Tealight candles are just tealight candles, right?
When we moved to Japan, we brought lots of stuff with us from Israel, including tealight candles for using as Shabbat candles:
When those ran out, we bought the ubiquitous GLIMMA tealight candles from the local Ikea store:
Then, when the Ikea candles ran out I ordered tealight candles from Amazon Japan. This time from a local Japanese manufacturer called Kameyama:
And that’s when I realized tealight candles are not all made the same.
Candle wicks are made of cotton, which catch light immediately but are sometimes hard to light up because they droop. (Those who bought cheap Hanukkah candles in Israel will know exactly what I mean). So many candle makers will pour a little hot wax on the wicks during the manufacturing process, so that when the wax dries the wick is straight and doesn’t droop. It makes it easier to apply a flame to the wick this way, but it also takes a second or so longer for the flame to melt through the wax and light the wick. Both the Israeli and Ikea tealight candles have waxed wicks.
But the Japanese manufacturer, Kameyama, characteristically took this a tiny step further. When they wax the wick, they leave a tiny portion on the top un-waxed. This results in a wick that is both straight but also lights up instantly, because the flame catches the unexposed cotton wick immediately.
Ahh… the small things in life.
(This is a post in the series “Why Japan is the Closest Place to Paradise“)