A few weeks ago, I was browing Pinterest and came across some photos of Karel Capek tea tins. I'd seen them before, but I had a sudden urge to start collecting them. Aside from being whimsical and adorable, they come with tea. How could there be anything bad about that?
I soon found out that the tins aren't that easy to come by. The main seller online was Rakuten, which is a little like ebay but with only Japanese sellers. I'd heard before was only available outside Japan with a shopping service, and never bothered because it seemed quite complicated. However, I was pleased to find that Rakuten now sell worldwide! Or, I should say, individual sellers have the option of offering overseas postage. I found one seller who had a large range of tins to choose from: Tokyu Coco-Hico.
Creating an account was very easy as the website now has an English version. I did run into a hiccup when the ordering section would only accept a Japanese delivery address. I went back to the account section and entered in my address there, and that solved the problem. After that, checking out was very clear and easy.
I was not advised of the postage cost straight away, but the seller calculates the postage cost and sends an email advising of the cost and the buyer has the option of cancelling the order. I was worried that it would be very high, but the next day I received the seller's email. It was very reasonable, so I confirmed that I wanted to go ahead with the order.
The order was sent by courier and arrived from Japan to Australia in only two days. I was amazed at the speed of delivery! The order was well packed. The only drawback is that I thought I was purchasing four tins and one packet, but I received three tins and two packets. Perhaps I didn't read the description closely enough though -- I was mostly looking at the illustrations. The order came with 5 free rooibos vanilla packets, so I was pleased with that.
I haven't tasted any of the teas yet. As soon as I'd examined them and satisfied myself of their quality, I put them back in the box and gave them to Husband to give me for Christmas. I can't wait!
Of course, I'll have to clear out and re-arrange my tea cupboard so these beauties have pride of place, just like the photos I've seen on Pinterest. I'll have plenty of time to do that over the Christmas holidays. I just hope the weather doesn't get too hot so I can enjoy them properly.
I would certainly order from Rakuten and from Tokyu Coco-Hico again. It was overall a very positive experience.