine recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 cups brown rice
  • 4 qt water
  • Bigelow Green Jasmine Tea bags
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 green onions, sliced thinly
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

Rinse rice in several changes of cold water until water runs clear. Drain well in a sieve. Bring water and tea bags to a boil, set aside. Meanwhile melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add rice, green onions, salt, pepper and fruits. Stir until onions start to soften and rice starts to get white around the edges 8-10 minutes. Remove tea bags from water, squeezing well, discard. Carefully pour Bigelow tea water over rice-it will bubble and steam up- stir and reduce heat to low. Cook, covered, until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat, raise lid and cover rice with a cotton (non terrycloth) dishtowel, replace cover. Let stand, covered and undisturbed, 10 minutes. Open lid and remove dishtowel, fluff gently with a fork. Note: Basmati rice can be used instead of brown rice, for extra jasmine flavor.

I Love Lemon® Quick Bread

bigelow tea i love lemon bread recipe

Ingredients

  • ½ cup milk
  • Bigelow I Love Lemon® Herbal Tea Bags
  • 1-½ cups all purpose flour
  • teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup butter (1 stick), at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon lemon rind, grated
  • ½ tablespoon poppy seeds (optional)

Instructions

Combine milk and tea bags in a small saucepan. Heat over medium/low heat until bubbles form around the edge, stirring occasionally. (DO NOT BOIL.) Remove from heat and let cool (15-20 minutes); remove tea bags, squeezing out liquid. Set aside. Preheat oven to 325° F. Grease 4″ x 9″ loaf pan. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together sugar and butter. Add eggs and mix until smooth. Alternate adding tea-infused milk and flour mixture; stir after each addition. Add lemon rind and stir until well blended. Pour batter into saucepan. Sprinkle poppy seeds evenly on top. Bake 45-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack before removing from pan.