Monday, April 16, 2012

Celestial Seasonings: Tea Tour, Tastings and Tea Shop in Boulder

In February, my husband and I had the good fortune to combine business with pleasure with a quick trip to Boulder, Colorado. While there, we met up with family and I got to check a few more tea spots off my tea visit wish list. We had afternoon tea at The Brown Palace in nearby Denver (see blog entry from February, 2012) and scheduled the other must-see visit back in Boulder at Celestial Seasonings.
Entry to Celestial Seasonings Tea and Gift Shop

With a scenic mountain backdrop, the Celestial Seasonings headquarters is a bright, cheery series of buildings located on Sleepytime Drive, a nod to the company's best selling tea, Sleepytime. We came for the tea tour, but there's a cafeteria and tea shop, both of which we took advantage during our visit.

The tour takes approximately 45 minutes and it's a good idea to get there a little bit ahead of the time you'd like to start, since they tend to fill up fast. The tour begins in a small theater where a short film is played that tells the incredible story of a small cottage industry that grew into a large corporation that now serves customers all over the world.
My husband Chris, and my sister-in-law Cara shopping for tea.

Once inside the production facility, we were asked to turn off cameras and follow our energetic guide. We were shown the immense storage bins for the ingredients that are part of the special blends of many of Celestial Seasonings unique teas. Because tea easily soaks in flavors of what's nearby, the mix of herbs and seasonings are kept stored tight and separate from the tea.
Standing in front of the Tour Center.

The most fascinating place on the tour, for me, anyway, was The Peppermint Room. Locked in a storage room with a garage-style door, our guide lead us in and shut said door behind us. Immediately, the peppermint oil hits you hard, as our guide explained, it attacks the soft tissues. Our eyes welled up and breathing became refreshingly intense. While there, we learned some new uses for peppermint tea (like placing the tea bags in your shower when you are suffering from a cold and stuffy nose) and then we were released back into the production facility to conclude our trip at the packaging area. Watching the conveyor belts move the tea packages along to their final destination was like standing in the middle of a "How It's Made" episode.Amazing!

After the tour, we sampled tea from large silver urns before heading to the tea shop to stock up on Celestial Seasonings famous tea and charming branded merchandise. I came back with a few gift baskets to share and an adorable teapot for myself.

For more information on what's in store for you at Celestial Seasonings, see The Detroit Tea Examiner's recent article, Celestial Seasonings Tea: experience 40 years of tea making in Boulder or visit Celestial Seasonings website.


parTea lady said...

That looks like a fun tea tour.

Denver Tea Lady said...

That IS a fun tour; especially the peppermint room! And isn't it odd to see this famous tea factory in the middle of a neighborhood?