I love Bigelow Tea’s incredibly wide selection of tea flavors, the fresh, rich, quality taste found in every steamy mug, and the fact that they are an American company with products that make sense, even in households, like ours, with a frugal budget. It makes me incredibly happy when the best quality products are so readily available and affordable for everyone. Those things alone make it obvious to me why Bigelow is #AmericasTea, but after spending a day at the Bigelow headquarters, in Connecticut, as a #BigelowVIP — working with executives and members of the Bigelow family, and then, with employees in one of the Bigelow packaging plants, Bigelow will ALWAYS be my cup of tea. I got to share this trip with four of my favorite bloggers, ever! Lyuba Brooke from Will Cook for Smiles, Kristi Dominguez from I Should Be Mopping the Floor, Parrish Martin Ritchie from Life With the Crusts Cut Off and Natalie Zanatta from Great Contradictions.
You all know that, for me, there is nothing more important on this earth, than family. They are my inspiration and the beginning of every decision and choice I make. From the moment I arrived in New York, last week, I was made to feel that I was part of the “Bigelow family” and that decisions and choices were being made, with me in mind. What I thought, how I worked and my ideas, were sincerely valued and respected. The people I worked with that day were excited to meet me, to have an ongoing relationship and to share the vision and mission of Bigelow Tea. It was important to accomplish our work, but it was equally important to build the relationships that would ensure that our work together was successful for everyone.
The average tenure of an employee at Bigelow is 20 years and we were introduced to people who had been there 23, 28, and even more than 30 years. After spending the day, onsite, it was no secret why employees were so dedicated and loyal or why a job with this company is something to be sought after. From the executive offices to the packaging plant floor, employees are valued, respected and trusted with the responsibility of doing their part to achieve company goals. As a member of the “Bigelow family” they are critical parts of all that has made the company exceptional. From my perspective, the high value they place on knowing their employees and making them integral to company success, invests each of those employees with a sense of purpose and commitment to excellence that is directly related to the company’s success. The company stands for integrity and quality and so their family of employees, from the head office to the packaging plant floor are committed to the same things.
All of this adds up to a win, for us, as consumers of the excellent Bigelow teas and products. It’s also exactly the kind of company I want to be affiliated with when selecting long-term business relationships for my blog. My blog certainly didn’t start out to be a business, but as it has evolved into one, it’s companies like Bigelow that I am so excited to have as partners.
I also learned a LOT about tea, in general, on my trip to the Bigelow Tea headquarters. I observed every step of the process in moving from receiving the tea leaves in the plant, to blending the flavors, creating and filling the tea bags, packaging, testing and getting it to you and me on our supermarket shelves. One part of this process was an official taste testing in the Bigelow lab/ test kitchen. Side-by-side comparisons of different brands of the same flavor teas literally blew my mind! If you’re like me and have had other tea brands in your home, in the past, you are probably completely “in the dark” about the differences. I’m not going to tell you which brand to try, because I don’t think it will matter one bit. After testing five of the most popular, side-by-side, the differences in flavor are so profound that I will never purchase a different brand. A great example of why this is such an important test for you to try is that I have believed, for years, that I despise green tea. What I discovered in the course of this tasting is that I really love the smooth, mellow and fresh flavor of Bigelow Green Tea, but had never tried it after being put off by another brand. It really DOES matter and I am encouraging you, with all the enthusiasm in me, to do this test on your own. Pick 3, 4 or 5 different brands of the same flavor tea. Brew each one identically and then using clean spoons for each cup, sip and taste the difference. I know you will be blown away when you taste Bigelow Tea’s mellow, smooth freshness compared to the acidic, metallic, or chemically tastes of competitors. I never would have known if I hadn’t tried them, side-by-side. Now, you can test them for yourselves, just like I did, and make the very best choices for your own family, too!
There are so many important things I learned on my trip to Bigelow Tea that I could never share all of them in just one post, but I will be telling you more and more in the future. In the meantime, I have one final test I want you to do at home. It will be easy to do this one, while you are performing your personal tea tasting experiment. Using the same flavors, again, but from 3, 4 or more different brands, carefully tear open the sleeves the tea bags are stored in. Look at the insides of each sleeve. Are they covered in a thick coating of dust? Which ones have the most? It turns out that many companies purchase something called tea dust to mix into their tea leaves. It’s much less costly for them and virtually flavorless, but it turns water brown, quickly. Bigelow refuses to add tea dust to their teas. They are committed to the quality, fresh and deeply rich flavors that come from the carefully dried whole leaves and leaf pieces used in their tea bags. They also use only the highest quality, fresh spices, oils and ingredients to flavor their teas, for example chunks of citrus rind, or real cinnamon. Other companies may use something called flavor “prills”. If you tear open a Bigelow tea bag and pour it out on white paper, next to the contents of a competitor’s tea bag, you will see exactly what I mean. the competitor’s tea may have small white pellets (flavor prills), tea dust and many stems mixed into only a few pieces of dried leaves. The Bigelow Teas will have whole, or pieces of whole, dried tea leaves, the spices, oils and ingredients used to create flavor and hardly any dust or stems. That’s because their tea is hand-picked and handled with the ultimate consumer experience in mind. I love everything about the way this comapny works!
I am SO impressed with the attention to detail, the commitment to sustainability, quality and flavor that goes into every single tea bag at Bigelow Tea! I am completely confident that when it reaches my kitchen, and the mugs or glasses of my family, I am serving the highest quality tea available and that you will be, too. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to take this amazing trip, which was organized by #CollectiveBias, and to learn enough to be even more sure of one of my favorite products to serve my family and use in my kitchen. I can’t wait to share more with you, about the types of tea, health benefits and caffeine, so you can have the same assurances as I do! Be watching for upcoming Bigelow posts.
Learn more about Bigelow and their commitment to quality, taste and sustainability by visiting the links, below.