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Archives for posts tagged ‘Tea Tips’

Brew A Brilliant Cup Of Bigelow Tea

We love our friends across the pond. And, clearly, there’s a shared passion for tea. But have you ever wondered what exactly sets England apart from the United States of America when it comes to brewing a pot of tea? Well, a couple of things. Bigelow Tea has the scoop.

For starters, though, a bit of history.

The tea culture in America is an important thread in the fabric of the history of the United States. Tea was originally imported by early Dutch settlers in the 17th century, and became very popular. Over time, most tea was imported through Great Britain and the large population of early English immigrants passed their tea drinking customs to the colonists. However, tea and tea taxes soon became a point of contention between the American colonies and Great Britain. In 1776, angry Colonists dumped the tea cargo from British ships into the Boston Harbor (The Boston Tea Party), which became a precipitating event of the American Revolutionary War. And for a while there, tea drinking was considered unpatriotic. Fast-forward several hundred years to today, where 82% of Americans drink tea—that’s more than 158 million people who count tea as a top beverage choice.

Talk about #TeaProudly!

Anyhow, today, both Brits and Americans often steep a tea bag (an American invention, by the way, no biggie) in a cup of hot water. And while Americans are more likely to enjoy their tea over ice (can we get a pitcher of sweet tea, please?), we can all agree that a splash of milk or sweetener is an acceptable form of deliciousness. Also, Americans are known to explore a myriad of flavors, whereas the most popular tea in Britain is a simple cup of black tea.

Whatever your tea style – whether you’re an Anglophile or an adherent to the Americanized trends of tea – you want to make sure your tea is brewed right. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  1. Start with premium quality tea and fresh cold water. Cold water is essential to making a great cup of tea. It’s the oxygen in the water that opens up the tea leaf for full flavor extraction so always allow tap water to run for 30 seconds before filling tea kettle. If you prefer to use bottled water, shake the bottle to aerate (oxygenate) the water.
  2. Chill out (or off). When using a teapot, take the chill off the pot by rinsing it with hot water.
  3. Boil, baby, boil. For black, oolong, herb and rooibos teas, always bring water to a rolling boil then immediately pour over tea. For green and white teas, bring water just to the point where tiny bubbles begin to form then pour over tea.
  4. But, you know, whatever. All Bigelow Tea packages list recommended brew times but as a general rule, black is best enjoyed when steeped 2-4 minutes, green teas for 1-3 minutes, herb teas for 4 minutes, or whatever time you prefer!

Regardless of your preferences, we think it’s fair to say that tea is warm and cozy; it soothes souls, connects people, invites conversation and makes memories. So, whether you’re taking builders tea in England or waking up to a mug of herbal bliss in the U.S. of A., raise your cup and share the experience with those close to you for a drink we all love. Tag #TeaProudly with your favorite way to enjoy a cup!

8 Ways To Get More ZZZZ’s (Hint: Have Some Tea!)

bigelow tea cozy chamomile“I’m SO tired!” Let’s get real – how many times (A week? A day? An hour?) do you find yourself sighing these words to whoever will listen? Well, Bigelow Tea hears ya loud and clear!

It’s amazing how many waking hours are spent dreaming about getting more sleep! Whether it’s work stress, crying babies, or too much distraction from Netflix, it seems there’s always something getting in the way of a good night’s rest. As we are nearing the close of National Sleep Awareness Week and coming into World Sleep Day next Friday, now is as good a time as any to start making some snooze-inducing changes to feel rested and raring to go instead of wanting to hide under the covers. These super slumber tips  will help you get in the right frame of mind for better dozing, starting tonight!

Say sayonara to screen time at bedtime.

Believe it or not, blue light from devices can mess up your melatonin levels causing insomnia. C’mon, you know you don’t need to check Facebook from bed!

Use your bedroom for your bed only. 

Make sure your bedroom is a place without distractions from work, TV and pets (Sorry Fido and Fluffy!) so that the room is limited to the activity you really need to be engaging in. (Um, that would be sleeping!)

Chill out! 

Before bedtime, try a hot bath, some gentle stretching, or a cup of a relaxing tea such as Benefits Chamomile and Lavender Herbal Tea to set you up for sliding into sleep.

Stop using Saturday for sleep.

Don’t let sleeping in take over the weekend- stick to a daily wake time and bedtime routine, and before you know it, you’ll be regularly sleeping like a champ.

Cool it with the caffeine.

Sure it helps you get hyped up when you need it, but too late in the day and you’ll be wired when all you want is to calm down!

Nix the nightcap.

Alcohol may initially make you feel relaxed, but it can actually keep your body from truly melting into a deep slumber. So say no to the Pinot once it’s close to bedtime!

Sip for sweet snoozing.

Spend the evening sipping a soothing hot mug of Sweet Dreams® Herbal Tea or Cozy Chamomile® Herbal Tea, both of which are great for helping mind and body unwind after a crazy day.

Get some rest by listening to Arianna Huffington

The media bigwig shares her secrets for better sleep and greater success- and who doesn’t want both of those things?

Pssst…willing to share your secrets to a good night’s sleep with us insomniacs? We would love to hear how you get your 40 winks- tag #TeaProudly!

 

Let Your Fingers Do the Talking With Bigelow Tea!

bigelow tea green tea nailsAt any given moment, you’re likely to find us with our hands around a mug of Bigelow Tea, sipping while we wake up, work, or relax (loving tea is a proud 24/7 habit over here!)

As a fellow tea junkie, we bet you probably know by now that tea can be good for you on every level. When you sip a tea made from the Camellia Sinensis plant, you’re enjoying a warm and tasty wellness journey as well as a way to lift your spirits. Whether shared with fellow tea-loving pals or on your own with a good book (one of our most favorite tea-related activities!), tea can have a place in everyone’s day! But did you know tea also has some truly awesome beauty benefits? Some studies say that green tea in particular is a terrific way to help your nails be healthier!  Who knew, and just how does that work?

  • The antioxidants in green tea, research say, (again, thank you Camellia Sinensis plant!) are thought to keep nails from getting brittle.
  • Green tea may not only help make nails appear to be stronger but might also help eliminate yellow discoloring (which can happen after getting one too many manicures L).
  • To help support your nails, simply soak fingers in green tea for about 10 to 15 minutes. Any variety of green tea should do the job. Soak regularly, and you may just see a big difference in your pretty little fingers!

So we want to know: how do you get gorgeous using tea? Tag your beauty and tea tips online with #TeaProudly  or visit us at www.teaproudly.com and share it there so we can try it too!

How To Plan Your Wedding With Help From Bigelow Tea!

bigelow tea loversFebruary is the month of romance, and Bigelow Tea is in the mood for sharing the love!  Besides celebrating Valentine’s Day, it’s also National Wedding Month, not a big surprise when you think about how many couples get engaged over the holiday season (maybe even you did!)

For all the loud and proud tea drinkers, there are so many fabulous ways to incorporate your favorite beverage of all time into one of the biggest days of your life!

  • Of course, a wedding at the historic Charleston Tea Planation is definitely one dreamy place to pledge your love to your “Bae.” The historic venue drips with good ol’ Southern charm, and is the scene for countless weddings every year for good reason. Besides being gorgeous with acres of tea plants and classical architecture, couples can pledge their love under the “wedding tree”, the plantation’s oldest live Oak; can you say romantic?
  • Tea can also be a part of the special day in so many other amazing and creative ways, both big and small. It can be as simple as sipping a mug on the day to calm pre-wedding jitters – tea is chock full of good stuff known as L-Theanine, an amino acid that research has found may help you chill out and go with the flow.
  • Or, serve up a signature tea cocktail for your wedding toast! Guests will go nuts for this super memorable, celebratory champagne punch:

Pomegranate Pizzazz Champagne Punch

bigelow tea punch

Ingredients

1 ¼ cups boiling water
Bigelow® Pomegranate Pizzazz Herbal Tea Bags*
750-ml bottle champagne or sparkling wine, chilled
2 tablespoons orange juice
¼ cup fresh pomegranate seeds (optional)

Instructions

Combine water and tea bags and allow to steep for 5 minutes. Thoroughly squeeze tea bags and remove. Add orange juice. To chill, place tea concentrate in the freezer for 30-45 minutes. Pour champagne into a large pitcher. Add tea mixture and pomegranate seeds to pitcher and stir. Serve immediately.

  • Guess what else? Tea is a top trick for bridal beauty. With all eyes on the rock on that all-important finger, hands will be in full focus, so what better way to get gorgeous nails than with green tea? Soaking fingers in this drink for about 10 to 15 can strengthen brittle and weak nails and also get rid of discoloration from overdosing on dark nail polish.
  • And should a giant zit threaten to make an unwelcome guest appearance on the big day, keep tea close by- its astringent qualities can help shrink a breakout by just putting a warm tea bag on the bump for a few minutes.

So whether you’ve been there done that or are still headed towards holy matrimony, share the love with us by posting all your most fave wedding planning tips and tagging #TeaProudly!

Bigelow Tea Helps To Soothe Those Sniffles!

bigelow tea cold and flu

Ahhh-chooo! Yep, that is the sound of a darn cold (or worse) that always seems to happen right about now! Shout out to Bigelow for providing some tea relief! When feeling crappy, there seems to be nothing that can help as much as sipping (or chugging if things are really bad) a steaming mug of some of the best flavors of tea on the face of the earth. Hot tea just has a way of helping you out when you are down, right? We’re tea fans 100%, but we especially love how a hot mug rocks during cold and flu season…here are a few more tea tips to think about before, during and after this nasty cold season:

  • A cup of tea a day keeps the doctor away? Maybe just maybe! Black tea might help your body defend bacteria and viruses, according to research from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard University. Drink up and drink often for the most benefits (you didn’t have to tell us that advice twice!)

So what’s your go-to tea when a cold or the flu has got you down for the count? Tag with #TeaProudly so we can all try your best tips!

Shake Up Your Next Party with Bigelow Tea’s “Constant Comment” Cosmo!

For Bigelow Tea third generation President and CEO Cindi Bigelow, it’s not a party unless there’s tea involved! And entertaining (especially during the holidays!) is even more fun when you can blend your favorite Bigelow teas into new recipes. We have some awesome entertaining tips to help inspire your inner tea party host which includes making the most delicious (and unique) Cosmo cocktail just in time for your company to arrive…the secret is using our “Constant Comment” tea as the base (a flavor created over 70 years ago by Cindi’s grandmother, Ruth Campbell Bigelow). Watch Cindi prepare these delicious “Constant Comment” Cosmos and follow along with our simple recipe!

Ingredients

  • Bigelow Constant Comment Tea Bagsbigelow-tea-constant-comment
  • 1 ¼ cups boiling water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 ounces vodka
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • Garnish with orange twist

Instructions

Place Bigelow “Constant Comment®” tea bags into a measuring cup and add 1 ¼ cups boiling water and cinnamon stick, let brew 3 minutes. Remove tea bags and cinnamon stick, add sugar and orange juice and stir. Chill 20-30 minutes in the freezer. Place cooled sweet tea mixture and 4 ounces of vodka in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a martini glass, garnish with an orange twist. To make one Cosmo, place two ounces of the cooled sweet tea and mix it with 1 ounce vodka in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a martini glass, garnish with an orange twist.

Take Bigelow Tea From Your Cup To The Kitchen

bigelow tea recipe

While tea is wonderful to sip, it’s just as delightful when used in the kitchen. The Farmer’s Almanac website encourages their readers to “eat your tea” and we couldn’t agree more! Tea is tasty in desserts, dinnersside dishes… the list goes on. We find that tea enhances just about any meal!

Luckily, cooking with Bigelow Tea doesn’t require professional chef expertise. For instance, The Farmer’s Almanac suggests substituting brewed tea for water or broth in recipes, or brazing meat with brewed black tea. Plus, marinating seafood in tea may help dampen the “fishy” smell. As @Sabersenshi says, “Cooking with tea adds so much flavor to things.” So if you haven’t started using tea in your recipes, now is the time!

Bigelow Tea had its beginnings in the kitchen, after all. It’s where in 1945 Ruth Campbell Bigelow worked tirelessly in her New York brownstone to create “Constant Comment,” the first of many delicious teas from Bigelow.

Wondering how to take Farmer’s Almanac’s advice? Check out these mouthwatering recipes which are perfect for spicing up late season grilling. We especially love grilled meats marinated in tea – it’s easy to do and the results are yummy. Let us know below how you are inspired to add tea to your cooking!

Red, White and Blueberry Grilled Chicken Salad with Black Tea Raspberry Dressing

bigelow tea english teatime recipe

Ingredients

Dressing Ingredients:

1/4 cup brewed Bigelow English Teatime Black Tea (or brew more and then use some for the dressing and some for the marinade)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 1/2 cups raspberries
2 tablespoons blueberries

Marinade Ingredients:

1 cup brewed Bigelow English Teatime Tea
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Salad Ingredients:

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 cups spinach and Arugula lettuce leaves (these are easy to find already mixed together in the pre-made salad containers)
1 cup raspberries
1 cup blueberries
1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted in 1 teaspoon of butter
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles

Instructions

For the dressing:

Add tea, olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey, lemon juice, and kosher salt to a food processor or blender. Give it one spin to start mixing ingredients. Add raspberries and blueberries and process on high until it’s completely mixed and the fruit is pureed all the way. Refrigerate overnight.

For the marinade and chicken:

Combine remainder of brewed tea (about a cup), olive oil, and honey in a large dish with a secure lid. Shake and mix well. Uncover and add chicken. Cover and flip container to ensure that chicken is coated in marinade. Refrigerate overnight.

To assemble salad:

Toast walnuts in butter and allow to cool. Remove chicken from marinade and discard marinade. Grill chicken until done. Allow to cool for ten minutes before thinly slicing into strips. Lay out your salad and top with raspberries, blueberries, walnuts, blue cheese and chicken strips. Drizzle with salad dressing.

May we suggest Iced Tea and Lemonade to pair with this recipe?

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Bigelow Tea Glaze and Seasonal Vegetables

bigelow tea glaze recipe

Ingredients

5 cups boiling water
Bigelow Green Tea with Mango Tea bags
Bigelow Green Tea with Peach Tea bags
Bigelow Green Tea with Pomegranate Tea bags
1.2-1.5 lb. Pork Tenderloin whole
1 clove garlic, smashed
½ small yellow onion cut into in wedges
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (use only if oven baking tenderloin)
2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar (can substitute cider vinegar)
1 tablespoon honey (can substitute brown sugar)
1 tablespoon veg. oil
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoons of both Salt and pepper

Instructions

Bring 5 cups of water to a boil and add the Bigelow Tea bags, the clove of garlic and the onion wedges. Remove from heat and cover – let steep for 20-30 minutes. Remove tea bags squeezing well and discard, along with the garlic and onion. Divide the tea mixture -set aside 2 cups for the glaze to the remaining 3 cups add the vinegar, honey, oil, thyme and salt and pepper- stir. This will be the marinade for the pork. Once the marinade tea has cooled down somewhat, pour into a large plastic bag; add pork tenderloin and marinate for 5 hours or overnight in refrigerator. While pork marinates make the glaze and ready your vegetables both can be set aside or refrigerated covered overnight. Heat your grill to medium; while grill is heating drain tenderloin from marinade -discard marinade- and wipe loin dry, set aside. Pour ½ cup of the reserved tea glaze into a small vessel you can work out of. Place pork on grill. Cook for 8-10 minutes on medium. Open grill and brush liberally with tea glaze. Reduce grill to low, continue to cook pork over the next 8-10 minutes, turning pork and coating well with glaze, 2 or 3 more times, until thermometer reads 160′. Remove from heat and let rest for 8-10 minutes. Slice into medallions and serve with glazed vegetables.

Instructions for Oven Baking Pork

Prep time: approx. 10 minutes Oven time: 20 minutes

Preheat oven to 325°F. Heat oil in a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. While pan is heating, drain tenderloin from marinade -discard marinade- and wipe loin dry. Carefully add tenderloin to hot pan and cook, turning until brown on all sides, 5-6 minutes. Baste liberally with tea glaze and place skillet with pork in oven and bake for 8 minutes. Open oven and baste liberally with tea glaze again. Continue to cook until thermometer reads 160′, about 12-15 minutes, basting pork again when you remove it from the oven. Transfer pork tenderloin to platter and let rest for 8-10 minutes. Slice into medallions and serve with glazed vegetables. Yield: Serves 4 

Tea Glaze:

2 cups reserved Bigelow Tea mixture
3 tablespoons honey
½ teaspoon black pepper
Pinch of salt

Bring remaining 2 cups of tea mixture to a simmer over med-high heat and cook to reduce. After 45 minutes or so, check it you want to have about 1 cup no less. Add honey, salt and pepper and set aside for later or refrigerate overnight.

Seasonal Vegetables with Bigelow Tea Glaze:

1 medium Acorn squash
2 medium carrots, peeled
2 medium Parsnips peeled (can substitute yellow onions)
2 tablespoons butter, salted
½ cup reserved tea glaze

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the butter in an oven proof pan and put in oven to melt while oven pre- heats. Cut the carrots and parsnips on the diagonal into 2 inch pieces. Slice the acorn squash into rings 1 inch thick rings-then cut in half. Remove the pan from the oven – place all the vegetables in pan and carefully toss with butter to coat. Bake for 10 minutes. Open oven and pour the tea glaze over the vegetables, stirring well to coat. Continue to bake until vegetable are tender and can be pierced by a small knife point, approximately 15-20 minutes.

May we suggest English Teatime to pair with this recipe?

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 Shares How To Make the Best Iced Tea Ever!

bigelow tea iced tea

Bigelow Tea is excited for iced tea weather and for all of you iced tea fans out there, we have a few pointers on making the perfect batch (or individual glass) of this flavorful, fresh, delicious beverage! Take a look:

  • Do some experimenting. Pair different teabags together to give your iced tea a taste twist. Bigelow has 130 flavors to choose from plus specialty iced teas to get you started.
  • Grab a spoon. In a recent video, third generation president and CEO Cindi Bigelow recommended putting a spoon in your glass before pouring in hot water. It will capture incoming heat and prevent your glass from breaking.
  • Watch your prep time. For a glass, give two teabags a couple of minutes to steep, but for a quart focus on steeping somewhere between 6- 10 minutes or experiment to find your perfect brew.
  • Be sweet to your palate. Besides sugar, consider agave or honey. Spruce your iced tea up further with a slice of lemon or sprig of mint.

For those on the go, Bigelow has ready-to-drink iced teas available in stores. Or perhaps ice your favorite hot tea like Cheryl Jones who loves our Green Tea with Pomegranate cold on ice (thanks for your post on our Facebook page). What is your favorite Bigelow tea over ice?  We want to know!

Spring Is The Perfect Time To Refresh Your Body—Inside And Out—With Bigelow Tea

bigelow tea chamomile tea

Start fresh this spring. Each year, the end of winter marks the perfect beginning to incorporating healthy habits into your daily regime, and what’s better than refreshing your body with the help of Bigelow Tea? Here are a couple of tips to help you cleanse out the old to make room for the new.

Deep Cleanse Your Mind and Body

Don’t shelf those New Year’s resolutions yet! Add more vegetables, fruit and tea into your daily diet, and dedicate more time to focus on your mind, body and soul. Try a new yoga or workout class, or take a few minutes to reflect on your day with an evening meditation. How about putting a kettle on for a cup of Bigelow Chamomile Tea? It’s the perfect way to have a few moments of relaxation—@haileyannn can tell you!

Update Your Beauty Routine

Enhance your daily beauty regimen by trying a few of these ideas that use tea in innovative ways:

  • Refresh Skin With A Green Tea Spritzer: Try a DIY cooling mist of fresh-brewed Bigelow Green Tea for an eco-friendly way to tone skin and counteract sun damage.
  • Soothe Under-Eye Bags: Lacking sleep? Bigelow Tea bags can help hide the evidence. Steep green or black tea bags in hot water for a few minutes and then refrigerate them overnight. The next morning, place the chilled bags under your eyes.
  • Fight Blemishes: A natural astringent, tea may offer a healthy solution for blemish control. Simply place a warm teabag on skin blemishes for several minutes or use tea as a facial rinse.

Take some time for self-care this spring and let it be fueled by tea. You’ll be amazed how the results can refresh your whole year ahead. It’s never too late to start a new wholesome routine, after all!