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November 5, 1998

Celestial Seasonings introduces new line of ‘racist teas’

BOULDER, Col. — Already buoyed by strong sales nationwide, Celestial Seasonings is preparing to unveil its most striking line of herbal teas yet. The new teas, dagomile.jpg (23167 bytes)each with a distinctly racist theme, are set to hit shelves nationwide by Thanksgiving.

"We believe in marketing and selling healthful products that both nurture people’s bodies and uplift their souls," said Celestial Seasonings president Harvey G. Crocker. "With our new racist teas — the most racist herbal teas ever brewed, I might add — we’re hoping that we can warm consumers’ hearts even as we stoke the fires of hate in their bellies."

Among the new flavors are Jew Time, Dagomile, Can’t Trust a Mandarin Orange Spice and Shiftless Turk Zinger.

Shiftless Turk Zinger is already being sold in a trial release in two test markets, Cleveland and Tampa, Florida. The company has been heavily promoting the tea in those markets, running radio and television advertisements that industry observers have termed "aggressive."

For example, the radio spot, which features the thoughts of an overworked mom as she brews her morning cup of tea, runs as follows:

Mom: [Yawn] It’s morning already… and stress has already set in! John’s soccer practice… Sally’s piano lesson… the big presentation at work… too much to do! [sound of steaming hot water, pouring into cup] And too many Turks in our town, causing trouble… sponging off our social services... What do they think this is, Istanbul? [sound of sipping] Mmm… zesty, soothing, Shiftless Turk Zinger. Today won’t be so bad after all.

Boy: Mom, can I go to my friend Ismail al Padir’s house tonight?

Mom: Not if you still want to be my son!

[Mom, boy laugh]

Narrator: Celestial Seasonings herbal tea. Solve your Turkish problem … one sip at a time.

Response to the advertising has been mixed. While sales of the tea in Cleveland and Tampa jumped 45% after the ad blitz, hate crimes in those two cities shot up a staggering 1,070%. Given that, by Crocker’s own admission, the Turkish communities in the two cities are "basically non-existent," it appears that the ads have inspired tea drinkers in Cleveland and Tampa to commit unconscionable and discriminatory acts against just about anyone they can think of.

For example, the Associated Press reported that the Roast & Sip, an earthy coffeeshop in downtown Cleveland that serves the new tea, now forces Latvians to use a separate drinking fountain. Suburban Italian restaurant Il Formaggio, which also offers the tea, has begun automatically adding a 18% gratuity to parties of "lying Peruvian curs." And in Tampa, the local PTA passed a resolution forbidding the district to hire any teachers suspected to be of Icelandic extraction.

"Early projections don’t look good," said one Celestial Seasonings official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "We’ve seen gains in sales, but they’ve been all but wiped out by losses from the looting of our distributors by herbal-tea-swilling skinhead thugs. In some instances the thugs have attacked Frank Petersen, our delivery truck driver, simply because he’s an ‘Oregonian.’ It’s our fault, really – our ads haven’t stated clearly enough that Oregon’s not a separate country."

Despite the products’ poor outlook, Celestial Seasonings’ biggest competitor is preparing a racist offering of its own. The Bigelow Tea Company just announced its new racist multi-pack, which will include the cinnamon-tinged Sinfully Supremacist and the lemon-flavored I Loathe Lazy Laotians.

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