Female Founder Series: Meet Sashee of Tea Drop
As an avid tea lover, Sashee became frustrated when she didn't have time to brew a delicious cup of tea while working at her old corporate job. This inspired her to source high-quality tea leaves and launch Tea Drops. One of the many unique characteristics about Tea Drops is that their teas don't come in tea bags! They offer adorably-shaped tea "drops" and tea "sprinkles".
Read on to learn the benefits of drinking pressed tea, the best piece of advice Sashee has ever received, how Tea Drop’s collaboration with Thirst Project came about and more!
Hi Sashee! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born and raised in Los Angeles and am a true Californian girl at heart. At the same time, I am also the daughter of immigrant parents, my Mom is Chinese and my Dad is from Sri Lanka so I grew up with a fusion of cultures, which definitely influenced my love for tea.
What inspired you to start Tea Drops?
Being an avid tea lover, I realized while working in a corporate office that it is really difficult to make loose leaf tea on-the-go. You need an arsenal of equipment including a kettle, the tea leaves, plus a strainer and then you have to wait 3-7 minutes for your tea to brew. I rarely had time for that and thought there had to be an easier way that didn’t sacrifice the integrity of loose leaf tea.
Where do you source your ingredients from? What are some indications of quality tea?
We source our teas from all over the world including China, India, and Sri Lanka. I was lucky enough to visit Sri Lanka a few months ago to see tea harvesting and production in person. I learned that there are few universal traits of great tea since it depends on the variety (i.e. traits of white tea are different from black tea). However, a few indicators of high-quality tea are the size and shape of the leaf itself (the more intact, the better), the tenderness of the tea leaves, the vibrancy of the color, as well as the tea’s aroma.
The shapes of your teas are adorable and fun. Talk to us about your decision to create pressed tea instead of regular tea.
When I was developing the notion of a “bagless” tea experience, I loved the notion of a drop - an all-encompassing/hassle-free morsel that you just drop in hot water. I eventually realized that shaping the tea would add a fun-factor. After all, I wanted to make tea time an approachable and fun experience, and the shapes helped achieve that.
Are there different health benefits drinking pressed tea?
Yes! When you drink Tea Drops, you are drinking loose leaf tea. There is no chemical alteration in the production of our organic teas. You'll notice natural tea leaves (sediment) at the bottom of your cup which is meant for consumption, giving you a full dose of nutrients with every cup.
Talk to us about your new line of Tea Sprinkles.
I am SO excited about our new line of unsweetened, mood-based tea powders called Tea Sprinkles. These are unique herb and tea blends intended to inspire different mood states. They include:
• BOOST (matcha, ginger, lemon) which helps promote energy, naturally.
• GLOW promotes skin radiance (hibiscus, rosehip, cinnamon, tart cherry),
• REFRESH promotes immunity reset (turmeric, pineapple, orange peel), and
• CHILL promotes rest (blackberry, chamomile, spearmint).
This line is entirely organic, natural and entirely free of any nasties! Did I mention, they are delicious?! You just add a packet of Tea Sprinkles into your cup of hot water, stir, and enjoy some tea magic!
Talk to us about Thirst Project. Why was that important for Tea Drop to be a part of?
Thirst Project is a non-profit organization focused on ending the global water crisis through youth education projects and water well projects all over the world, with specific concentration in Swaziland.
I’ve always wanted Tea Drop to provide a larger vehicle to aid in social efforts. Our decision to address the global water crisis felt natural, as water is not only critical for sanitation and education but without it you can’t even enjoy life’s simple pleasures, like a cup of tea.
Our partnership with Thirst Project immediately felt right. We are both Los Angeles-based and I really became familiar with their mission and the sincerity in their efforts over the years.
In 2016, we embarked on the #NoWaterNoTea campaign which is still alive and well. With every online purchase of Tea Drops, our partnership allows us to donate a year’s supply of clean water to someone in need. A win-win!
What’s one thing about running your business that has completely taken you by surprise?
In the process of building a business, you also uncover so much about yourself, such as your hidden strengths,suppressed weaknesses, and everything in between! Pay attention to these. Play to your strengths, but equally important is asking for help when you need it, from friends, family, or even health professionals when needed.
How do you stay organized as a busy entrepreneur?
Thank you Google Drive :)
What are some ways you de-stress after a long, crazy day?
- A good workout! Recently cycling and indoor rock climbing have been some of my favorites.
- JAMS. I usually love listening to my favorite hip hop/pop jams when working out, but sometimes I just enjoy walking aimlessly with my headphones on, jammin’ out!
- A good meal with good people. Need I say more?
Best piece of advice you’ve been given?
“Leave people and things better than how you found them”.
Favorite café/restaurant in LA:
Little Sister in downtown LA. Also, the vegetarian lunch buffet at Govinda’s Cafe (Hare Krishna Temple) is a hidden gem!
One unusual wellness practice you’ve tried:
I just did a meditation session in a Himalayan salt cave last weekend, does that count?!
One workout you can’t get enough of:
Groov3! It involves having a Live DJ in your dance class. Such good energy, you’ll be addicted!
What’s one dish you could eat for the rest of your life?
Vanilla Ice Cream ones always make me happy. Please don’t judge!
One thing you’re grateful for today:
My parents; they are incredibly supportive and insanely loving.
Stay tuned for more editions of the Female Founder Series!