Cafes at the University of Connecticut recently began selling Bigelow Benefits teas.
“They have a lot of really creative flavors that have gotten people’s attention,” UConn Dining Services Retail Operations Manager Ethan Haggerty said.
Each of the teas in the Bigelow Benefits line is designed to provide a distinct set of health benefits for the drinker.
“All of us know how important it is to put good things in our bodies to help us stay strong. That desire was the inspiration for the Bigelow Benefits line, everyday teas that fuel your body with good-for-you ingredients,” the products’ mission statement says.
Taryn Nguyen, a third-semester nursing major, said she enjoys the flavor and relaxing benefits of the Stay Well tea.
“It calms me a lot, I take it before a test (and) it helps me relax and not get so much anxiety,” Nguyen said.
The tea’s flavor profile is a blend of echinacea, lemongrass, fennel, licorice root, peppermint, sage, elderflower, marshmallow root, rosehips and thyme.
“It’s an interesting flavor combination,” Nguyen said. “It’s different.”
The most popular tea is the Blueberry and Aloe Radiate Beauty tea which is designed to provide benefits of well-being and radiant skin, Haggerty said. The Tea
Studies have found links between drinking tea and decreased risk for stroke, coronary heart disease, developing Type 2 diabetes, liver disease, depression and total mortality according to a New York Times Upshot article.
Last year, Dining Services switched from Tazo teas to Bigelow, a local company based in Fairfield, Connecticut after experiencing sourcing issues with Tazo, Haggerty said. Haggerty said it was difficult to keep Tazo products on the shelves as delivers were unreliable.
“In Dining Services, we do our best to source everything as local(ly) as possible…with a lot of Connecticut companies,” Haggerty said.
Last semester, Dining Services launched the Steep line of more standard teas such as Earl Grey or chamomile teas, which is still available in the cafes, Haggerty said.
All the cafes, except the Chem Café, have also begun serving a line of Tea Guys loose-leaf teas that was piloted in the Beanery and Wilbur Cross last fall, Haggerty said. Some of the available flavors include salted dark chocolate, vanilla coconut almond and Earl Grey cream. Haggerty said Dining Services is currently working on finding counter space at the Chem Café for the jars.
Following the switch from Tazo to Bigelow last year, some students said they missed the distinctive Passion tea. Haggerty said the Bigelow Benefits line has filled that niche again.
While there has been a small bump in tea sales since the start of the semester, Haggerty said he had hoped to see a larger increase.
“I was hoping to see a bigger swing in sales since we have put so much effort in. I bet once the colder weather hits we will see a better increase,” Haggerty said.
Haggerty said the Bigelow teas have cost Dining Services less than those of Tazo.
Haggerty said he has received nothing but positive feedback about the introduction of the Benefits line.
“We are seeing an increase in tea business as students are more educated and are becoming more health-conscious about what they’re putting into their bodies,” Haggerty said.
Anna Zarra Aldrich is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. She tweets @ZarraAnna.