Bigelow Tea Company

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R.C. Bigelow, Inc.
Industry Tea
Founded 1945
Founder Ruth Campbell Bigelow
Headquarters Fairfield, Connecticut, USA
Key people

David C. Bigelow, Co-Chairman and Co-CEO

Eunice Bigelow, Co-Chairman and Co-CEO
Cynthia Bigelow, President
Products Teas & herbal teas
Revenue $90 million
Number of employees
Bigelow's Constant Comment tea

The Bigelow Tea Company (formally R.C. Bigelow, Inc.) is an American manufacturer of dried teas based in Fairfield, Connecticut. It was founded by Ruth C. Bigelow in the late 1940s, based on a recipe she marketed as "Constant Comment" tea. The company markets over 50 varieties of tea, including black, green, and herbal, all of which are blended in Fairfield. Their Charleston Tea Plantation South Carolina is the only one in America. Still a 100% family-owned business,[1] Bigelow employs 350 and had annual sales in 2009 of approximately $90 million.[1]

Constant Comment[edit]

Constant Comment remains today one of Bigelow Inc.'s most popular products. It is a black tea flavored with orange rinds, and sweet spices.[2] The recipe was developed by interior designer Ruth Bigelow in 1945 from an old colonial tea recipe to make orange and spice flavored tea in stone containers.[3]

In 1945, New York Times food writer Jane Holt wrote about the newly introduced tea, calling it "unusual", "delicious", "concentrated", and "economical":

A 1945 article by noted food writer Clementine Paddleford tells this story about the origin of the name:

Sales grew slowly but steadily, taking off in the 1970s when Bigelow began packing their teabgs in folding boxes instead of tins.[3] According to singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen the famous lines "and she feeds you tea and oranges / that come all the way from China" from his first hit song "Suzanne" refer to Constant Comment tea.[3]

In 2016 CEO Cindi Bigelow said of the recipe for Constant Comment "the only two people who know the formula are my parents [Ruth Bugelow's son David Jr. and his wife]" and that the recipe remains unchanged from the original since it was first developed.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Hoovers article on R.C. Bigelow, Inc.". Accessed in 2010. It lists David Bigelow and Eunice Bigelow as Co-Chairmen and Co-CEO's, and Cynthia Bigelow as President.
  2. ^ Bigelow Constant Comment tea description
  3. ^ a b c d Martyris, Nina (November 15, 2016). "The Story Behind The 'Tea And Oranges' In Leonard Cohen's Song 'Suzanne'". The Salt: what's on your plate. NPR. Retrieved November 18, 2016. 
  4. ^ Holt, Jane (1945), "News of Food: New Tea Mixture Appears in the Market; Economy of Use a High Recommendation" The New York Times, May 21, 1945, p. 16
  5. ^ Clementine Paddleford (July 1945). "Food Flashes". Gourmet Magazine. Archived from the original on 2011-06-13. Retrieved 2009-02-01. 

External links[edit]