The Teapot Debacle
A few weeks ago I bought a really lovely-looking teapot from Kikki-K. It’s lovely, made of glass, and has shiny gold-coloured spots on it. I usually use a double-walled tea flask at work, but it can be annoying to clean when I use it so much and it keeps the tea super hot and I can’t really drink straight out of it.
I decided to give this teapot a go, as well as buying a matching teacup and saucer, and a trinket box (woo, desk swag). The teapot came with a glass strainer. When the three items arrived, they came in a huge box. Though it was not very tall in height, it was gigantic and mostly filled with air pillows.
I was glad everything was packed well and my teapot arrived without any damage. I started using it straight away. :D
On the first day of using the teapot I made the conclusion that the tea strainer wasn’t a very good one. Because it was entirely made of glass, the holes in it were just slits. And there weren’t many of them. So I found that my tea leaves would often get stuck in it and it was difficult to clean. I continued to use it, because for the most part, it worked.
I was discussing the UX of my teapot with my team, and we all looked at it and pondered the state of the lid. It was a simple lid with a knob and it didn’t lock in place in any way (I believe most teapots are like this). As my coworkers observed me pouring the contents of the almost-empty teapot into my teacup, they pointed out that after a certain angle, the tall design of the teapot showed its flaws because the lid had to be held in place to prevent it from falling off.
After perhaps my fourth day of using the teapot, I did a boo-boo and I accidentally smashed the glass strainer on a bench. I felt really dumb. I was shaking it over one of those pull-out trash drawers to get the leaves out, but I didn’t open it very far and didn’t give myself enough room. It still functioned, but there was a chip in the top lip of the strainer and it was not very safe to use. I still continued to use it though, but was careful not to cut myself on the sharp chip.
Annoyed that I had broken the strainer, I contacted Kikki-K’s customer support to ask if I could purchase – or get sent! – a replacement strainer, because I didn’t want to buy a whole new teapot. Although I already thought the strainer was crap at this point, I was still curious to see what they might say. Of course, I was willing to pay for the strainer to have a more ‘complete-looking’ teapot, even if I could use a different strainer. The teapot looked fine with just the lid and the strainer removed though…
After a little back-and-forth, I received a reply and they said they would send me a brand new teapot! I was really surprised, but also happy, and thanked them immensely. I had bought the teapot for 20% off and now I was going to get another one. I couldn’t really complain.
The new teapot arrived, but I didn’t open it yet. I figured I could probably sell it, I mean – my original teapot was functioning albeit with my makeshift disposable-teabags-acting-as-strainer solution. And someone could well do with a teapot I couldn’t even recommend at this point.
I decided to throw out the strainer after I cut my finger on it (when will I learn?), and instead opted for putting my loose leaf tea into some empty teabags bought from Daiso.
Some time after this happened, I spilled my tea all over my desk when I poured too much tea into my teacup. I don’t know how I managed that… but I was not having a great morning and I looked away from the teacup while I was pouring and poured too much in.
It was very funny, though (as it usually is when someone spills a drink all over their electronics), so I took a photo.
A couple of days later, I didn’t have too much tea left in my teapot, so I thought I would empty the rest into my teacup.
While we were having a bit of a laugh about my clumsiness at work, we also deduced that perhaps this teapot’s quality was not very good at all. Kikki-K specialises in well-designed stationery, and it’s possible that their homewares were not made of good quality glass. Even if the bottom of the teapot insists in gold print, “Made from quality glass”.
Alas, when I poured the rest of my tea into my teacup, without holding the lid, the lid did a wonderful thing and dropped itself into my cup of tea, breaking its knob off in the process. As much of an innuendo that sounded just then, I would invite you to laugh at the part of that sentence that was very much not an innuendo.
So I had a teapot with a gloriously broken lid. The break of the knob off the top of the lid was so clean, it just sat there and did nothing more than piss me off, really.
It’s worth noting that Incident #5 is not my doing. But considering I’d broken both the strainer and the lid of my teapot, I decided to open the replacement teapot that was sent to me and check it out. A lot fewer air pillows were present this time, and I experienced the ravish glory one usually experiences when unpacking a box or unboxing a package.
The teapot was packed exactly the same way as the original one – each piece was wrapped in tissue paper and adequately padded.
It turned out that the strainer, the piece I originally wanted to replace, was also adequately broken. The rim had broken off and it was at that moment that I felt the most ironic feeling of Schadenfreude.
I returned to my email client and wrote another ‘thank you for the teapot’ email, only this time, followed by ‘but…’, an explanatory paragraph of the broken goods, a brief mention that I intended to leave a less-than-favourable review on the website for the purpose of educating other customers, and a photograph to prove that I really wasn’t just a teapot thief.
I do think this cursed teapot brings me terribly bad luck; apart from that, its quality is not fantastic and does not live up to the teapot my friend Emi bought for my birthday about thirty months ago, which has survived numerous bumps and does not – for the love of all things tea – have a bloody glass strainer.
I thought it best to include this note: I am using the original teapot without a lid, continuing to use my own teabags, and I’ve used the replacement teapot as a form of storage for the empty teabags.