This post has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Bigelow Tea. All opinions are mine alone.
I just love Bigelow Tea. I'm so happy to have had the chance to spend some time at their headquarters immersing myself in everything Bigelow.
It. Was. Awesome.
Bigelow is America's classic, family-owned tea blender. Tea is their passion. It started in 1945, when Ruth Campbell Bigelow created America's first specialty tea, "Constant Comment", and continues today with that same level of commitment. Bigelow is American made by an American Family; an American Company for the American consumer.
I was absolutely honored to be on this trip, both to New York and Connecticut. I'm now in love with the Bigelow Tea company more than ever...it was such an amazing experience seeing firsthand how this company operates. I was beyond impressed. Check out the details below>>>
Nestled in adorable Fairfield, Connecticut, sits Bigelow Tea's headquarters. We took a large van over from Manhattan that day (I feel kind of fancy saying that, y'all), and were greeted by the kindest people...of course they were, they were Bigelow people! We were treated so nicely from the get go. As soon as we entered the building, we were offered what else, but Bigelow Tea! They were so thoughtful, they had a big pot of coffee for the coffee drinkers, too. I'm a double-duty kind of girl. I chase my coffee with tea every morning. So, I double-fisted it that day. Coffee followed by (my new can't-live-without-blend) Lemon and Ginger Tea with Probiotics. We had a bumpy van ride over from the city...the Lemon and Ginger soothed my tummy fast!
After settling in, sipping some tea, and visiting with our Bigelow hosts for a bit, we were off on a tour of the production facility. It was a really fascinating time...we watched, heard, smelled and truly experienced Bigelow tea being made. I'll say this like a bajillion times in this post, but nothing smells more incredible than the tea production area. Like, whoa. And they were making one of my FAVORITE blends that day (more on that below).
After touring the production area, we headed back upstairs to the tasting kitchens for a little FUN! We had the chance to look at the teas in depth and up close...and taste them, too (the best part)! Let me just state for the record right now, the new position on the top of my dream job list is taste tester for Bigelow Tea. Seriously.
We learned a lot about the differences between black, green, herbal and other tea varieties...I was amazed at all I didn't know about tea going into this. We also learned more about Ruth Campbell Bigelow's original tea, "Constant Comment". It's one of my faves, so it was great to hear its history.
One other thing that I was impressed with? The foil pouch that surrounds the above deliciousness. It literally seals the deal. Whenever you pull out your pouch of Bigelow Tea next time, take time to really smell the freshness contained in that pouch. It is a fantastic packaging feature that Bigelow makes. They do everything they can to ensure your tea tastes INCREDIBLE! And just look how beautiful the tea from the Bigelow Earl Grey tea bag is!
This is my new friend, Carrie, the marketing manager for Bigelow Tea. She was in on the taste testing with us. Tasting all of the different teas was one of my favorite parts of the day.
The Dip and Sip.
We were each given two spoons: one to dip into the tea and the other to sip. We also learned to really "slurp" and pull the tea all the way through the mouth to really experience it. Not going to lie, I may slurp a little more than usual when I drink my tea these days! Bigelow really does have such a great all-around taste to it.
We were treated to lunch in their awesome made-to-order cafeteria. It was great just to sit and visit with the Bigelow folks and my blogger friends, too. Pictured above is Lyuba from Will Cook for Smiles, myself, and Glenda from Busy At Home. We were fabulous virtual friends before the trip, but now we just love each other to pieces. So great to have this experience with these two along with the other amazing bloggers on the trip and the Collective Bias bunch, too. Bigelow made it all just AMAZING!
And since we're "in" the cafeteria, I should tell you that Bigelow is so on top of environmental sustainability. Looking at the different recycling areas around the building, and especially here in the lunch room, that's incredibly evident. I was so impressed, y'all!
Bigelow has several locations across the nation, including another I'd like to visit in Charleston. Bigelow Tea’s Charleston Tea Plantation is America’s largest working tea garden. Guests are invited to the Charleston Tea Plantation for weddings, tours and even a variety of music festivals. It’s a tea-riffic way to experience historic Southern culture and a living piece of American history!
Bigelow also gave us so many nice things to take home and remember our special day. One of my faves? This gorgeous wooden tea chest...filled with deliciousness! Isn't it beautiful? It sits on my buffet in my kitchen now. Such a great keepsake.
Walking through the halls of Bigelow Tea's headquarters, you see so many family pieces...some even from Mr. and Mrs. Bigelow's own home (there was a darling bench in one hall that looked like something I'd have in my own home...they have great taste, huh? Wink!). There were also photos everywhere. I loved this one above of Lori Bigelow tasting teas with her parents in their kitchen. It truly is a family company still run by this wonderful family.
One of the first things I noticed about Bigelow Tea (long before this visit) is something near and dear to my hometown here in Killeen/Fort Hood Texas (home of the largest US Army post), and to me (being the daughter of a career military man)...their commitment to the US troops is unwavering. Almost 4 million bags of tea have been sent to troops overseas with Bigelow’s Tea for Troops program. Click here to learn additional information about Tea for Troops.
While we were touring the production area at Bigelow, they were mixing up their DELICIOUS Orange and Spice Tea. I wish I could formulate the words to describe how incredible it smelled! I just kept thinking to myself throughout the day, "the aroma alone makes me want to take up residence here!". The amazing smell that day remained on my mind....well, I guess it still is. So, I created a yummy Orange and Spice Pound Cake inspired by our tour that day. For a few hours, my kitchen smelled like the Bigelow production area. It was glorious! Click here for this recipe that I posted yesterday.
Our day ended with a walk on the beach (I know, right?!?) and a fantastic dinner at a tavern in Fairfield with some of our new Bigelow friends. This day was just so fantastic...what an honor to be included. Thank you, Bigelow Tea! Truly...thank you for the fantastic hospitali-TEA! Nobody does it like you.
Here was our group at dinner that evening, along with the wonderful Bigelow hosts! Be sure to follow Bigelow on Facebook here and Twitter here.
Since coming home, there hasn't been a morning that I haven't sampled a new tea flavor sent back with me. And I've even grabbed a few more boxes (hello, Lemon Ginger with Probiotics) at my local Walmart, which always has a great Bigelow Tea selection.
For more information and other fantastic stories about Bigelow Tea, check out the awesomeness below.
Be sure to check out the other #BigelowVIP bloggers, too:
It's time to start steeping, y'all.