17 March 2011

Reading the back of the Celestial Seasonings box...

Really! I had two and a half-minutes to fill while my mug of water heated in the microwave, so I started reading the box. I had to smile when I read this little blurb:

"Our Natural Heritage
In 1969, Celestial Seasonings began picking fresh herbs in the forests and canyons of the Rocky Mountains and blending them to create healthy, flavorful teas. This tradition...continues to this day."

Doesn't it just conjure up pictures of gentle hippies wading through knee-deep undergrowth in a lush forest, carefully choosing a sprig of peppermint here, a little chamomile there? How do they fill all those millions of boxes we see on supermarket shelves using this labor intensive method??? Well, actually, they don't. As I found out they import their herbs from 35 countries and buy most of them from, "small farms within their indigenous areas. This ensures that the plant products Celestial Seasonings buys are collected or harvested without undue harm to the environment, while local jobs and businesses are supported."** Hmmm...could it be that it's also cheaper to buy these products from poor third-world countries rather than producing them here? Ah, sweet cynicism.

No, this isn't a rant against big businesses exploiting poor herb farmers. Just the weird wanderings of my ever-curious mind. After living on the outskirts of Boulder, Colorado (where Celestial Seasonings is located) from 1966 to 1980 I couldn't quite believe they ever found enough herbs in the "forests and canyons of the Rocky Mountains" to make more than a couple of boxes of herbal tea so, of course, I had to investigate. Perhaps they do make an annual pilgrimage into the hills to collect a few handfuls of herbs (which would be getting more and more difficult to find considering the way the population of Boulder has exploded since my days there) so they can legally continue to feed our childlike belief in the gentle hippy legend on the box. It's a wonderful visual, I must say. And I do love their tea! (Gotta try that Morning Thunder.)

** Celestial Seasonings quote


  1. I've been to the plant and the mint room smells so yummy! I remember seeing a feature on a news show about how they sewed up the tea bags (muslin!) and kept it all so down to earth.
    I love Ratty and Mole on your header!

  2. After I mentioned Rat and Mole in a previous post I realized it would be really neat to have a picture from Wind in the Willows for my "Springy" header. I love this picture!