Celestial Seasonings, a company known for excellent herbal teas, is a company built on hard work, an appreciation for nature’s bounty, and an environmentally responsible philosophy. Beginning very simply on a Colorado mountainside in 1969, Celestial Seasonings is now an internationally known company with people enjoying a wide variety of teas worldwide.
Mo Siegel, founder of Celestial Seasonings (named after a friend), began gathering wild herbs in the Colorado Rocky Mountains to make healthy teas. Only 19 years old at the time, his friend Wyck Hay soon joined him, and together with wives and other friends, they harvested enough herbs to produce 500 pounds of Mo’s 36 Herb Tea, their first tea blend. The group sold 10,000 hand-sewn muslin bags of their tea blend to a health food store in Boulder. (celestialseasonings.com)
In 1970, Celestial Seasonings created Sleepytime Herb Tea, arguably the most well known herbal tea on the market. The company continued to grow and by 1971, others joined the company and they moved operations to an old barn near Boulder, Colorado. Until then, they had continued to harvest wild herbs by hand, but as the company grew to distribute teas in New Mexico and on the east coast, Celestial Seasonings began buying herbs from growers.
Mo started traveling the world in 1973 to find high quality teas, herbs, fruits, and spices. He developed strong relationships with small herb farmers and tea estate owners, many of which continue 25 years later. Today, the company employs a team of botanical buyers to travel the world, both to find quality product and to ensure crops are grown indigenously and without undue harm to the land. In fact, Celestial Seasonings buys 100 different herbs, spices, and fruits from 35 different countries. (celestialseasonings.com)
You may have noticed that Celestial Seasonings tea bags have no strings, staples, or tags. As an environmentally aware and responsible company, Celestial Seasonings opted to develop a “pillow tea bag”, thereby saving 1500 tons of waste from going into landfills every year. Also, the company’s tea boxes are made from 34% post consumer waste, and they ship products in 100% recycled paperboard. (celestialseasonings.com)
Celestial Seasonings has a reputation for treating employees well and encouraging environmental awareness. In 1973, the company began serving family-style hot vegetarian lunches to employees, free of charge. Over the next two years, they instituted lunch volleyball and lunch horseshoes. They have encouraged employees to support the community and the environment by establishing an employee committee to coordinate internal recycling programs for glass, aluminum, paper, cardboard and burlap. Celestial Seasonings has also sponsored several bicycling events and has one of the highest employee participation rates of any Colorado company for Bike-to-Work Day.
Celestial Seasonings began offering free tours of their facility several years ago. It takes about 45 minutes and begins with a video of the Celestial Seasonings story. You can take a stroll through the art gallery where you can view the original paintings that adorn many tea boxes. In warm weather, you can enjoy the Celestial herb garden. You can also sample up to 80 types of teas, including brand new teas and some old favorites, as well as purchase teas at a deep discount.
The company produces 8 million tea bags a day, and you can see how the factory operates as you tour the facility. The best part of the tour, however, is visiting the Mint Room, where all of the company’s peppermint and spearmint is stored. Celestial Seasonings uses 500,000 pounds of mint herbs per year. I have been to the Mint Room, and it is so strong that it clears your sinuses and can make your eyes water a bit. Once you are over that, it is quite refreshing.
Celestial Seasonings continues to expand and develop their teas, moving beyond herbal teas. They now have a line of black teas, white teas, green teas, oolong teas, specialty African teas, medicinal herb teas, several iced teas, and many wonderful flavors of Chai teas. In 2002, they launched a line of natural powdered ciders. They even have a line of herbal supplements designed to support good health.
Celestial Seasonings is an amazing company that has not lost sight of their humble and environmentally aware beginnings. They continue to support small farmers, sustainable environmental practices, recycling efforts, and pure quality products. They treat their employees well, and they continue to introduce new teas to the worldwide market. They are an excellent company to support with your tea purchases.