It’s time for a recap of my trip to Boulder, Colorado with Celestial Seasonings!
I’m excited to share all of the fun with you today! And, at the end of this post, you will find a pretty stellar giveaway packed with items I picked out just for you guys (including some of my favorite teas, a super cute Anthropologie-esque mug, a tumbler, tea kettle, adorable potholder and more). Let’s get to it!
Visiting Celestial Seasonings
Thursday of last week was jam-packed with all things tea! Our morning kicked off with breakfast at the hotel before our group of bloggers hopped in a car and headed to Celestial Seasonings’ headquarters, located on Sleepytime Drive. How appropriate, right!?
Those of us from out of town got a kick out of the adorable prairie dogs that greeted us from the fields as we drove onto the property, but even their cute little faces couldn’t top the welcome we received from the Celestial Seasonings team.
All of the employees greeted us on the front lawn with signs and smiles. It made us feel very welcome and we made sure to thank everyone for their enthusiastic greeting! (Just FYI, Celestial Seasonings offers a free factory tour in Boulder every day of the week!)
Of course we all were especially excited to meet the Sleepytime Bear!
The famous Sleepytime Bear has a cat named Chamomile and I did my best to convince him to get a dog, too, even though I’m pretty sure Sadie wouldn’t touch that bear with a ten-foot pole. She’s not exactly the bravest little creature.
After our warm welcome, it was time to warm our bellies with all the tea we could drink. I’m pretty sure I went to the bathroom every 30 minutes when I was there because I did not stop drinking tea. I loved trying so many new-to-me flavors, including Sweet Harvest Pumpkin (sweetened with a little stevia – so good!) and Cinnamon Apple Spice.
During the tasting, I truly did not try one tea I didn’t like, but there were two big standouts that quickly claimed the top prize in my eyes.
First place went to Bengal Spice herbal tea.
This fragrant tea tasted like the holidays in a cup and was incredibly flavorful thanks to cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and cloves. I was shocked to hear it wasn’t sweetened since it definitely has a sweet flavor. I also think it would be fabulous with a splash of almond milk. I made sure to buy two packs of this tea before we left.
Second place went to the Caramel Apple Dream herbal tea that included quintessential autumn flavors such as apple, cinnamon and maple. (I picked up a box of this one, too!)
Following the tea tasting, we were ushered into the main tour room where we learned more about the company’s beginnings and the direction they hope to go in the future. Founded in 1969 by Mo Siegel, Celestial Seasonings came to be when Mo and his friends decided to bring the blended herbal teas they made in the Colorado mountains to health food stores. The company continues Mo’s passion for herbal tea and many of the ingredients used in their teas come from the same farmers Celestial Seasonings has used for upwards of 30 years.
After learning a bit about the company, we were off to the next activity, but not before I quickly snagged a bottle of Celestial Seasonings kombucha.
I drank a bottle of the super green tropical blend and thought it was great. I am rather picky when it comes to kombucha since I’ve tried my fair share of kombucha I have not enjoyed, so I was happy to love this one!
And then it was off to do some more tea tasting, only this time we learned a bit about the brewing process. I clearly had a lot to learn because I always leave my tea bags in my mug when I make myself a cup of tea which is a big no-no.
Here are a few single-cup brewing tips for the most popular kinds of tea:
- Green Tea: To brew a great cup of green tea, place one tea bag in your cup. Pour very hot (just at the brink of boiling) water over the tea bag. Cover and steep 3 minutes. Remove tea bag and add lemon and/or sweetener if desired.
- Chai Tea: Place one tea bag in your favorite mug. Fill with 3/4 cup boiling water. Steep for 4 to 6 minutes. For authentic chai taste, remove tea bag and fill mug with 1/4 cup hot milk or dairy substitute. Sweeten to taste with sugar or honey.
- Black Tea: Place one tea bag in your cup and pour boiling water over it, cover and steep 3 to 5 minutes, depending on desired strength. Remove tea bag. We recommend adding honey to sweeten.
- Herbal Tea: Place one tea bag in your favorite cup. Add boiling water and let steep 4 to 6 minutes. Sweeten if you desire – we recommend honey!
Another quick tip: Squeeze the tea bag before removing it from your cup. Why? Tea leaves can absorb up to seven times their weight in water and compressing the bag enhances color and flavor.
Following our tea tasting, we sat down to a lunch that included fresh salads, salmon and sweet treats before it was time to slip into our marshmallow suits and head off on the factory tour.
During the tour, I chatted with our guide about the holiday teas which are some of my all-time favorites. (I’m looking at you Candy Cane Lane!) He told me that the inspiration behind their Nutcracker Sweet tea came from an 11-year-old girl on one of their factory tours. She was a ballerina and said they should make a holiday tea and call it “Nutcracker Sweet.” This eventually led to more favorites like Sugar Plum Spice.
No trip to the Celestial Seasonings factory is complete without a visit to the Mint Room, so we made sure to spend some time in the incredibly aromatic space where all of the mint is stored before we were done.
Our day at Celestial Seasonings concluded with a happy hour that included tea-infused cocktails.
My favorite was the Until Next Time cocktail made with vodka, chamomile simple syrup, lemon juice, egg whites and strawberry puree. It was fantastic!
And now it’s giveaway time!
Before we said goodbye to our friends at Celestial Seasonings, we were each given a gift card to use in the Tea Shop toward a giveaway for our readers. I obviously wanted to include some of my favorite teas, but I also added a few extra things that I hope you love!
- Celestial Seasonings Holiday Tea Sampler Pack (Candy Cane Lane, Gingerbread Spice, Sweet Harvest Pumpkin, Nutcracker Sweet)
- Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice Herbal Tea
- Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Extra Tea
- Alba Botannica Hawaiian Body Cream
- Alba Cherry Lip Balm
- WoodWick Candle in Bakery Cupcake (This smells amazing!)
- Festive Mug
- Aroma Gourmet Electric Digital Kettle
- Celestial Seasonings Tumbler
- Celestial Seasonings Teas with Altitude t-shirt
- Cute Potholder with Embroidered Towel
To enter this giveaway, simply leave a comment below telling me about your favorite Celestial Seasonings tea or the kind of Celestial Seasonings tea you’d love to try!
I will randomly select a winner on Friday morning. Good luck!