Eswaran brothers become the first Sri Lankan tea company to patent a new type of tea bag

GaneshDeivanayagam, Chairman of Eswaran Brothers

For three generations, Eswaran Brothers have been master tea tasters and marketeers reaching discerning customers in many countries. They are a well-established reliable source of high-quality teas in value added packaging for millions of tea drinkers globally — over 3 billions cups of tea annually. Founded in 1963, Eswaran Brothers started with exporting Ceylon tea to Somalia. But what put them on the map was when Mr D Eassuwaren, the founder of the company started exporting tea to Pakistan. Eswaran’s “1013” standard of tea was well respected in this market. Over the years, Pakistan’s tea-drinking habits changed, which lead them to purchase tea from Kenya.

When the key market Eswaran Brothers depended on was suddenly no more, it compelled them to look at their origins, philosophy, and values to decide what direction they should go. This didn’t happen overnight — it took a few years of trying various types of teas and expanding the family business into importing other products like Lego and matchbox toys before they refocused their attention back to tea.

With more drive than ever before, Eswaran Brothers ventured into value-added tea, namely tea bags. It was the early 80s, and they were among the pioneers of manufacturing tea bags. “Business slowly grew,” says Chairman, Ganesh Deivanayagam. “And today, we are the third-largest value-added tea exporters in Sri Lanka with one of the largest modern tea bag facilities in the region.

We don’t just produce our own brand, but also cater to other global brands, promoting Ceylon tea.” They now sell their teas in over 60 countries like the Middle East, Africa, USA, Europe, Australia, Japan, Russia and more.

Before Eswaran Brothers delved into innovating tea bags, their inventions were around changing the teas’ flavour profiles. Their advancements in the tea industry didn’t stop there. In 2009, they became the first carbon-neutral tea company in the world, even creating the first carbon-positive tea product. They set out to become one of the most sustainable tea companies in the world. Today, with this history of innovation backing them, they have patented a new type of tea bag and released it into the international market. Eswaran Brothers are the first Sri Lankan tea company to accomplish this feat in the industry, further strengthening the view that they are a dynamic and innovative marketer of Ceylon Tea.

After water, tea is the most consumed beverage in the world. And right now, Ganesh insists that there is a revival of the beverage, particularly among young people. “With the current COVID-19 situation, people are becoming more health conscious than ever before, and tea is top-of-mind as the go-to beverage for health and wellness,” he says. “But it’s also a social drink. It’s a large part of different cultures. It’s been around for over 5,000 years so each country has its traditions on how they brew and drink it.” And their latest innovative range of value-added patented tea bags, under the brand name of T-Go, aims to transform the experience of drinking tea.

Eswaran Brothers collaborated with Australian-Sri Lankan inventor, Steve Segaram to create a unique product — tea bags with an inbuilt stirrer! “We asked ourselves how can we improve the tea bag to make it a product where there is better interaction and engagement with the consumer,” explains Ganesh. “Right now, a regular tea bag has a few inconveniences like you need to find a spoon to stir it and when you take it out, it drips away. Often, you don’t dunk it in and out of your cup enough, so about 20-30% of the goodness of tea remains inside the bag. We addressed these problems by incorporating a stirrer within the tea bag itself.” The act of including a stirrer helps from a safety point of view given the current pandemic — you don’t introduce anything foreign to your mug of boiling water. T-Go tea bag with the stirrer is manufactured with no human touch involved, and individually wrappped and sealed.

The name T-Go indicates that you can just grab it and take it where ever you go, making it the ideal product for millennials. “Tea is a very personal experience for each person, and with this recent addition, we encourage mindfulness. Tea drinkers can take a few moments to interact with the product and spend a few minutes enjoying their cup. It is almost a meditative interaction which will ultimately enhance your wellness,” enthuses Ganesh. “We have patented this innovation in eight countries and T-Go is only available for export right now. However, we will launch it in supermarkets in Sri Lanka.”

Eswaran Brothers are also looking to set up an exclusive outlet for their range of teas. Aside from their regular flavours like Early Grey, English Breakfast, Green Tea, Jasmine and Mint, they also have a wellness range — Healthy, Refresh, Digest, Energy, Chill and Sleep — featuring an amalgamation of ingredients.

It is thanks to a history of innovation, use of technology and risk-taking that allowed this tea company to revolutionize the industry in Sri Lanka and overseas. From transforming the flavour profiles of tea to inventing a new type of tea bag, Eswaran Brothers are poised forward for growth and expansion locally and globally.

It is thanks to a history of innovation, use of technology and risk-taking that allowed this tea company to revolutionize the industry in Sri Lanka and overseas