Sashee Chandran is the creator of TeaDrops, tea packets that combine the rich taste of loose tea with no-fuss preparation. You just drop the condensed tea (in a variety of fun shapes) in your cup, add hot water and stir. (See The Detroit Tea Examiner’s recent review, Tea Drops: Great tasting tea without the fuss)
We reached Sashee Chandran last week for an exclusive interview via e-mail with The Examiner to learn more about the story behind this innovative new tea product.
Reading up on your website, you note that your father is from Sri Lanka and your mother, from China. This must have played a part in your love of tea. What are some of your special memories related to tea with your family?
While I was raised in southern California, the cultural influences of both of my parents' home countries have impacted my upbringing, especially those related to food because gatherings around the dining table are some of my fondest memories as a child.
Included in those memories are that of tea. Social gatherings - whether Sri Lankan or Chinese were always accommodated with a cup of tea. Different teas often correspond to a particular memory in my younger life – that’s what I love about the beverage. I’ve been introduced to so many new and memorable experiences through tea. When you’re down or had a long day, Chamomile soothes its way in. Chai is my common tea of choice for a good heart to heart with friends. PG black is the social tea and reminds me of Sri Lankan family gatherings in England and Chrysanthemum reminds me of trips to China Town with my mom.
Where do your teas come from?
Our teas come from a variety of tea estates. The black teas come from fair trade tea plantations in Southern India, while the spices we use in our teas are truly the freshest you can find from various global regions including Madagascar, India, South America, and the Middle East.
What is your favorite tea?
I am a sucker for black teas, my favorite tea is Masala Chai (the kind with cream, spices, and sugar all combined). It is simply delicious!
Where did the name "Teadrops" come from?
TeaDrops was born from my sheer passion for tea and desire to simplify the tea experience, so that it can be made accessible to as many people as possible.
While I love the ritual of making tea the traditional way with loose leaf and steep times, I often found myself bouncing in between meetings but still wanting a high quality cup of tea. The notion of being able to drop a tea morsel in your cup, stir, and enjoy is what captivated me and inspired me to create TeaDrops. The name "TeaDrops" seemed like the perfect way to describe what this tea is about and how it works.
How old is your company and what new products can we expect in the future?
TeaDrops officially launched in December of last year and we are so excited to see all of the positive receptivity to our products. Our mission is to spread the love of tea compassionately and sustainably to people all over the world, and all of the products we carry are driven by this pursuit. Since there is no teabag associated with our teas, it is very sustainable - and we are working towards making the wrappers of our teas compostable so that we can further fulfill our mission.
In the near term, we will be launching a host of new flavors (one new flavor per month). In addition, we are launching a Stevia (non-sugar) version of TeaDrops in the next few months as well as a non-sweetened version of TeaDrops.
For more information on this tea, visit their website at myteadrop.com