Tea lovers, rejoice: After three long years, one of the coolest Boulder attractions is back in action.
As of August 12, Celestial Seasonings has resumed its beloved “tea tours,” which had been suspended since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic back in March 2020. In fact, the entire Celestial Seasonings campus in Gunbarrel has been closed to visitors this whole time — including its tea shop. So, while people could still order tea online and buy it at the grocery store, they couldn’t pay a visit to the place where all the magic happens.
Before they shut down, Celestial Seasonings welcomed some 140,000 people to its campus each year. In 2019, Celestial Seasonings celebrated its 50th anniversary.
“We are so pleased to welcome visitors back to our campus,” says Tim Collins, Celestial Seasonings’ general manager. “Whether you are a long-time fan or new to tea, we invite you to Celestial Seasonings. We like to say our teas are a little bit of magic in your mug.”
If you’ve never been (or if it’s been a while since your last visit), the tea tours take visitors through the Celestial Seasonings factory, located at 4600 Sleepytime Drive (a nod to one of the brand’s most popular teas!).
“From raw ingredients to finished products, you’ll learn all about the wonderful world of tea and see how our wholesome products are blended, packaged and shipped,” according to the Celestial Seasonings website.
And even if you’ve done the tour before in the past, you may want to consider doing it again, as the company has rolled out some changes. For instance, they have reimagined the 45-minute tour to be a “multi-sensory experience.”
The tour starts in the Celestial Seasonings theater with a short intro video. From there, you’ll head off on foot throughout the factory, which produces roughly 8 million bags of tea each day. You’ll stop by the onsite art gallery, where you can look back in time and check out how Celestian Seasonings’ colorful boxes have changed over the last five decades. You’ll also get to visit the “Tea Bar,” where you can try free samples of more than 90 varieties of teas that Celestial Seasonings makes.
And don’t forget to stop by “Sleepytime Bear Cottage”—a recreation of the scene depicted on the company’s famous Sleeptime time box—for a photo. Also wander through the famous “Mint Room,” where the sensations are so strong you might find your eyes start watering.
Tours are first-come, first-served and take place every hour on the hour from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Tours are not offered and the tea shop is closed on Sundays and Mondays, as well as Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day and the Fourth of July. Each person must now pay $5 to take the tour (which was formerly free).
Tours can accommodate up to 20 people, and you must sign a waiver before you’re allowed to start walking. You also need to wear a hairnet and a beardnet the entire time. Kids under 5 are prohibited from joining, and kids under 15 must be with an adult. You cannot take any photos or videos inside the factory, and you’re only allowed to bring in a small bag, like a fanny pack.
At the beginning or end of the tour, head to the tea shop to check out all the different types of teas, gifts, foods and personal care products.