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Bokksu is a monthly subscription box of Japanese snacks. They include 13-15 more traditional snacks paired with a tea. They focus on curating snacks that are more unique, and the box includes a tasting guide. Shipping is free to the US, and folks in Canada have to pay $5. They do have plans to expand shipping to other countries. The box ships on the 10th of each month, and you are billed on the 20th for the upcoming month.
Bokksu, meaning “box,” centers each box around a theme. It’s the only Japanese snack box, to my knowledge, to include a tea picked to go well with the treats.
September’s theme was “Kyushu: The Nine States.” The info card gives a nice summary of Kyushu:
“The name Kyushu (literally “nine states”) is derived from the nine ancient provinces that formerly made up this majestic and lush region. In modern times, the island of Kyushu consists of seven prefectures: Fukuoka, Kumamoto, Nagasaki, Oita, Saga, Kagoshima, and Miyazaki. Because Kyushu is the most southwesterly island in Japan and geographically closer to continental Asia and Europe, it served as one of the earliest ports for Japan to trade and interact with the outside world. In addition to its historical significance, Kyushu contains subtropical climates that famously produce a wide variety of fresh agricultural products from rice and wheat to mangoes and sweet potatoes. We are thrilled to take you on a gourmet journey this month through the historic and beautiful Kyushu.”
Kyushu is also Japan’s third largest island and home to many beautiful onsens, shrines, parks, etc. I’ve never been outside of Honshu, Japan’s largest island, so I was really excited for this box! Everything was placed beautifully in paper packing grass. It’s like opening up a present. The info sheet also lists the common allergens in each treat, which is nice.
Mango Chiffon Cake by Hiyuu Hogaya: This cake is made with mangoes from Nojiri city in the Miyazaki prefecture. The packaging is beautiful, as always. The cakes themselves are super light and fluffly, with a bit of mango filling inside. The mango flavor is bright and rich, but the airy texture of the cake is what makes these especially yummy.
Cruz by Obama Shokuryo: This treat comes from Nagasaki, a port city. The Portuguese and Dutch have a history with trading in Nagasaki, leading to Christian influences. So, this treat, Cruz, is the Portuguese word for “cross.” Three flavors were included– original, strawberry, and coffee. Each cookie is two thin, crispy wafers with a thin layer of cream in the middle. They were all amazing. I loved the cute nun imagery on the strawberry package! I think the original was my favorite though—the ginger flavor in the cream was perfect.
Kurobou Meimon by Kurobou Seika: This treat, translated as “black stick,” is “a traditional sweet snack made using 100% Kyushu-grown wheat, black sugar, and eggs.” It’s almost like if a thin slice of fluffy, sweet wheat bread was glazed with sugar. I’ve never had anything like it, and it’s one of my favorite treats I’ve gotten from Bokksu! It’s sweet, crispy, soft—so many good things. It’s very good with the included tea as well.
Dondo Age Kyushu Soy Sauce Flavor by Shinkou: These are a savory puffed snack from Fukuoka prefecture made from rice flour and glazed with a blend of sweet soy sauce. They’re very cruchy, but still easy to eat. At first you taste the salt, which then transitions to a sweeter flavor. There’s a slight aftertaste of spiciness. My husband and I both really enjoyed these, and the bag was big enough to share.
Bontaname by Seika Foods: This pomelo candy, pronounced “bo-n-ta-na-may,” comes in little chewy squares. The pomelo juice used comes from Kagoshima. Each piece is wrapped in a cellophane-like material that’s actually edible! (The wrapper stops them from sticking to each other.) When you first start to chew you get a little crispness from the wrapper, but it soon starts to dissolve leaving a soft, chewy texture. The pomelo, which is a citrus fruit similar to a grapefruit, flavor is light and almost floral.
Kukicha by Maeda-en: This tea has the best name. It sound like you’re saying “cookie tea,” since “cha” usually means “tea.” However, the name actually means “twig tea.” This green tea blend is made from Sencha stems, stalks, and twigs. Then they deep steam it from a earthy flavor that goes well with sweets. The instructions say to steep 1 tablespoon of tea in water that’s 160-170 degrees Fahrenheit for up to a minute. You can then steep the same batch up to four more times if you’d like. I brewed it according to those instructions. The smell is amazing. It smells like super strong green tea—almost like matcha. It takes like a deep green tea, and is surprisingly not bitter at all. Sometimes green tea can be too bitter for my taste, but this was very balanced and went well with the sweets included. My husband loved this tea, and it’s his favorite from Bokksu so far.
Overall, September’s Bokksu was great! I have no complaints. My husband and I loved everything, and it was fun to learn about Kyushu. We both want to go there now! I would honestly buy all the items again, and there were many new favorites in this month’s box. I particularly loved the Cruz and Kurobou Meimon, and my husband loved the Dondo Age and Kukicha tea. As always, I appreciate the amount of thought put into each month’s Bokksu. It is one of the more expensive Japanese treat boxes, but uniqueness makes it worth it. These are items that would be difficult to find outside of Japan, if it’s even possible. Also, this box includes a few of each snack, rather than just one of each. I like this, as it gives me enough to share and/or more to eat if I really like something.
You can purchase your box here for $39 per month, with free shipping to the US and $5 shipping to Canada. Use the coupon code “BEEJU” for 10% of your first box!
PR sample. All opinions are my own, and no compensation was received for this review. No affiliate links are in this post.