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Constant Comment | America's Favorite Specialty Tea

Constant Comment | America’s Favorite Specialty Tea
3 votes, 5.00 avg. rating (94% score)

Since 1945, the Bigelow Tea Company has been supplying New England and beyond with quality teas, and none is more popular than the brand’s signature blend, Constant Comment. It was invented by Ruth Campbell Bigelow in the kitchen of her New York City brownstone in 1945. Unhappy with the teas available on the market at the time, Bigelow took inspiration from an early Colonial-era recipe and blended her black tea with orange rind and sweet spices. The new flavor was so popular among her friends that it received “constant comments.” Armed with a name for her custom blend, the Bigelow Tea Company was born and a headquarters established in nearby Connecticut.

bigelow tea

Photo/Art by Aimee Seavey
Each tea bag is foil-wrapped to ensure optimal freshness.

Ads for Constant Comment are a familiar sight when looking through the Yankee Magazine archives. This one showed up in the July 1958 issue:

constant comment 1958

Ad for Constant Comment tea in Yankee from 1958.

Bigelow was, and still is, family-run. Ruth and her husband David Bigelow started the company, but were soon joined by their son David and his wife Eunice. The couple’s two daughters have since followed suit as the company continued to grow. In the 1970s, the family expanded the idea of “specialty tea” to the mass market and added the individual foil pouch to guarantee optimum freshness and flavor for its now 120 different teas.

Bigelow is also the proud owner of the only working tea farm in America. With roots stretching back to the late 19th century, the Charleston Tea Plantation (home of American Classic Tea) is a 127-acre tea-lovers delight just 20 miles outside of Charleston, SC. Saved from a developer by Bigelow in 2003, the plantation grows both black and green teas in more than 320 varieties. An on-site visitor center also documents the tea growing and harvesting process.

bigelow tea bag

Photo/Art by Aimee Seavey
Foil wrapped for freshness!

With a flavor that many describe as “Christmas in a tea bag,” Constant Comment is the same festively fragrant and perfectly warming cuppa today as it was in Ruth’s kitchen in 1945. Paired with a few crisp cookies, it was the perfect mid-morning treat on a recent overcast morning that hinted at the crisp autumn days to come.

constant comment cookies

Photo/Art by Aimee Seavey
Constant Comment and cookies makes the perfect morning or afternoon treat.

Are you a fan of Constant Comment? Which tea in the Bigelow line is your favorite?

Please Note: This article was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

Aimee Seavey

Author:

Aimee Seavey

Biography:

Assistant Editor Aimee Seavey is a staff writer for Yankee Magazine and assists in the development and promotion of content for YankeeMagazine.com through blogging and social media outlets.
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5 Responses to Constant Comment | America’s Favorite Specialty Tea

  1. Casey Devine August 27, 2014 at 5:38 pm #

    My only brand and variety for decades. But now I also enjoy the chai. Both varieties in decaf only.

  2. Carla Giddings August 27, 2014 at 7:08 pm #

    Love Constant Comment! A long time family staple, nothing beats a cup of Constant Comment and a Lavender Sugar Cookie. If you’re down, it will chase all your problems away! If you’re happy, it will make you happier! A large box is always in my cupboard and a couple of bags always in my purse.

  3. Deborah MacDonald August 27, 2014 at 9:29 pm #

    Constant Comment Tea has been my favorite tea for many years. Born and raised in New England (Massachusetts). My husband and I moved to Florida in 2003. I lived in MA for 62 years and I miss it so much. I do not like living in Florida. It is true….you can take the girl out of New England, but you can’t take New England out of the girl…..

    • Connie Thomas September 25, 2014 at 11:26 am #

      I was introduced to Constant Comment by a fellow office worker in downtown D. C. in 1966. Back then it was loose tea and the bags came later. Throughout young motherhood, friends, babies and moving, this tea has always been my constant companion and a warm comfort. I made several pots a day back then. I had British grandparents who lived in the caretaker’s house on a Pennsylvania hillside backed up by dark woods. They didn’t drink Constant Comment, but I believe they would have if I had introduced them. They drank hot tea like Americans drink coffee today. Reading this CC article warmed up my Connecticut morning. Thank you.

  4. Carolyn October 9, 2014 at 2:09 am #

    I loved the orange spice flavor but can no longer find it. Evidently it has been dropped. Such a wintertime favorite with a slice of Georgia fruitcake. I’m going to miss that every afternoon refreshing moment.

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