Tea Time with Couch Surfers

16 September 2013

Are you guys on Couch Surfing yet? If not, you should really get working on your profile. Not only is it a great way to meet locals while you travel, but it can also help you meet up with people passing through your area. Like the other day when I was contacted by a couch surfer visiting from New York who was actually only a couple minutes north of me.

We originally planned to go up into the mountains but the rain cancelled those plans. Instead we went to Boulder and toured the Celestial Seasonings tea factory.

tea samples

I was kind of timid about suggesting a tour of a tea factory for her last day in Colorado. I mean, I love stuff like this but I wasn't sure how she would feel. Luckily she said yes and after a quick lunch we set out with another couch surfer and headed to the factory.

the ticket for the tour was a tea bag!
Before the tour even started we were given small ceramic mugs to sample some of the different blends that the factory creates. My favorite was a black tea called Pumpkin Spice. Perfect for a autumn morning!

After that we were corralled into a small theater room where we learned the history of the factory. Apparently, for the first couple decades, they never actually made tea. The tea bags they produced at first contained flowers, herbs, roots, and tree barks collected from the local forests but because there was no tea plant in them, they are technically herbal infusions. As the company grew they began importing tea leaves and expanded from a barn to a state of the art facility.

Also, the video mentioned that they have people travel all around the world to find new ingredients for their teas and work with local farmers. Honestly, I can't think of a more perfect job. If only I had pursued a botany degree, I could be in China right now, sampling teas. Can you imagine?

our lovely hair nets for the tour
Once the video concluded, we strapped on our hair nets and entered the facility. Sadly, no pictures were allowed but honestly the pictures would not have done it justice. If I could have recorded anything it would have been the smells. Every couple steps we seemed to be struck by a new scent as we passed the ingredient bins; chamomile from Egypt, cinnamon from India, and ginger from China made for a fragrant tour.


One of the tidbits that our guide shared was all the different things you can do with tea that I had never considered before. For a stuffy nose, take a bag of mint tea with you into the shower. For a refreshing drink, freeze blueberry tea in ice trays and add them to lemonade. Now I'm curious to figure what other ways I can use my tea (because I have a crap ton). If you're interested in taking a free tour, check out the Celestial Seasonings tour info page to take a free tour.

In the end it was a great time and I was so happy Cassandra contacted me on couchsurfing.org cause otherwise I would have just spent that day alone in my apartment. She really inspired me to start using Couch Surfing more- not just for travel but for connect with others. Already I'm using it to plan a road trip. We'll see how that goes!

Have you ever been on a factory tour before?


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11 comments

  1. I would LOVE to go on a tea factory tour! And I really enjoy Celestial Seasonings tea. Sounds like a great time. AND I love couchsurfing! It's awesome.

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    1. It really was fun! So glad I got out for the day!

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  2. One a trip to NYC once we stopped off in Pennsylvania toured the Hershey's factory. It smelled so delicious there.

    Jessica @ Sunny Days and Starry Nights

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  3. So fun! I loved that tour! Did you get to go in the mint room? was your mind blown? I actually teared up, the smell was so fantastically powerful. I'm definitely going to try the Mint-tea-in-the-shower trick next time I have a stuffy nose.

    Also, I agree with Jessica, the Hershey factory is super cool!

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    1. Yes we did the mint room and it made my eyes burn too. I opened my mouth and I was like 'Wow, I can taste the mint but also I have simultaneously become aware that my breath is heinous.' hahaha.

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  4. I like the idea of using couchsurfing to find people to explore with!

    That tour looks so cool. Man, now I wish I had a career that involved finding delicious tea ingredients.

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    1. Yes, I'm so excited to see what else I can do with couch surfing!

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  5. That seems to be a great trip you guys had. Couchsurfing is surely one of the better ways of meeting interesting people.

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    1. Indeed! I can't believe I avoided it for so long!

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