A packed lunch has been an integral part of my life. When I went to school, then college, then to work, my folks and I took extra care to pack the box. The delicious food was a given, and most days I would greet an empty lunch box by the time lunchtime rolled around–nevertheless, I’ve always enjoyed a packed lunch: if not mine, then someone else’s.
I remember how envious I used to feel at the sight of some of my classmates’ tiffin carriers. I mean, how luxurious to carry a full meal and settle down to a three-course lunch! I vowed to do the same when I started working, and I did. I had the traditional steel tiffin carrier in two sizes, and carried one of those, depending on the menu of the day at home. I even made a snug and jazzy canvas bag to carry it, along with a water bottle.
But the euphoria . . . did not last. When I had to tackle leaks and spills in spite of reinforcing my tiffin carrier with plastic bags, I decided that the thrill was just not worth it. Also, the cold meal was less than appealing after a few days. I went back to the old school habit of roti-subzi which is fine even when not piping hot.
Later, I did become the proud owner of a branded insulated tiffin carrier, which also looked cool, but somehow it did not really keep food hot, and wasn’t that convenient to carry, especially in crowded transport.
So imagine my curiosity when I got an invite from the charming Aniketh to attend a “garma garam” grand product launch for the “Vaya Tyffyn”—a revolutionary concept in doing justice to Indian home food— on August 19, 2016!
Vaya Tyffyn – the launch
I braved the Friday evening traffic and reached the venue, ITC Gardenia, where the stage was all set to dazzle the guests.
While we waited for the show to start, the organising team kept the audience engaged by getting them to participate in “sound bytes” where they asked three questions to help us share our views on what hot food meant to us, why home-cooked food and healthy-eating. These would be put together into a video-collage, they said. Ah, my 3 seconds of fame!
I enjoyed meeting friends, old and new, and finally, a little past 8, the grand launch began with the MC welcoming us and announcing the inaugural dance, a stunning poetry of movement dedicated to the remover of obstacles, Ganesha—fabulous choreography and gorgeously presented.
This was followed by standup comedian Karthik’s riotuous show which kept us in splits. Lots of digs at us Bangaloreans, hmm, but hey, all in good spirit.
Next came the introduction to the VIP of the day, the Vaya Tyffyn – and its three beautiful versions
It was now time for the grand entry of Vashist Vasanthakumar, founder of Vaya Life Pvt. Ltd, and the brains behind the Vaya Tyffyn, who led us through the making of this product, interspersed with gorgeous visual representations to explain the concept of the Vaya Tyffyn and also introduce the three variants.
We then saw an entertaining video covering peoples’ experience with the traditional tiffin box. And we could identify with most of them.
Next was a Q&A type panel discussion with Archana Doshi, food blogger and Nisha Millet, former Olympian
After a delightful evening, we dispersed for a delicious dinner. Yes, dessert was fabulous!
To conclude the experience, each guest received a complimentary Vaya Tyffyn.
We got to choose from the three versions— Wool, Graphite and Maple—and I took the maple version home.
Now, having taken it home, I couldn’t wait to use it.
My product review of the Vaya Tyffyn
“life, improved” with lunching gear that carries piping hot meals – curries, dals, soft rotis, all served from elegant and stylish tiffin boxes.
The technology and description:
- The Vaya Tyffyn is a three container vacuum insulated lunch box with proprietary VacuTherm technology. It incorporates correct amount of vacuum within its copper lined cover shell that helps in heat retention and keeps food piping hot even after six hours of packing, which means at lunchtime, you can enjoy a hot and fresh meal. And since it retains heat, no need to microwave, so no handling power sockets. This makes it eco-friendly!
- Three high quality copper finished oval shaped stainless steel containers: 2 x 300 ml and 1 x 400 ml, to keep food fresh
- Stainless steel side latches to keep the Tyffyn snugly packed and prevent leakages
- Lids have doubleshot container lids to prevent leakages and finger grooves to open them easily without spilling contents.
- Sleek and compact, and easy to carry.
- Smart shoulder BagMat that unzips into a table mat with a pouch for cutlery. It is water repellent and does not stain.
- Each Vaya Tyffyn comes with its own stylish and smart shoulder BagMat, which unzips into a table mat.
Check out their website here www.vaya.in to choose and buy your own Tyffyn. It comes with a 1 year warranty.
Let me start with the positives
What I liked about the Vaya Tyffyn
- Beautifully packed. I like these things. Good feeling.
- The shape of the containers. Oval, giving it a rather slim look. They’re 30% slimmer than conventional containers.
- The copper shine – looks vintage and precious! Stainless steel inside–easy to clean.
- The sleek design, with the three stacked boxes being “tea-cozied” into the outer shell and clipped into place.
- Easy to assemble and handle, if a bit heavy, but that’s why it retains heat.
- Beautiful carry bag or BagMat for the Tyffyn, which plays a role in keeping the food warm while protecting the Tyffyn, and of course, making the “wearer” look “cool”. I would totally use the BagMat to carry my laptop around!
- The carry bag or BagMat design: It doubles up as a lunch mat with a provision for cutlery. Which is cute. What if you spill on the mat while eating? Just wipe it off with mild soap and it is as good as new. No need to rinse.
My concerns with the Vaya Tyffyn
(and how I fixed them)
Using a product for the first time will often bring a few challenges, and I had mine—all minor, of course.
Later, I had a chat with a Vaya marketing person and this enhanced my experience. As someone involved in the making of the product and the years of research that went into creating it, he was obviously in a better position to respond to my perceived concerns.
- The lid of the container – I found it difficult to “pinch” it out to open the container. Later, I learned that if I took the containers out of the carrier and waited 10 seconds, it is easier to open.
- The size. I usually pack three rotis. I found it a little tough to fit them in the largest container. Also, the hold on the lid takes up space inside the container. What to do? Eat less? Yeah, why not? So two parathas. And more subzi in the box.
- I like to pack fruit with lunch. My old lunchbox has three containers that fit into a flat zippered bag. Forget about hot food. Yet, I worried over packing the fruit in the third container with the paratha and subzi. Well, nothing happened. The fruit was just fine.
- What about foods that don’t need to be piping hot: I kept wondering, what if I packed foods that didn’t need to be piping hot, but were must-haves daily. Examples are curd rice/dalia (South Indian staple), salad, fruit, raita? Well, only one way to find out. The curd rice was kind of warm. Which I liked. The salad was also slightly more than room temperature, but not a problem. I didn’t pack raita.
My husband used the Vaya Tyffyn and liked it. The food wasn’t piping hot initially, but he didn’t mind. He’s cool like that. But while interacting with the brand I learned that this particular batch may have had an issue and got a replacement, which is fine.
I am so cool now that on days I don’t have to pack lunch, I still cook and pack it in the Vaya Tyffyn because it is fun to sit at the dining table and eat. In a way, good discipline, too, because I am sometimes guilty of eating at my desk. Also, hot food without having to reheat. No need to microwave. Less washing up. Yay!
So I think the Vaya Tyffyn is an innovative concept that lives up to its promise. It is perfect for those who love hot lunches without the leaks and spills. The style quotient makes lunch “haute”.
Some logical discoveries
To keep food piping hot
- Do not park your beautiful Vaya bag near the a/c vent. ‘Duh, eh?
- The Vaya Tyffyn and its bag are inseparable BFFs. The cushioned bag helps with heat retention.
- The item you want hottest must be packed in the topmost container—as heat retention is best at the top. Physics, Watson, Physics.
It is probably just me, but I am not sure if this is a great option for school-going children, though. Most of them eat with friends and want a quick dry lunch, and can’t wait to run off to play. I’ve seen older kids play catch with their lunch boxes. There’s rough handling, and I would hate it if the Vaya Tyffyn was bounced around. Also, I am curious about how many parents would invest Rs.2500 in a school lunch box.
Be that as it may, the Vaya Tyffyn is certainly covetable and certainly ideal for college students, who would find that carrying the Tyffyn raises their style quotient. And of course, great for those going out to work.
Oh, and with the holiday season upon us, the Vaya Tyffyn makes a wonderful and thoughtful gifting idea!