It was 9 a.m. on Saturday morning, and I was greeted with a wave of smells. Celestial Seasonings was offering tours, as they do every day, and people around me were sipping tea like it was going out of style. What was it about this tour center made its tour one of the 10 best factory tours in the United States and why so many people visited this tour center every year (LA Times, 2016)?
Emily, 25-year-old from out of state, told me that she had heard about the tour center from a friend and wanted to check it out while she was in town.
“[F]ree tea!” she said with a grin.
Jamie, age 8, said Sleepytime is her favorite.
“I liked Sleepytime Kids but they stopped making it. Right now I have regular Sleepytime,” she said.
Debbie, one of the tour guides, informed me of the many benefits of drinking green tea. She pointedly mentioned that the company’s Senior Blendmaster has been sick only three days in the last nine years.
“He sips…up to 120 different cups of tea every day. We know where he’s running [to] every hour,” she said with a chuckle.
I was interested to see the types of people that came to visit Celestial Seasonings: some guests were in biker shorts and had their helmets, others were families of four.
“This is the fifth time I’ve taken the tour,” said a woman named Denise as her tea steeped. “I keep calling all of my friends like, ‘Hey, you guys have got to come check this tour out next time you’re in town!’”
Other guests were totally new to this world, like me. One guest, Michael, 16, told me the only thing he liked was the Fireside Vanilla Spice with two packets of sugar.
“I’m not really into tea,” he said. “We’re just here because my sister likes it. We decided to take the tour earlier but now she’s just trying everything.”
I talked to a few more tour guides, had quite a few samples and stopped by the gift shop before leaving. It’s clear to see why this is such a popular attraction for Boulderites as well as those visiting from out often.