Friday, February 5, 2016

Store Indya - Handcrafted Wooden Tea Storage Box

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At this point today I don't have any product reviews completed of things I've been given in exchange for an honest review, but I do have an item that I purchased last week that I reviewed on Amazon. This was honestly the first product I've gotten (whether for free or paid for) in a long time that I wasn't 100% happy with. I figured I'd share my thoughts on it with you guys as well because it'll give you an idea of how strict I really am when I review. So when I tell you that I LOVE a product, you'll know that I hands down actually do :)

Ok so, you already know that I'm slightly addicted to hot tea. We decided it was about time to buy a tea box so that we didn't have to dig through all of our boxes of tea every night. We can keep a handful of each flavor all together and refill it as needed. Much more convenient. 

Anyway, this is the photo from the Amazon page where we ordered the box:

It's beautiful right? Looks like an old crate!  This is the one that we got:

Not too much of a difference. The title says it is handmade so of course there are going to be a few differences here and there. At first I thought I would like having the little extensions because they would help keep the lid secure when we slide the box around since it isn't hinged like other tea boxes, but honestly all they do is make it difficult to remove the lid. You have to pick it up on both sides and give it a wiggle. Given, the box is new and I am sure that everything will loosen up over time. Plus, we drink so much tea that the lid won't be tight for long if that is the case. So I don't really consider any of that to be a problem. So far so good. 

The box is 9 inches long x 6.5 inches wide x 3.8 inches deep. It's smaller than I thought it would be, but then again, teabags are really tiny so why should I have expected a huge box. I think the size is pretty perfect because it holds a lot of tea and doesn't take up too much counter space. There are six "cubbies" that comfortably hold about 10-11 tea bags, depending on the brand. 

It's supposedly hand carved from Mango wood, which is quoted to be "known for its rich, natural luster"...however our box was covered with a think amount of stain so that's pretty much all I see. Not only that, but when you take the top off you can clearly see a wobbly line between the parts that are stained and the parts that are not. If you look at the photo above you can see what I'm talking about. Our box is quite a bit darker than the one advertised, but again that may fade with age.

The only other thing that I found really "wrong" with the box, which to me is a big thing, is that the front row of boxes are narrower than the back. So while the teabags in the back can easily be flipped through, the ones in the front hardly move because the cubby is not wide enough. Being that "easily flipping through our teas" was the main reason of purchasing a tea box, this is pretty annoying. And I could have forgiven them for it because it IS handmade so it's not going to be perfect. However, other reviews on Amazon have mentioned this same problem so I would have hoped it would be fixed. I mean, if they are handmade and multiple people comment on a problem, you'd fix it. So, it kind of makes me think they are actually mass manufactured...but who am I to say. The only other thing I can think of is they made a bunch of them using the same plans and won't make any new ones with wider boxes until they sell them all. /shrug

I know this review sounds picky and in some parts strict, but this wasn't something we paid $10 for. In fact, had we paid $10 or even $20 these problems wouldn't bother me at all, but this box cost $49.99. And yes, while it is very unique and looks more like a crate than the typical tea box with the hinged top...I expected the quality to be just a little more than what it is.

Now don't get me wrong. We are very much enjoying it. We use it every night, like the way it looks in the kitchen, and the things that I have mentioned don't bother us now that we've had it for a week. Each day that goes by I'm less upset that $20 tea boxes in stores look to be of higher quality than one we paid over double for. All in all, the box is pretty cool and I hate that I found things that I dislike because I really wanted to love love love it. Given the chance to buy it again I probably would because it looks down right awesome and is totally different than any tea box I've ever seen, which is why we picked it in the first place. I wound up giving it 3 stars on Amazon which was "It's okay".

If you'd like to take a look at the other reviews or check out the box for yourself then click HERE to be taken to the Amazon listing. 

Alright, well hopefully you guys didn't think I was too harsh. Sometimes you just don't love everything about a product whether it's given to you for a review or you purchase it yourself. Keep that in mind fellow bloggers! Your reviews don't have to be all sunshine and gumdrops just because you got the item for free. The company doesn't want to hear lies, they want to hear what consumers REALLY think so that they can adjust things that are broken. Be honest and be yourself! Oh, and have fun!