The iconic Sleepytime Tea Bear had very humble beginnings. Back in 1969, a visionary group of herb-knowledgeable entrepreneurs started blending natural herbs in a small Boulder barn.
All their ingredients were sourced from the area’s forests and fields. This calming blend of hand-harvested chamomile, spearmint, and lemongrass sold in 1969 through local health food stores in hand-sewn muslin bags. Today it boasts its own Wellness line of eight different Sleepytime varieties.
The idealistic founders of Celestial Seasonings were determined to find success, but not at the expense of a peaceful and harmonious coexistence with the planet. Forty-five years later, the singular shared vision sustains one of the largest specialty tea manufacturers in North America, serving 1.6 billion-plus cups of tea annually, crafted from more than 100 different ingredients from over 35 countries.
Corporate social responsibility remains the foundational core of the Celestial Seasonings mission:
Doing business the right way by combining high-quality, sustainably produced products with responsible global citizenship.
These ideals are evidenced in the natural fiber, biodegradable, compostable, chlorine-free tea bags that deliberately lack strings, tags, staples, and individual wrappers. Tea boxes use 100% recycled paperboard, including 35% post-consumer waste.
The company’s botanicals purchasers deal directly with the farmers and communities that grow the products, allowing for the highest-quality ingredients while simultaneously providing economic benefits that remain within the communities. Many of the farming partners have supplied Celestial Seasonings for decades, operating in accordance with sustainable agricultural practices.
In such a vast product universe it’s hard to single out “shining stars,” but a few of the more interesting include the large selection of handcrafted Wellness Teas. The well-recognized Seasonal Discomforts, Everyday Wellness, and Natural Detox teas soothe sore throats, decongest heads, clear sinuses, soothe tummies, facilitate digestion, detox tissues, encourage bowels, and support sleep.
It’s always fun to see the festive line of Holiday Teas appear on retail shelves in November. Caramel Apple Dream, Sweet Harvest Pumpkin, Gingerbread Spice, and Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride cover all the holiday bases.
A new line of “shots” provide energizing combinations of green tea, live, raw Kombucha, B-vitamins, ginseng, and guarana.
2014 brought the launch of Organic, Fair Trade Certified™ Estate Teas sold exclusively at Whole Foods Market®. Hand-selected tea leaves are sourced from some of the world’s finest tea gardens in Rwanda, China, and India.
Tours on Sleepytime Drive
Celestial Seasonings offers free 45-minute factory tours in Boulder every hour Monday through Saturday from 10 to 4, and on Sunday from 11 to 3. If you catch it on a weekday you’ll see the factory in operation, blending, packaging, and shipping products. Tours are first-come, first-served for walk-in guests with reservations required for any non-family group of 8 or more.
All teas are available for tasting at the sampling bar and visitors are always welcome to stop in and try new blends without touring the facility. While on property, enjoy a meal and some great art at the Celestial Café, open for breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday.
The Artist Behind the Box Art
We think our boxes are just as important as the goodness they hold, so we’ve always created beautiful packaging adorned with commissioned works of art and thoughtful, inspiring words.
If you have always wondered whom to thank for the beautiful eye candy featured on the vibrant tea boxes all these years, much of the gratitude goes to artist Jerry LoFaro. From his enduring relationship with Celestial Seasonings Tea, LoFaro has created the images for over 50 tea boxes, products, and tins.
Now that the holidays are nearly over for another year, put on the new slippers, snuggle in, and soothe your overworked nerves with Boulder’s most beloved sleepy bear.