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10 Fabulous Facts You Might Not Know About Tea

Ahhhh, wonderful, warm soothing tea. Who wants a cup? Apparently, a lot of us do—87 percent of millennials drink tea! So….tea lovers, want to expand your tea knowledge? Cozy up with a mug of your favorite Bigelow Tea and check out these ten fabulous facts about tea:

  1. White, green, oolong and black teas come from the leaves of the same tea plant species, Camellia sinensis. (now that’s a fun fact!)
  2. Herbal tea isn’t really tea at all. It’s made from an infusion or blend of leaves, fruit, bark, roots, or flowers of almost any edible non-tea plant. (Wow, who knew?)
  3. Sri Lanka is one of the best places on earth to grow tea. Bigelow Tea founder Ruth Campbell Bigelow fell in love with tea from the region and initiated a partnership with tea growers that has continued for over 70 years!
  4. The word tea comes from the Chinese T’e, which was the word in the Amoy dialect for the Camellia sinensis plant. In Mandarin, the word was ch’a, which is where the word chai is derived from. No matter how you say it, tea is delicious!
  5. Did you know that tea can be deliciously paired with food, just like wine?
  6. Earl Grey tea contains oil of bergamot, a fragrant citrus fruit with a green color similar to a lime. (Mmmmmmm.)
  7. 85 percent of tea consumed in United States is iced, according to Peter Goggi, president of Tea Association of the USA. Sip on, iced tea lovers!
  8. The tea bag was accidentally invented by an American. In 1904, tea and coffee importer Thomas Sullivan sent out samples in small silk pouches to customers. They popped the bags right into hot water and voilà—tea bags are by far the most popular way to brew tea these days!
  9. English author George Orwell penned the essay, “A Nice Cup of Tea,” first published in the London Evening Standard on January 12, 1946. His rules for making tea cover matters such as the best shape for a teacup and the advisability of using water that is still boiling. (Writers sure are a passionate bunch!)
  10. We can thank Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford, for the traditional English teatime as we know it. In 1840, Anna started nibbling on a light afternoon meal with tea to help stave off hunger pangs in between lunch and the late dinner hour. Makes sense–who wants to hear their stomach growling all day?

Thirsty for more tea knowledge? Read on and tag #TeaProudly to share more fun facts with the world!

Old vs. New – And All the Other Reasons Why Tea is Steeped in History!

Alright, so history might not be your favorite subject, but when it comes to tea, it goes waaay back! Actually, if you think it’s pretty cool to drink tea now, just think – 2,100 years ago, others did, too! So, grab your fave Bigelow Tea flavor and let’s do a then vs. now.

Afternoon Tea

Then: Many tea drinkers may think of afternoon teatime as a British tradition (even though the post-lunch, pre-dinner cup and nibble has roots across numerous cultures). Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford is the woman to thank for the traditional English teatime as we know it. In 1840, Anna started partaking in the light meal to help stave off afternoon hunger pangs in between lunch and supper.

Now: Today, traipse into an afternoon tea party and be ready to see a scene with three-tiered serving stands filled with treats like tea sandwiches, petit fours, scones, and clotted cream. From fancy hotels to teahouses to your own kitchen, afternoon tea has come a long way since an afternoon snack – it’s a full-fledged event!

Iced Tea

Then: Richard Blechynden has often been attributed with making the first iced tea at the World’s Fair in St. Louis in 1904. As sales for his hot tea dropped while summer temperatures rose, he purportedly poured tea over ice to entice fairgoers. Some dedicated research tells another story, though, with iced tea’s roots reaching as far back as 1879, when Marion Cabell Tyree created a recipe for green tea over ice, which was published in a community cookbook called Housekeeping in Old Virginia. Later, in 1884, another recipe for iced black tea surfaced from the Boston Cooking School.

Now: Iced tea has become so popular, that there was even a bill introduced in 2003 that proposed a requirement for all Georgia restaurants that serve tea to serve it sweetened over ice. It was later determined to be an April Fool’s joke as an attempt to bring humor to the Legislature, but Georgia State Representative John Noel allegedly said that he wouldn’t mind if it became law!

Book About Tea

Then: Long ago—in 1211 to be exact—a famous Buddhist priest by the name of Eisai wrote what is known to be the oldest book on tea in Japan: Kissa Yojoki (“How to Stay Healthy by Drinking Tea”). Kind of cool to know that even in the 1200s, tea was a part of a trend of healthy living…

Now: Today, there are countless books, podcasts and blogs about tea. A quick snapshot of the popularity of tea articles today, the Tea page on Reddit has nearly 100,000 subscribers, more than one million subscribers on social media, and receives about 150 posts to share each week.

Tea in America

Then: Letters between John and Abigail Adams mention tea. One from July 1774 describes a hostess only serving coffee since tea (during the American Revolution) was considered unpatriotic. Fortunately, Americans came back around to this delightful beverage—and not just for throwing it into harbors.

Now: On any given day, more than 158 million Americans are drinking tea. Clearly, things have changed since the 1700s.

Sought after by noble, innovated by inventive brewers and written about for centuries, tea has a storied history. So, the next time you’re confronted by a historical fact and feel your eyes glazing over, just think about how tea was probably livening things up behind the scenes. Do you have a favorite tea-related story to tell from your own history? Tag #TeaProudly on social media and share it with us.

Make Mine a Mint! – The Story Behind Bigelow Mint Medley’s Famous, Fresh Taste

Let’s talk mint! A revitalizing, prized herb which has been used for ages in every civilization for its medicinal and culinary properties, mint is the bold star of one of the most refreshing sips to savor, Bigelow Tea’s Mint Medley.

Definitely a #TeaProudly favorites, Mint Medley has a bit of history of its own to boast.

It all started down at the (mint) farm… In the early 1960’s, the Bigelow family set out to develop a revitalizing mint tea.  In addition to being a flavor tradition in many countries, mint tea has been said to have a calming effect on digestion, be a great antidote for cough and congestion and is a non-caffeine revitalizer for an anytime pick me up.

To find top quality mint, the Bigelow family visited farms throughout the Northwest, where the rainy, chill climate is ideal for growing the multi-variety herb.  In fact, the Northwest region even once led the world in mint farming and mint oil production.

Finally in Oregon, the Bigelow family met its mint match – the family farmers and multi-generational growers that have been growing mint crops specifically for Bigelow Tea for over 50 years. In addition to a shared love of mint, the families found their philosophy to produce the best possible product for their customers aligned perfectly, a commitment and business model which has persevered since.

Today, the father and son farming team that provide Bigelow Tea with its tasty and thrilling mint taste only harvest the fragrant and potent little leaves twice a year.  The result – unparalleled superior quality, cleanliness in processing and tea connoisseur worthy “crop to cup” traceability. Bigelow Tea and its mint farmers proudly contend no mint is purer, no mint tea more flavorful that Bigelow’s Mint Medley. So next time you’re thinking tea, make it a mint… enjoy some today!

#TeaProudly Tea People!

Recognizing the passion behind the joy of drinking tea, #TeaProudly has become a community in which we all share moments, comments, recipes, and images where we embody all that tea means to us as individuals and a group. At www.teaproudly.com and with #TeaProudly, the community has grown!

Morning tea ritual before the kiddos are up?  #TeaProudly!  Special dessert made to celebrate Pumpkin Spice flavor mania? #TeaProudly!  Nightcap cozying up with your pup and herbal tea? #TeaProudly! Engaging with #TeaProudly has made the ritual of drinking, sharing and finding new and different ways to enjoy tea the bridge that brings our community together and solidifies the growing tea movement.

And if you doubt the power of the tea, there are plenty of facts and figures that show us #TeaProudly folks are onto something.  Did you know:

Need more reasons to take pride in the #TeaProudly community with Bigelow tea in your cup?  Well as an industry leader and a proud third generation family run business, we continuously innovate, offer new flavors, recipes and ways to enjoy our 140+ flavors of black, green, oolong, and herbal teas which use premium ingredients and foil pouches to ensure the highest quality, most delicious cup of tea.

So share, check-in and let your friends and family know what tea means to you. #TeaProudly tea people!

5 Ways You Can Practice Gratitude At Home, Tea In Hand

(Blog and Picture by Carmen Sognonvi of Top Flight Family!)

This time of year always inspires us to be a bit reflective, maybe even more so than the New Year does. It’s the perfect time to make changes in our life – the landscape is literally changing, so why shouldn’t we? The fall leaves and the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday remind us to think about all we have to be grateful for. And that’s a great time to instill gratitude in the children in our lives. If you feel the same way, try one (or all) of these 5 ways families can practice thankfulness at home. Brew up a pot of Bigelow Tea and get started!

  1. Practice what you preach. Before we suggest anything, know that your kids are watching you and taking notes! If you force them to eat their vegetables and never eat anything green yourself, you’ll be called out. The same goes for any activities you want your children to partake in. Sometimes, we have to force ourselves to take the time we need to recharge. Kids look up to you, so be a good role model.
  2. Keep a gratitude journal. Whether you do this one solo or as a group, the simplest way to count your blessings is to put them down on paper. Choose a beautiful notebook and a fancy pen, so you’ll be encouraged to write daily. Or sit around the kitchen table and discuss what you’ll write. (Sometimes kids need a reminder of all the little things they encountered in a single day.) Then jot it all down. Brew up a cup of tea and take some time to reflect. There’s something so soothing about sipping some warm tea as we sit down to share our thoughts.
  3. Meditate. It’s hard for kids to sit still. Scratch that. It’s hard for all of us to sit still these days! Show your family members how to take brief periods of time each day to sit in silence, clear their minds, and focus on their breath. Because our minds tend to reel, give your children an intention of thankfulness to focus on while they’re sitting. They can either say the word over and over or they can visualize all of the things and people they are grateful for. You can start with a minute a day and work up from there.
  4. Say thank you more often (and mean it). Do you thank every stranger that holds the door, hands you something, or helps you in some way? Make it a point to say the words thank you more often. Make it a part of your normal lexicon and encourage your kids to do the same. This simple, verbal expression is a good reminder for us all.
  5. Send thank you cards. This is not only a great habit to model for your children, but also a small gesture that really means a lot to the recipient. Hand-written thank you cards for any and all occasions are vastly underrated. When possible, throw in a $5 coffee shop gift card or a drawing your children made of the interaction to take it a step further.

Tag #TeaProudly and share the other ways you like to practice gratitude in your family!

Bigelow Tea’s First Social Craze: “Constant Comment” Tea

Isn’t it awesome to see a post or a photo from a year or two or five ago? It puts all the craziness of life in perspective, right? Well, let’s rewind over 70 years. We’re going all the way back to 1945 in the Big Apple – c’mon! Let’s take a stroll down a tree-lined block. Here we are. That brownstone right there. Imagine it with a sepia filter if you like. That’s where it all started: Bigelow Tea, America’s classic, family-owned tea blender. It all started with a kitchen and an enterprising woman who never gave up on her amazing vision.

Inspired by an Early Colonial recipe, founder Ruth Campbell Bigelow disappeared into her kitchen to create a better cup of tea. After weeks of trial and error, blending black tea with orange rind and sweet spices, she emerged with the first cup of specialty tea, which would become known as “Constant Comment®”. It got its name from the “constant comments” of her friends. How cool is it that today Bigelow Tea’s friends and fans are still “commenting” about Bigelow Teas all over the web?

Back at the beginning, Ruth couldn’t simply tweet about her teas (no social media then, obviously…). So, when it came time to market her product, one shopkeeper told Ruth that the aroma of “Constant Comment” was a big selling point. She promptly set up a jar of “Constant Comment” labeled with the directions: “open and whiff.” It was an instant teaser of what’s to come – like a GIF for your nose! Shops across the country placed this whiffing jar by their cash registers and the sales began to grow!

The rest, as they say, is history. And though Ruth never saw the power of the worldwide web, she’d be thrilled to know that “Constant Comment” is still generating buzz! In fact, you can even join our Facebook group dedicated to loving “Constant Comment” – check it out!

Plus, “Constant Comment” even has its own admins-only rules (the tea, not the Facebook Group). To this day, it is made following a secret recipe that only Bigelow Tea Co-Chairmen Eunice and David Bigelow know and blend. It has stood the test of time and continues to fill cups, kitchens and hearts.

And while we can’t share the recipe, you can still like, love and favorite the tea in your cup each day. So drink up, #TeaProudly, and think about how far this tea has come in 70 years. Not bad when “Internet famous” usually only lasts about 70 seconds!

Why Bigelow Tea Takes Pride In Working Women Everywhere


Ambitious. Confident. Passionate. Fierce. Fearless. Brilliant. Trailblazing. Inspiring. These are just a few words to describe female entrepreneurs and businesswomen. So, consider this a shout-out to women in the workforce – especially during National Business Women’s Week®. If anyone knows what it’s like to overcome barriers as a woman in business, it’s Bigelow Tea founder Ruth Campbell Bigelow and her granddaughter, Cindi Bigelow.

Let’s start at the beginning. In 1945, inspired by an Early Colonial recipe, Ruth disappeared into her New York brownstone kitchen to create a better cup of tea. After weeks of trial and error, blending black tea with orange rind and sweet spices, she emerged with the first cup of specialty tea, which would become known as “Constant Comment®”. And Bigelow Tea was born. The company continues to be 100% owned and managed by the Bigelow family, and is one of the nation’s leading producers of specialty teas, which includes more than 140 varieties of flavoredtraditionalgreenherbaldecaffeinated, and iced teas.

Times have changed, but the role of the woman in business still deserves to be celebrated. Today, Ruth’s granddaughter, Cindi (pictured at the top), is president and CEO of the company. Each day, Cindi brings the spirit of her grandmother into every decision she makes for the company. In a country where only 5 percent of companies have female CEOs, Bigelow Tea has thrived—against all odds—to be not only the #1 specialty tea company in the USA, but a part of the conversation about women entrepreneurs.

Not only is it National Business Women’s Week, it’s Boss’s Day on Oct. 16! Which, incidentally, was created by Patricia Bays Haroski in 1958. She was working as a secretary for State Farm Insurance Company in Deerfield, Illinois, at the time and chose to register it on the 16th, which was her father’s birthday. And whether your boss is a man or woman, it’s a manager’s job to ensure that everyone thrives in the workplace. So really, these events go hand-in-hand.

Speaking of hands, it’s a perfect time to raise the cup of tea in your hand. (Don’t have one? Brew a cup; there’s no time like the present!) Raise a cup to the women in business and the bosses in your workplace. They carry a lot of responsibility and keep your workday running – which is no small feat! Better yet, invite them to sit down with a cup of tea, get their perspective, and #TeaProudly over your business successes!

This is Why You Should Celebrate National Apple Month with Bigelow Tea

Fall has arrived and Bigelow Tea fans are ready to celebrate National Apple Month with a variety of scrumptious apple blend teas. Apples are one of America’s favorite fruits—American consumers ate on average over 19 pounds of whole apples per year, and over 50 pounds of a combination of fresh apples and apple products such as juice, applesauce and of course, tea! (how ‘bout them apples?)

Here’s another fun fact–If you’ve ever bobbed for apples at a Halloween party, you may be wondering why they rise to the top of the water. Well, get this……..apples are 25 percent air! That’s why they float.

Naturally caffeine-free, Bigelow Tea’s tasty apple herbal blends are made with real apple bits.  Sweet and delicious Cinnamon Apple Tea’s subtle tartness and fruity notes of hibiscus and apple pieces combine with flavorful cinnamon and licorice to create a mouthwatering aroma that will have you yearning for a slice of warm apple pie. (Yummy!) Robust Cranberry Apple Tea boasts a rich crimson color and a full-bodied character that combines the tang of cranberry and hibiscus with the sweet notes of apple pieces and chamomile.  A perfect way to unwind on cool fall nights. (or anytime!)

A seasonal favorite of Bigelow Tea lovers, the crisp, tart flavor of apples with sweet spices in all-natural Apple Cider Tea delights the senses and the palate. This delicious brew can be made with a few ounces of water, versus the 36 apples it takes to create one gallon of apple cider. (wow, that’s a lot of apples!)

Says @lifesabeacham on Instagram, “Bigelow Apple Cider tea- probably my favorite way to enjoy fall flavor daily without feeling too naughty,” (hmmmmm.)

Speaking of decadent, Bigelow Tea’s brand-new Caramel Apple Tea will satisfy your sweet tooth with no sticky fingers! This luscious blend of buttery caramel, sweet-tart apples, and bold black tea brings the taste of the harvest to you, so go ahead and indulge. (yeah!)

Show your appreciation for National Apple Month with a cup of your favorite apple blend tea, and tag #TeaProudly to share your favorite flavors!

These Are Some Of The Ways Tea Is Terrific For Your Mind and Body!

 

Did you ever notice how it’s nearly impossible to be stressed and have tea at the same time? Crazy how this simple drink is seriously the perfect pick-me-up for whatever and whenever you need it. Think about it, when was the last time drinking tea made you feel worse for the wear? Totally the opposite, right?

Maybe it has something to do with those little things called flavonoids?

First, what on Earth is a “flavonoid” and why should you care? Well, turns out everyone’s favorite plant, the Camellia Sinensis (where tea leaves come from), contains these lil’ beauties. They are none other than dietary compounds naturally found in plants and are released when the tea leaves come in contact with boiling water according to the Tea and Herbal Association of Canada.

In fact, they say tea releases about 300 mg of flavonoids per 250 ml serving, compared to fruit juice, which only has up to 50 mg per serving. (So you may want to skip the OJ in the morning and go straight for the tea!) Flavonoids, research tells us, are known to have some amazing benefits for the body, thanks to their antioxidant content.  Pretty interesting, right? Here are just some of the cool things tea can do for you:

Tea may do a body good.

Scientists in Australia found that regularly drinking 3 cups of black tea a day may help lower blood pressure, according to Tea and Herbal Association of Canada. Either way, multiple cups of tea daily is surely a tasty way to get through your busy day – hey, no reason not to enjoy a mug morning, noon, and night, right?

Tea helps you take a chill when counting calories.

Tea is totally calorie-free, so you can sit back and relax and not have to worry about calorie counting as you enjoy cup after cup…after cup! Tea is terrific way to stay hydrated while treating yourself!

You’ll have less caffeine, and fewer jitters.

You can still feel a buzz without getting into that crazy caffeinated state that coffee can cause. After all, tea is known to contain 66 percent less caffeine than coffee, according to the Tea and Herbal Association of Canada, while still providing that energy boosting feeling that you’re craving.

So the final lesson to be learned here? Turn to tea for a super duper bundle of goodness!

What’s your favorite part about drinking tea? Tell us and tag #TeaProudly.

5 Reasons To Rise And Shine To Breakfast (And Bigelow Tea!)

Did someone say breakfast of champions? Because if that’s the case, then that could include just about anything as long as its coupled with a cup of Bigelow Tea, right?! No, but, really… Breakfast is such an important meal – a hearty breakfast gives you energy and fuel to get through your crazy busy day. Actually, some research even suggests that breakfast is linked to several health benefits, including weight management and improved mental performance. So, during National All-American Breakfast Month (and what’s more American than Bigelow Tea??), here are five reasons to rise and shine to a healthy meal.

Weight, weight, don’t tell me.

Many studies, in both adults and children, have shown that those who eat breakfast tend to weigh less than breakfast skippers. One theory suggests that eating a healthy breakfast can reduce hunger throughout the day. Less hunger may promote healthier food choices at other meals.

Healthy Breakfast = Possible Improved Mental Performance

Research involving adults and children has indicated that breakfast might enhance memory, attention, the speed of processing information, reasoning, creativity, learning, and verbal abilities. Plus, according to a study published in the journal Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, eating breakfast may improve cognitive performance, test scores and achievement scores in students, especially in younger children. Start the school day off on the right foot with a vegetable omelet, whole-wheat toast and a cup of Bigelow Tea. After all, a study published in Psychopharmacology, suggests that tea may also lead to improved cognitive functioning, including better working memory.

Oats and tea, please! 

Research done by the Harvard School of Public Health suggests that people who skip breakfast gain weight, which can lead to diabetes as well as high cholesterol and blood pressure—all of which can raise your risk of heart disease. How about a heart-healthy bowl of Cinnamon Spice Oatmeal coupled with a mug of Bigelow Tea green tea? According to research done by the American Dietetic Association, green tea may also lower cholesterol levels.

Wake up, eat breakfast, drink tea, work out, repeat

In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN), people who ate breakfast were more physically active during the morning than those who didn’t. That might be because a temporary increase in blood sugar gave them more energy.

Turn that frown upside down

In addition to cognitive benefits, studies also report that those who eat breakfast start their day in a better mood. And we don’t know about you, but a cup of tea always puts us in a better mood! Bigelow’s black teas, like American BreakfastEnglish Teatime and Spiced Chai, have a boost of caffeine that will kick start your day. (Don’t forget: A cup of Bigelow American Breakfast has 50% More Caffeine in every tea bag!)

So, go on. Grab your breakfast of choice, a mug of tea, and get this day started. Because with Bigelow for breakfast, you can’t go wrong! What’s your favorite thing to eat with your morning tea? Tag #TeaProudly and share!