Monday, August 23, 2010

Kyoto Green Tea (Regional) KitKat


Thanks to my student, who procured the wasabi KitKat and Jizou-san sesame bean cake for me, I have another regional KitKat to sample. This one comes in a different type of packaging than my previous experience with such KitKats. It's in a box designed to have a message written on it and then be mailed to a lucky recipient.


This KitKat was made with special green tea which is a specialty of Kyoto, Japan's former capital and a place which is famous for its old world culture. It's where you go to experience "old Japan". Tokyo is where you go for "new Japan". Of course, this KitKat is made up to remind you of traditional culture with the accoutrements of tea ceremony sitting next to a cup of tea and a picture of shoji leading into a Japanese garden. Suffice it to say, as a Tokyo dweller, I never see anything remotely like that scene. The packaging on this is really quite lovely, particularly with the rich green color used. There are 5 mini bars with 69 calories each in the box. Note that this is a "KitKat Mail" version which you can slap a stamp on and address directly. This box cost 367 yen ($4.26), information I only know from the product page since I didn't personally buy it.

I've had green tea KitKats before, and liked them well enough for the most part. I was sure I was going to find this reasonably good. The big question was going to be whether or not this was different than other green tea KitKats as a result of it being made with special Kyoto tea.


While I expected this to smell strongly of green tea based on the fact that the bar is a much deeper, richer color than the other green tea bars appeared to be, it really didn't have a strong scent. The flavor was also somewhat different from the previous versions. It has a very "roasted" flavor which is deep without being bitter. It's a little grassy, but not as much as some types of green tea. The most surprising thing about it is that it's not too sweet! This is actually amazing for a white-chocolate-based KitKat.

I'm not a tremendous fan of green tea sweets, but I actually liked this a lot. I can't say this is for people who don't like green tea, but I can say it's for those who like deeper roasts of tea and who don't like overly sweet candy bars. For lack of a better way of expressing things, I found this to be very "Japanese" in its taste profile. The sweetness, rich, deep tea flavor, and crispy texture all provided a good balance of tastes and textures. It's quite different from usual KitKat fare, but also very good.

Incidentally, a complete gallery of all of the regional KitKats here. The link includes the word "omiyage", which means "souvenir".

11 comments:

Marvo said...

I'm surprised there haven't been more green tea KitKat varieties. At the Japanese market near my apartment, I think there are about a dozen bottled green tea varieties. If they have a dozen, Japan markets must have two dozen. If Japan markets have two dozen, then KitKat varieties should have about a dozen, if my hypothetical math is correct.

siti the twins said...

this is the fisrt time i ever seen kitkat in green. i was like,:"wow! a shrek version of kitkat. And it's green!"

Orchid64 said...

Thanks to both of you for commenting!

Marvo: I think there are more, or at least have been more. I just haven't reviewed them all because after awhile all of the green tea stuff makes my eyes glaze over. ;-)

Siti: Love the "Shrek" version! That would have been a great cross-promotion. ;-)

Dani said...

One of the many reasons why I can't wait to visit Japan (hopefully, next year) is not only to go to amazing places, such as Kyoto, but also to try all the KitKats I can find! LOL!!

Serena said...

It sounds like I would like this one. Based on your reviews, some of these Kit Kats sound disappointing.

Do your students have any idea you have this blog?

Orchid64 said...

Dani: Good luck finding some of the rarer KitKats! You can get regional ones at some station shops in Tokyo even though they are supposed to be exclusive to that region.

Serena: The ones who I think are interested know about this blog, including the student who gave me the treats.

Thanks to both of you for commenting!

gossip_bangkok said...

OMG! I want to go to Kyoto. How many varieties of Green Tea Kitkat are they?? I haven't seen one in my town.. :(

Orchid64 said...

I think that there are at least 5 green tea KitKats - the big bar, a cherry green tea, a regular green tea, green tea kinako, and this regional one. However, they are seasonal, so you can't find them all of the time. In my experience, the green tea ones are around mainly in spring and summer and tend to disappear by autumn. However, they will be back!

gossip_bangkok said...

@Orchid64 thank god. I guess I've have to look out for them. My parents were in Japan a few weeks ago, and they travelled to Kyoto. Apparently, this green tea biscuits from Malebranche tasted amazing. Also, do you like Royce chocolate? I'm thinking about ordering them online because in Beppu, there's nothing......

Orchid64 said...

I actually have a Royce review in my buffer that I need to get out. I have limited experience with the, but what experience I have is good!

gossip_bangkok said...

Oh.. Please review Royce!!! I want to know which is your favorite LOL!