Visitors to Celestial Seasonings in Boulder can tour the factory and also enjoy original art, shop for tea-related goodies and learn more about this environmentally conscious organization. From its humble beginnings more than 35 years ago when founder Mo Siegel picked herbs somewhere outside Aspen and brewed up tea in his kitchen, the company has grown into a multi-million dollar corporation.
The Celestial Seasonings tour has consistently ranked as one of the top-10 factory tours in the country, and it’s a treat for the senses. Visitors 5 and older can see how tea is made, taste different varieties of tea and smell the marvelous aromas from the many varieties of tea that are processed here.
The free tour lasts about 45 minutes, and begins with a short video that tells the Celestial story “from its roots to full bloom.” The factory floor produces 8 million tea bags each day, and to watch it happen can be fun. Huge quantities of tea are moved through the factory each day, and to see and smell that much tea will awaken the senses. A stop in the Mint Room is a tour favorite — the pungent aroma of peppermint and spearmint clears the sinuses, and after just a few moments, the strong oils cause tears to roll down many faces.
After completing the tour, visit the nearby art gallery, which showcases colorful artwork that adorns the company’s tea boxes. A tea sampling session features more than 80 varieties, making it easy to find something new, and the Celestial herb garden will delight the green thumbs in the crowd, with herbs and botanical plants growing in a beautiful setting.
Visitors can also browse in the obligatory gift shop, where teas are available at a substantial discount; it’s worth stocking up. All things tea-related are available here, including cups, mugs, teapots, gift baskets, tea tins and Sleepytime® bears, in a nod to the company favorite. Shoppers also will delight in logo sweatshirts and other clothing, specialty honey, honey spreads, gourmet treats, natural skin care items, aromatherapy candles and a wide variety of other personal care products.
After all that walking, smelling and shopping, a trip to the Celestial Café is just the thing to rest the feet and clear the mind. The café offers up a full line of vegetarian specials, sandwiches, a soup and salad bar and, of course, more than 40 varieties of Celestial Seasonings teas. If weather permits, kids can get their “wiggles” out in the grassy area adjacent to the outdoor seating.
Celestial Seasonings “walks the talk” with its environmental mission and corporate responsibility. Its products are subject to strict environmental standards, and the company is a corporate sponsor of “The Heart Truth” campaign, a national campaign to raise awareness about women and heart disease.
Either before or after your outing, be sure to visit the company website; it’s full of information as well as fun stuff, including recipes, kids’ coloring pages and games and other activities.
If You Go
Celestial Seasonings, 4600 Sleepytime Dr., Boulder Colo. 80301; (303) 581-1202
The factory tour is free. Tour times are on the hour, Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closed major holidays. Children under 5 are not permitted on the factory portion of the tour.
Kelly Smith, who is married and the mother of two daughters, is a longtime Denver resident. She is an editor at Colorado Parent magazine and a former editor at Mountain Living magazine. Her stories have appeared in Architecture & Design of the West, Colorado Homes & Lifestyles, Colorado Parent, Herb Companion, Log & Timber Style, Mangia, Mountain Living and Natural Home & Garden.
From the Editors: We spent a heap of time making sure this story was accurate when it was published, but of course, things can change. Please confirm the details before setting out in our great Centennial State.