Bokksu is a monthly snack box that sends authentic traditional Japanese treats curated around a theme. Their products are always high quality and well thought out, and come with a tea pairing that complements the snacks. This month’s theme is Artisanal Kyoto!
$39/month with free shipping in the US and $5 shipping to Canada.
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Even the information card for Bokksu is beautifully done!
Kyoto is the old capital of Japan, before it was moved to Tokyo, and it still retains importance as a cultural and historical hub for the country. In contrast to the busy bustle of Tokyo, Kyoto takes time to perfect the details and savor experiences. It’s a beautiful city that produced kaiseki (the traditional multi-course dinner with an emphasis on seasonal ingredients) and sado (Japanese tea ceremony). When you’re in Kyoto, you can just feel the consideration for natural beauty that is so typical of Japan.
The inside of the information card describes each snack in the box, along with potential allergens and some interesting historical information.
Kyoto Iroha Financier Cake by Ishida Roho
A financier is a French almond cake shaped like a bar of gold. Bokksu has included two in this box: one vanilla, and one matcha. This cake is so moist and buttery! It’s a fairly dense cake, with a lightly caramelized outside. The vanilla flavor is lightly sweet, and lets the almond really shine through. The matcha flavor went easy on the bitterness that usually characterizes that type of tea, instead emphasizing the slightly floral/herbal taste of green tea.
Kyoto Anna Monaka by Ishida Roho
Monaka are a type of Japanese snack comprised of a wafer and filling. The best monaka I’ve ever had was at Tokyo Disneyland, where it was a seashell-shaped strawberry wafer filled with sea salt ice cream and raspberry jam. I still miss it and sometimes pull up pictures just to look at it. *lost in thought* Anyways! These monaka have a DIY component to them, where you fill the wafers yourself with included red bean paste. Bokksu included two types: red bean, and smooth red bean. The red bean paste contains whole red beans, while the smooth red bean is only the paste. These were interesting and fun to make, but as you can see my wafers arrived slightly broken which made it a bit more difficult. The wafers were also quite brittle and tasteless, like those cake cones for ice cream. They did allow the red bean paste to shine through though, which is good because the paste was much higher quality.
Yumemi Koji Manju by Wako
Manju are little buns that contain a filling, usually red bean paste. I don’t think these manju are filled with red bean paste, but the texture is very similar. One is a plain flavor (milk), and the other is chestnut flavored. The outside of the bun is fluffy and cake-like, and the filling is sweet and creamy. These buns are delicious and paired well with the bitter fresh matcha tea.
Maru Cha Cha by Malebranche
These matcha biscuits are gorgeous! They’re a lovely shade of deep green, with the Japanese symbol for tea printed in the center. Each biscuit is made from koicha, which is concentrated matcha, as opposed to other snacks that use usucha, a lighter matcha. This gives it a more intense flavor: you can really taste the bitterness of the tea, but the floral sweetness is richer too and balances well. Some of my biscuits came a little broken from shipping, but that did not detract at all from the amazing flavor! I think these biscuits are my favorite snack in the whole box!
KitKat Matcha by Nestle
You can never go wrong with matcha flavored Kit Kats! Japan is known for its unique Kit Kat flavors, and matcha is a well-known fan favorite. The green tea is sweetened (I believe it’s been mixed with white chocolate), but still retains the signature matcha taste. According to Bokksu, the matcha in these Kit Kats comes from Uji city in Kyoto prefecture, which is known for its high quality green tea!
Black Bean Okaki by Narumiya
Unlike traditional senbei, which are made with uruchimai (normal rice), these okaki are made with mochigome (glutinouse rice). This gives them a firmer and chewier texture. These crackers do seem denser than the senbei I’ve had before, but they still have that toasted-rice flavor that I’m used to. There are chunks of black bean baked straight into the okaki, which provide interesting flavor, but I wasn’t a big fan of the texture: they were hard, like under-cooked beans, and kept getting stuck in my teeth.
Matcha Green Tea by Ito En
This green tea by Ito En is actually a combination of matcha powder and Sencha leaves. The Sencha leaves give it a fresher, herbal taste, while the matcha comes through with its signature bittersweet flavor. It’s an interesting balance that I can appreciate, since I can’t really handle the matcha bitterness in large quantities.
Overall, another well-curated box by Bokksu! This subscription can be on the pricier side, but you are definitely getting your money’s worth in curation and quality: these snacks are sourced from local businesses in Japan and certainly cannot be found in just any grocery store. I definitely recommend this box to anyone who enjoys high quality Japanese snacks and is looking for more than just typical Pocky (not that there is anything wrong with Pocky at all).
PR Sample. All opinions in this review are my own, and no compensation was received for this review. This post contains affiliate links.