You don’t grow to be a third generation, family-owned tea company without nurturing lasting relationships… with one another, with loyal consumers and with trusted suppliers. Or without using the finest ingredients.
In the early 1970’s, looking to blend rich black teas with the perfect bergamot to launch a world-class Earl Grey Tea, the Bigelow family began working with family-owned bergamot orchards in Calabria, Italy. Calabria is where 80% of the world’s citrus bergamot fruit is grown and where the richest quality, most harmonious oil of bergamot is produced.
We carefully chose partners with high standards, all of whom are multi-generational, family-owned growers themselves, who use generations-old traditions for growing and picking the highest quality fruit and for producing exquisitely smooth oil of bergamot. And we have been working with them ever since.
Today, these third-generation family bergamot farms are still dedicated to expertly growing citrus bergamot fruit without the use of pesticides, using natural, organic methods from orchards that have been in existence for over 80 years,. Equally important, is their skill for harvesting the proper-size fruit at the peak degree of ripeness and then, carefully processing it so that the integrity of the fruit is not destroyed. It is this ultra-fine oil of bergamot that Bigelow blends into its Earl Grey Tea.
This takes a great deal of dedication and attention to detail.
While bergamot fruit is harvested over the 16-week period from November until March, it is the oil extracted from fruit that is picked during the first 6-8 weeks that delivers the superior flavor characteristics and the lively citrus qualities that Bigelow Earl Grey Tea consumers can reliably expect.
Part art, part science, the processing of this early fruit requires impeccable timing and demands great skill to maintain the integrity and flavor, protect the subtle nuances and achieve the proper balance of more than 100 flavor components that are inherent in the bergamot fruit.
Considered the cream of the crop, Bigelow Tea buys 100% of this coveted “first cold pressing.”
Never content to cut corners and use the less expensive distilled oil from later pressings, prills or oils with fillers or additives that other companies often use, the Bigelow family continues to insist on blending pure oil of bergamot, full of flavor, from the peak harvest with a rich and robust, hand-picked black tea to give Bigelow’s signature Earl Grey Tea its rich, velvety smooth flavor that has made it a classic.
Want proof? We invite you to compare Bigelow Earl Grey Tea to any other by tearing open the foil pouch that protects Bigelow Earl Grey from any air, moisture and surrounding aromas, and enjoy the unparalleled flavor and aroma that makes Bigelow Earl Grey Tea the #1 selling Earl Grey in the country.