This month’s Bokksu is all about Kit Kats! February is the month of Valentine’s and chocolate, so Bokksu has filled an entire box with unusual Kit Kat flavors straight from Japan.
$39/month with free shipping in the US and $5 shipping to Canada.
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On Valentine’s Day in Japan, it’s traditional for people to exchange chocolates to represent their feelings. It isn’t necessarily limited to romantic feeling – people give their friends and family chocolate as well – but if you’re planning to confess your feelings to someone on Valentine’s Day, you better include high quality or homemade chocolate!
Kit Kats are an extremely popular brand of chocolate in Japan: with over 300 flavors, Japan is the second largest consumer of Kit Kats in the world. They’re often given to students around exam times, because the Japanese pronunciation of Kit Kats sounds like “definite victory.”
Bokksu included eight different types of limited edition Kit Kat flavors this month, along with their usual tea pairing. The chocolates have been divided into three categories: luxury (higher quality ingredients, one bar instead of the usual pair), adult (less sugar than regular Kit Kats for a more natural flavor), and limited edition (usually region-specific and sold as omiyage souvenirs to be brought home from travels!).
Cranberry and Almond
This luxury edition Kit Kat contains whole almonds and cranberries that have been baked into dark chocolate. It’s perfectly sweet and crunchy: the sweetness of the cranberries balance the dark chocolate, and the crunchiness of the almonds enhances the crispy wafer. It really does look and taste like a higher end Kit Kat!
These are the original Adult Edition Kit Kats, and are made with a darker chocolate. I don’t normally like dark chocolate, but this one manages to be delightfully sweet without going too bitter. The information card says these also contain dark chocolate cookie bits, but I couldn’t taste those – it just tasted like regular wafer to me.
There are strawberry Kit Kats, and then there are these Adult Edition strawberry Kit Kats. I admit, when I first saw these I was worried about how sugary the strawberry flavor would be (the minute you open it, strawberry fragrance is everywhere), but these surprised me! The white chocolate/strawberry coating on the outside is very fragrant and perfume-y, more like a floral strawberry milk than artificial strawberry. And the wafers have little bits of dried strawberry in between them for a bit of tartness! Grown up chocolate indeed.
Everyone knows these! The chocolate batter is mixed with ground up Uji Gyokuro tea leaves, which you can actually see in the green color. These have always been a little too sweet for me, but they were definitely my gateway into the world of interesting Kit Kat flavors.
Sake is a big deal in Japan, and these limited edition Kit Kats are made with 0.8% alcohol in homage to the traditional beverage. At first all I could taste was sweet white chocolate, but there is definitely a sake aftertaste! It’s refreshing, but I wish the white chocolate hadn’t covered the initial flavor so much.
These limited edition Kit kats are found in the Kanto region and have an alcohol content of 0.56%. I’m on the fence about these. On the one hand, the white chocolate made it sweet and balanced, and there was a bit of nice caramelized-raisin flavor (you know, the sweet syrup-y outside of the raisin?). But the mix of grape and alcohol here gave it a slight cough syrup flavor that was not good. The white chocolate managed to cover most of it, but that initial bit was not pleasant at all.
Hojicha is a roasted green tea, which has been layered into the chocolate here. This Kit Kat is a collaboration between Kit Kat and Itohkyuemon, an artisanal tea maker, and can be found only in the Kansai region. It’s less sweet compared to the other Kit Kats, and has that distinct earthier herbal flavor that I attribute to tea.
Okay, I admit I was a little nervous about trying this flavor. I generally don’t like wasabi even on sushi, so I probably wouldn’t reach for this chocolate on my own. The wasabi here has been kneaded into the chocolate, and comes from a Shizuoka producer who has been making wasabi for over 130 years. This chocolate is found only in Shizuoka and Kanto. To be perfectly honest, I don’t really taste any wasabi. It’s mainly just white chocolate, with a hint of freshness. There is no extra spice or burn, even in the aftertaste. If you didn’t tell me it was wasabi, I might not have guessed.
Satsumarche Benifuuki Black Tea by Kagoshima Seicha
Benifuuki tea is found in Makurazaki City in Kagoshima prefecture, and undergoes a special harvesting and fermentation process before it is ready. It’s good for combating hayfever and seasonal allergies (which I have unfortunately developed after moving to a new state). I love black tea in general, and this is no exception. It’s naturally sweet with a slight bitterness that goes perfectly with the chocolate bars in this box. Plus that outside wrapper is lovely!
Overall, who WOULDN’T love a box stuffed chock full of Kit Kat bars?? This was a big hit at my house, and I love that I got to try something that was familiar (Kit Kats) but unique to Japanese culture (unusual flavors). While $39 might be a bit much for a box of Kit Kats, you certainly won’t be able to find these in the US, and many of these flavors are limited edition and restricted to local prefectures – so even if you were in Japan, they might be hard to find! I always enjoy Bokksu snacks, and the idea of chocolate Kit Kats for Valentine’s Day month was a top curation for me.