Tea time with Celestial Seasonings’ new flavors
It’s indisputable that Boulder, Colorado, is a launch pad for natural products.
From Justin’s Nut Butter to Hope Hummus, this bustling town in the Rockies offers an ideal environment to incubate natural brands into existence. Chalk it up to the popular farmers market where fledgling companies can test product formulations, retailers that prioritize stocking local products, a supportive group of fellow natural products entrepreneurs and passionate healthy consumers interested in natural eating. Just think about it: running up a mountain every morning is harder if you eat McDonald's for breakfast.
But you can’t talk about the natural food scene in Boulder without mentioning Celestial Seasonings, the herbal tea company born in 1969 when founder Mo Siegel wandered into the Rocky Mountains, collected wild herbs and sold them in hand-sewn muslin bags.
Nearly 50 years later, Celestial Seasonings sells 105 varieties of tea and makes more than 1.6 billion cups of tea per year. But the company still upholds Siegel’s values of environmental stewardship, conscious sourcing and health. Plus, transparency is clearly a tenet: Incredibly, Celestial Seasonings hosts 2.1 million visitors annually to tour its manufacturing facility, which happens to be located a stone’s throw from the offices of New Hope Network, Delicious Living's parent company. So when our content team was invited to tour the facility, we wholeheartedly accepted.
There, we spoke with Celestial Seasoning’s General Manager David Ziegert, who has worked for the company for 22 years. He discussed at length the brand’s recent return to classic packaging, emblazoned with whimsical original artwork inspired by the tea flavors and ingredient. Consumers lamenting that the tea drinking experience was hindered by sleek new packaging largely drove this decision.
But sometime between today’s restored packaging and the hand-sewn muslin bags sold by Siegel, Celestial Seasonings went through a phase where they published mini-essays on the tea boxes… inspiring, poetic stories honoring the tea. Longtime Boulder resident and New Hope’s own supplements and ingredients editor Todd Runestad happened to contribute a slew of such essays on Celestial Seasoning’s tea boxes way back when—and they were really good!
For example, here’s the mini-essay that appeared on Celestial Seasoning’s Decaf Lemon Myrtle Tea:
“Look at the spring buds on the pines, the fragrant flowers on the dogwood, the dewdrop clinging to a morning leaf before it joins the downstream cataract. See how it gives the moon its light, how it flows through a beating heart and envelops the spirit, free. Can you hear it? It’s a hundred giggles of carefree children. It’s a wisp of hair across a cheek. It’s a smile in the kernel of the soul. There, like a cattail on yonder shore, golden, a drawing light—it’s you.”
Pretty moving, right?
Motivated by our recent visit to the facility (which smelled like lemongrass during our tour) and Runestad’s words, here, New Hope editors pay homage to Celestial Seasoning’s newest and seasonal tea offerings by flexing our artistic prowess.