Review: BOKKSU Tea Time November 2017 – Discover Japan Through Snacks

I’m super-excited to be trying out a new Japanese foodie box! Bokksu is a themed premium monthly box of tasty gourmet snacks and teas straight from Japan.

This month’s theme is Tea Time.

Here’s some blurb for you:

Bokksu is unlike any other Japanese snack box. We are totally in love with Japanese snacks, which is why it is our mission to craft authentic Japanese gourmet experiences for our Members around the world. We source directly from artisanal producers in Japan, so you won’t find our delicious snacks and teas anywhere else.

Classic Bokksu will take you on a gourmet journey through Japan each month. From Hokkaido white chocolate butter cookies to Kyoto handground matcha to Kyushu mango chiffon cakes, get the experience of tasting authentic Japanese snacks delivered right to your door. Each box comes with:

  • 20-25 delicious Japanese snacks and a tea pairing curated around a cultural theme
  • Our Tasting Guide that explains the story and flavors of each product in your box
  • The option to pause or cancel anytime
  • Free shipping worldwide

Payment is made upfront for the subscription period. The price starts at $39 (£29.71) for a month-to-month subscription, and the monthly cost is reduced the longer the subscription! You can find more details here.

There is also a smaller option, the Tasting Bokksu. However this post relates to the premium Classic Bokksu.

Anyway, enough waffle, on to the snacks.

The box was delivered in a plain brown shipping box. At first this slightly disappointed me, because I like to see what I’m getting! But when I saw the box inside, I didn’t mind at all.

Bokksu Review November 2017


It’s absolutely gorgeous. It’s not one of the folded boxes that you usually get for subscription boxes. This is like a proper gift box, complete with a separate lid.

This is a wonderful first impression: I’m dazzled before I’ve even seen what’s inside!

Bokksu Review November 2017

Look at that presentation, the straw padding and the glimpse of neatly aligned and ordered packets. Isn’t it beautiful?

On top is a welcome card and the tasting guide. 

Bokksu Review November 2017

The tasting guide details the items in each box, including the manufacturer and region of production. They also provide an extremely useful allergy guide.

Bokksu Review November 2017

There is also a brief but informative explanation of this month’s box theme. 

Bokksu Review November 2017

Everything was packed in so beautifully I didn’t want to take it all out! 

But on we go. As this is a box based around tea, let’s start with the tea itself!

British Morning Tea Bokksu Review November 2017

This is called British Morning Tea, from Karel Capek, a well-known tea producer and retailer in Japan. 

It’s a black tea blend, and is rich and very pleasant.

It can be drunk with or without milk, though I prefer my tea with milk. 

Not only is it lovely tea, the illustration on the package is absolutely charming! This brand is famous in part for their attractive packaging designs.

Tokyo Rusk Bokksu Review November 2017

At the front of the box you can see the Tokyo Rusk. This version is Earl Grey and Juicy Orange, a wonderful combination of flavours. 

Japanese rusk is a thin slice of bread, baked twice to make it crispy and delicious. 

Tokyo Rusk makes many varieties of rusk, from the traditional plain sugar rusk to more exotic flavours like this.

Hojicha Langue du Chat Bokksu Review November 2017

Hojicha Langue du Chat are cookies infused with Hojicha tea, a slow roasted green tea. 

They are tender and crumbly, and combine smoky tones from the tea with the gentle sweetness of white chocolate. 

Salt and Camembert Cheese Cookie Bokksu Review November 2017

Not only are Salt & Camembert Cheese Cookies delicious, the packaging is wonderful! I think they look rather French, which would tie in nicely with the camembert flavour.

You may think these are just savory cheesy biscuits, but they are actually subtly sweet. The cookie itself is salty, and contains a filling combining camembert and chocolate. 

Yes, that sounds distinctly… unusual. But they’re not! OK, yes, they are unusual, but the combination works surprisingly well. Seriously.

They are made by the Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory, and you can find out a bit about them here

Izu Guricha Crunch Bokksu Review November 2017

Imagine the most fantastic, sophisticated, unusual rice crispy cake possible. 

You have Izu Guricha Crunch. This is made from puffed rice combined with matcha and white chocolate. 

They are sweet and light, and absolutely yummy. The slightly bitter taste of the matcha is perfectly offset by the sweetness of the white chocolate. 

Olive Oil Salt Senbei Bokksu Review November 2017

Senbei are Japanese rice crackers. These Olive Oil Salt Senbei have the flavour of herbs and olive oil, with a slight vinegary tang.

Spice Cheese Black Pepper Bokksu Review November 2017

Spice Cheese Black Pepper are little peppery puffs with a smooth cream cheese filling. Savory and tasty.

I’ve got no objection to eating these with tea, but to be honest, I think these would go wonderfully with a glass of red wine!

Finally, there are a couple of soft cake-like bakery items.

Natural Yeast Bread Coffee Bokksu Review November 2017 Bokksu Review November 2017

This is Natural Yeast Bread Coffee, a sweet soft bread roll with coffee syrup swirled through it. The coffee flavour is quite pronounced but not overwhelming.

The brand name Day Plus, or D+ refers to the shelf-life, which is apparently at least sixty days! They say preservation is possible without the use of artificial preservatives, and also the inclusion of a little green ‘alcohol pad’, which further maintains the freshness.

Usually I’m extremely skeptical of prepackaged baked goods, but I was incredibly impressed by the softness and fresh taste of this roll.

Black Tea Donut Bokksu Review November 2017

Donuts are increasingly popular in Japan. They can be both fried and baked, and come in a multitude of interesting and unusual varieties. This Black Tea Donut has black tea leaves infused into the batter, which is mixed with milk, giving a remarkable milk tea flavour. 

It is quite sweet, though not overpoweringly so, and the texture is dense but not heavy. 

Again, the package contained a little pad thing designed to keep the donut fresh, and somehow it seems to work!


As this is my first Bokksu, there was a little bonus item inside.

Matcha KitKat Bokksu Review November 2017

A pack of delicious mini Matcha KitKats!

You might be aware that Japan produces a wonderful variety of KitKat flavours, and matcha is one of the nicest. They are sweet, but again, the slightly bitter matcha flavour stops them being sickly. This makes me happy, because I don’t like ordinary KitKats at all, mainly because I don’t like crap British milk chocolate.

As a side note, I gave one of these to my daughter, Little C. Naturally she couldn’t read the Japanese package, but when she saw the green bar inside (yes, it’s green) she said ‘Mummy, this must be matcha flavour!’ She’s totally on board with all the exotic flavours we get to try.

Anyway, that was everything in this wonderful box.


Here are my thoughts.

There are lots of subscription boxes offering Japanese snacks. I’ve reviewed and enjoyed plenty of them! Those boxes do a great job sending out fun Japanese candy and snacks of the type you would find in a regular supermarket or candy store. 

However, Bokksu is on another level altogether.

Usually I hate the word ‘curated’. It’s so overused, and has become a way of making the process of choosing a bunch of stuff sound much more fancy than it really is.

However in this case I’ll totally make an exception. I get the impression every single aspect of this box is chosen with incredible care.

The presentation, as I keep saying, is absolutely exquisite. Every single thing, the box, the tasting guide, the selection of products, makes this a truly premium experience.

I love the theme. Afternoon tea always strikes me as a very British practice. Yes, I’m aware that tea has strong cultural rituals and connections all over the world. But afternoon tea, teatime, makes me think of white linen tablecloths, steaming pots, delicate china, and towers of little cakes and sandwiches.

This box has given this domestic icon a very Japanese twist. Using the principle of tea as a meal, Bokksu has presented a wonderful and unusual selection of flavours and textures. Three of the items actually contain tea; you also have the slightly off-piste coffee bread!

At first I wasn’t quite sure about the more savory items, but then I remembered that a traditional British afternoon tea includes savory sandwiches. 

Japanese snack items such as senbei and rusk offer a new perspective to a traditional base. 

Oddly enough, the only item that didn’t quite fit for me was the Spice Cheese Black Pepper puffs. This is almost entirely on aesthetic grounds. The packaging of every other item is incredibly stylish and elegant, whereas the bright block colours of this package design did not fit in visually at all. Taste-wise, they’re lovely, but again, for me this kind of snack is for wine rather than tea.

But this is the tiniest criticism for a product that is, overall, fantastic.

It’s also very thoughtful to include an introductory bonus: the bag of KitKats! 

Value-wise, I have no problem with the price. I think £30 (or less, depending on the subscription period) is entirely reasonable for a premium box of this quality. 

I always think that subscription boxes make excellent gifts, and Christmas is coming after all! If there is a foodie in your life, including yourself, this would be the most fantastic way to explore Japanese culture through flavour and taste. 

I’m absolutely blown away. My first Bokksu is simply wonderful!

Bokksu Review November 2017

































A different version of this review first appeared on All Subscription Boxes.