Friday, February 10, 2012

Japanese KitKat Taste Test: Fall 2011 Callection

I came from Osaka a few months back, and one of the things on my to buy list was Soy Sauce Kit Kat! Yup, you read that right... I was looking for Kikkoman flavored Kit-o Kat-o. Unfortunately, I was not able buy any.

It seems like the Japanese are suckers for weird KitKat flavors and Nestle milks this for all it's worth. They stagger the releases of weird flavors and the flavors are also created and marketed for specific regions in Japan. For example, we went to Osaka, so we were only able to find the Kyoto Limited Edition flavors. In a world where the law of supply and demand rules, Nestle has managed to create demand, simply by limiting the supply, either in quantity or by limiting a flavor to certain regions.

In other words, we went crazy making sure we bought every weird flavor of KitKat that we came across because we might never see it again!
This was my haul from Osaka.
The smaller boxes are all Kyoto Limited Edition flavors. They had Green Tea (Kyoto Edition), Hochija Roasted Tea and Shogoin Yatsuhashi  (Cinnamon Cookie) KitKat. They each contain five of the smaller sized two-finger KitKat with only 68 or 69 calories per pack.  We were also lucky to find a big pack of the Shizuoka Limited Edition Wasabi KitKat which had twelve 69 calorie packs.

Before catching our flight, my normal routine is to attempt to finish all my remaining cash at the Duty Free stores in the airport. We found this at the Kansai Airport before leaving Osaka.
Sakura Matcha (Cherry Blossom Green Tea) KitKat
and Yubari Melon KitKat (Hokkaido Limited Edition)

They only sell it in boxes of 10 (small boxes inside). Since I had quite a lot of Yen to spare, I got several boxes to give as Christmas presents to friends since they are not available in Singapore or the Philippines. Each small box has 2 packs of regular sized two-finger KitKat at 99 calories per pack.

My sister is a certified chocoholic so I waited to share my stash with her. Because we really love weird flavored KitKat, we had a lot of fun tasting all the unique flavors. We each had our favorites, but to make things more interesting for this post, we arranged an almost blind tasting session with my cousin and her boyfriend who are not weird KitKat fans like we are.

This is the Japanese KitKat Fall Collection from the Kyoto Region and what was available at the Kansai Airport ready for tasting.

I removed the wrappers and sort of mixed it up before the tasting began. I also did not tell them what flavors we had before hand.
Please excuse the crappy looking ones.
These little jetsetters have traveled from Osaka to Singapore to Manaila and back again to Singapore.

The panel was composed of me and my sister who knew what we were eating, and my cousin and her boyfriend who had no idea what we were feeding them. We also had a 1-5 rating system, where we gave more points for the ones we liked.

Here's what we thought:

We started with this:
It's actually this:
Green Tea Kit Kat Kyoto Edition
The comments: 
It tastes like White Chocolate that's very milky, but it's slightly more refreshing. Based on the color, it must be Green Tea. My cousin was so funny, she had no idea at all what she tasted.

The funny thing is, I've tried this before, and I used to like it because it used to have a very clear green tea taste, but last night, no matter how hard I tried to savor it, it also just tasted like white chocolate to me.

The scores: 4, 4, 3, and 2. Total: 13

This is the second we tried:
It's actually this:
Shogoin Yatsuhashi  (Cinnamon Cookie) KitKat Kyoto Edition
The comments: 
It's the prettiest looking one, because you can see speckles on the white chocolate. It also tastes better because the extra crunch in the chocolate makes the whole thing crisper. The speckles are actually cinnamon flavored sugar granules. However, our blind tasters said that the extra creaminess overpowers the delight of eating a normal KitKat. 

My cousin just did not like it. She  normally loves Graham Cinnamon crackers.

The scores: 2, 2, 4, and 4. Total: 13

This is the third one we tried:
It's actually this:
Hochija Roasted Tea Kyoto Edition
The comments: 
My cousin who has a brilliant way with words says this one looks like old poop. Hahaha.
It has a very strong tea smell and taste with caramel undertones. There's also a bite and a bitter after taste. Someone said this one is another green tea flavor because it tastes more like green tea than the previous one.  

The scores: 2, 4, 3, and 5. Total: 14

This is the fourth one we tried:
It's actually this:
Wasabi KitKat Shizuoka Edition 
The larger box has 12 packs of the 69 calorie packs
The comments: 
Our blind taste testers could only taste white chocolate though this one was very pale green in color. They could not taste any difference in this one. However, my sister and I who knew what we were eating, could definitely taste the slight flavor of wasabi, especially from the after taste.

The scores: 3, 4, 4, and 4. Total: 15

We've finished trying all the 68 or 69 calorie mini-bars so the tasting portions are now bigger.
The fourth one we tried was this:
It's actually this:
Sakura Matcha (Cherry Blossoms Green Tea) KitKat
The comments: 
This tastes artificially sweet. My cousin thinks it stinks and it tastes like soil. Hahaha, why she'd know what soil tastes like I don't know. But someone also said that this tasted quite creamy, probably due to the white chocolate base.

The scores: 3, 3, 3, and 1. Total: 10

Finally, this was the last one we tried:

It's actually this:
Yubari Melon KitKat Hokkaido Edition
The comments: 
This is the only KitKat we tried with a dark chocolate base. It smells very strongly of melon and is one of my personal favorites, but I guess you either like it or you hate it because the blind taste testers thought it might be Durian, and they thought the combination was odd. 

The scores: 1, 1, 2 (because someone said you can't give chocolate a 1), and 5. Total: 9

So the verdict is:
If you're not a fan of weird flavored KitKats or if you don't know what you're eating, the subtle flavoring will be lost on you. Stick to the regular stuff, it's cheaper! Hahaha.
My other conclusion is that we like trying out the weird flavors for the novelty, but some flavors will really fall into the Been There Done That category (like the Sakura Matcha for me or the Yubari Melon for others) but then there are also flavors which you will always be searching for.  

Like This:
Photo credit: Lars Martinson Cartoonist

So, if you find yourself in Japan and come across Syoyu-tumi Kit-o Kat-o or other weird flavored KitKat, please grab some for me! Just Saying.


  1. can i know at airport which floor? :)

    1. Hi, I think it was right after we cleared security, before you take the train to go to the boarding gates. Hope this helps.

  2. Simply, admirable what you have done here. It is fabulous to see you verbalize from the heart and your clarity on this significant subject can be easily seen. Fantastic post and will look forward to your incoming update.
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