Uji Green Tea Bread
Marcus: The fluffiest bread. Seriously, I wasn’t expecting my first snack in this box to taste so fresh coming out of a plastic box. The matcha flavor is subtle and not overwhelming. You won’t really taste it until that bitter aftertaste lingers in your mouth.
Hannah: I am a used fan of bread and other pastries so I was very excited to try this one. Although I’m not much of a matcha fan the taste was very subtle with a very strong automatic smell. I was also amazed at just how light and fluffy the bread was.
Marcus: It’s about what I expected from manju, though the matcha flavor isn’t what I expected. I had one of these in Japan that was all red bean paste filling and enjoyed it. It’s bitter, but works well if you enjoy the flavor.
Hannah: Before eating this I already knew that I am not a fan of manju. Unfortunately, this was no different. The matcha flavor was different right upfront and if you aren’t a big matcha fan, I would definitely steer clear of this one. I will say though, once again I was surprised at the freshness of the manju.
Nishio Matcha Pie
Marcus: This is the first snack that kind of disappointed me. It’s just sort of bland throughout when it comes to the tastes. Fortunately, the texture is wonderfully flaky, making up for this pie’s shortcomings.
Hannah: Cookie is very light and flaky. Taste begins subtle and bland, so pairs with stronger tea. End is bitter.
Marcus: You would expect a matcha cookie to be more bitter, but this one is a little different. You can tell that the bitter matcha flavor is still there, but the cookie itself is so sweet that it actually overwhelms it. This is a nice flavor for those who aren’t big matcha fans but still want a cookie.
Hannah: I loved the light and fluffiness of the cookie. I enjoyed that the cookie is sweet enough to offset the bitterness of the matcha filling. Makes for a delightful cookie.
Houjicha Chocolate Crunchy
Marcus: When I first looked at this one, I fully expected it to taste like a granola bar. I was wrong. While granola bars are delicious, this tastes like a fully developed dessert. The chocolate tastes great and the bar comes with a satisfying crunch.
Hannah: It was definitely different from the other items in the box. It was very delightful and I like that it only had a slight matcha flavor.
Marcus: I love pound cake, and this little treat has that fluffy consistency you would expect from a pound cake. It’s not very sweet, but it also isn’t very bitter. This is yet another remarkably fresh bread.
Hannah: I don’t love it as much as the first but it feels a lot more like a cake than a bread. I was surprised by the sponginess of the bread and the subtle matcha flavor.
Matcha Cream Daifuku
Marcus: It’s exactly what you would expect. Matcha and mochi. Very chewy, though not too strong in flavor. I usually only care for mochi when it’s packed with ice cream, but this is definitely an exception.
Hannah: Surprised that I actually like it. Before trying it, I was almost convinced that I wasn’t going to like it. The mochi felt very fresh despite being packaged. It honestly feels almost like candy without the guilt/sugar
Sweet Potato Kanten
Marcus – A nice change of pace. Unlike the matcha flavors that get more bitter over time, these get sweeter the longer they sit with you. The sweet potato is there in both flavor and consistency, so if that’s your thing you are likely to enjoy this one. Just be prepared for the mushy texture.
Hannah – It was a bit odd at first and I’m still not totally sure how I feel about it. Again not the worst thing I’ve ever eaten. In the end, it definitely tasted like I had just put a fork full of sweet potato in my mouth, and was definitely unexpected.
Marcus – Another mochi! This one is much sweeter than the other, which is surprising. There is nothing bitter about this snack, so candy lovers will feel at home here.
Hannah – As a non-matcha lover I was very nervous for this one as well. It again surprised me with a more subtle matcha flavor than I was expecting. It felt like a sticky matcha tootsie roll. Still blown away by the cornstarch paper.
Marcus – I love jello. I love apricot. BIG WIN
Hannah: I could eat this all day every day! The smell is so light and amazing. It was smooth, delicate and a lot lighter than American jello.
Marcus – This is one I could eat the whole bag of. It’s just a little sweet and the bitterness isn’t overbearing, making it a simple treat.
Hannah: This wasn’t as sweet as I was expecting it to be but the aftertaste definitely gives hints of funnel cake.
Marcus: This one is hard to explain. It feels like it should be salty, then the salt is insteanty gone. Those who want a salty snack will be disappointed, but it’s actually quite refreshing. You certainly won’t feel guilty after eating it. This is a nice, crunchy snack.
Hannah: The salt hits you in the beginning but soon drops off and ends up tasting like a slightly salty rice cake. Very light, crunchy and refreshing.
Marcus: Between the burdock one we just ate and now this salad one I’m in love. Just give me all the arare. It’s light, feels salty enough, and the crunch is so dang nice.
Hannah: I could eat this entire bag. It’s light, salty, and has a delicious flavor that doesn’t overpower. I will say though that I tried to eat and drink other items after this and the taste was horrible. Strongly recommend eating these with water and nothing else.
The tea is solid, but the drinker’s enjoyment will be dependent on how much they like the flavors of sakura and matcha.
Shippo Design Chopsticks
The box also comes with some chopsticks. While they don’t seem to be remarkable, they have a beautiful and meaningful pattern . It’s just a nice way to enjoy your new treats.
Marcus: I like mochi and matcha a little more than Hannah does, but I still wouldn’t call myself a big fan. Regardless, the items in this box felt so fresh that almost anyone can enjoy most of what this one offers. Most of the flavors are subtle, and there is enough variety here so that there is something for everyone.
Hannah: The box color is very much this month’s theme and feels super soft and elegant. I did enjoy that although the box theme was Matcha and Mochi that there were items on the strong side and items on the much less subtle side. As much as I love the candy and sweets you get in other boxes I enjoy that this particular box focuses more on traditional sweets and I would prefer this box over a lot of other Japanese crates.