Celestial Seasonings

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Celestial Seasonings
Type Subsidiary
Industry Tea
Founded 1969
Headquarters Boulder, Colorado
Key people Peter Burns, President
Products Herbal tea
Parent Hain Celestial Group
Website www.celestialseasonings.com

Celestial Seasonings is a tea company based in Boulder, Colorado, United States that specializes in herbal teas (infusions), but also sells green, white, chai, and black teas. They account for over $100,000,000 in sales in the United States annually.[1] All of their products are certified kosher and all-natural, and many are certified organic as well. The Boulder factory conducts free guided tours daily and has a sampling bar for visitors to try any drink for free, as well.


A teapot from the company tour

Celestial Seasonings founders Mo Siegel, John Hay, Peggy Clute and others started gathering herbs and flowers in the mountains around Boulder and selling them to local health-food stores in 1969. The company name was derived from co-founder Lucinda Ziesings' nickname.[2]

In the 1970s the company grew rapidly, creating popular herbal tea blends (such as Sleepytime and Red Zinger) and moving to larger headquarters twice; they were selling internationally by 1977. Celestial Seasonings created and sponsored the Red Zinger Bicycle Classic race in Colorado during the 1970s. The company became known for the labels on their tea packages which featured colorful paintings of fantasy scenes that attempted to illustrate the flavor blend.

Celestial Seasonings was purchased by Kraft Foods in 1984,[3][4] which expanded the marketing of the brand both nationally and internationally. Mo Siegel retired in 1986, and the next year, Kraft announced they would sell Celestial Seasonings to Lipton.[5] The sale was successfully challenged by Bigelow under anti-trust laws, and local management purchased the company back from Kraft in 1988.

In 1990 Celestial Seasonings moved into new headquarters in a custom-designed facility in North Boulder. Mo Siegel returned in 1991 to serve as CEO. The company continued to grow and introduce new products through the 1990s.

Celestial Seasonings merged with natural food company The Hain Food Group in 2000 to form the Hain Celestial Group. Mo Siegel retired for the second time in 2002.

References in media[edit]

  • Sleepytime, Red Zinger, and Morning Thunder, all varieties of Celestial Seasonings teas, were used as trail names in the Tea Cup Bowl at Vail Ski Resort in Vail, Colorado.
  • The Replacements song Bent Out of Shape references Sleepytime in the lyrics A little Sleepytime tea/Spiked with another heartache.
  • In season 4, episode 21 of Gilmore Girls, Lane Kim's (played by Keiko Agena) housemate Brian includes Sleepytime in his list of teas on offer when Mrs Kim comes to visit.
  • In the Scott Pilgrim comics and film, Scott and Ramona are at her house. After offering Scott a long list of teas, she settles on Sleepytime.
  • In the 2007 movie Catch and Release, Sam (played by Kevin Smith) works for Celestial Seasonings, ostensibly in package design—throughout the movie, he quotes famous authors that he says he put on various Celestial Seasonings boxes (Tummy Mint, Red Zinger, etc.).
  • In season 3 episode 3 of Parks and Recreation, an individual was persuading Leslie Knope to put a copy of Twilight in the Pawnee time capsule. When she refused he handcuffed himself to a chair and planned on staying until his demand was met. He showed no signs of leaving, bringing a pillow and some Sleepytime tea, which he offered Leslie.

Controversies and health concerns[edit]

Recent tests on celestial products conducted by various researchers, including Eurofins, revealed that the products contain high levels of pesticide, far high above US legal limits.[6][7][8] Further allegations have appeared that the company's products were labeled with false information to deliberately mislead consumers into purchasing them, including claims of being organic and natural.[9][10]

In 2013 Hain Celestial became the target of an ongoing class action lawsuit which included the same allegations of using misleading claims to deceive consumers. [11][12]


  1. ^ Modern Marvels: "Tea Education" (episode 553), December 13, 2006.
  2. ^ Celestial Seasonings' Interactive Timeline. Accessed Feb 14, 2008.
  3. ^ Sanger, D. E. (1984). "Kraft to Buy Celestial". The New York Times.
  4. ^ "Kraft Agrees to Buy Celestial Seasonings". (1984). The Washington Post.
  5. ^ John Gorman (1987-12-08). "Kraft Sells Celestial Seasonings". Articles.chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  6. ^ "'Dangerously high pesticide levels' found in Celestial Seasonings teas Dprogram.net: Deprogram Your Mind – Revolutionary News". Dprogram.net. 2013-04-15. Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  7. ^ "Toxic Pesticide Residue Found In Celestial Seasonings Teas". Naturallysavvy.com. Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  8. ^ Step Into My Green World. "The truth behind the teas your are drinking". Stepintomygreenworld.com. Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  9. ^ "The Boy Who Cried Natural - The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAIN)". Seeking Alpha. 2013-02-21. Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  10. ^ Babe, Food. "Do You Know What's Really In Your Tea?". Foodbabe.com. Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  11. ^ By Elaine WATSON, 14-Nov-2013 (2013-11-14). "Hain Celestial faces lawsuit over ‘100% natural’ teas and pesticides". Foodnavigator-usa.com. Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  12. ^ http://www.topclassactions.com/lawsuit-settlements/lawsuit-news/30696-celestial-seasonings-tea-class-action-lawsuit-survives-dismissal/

External links[edit]