In 1967 my father bought a Pontiac Catalina and a dingy old travel trailer and took his girlfriend, my brother and me on a road trip. Over the next 8 weeks we drove 13,498 miles, visited 51 parks, and saw wonders like geysers, redwoods, grizzlies, and the Summer of Love in San Francisco. The trip made an indelible impression, cementing my appreciation for the natural world and the American landscape. This summer Pamela and I hope to repeat the experience for our family.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Linden: Tea Leaves and Herbal Infusion

The overpowering smell of mint fills your nostrils as you step into the peppermint room.

We are in the factory for Celestial Seasonings Tea. It is just outside of Boulder on Sleepytime Lane. We are getting a tour of the factory.

For the last 15 minutes different smells have bewildered our noses. Chamomile, green tea, lemon grass, clove.

We start the tour with a ticket that is actually a package of tea--to be precise, Black Cherry Berry herbal infusion. We learn that real tea always includes tea leaves. Everything else is an herbal infusion. But that sounds bad so they call it tea.

We learn that Sleepytime is the best selling tea Celestial Seasonings makes. Another thing we learn is that the factory can make up to one million packages of tea a day during the busy season, during the cold months from October to April. And, we learn that if they left the door of the peppermint room open, you could smell the mint two miles away.

It was a beautiful factory, and it was the best smelling factory I've ever been in.

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