What is a Tiffin?
What is a tiffin
A great lunch box for all cuisines
Photograph by Jack Spicer Adams
Much better than a ‘Pret’ sandwich that’s for sure! Tiffin’s are reusable and can last for decades. A tiffin is truly a good eco friendly lunch box option. The design being both classic, stylish and highly practical.   

Usually made of steel, which is one of the planets most reusable manufacturing materials. Uniquely having the ability to be recycled many times without losing its properties. More steel is recycled annually worldwide than glass, paper and aluminium combined!

There are many types of tiffin available-some of the most ornate being of Peranakan origin. These usually have a wooden handle, hand painted with floral designs and now available as expensive antiques.  In Japan they have for centuries used the beautiful Jubako boxes, which are usually square and stackable, used to hold, present food and transport food.  


“A ‘Dabbawalla’, translated as “one who carries a box”, will deliver the lunch on a bike or rickshaw. This custom still exists today and is especially prevalent in Mumbai”
In Austria, and Germany the food carriers can look very similar to the traditional round steel India ones but are perhaps heavier duty and are known as Henkelmann. Being very popular in the 1960’s for office workers and still used in Hungary today. The Hungarian name for a Tiffin Is ‘ethordo.’  

In India you will find most commonly the round steel type and as shown in our range, many have beautiful hand painted designs, that have some regional variation expressive of local handicraft traditions.

arts and crafts design lunch box
  • Tiffins are also extremely useful for storing food in your fridge- just perfect for left overs to heat and take to work the next day. 

  • Children also love them- not only very cute additionally for picky eaters they can separate their food in each compartment, which is a major plus.

  • They have recently gained popularity in the UK as the trend for ‘authentic’ Indian food and street food exploded. Tiffins are used by Indian restaurants to serve food.


  • Given their excellent low carbon, eco and long lasting credentials we hope to see tiffins gain popularity in the UK, where both office workers and children often take their lunch to work or school.
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