Thursday, January 12, 2012

Herbal Tea of 25 Square Miles

Unexpected Brew

As it turns out, one of those awesomely-unexpected things I got from my travels to Little Rock was a phenomenal introduction to the variety of joys that come with the varieties of teas. I'm not a connoisseur, but I've now at least heard of Atlanta-based, publicly-traded Teavana.

Loose Tea

Loose Tea by cherylsmith999, on Flickr

Assembly Lines

Maybe it's the Detroit-area youth, but there's something about How It's Made and factories in general I can't get enough of. Knowing these facts, co-worker and friend of the blog Jordan suggested that I visit Boulder's Celestial Seasonings factory tour on a recent weekend trip to Denver with Ginger.

The Tour

Photos are banned within the tour as the equipment is all custom-made, but even several weeks later, I've remembered some of the fun facts one would get by visiting. A surprising amount were of the traditional consulting "it depends" variety.

Free Tour of Celestial Seasonings

Free Tour of Celestial Seasonings by krossbow, on Flickr

The gems among the facts include

  • Tea shipping containers for ingredients carry between 500 and 1300 lbs, depending on the density.
  • Tea leaves must be stored in a separate room, so they don't absorb the scent and flavor of all the other ingredients in the warehouse.
  • Mint must also be stored in a separate room, and if it weren't sealed an area four square miles around the factory would smell like mint. This stuff is shockingly powerful. Several people on the tour had watery eyes upon leaving.

Without a doubt, my favorite moment of the tour was a thoughtful answer to a question by a guest of the tour in the mint room.

GuideDoes anyone have any questions for me?
AskerHow long does all this mint last? depends. If we're making a tea with a lot of mint, not very long. If we're making a tea without mint...a long time.

Stunning. It's certainly worth a visit.

Fun Fact Boulder is affectionately known as "25 square miles surrounded by reality"

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