I’m beginning to believe that a country’s packaging speaks volumes about the national identity. For example, those of you who have received packages from Japan or even read the Japanese sections of this forum know that country has taken packaging to the level of an art form. Packages from China and Malaysia also have their own special characters.
Yesterday I received a package from Darjeeling and found it interesting and entertaining enough that I thought I would share it with you. All the photos below are linked to larger files if you want to examine them in more detail. BTW, thanks to Trioxin for introducing me to this Indian supplier.
As you can see, it left India wrapped in a piece of cloth that was sewn into a custom-fitted container for the tea. Once in New York, a shipping company named First Flight USA (the US branch of an Indian courier service) took over and placed my bag of tea into a DHL envelope and forwarded it on to me, USA style.
The address and return address on the cloth bag are both written in bold black, right on the cloth. Here’s a closer look at the stitching which covers three sides.
The letters are dark, clear and do not bleed into the surrounding area so I don’t think they were written by a magic marker. Makes me wonder what tool was used and what kind of ink … India ink?
Once I got the cloth bag opened (with a pair of scissors) I found …
ANOTHER BAG! This one an actual sack made of heavy brown paper and tied with string. String seems to be popular in Japan as well. Must be countries less under the influence of 3M. Untying and opening that bag, I find four packets, each in a heavy wax paper bag of its own, the wax paper bags are sealed with staples.
OK, this is starting to remind me of those Russian matryoshka
or nested dolls. I am seriously hoping they weighed my tea before
the packaging was added to it! When I take apart the packets inside the waxed paper, I find what appears to be a foil-lined paper bag, again tied with string, but otherwise pretty standard issue for tea. I open that and find that the foil bag is not a bag but rather a flat sheet and the label is a separate heavy piece of some type of specialty paper material. What’s inside the foil wrapping?
Yep, you guessed it another bag … this one some sort of wax impregnated paper … and tied with, yes, you guessed it again, more string! Finally, inside the last bag there really is tea. Yippie! Heat the water.
For those of you I promised Darjeeling, I will mail it today or tomorrow. Actually, I better get it out soon because tomorrow I am leaving town for a week!
Oh, and the only one I have tasted so far, the 2nd Flush Muscatel Castleton
, smells exactly like fresh baked cherry pie. Go figure!