I’ve tried a few Raaka bars before, but I hadn’t ever signed up for their First Nibs Subscription. What’s the deal with First Nibs? People who have signed up to this subscription get to try experimental bars, or get first dibs on limited edition bars. It’s also a great way to try new inclusions and flavor combinations that aren’t popular or readily available in chocolate. What pushed me into signing up for First Nibs was that two out of the three bars in June contained green tea. If you’ve been following my blog for a few months, you’ll know that green tea + chocolate is one of my top favorite combinations ­čÖé

Normally I take photos and then describe my thoughts on chocolate. I’m experimenting and thinking of changing things up a bit. Before I started blogging, I had considered starting a YouTube channel to review chocolate products, but I didn’t have the courage since putting yourself in front of a camera is daunting if you’re more reserved like myself. But video is an easy way to in one shot show and talk about a chocolate bar. Depending on my schedule and how things go, I might continue making videos. Another benefit from making videos is that I’m horrible at verbally communicating my ideas and thoughts to groups of people and from some of the YouTubers I watch, a few have claimed that making videos improved this skill for them.

In my video (here), I was going to review all three bars, but then I lost a lot of my footage, so… I’m just going to be revealing this First Nibs batch there. Also, I learned after making the video that I mispronounced “genmaicha”… can’t say I’m proud of that since I have Japanese blood in me and I should have known better. (Sorry, mom!) Lesson learned for future potential videos, ensure the pronunciation is correct!

If you’re done watching the reveal, we can move on to the best part… tasting them!

Hibiscus Cinnamon

This bar smelled floral and subtly spicy. I tasted a combination of sweet, fruity, floral and spice. The spice was subtle at first, increased mid-way through my bite, then turned subtle through the end. Hibiscus was the dominant flavor throughout my bite. I really liked the floral, fruity combo here! The boyfriend also tasted these bars with me and he described this bar as bright and vibrant.

Genmaicha Crunch

This bar smelled nutty from the genmaicha and quinoa. The strong nutty and subtle earthy flavors of the tea and quinoa seemed to bring out the sweetness of the chocolate. There was a light, crunchy texture from the quinoa. The flavor of genmaicha was more detectable halfway through my bite. The boyfriend didn’t taste it until toward the end. There was a very, very subtle bit of astringency in this bar.

Hojicha & Bitter Orange 

The boyfriend informed me that hojicha is green tea that is smoked. I could barely detect the scent of orange from this bar. But flavor-wise, orange was the dominant flavor of this bar. I couldn’t taste anything that was reminiscent of hojicha, but the boyfriend was able to detect it, though subtly. I will say, usually I don’t like dark chocolate and orange. Sometimes it just doesn’t seem to create this spark of, “This is delicious.” But this bar did it for me!

I liked all three of these bars, but I kept returning to Genmaicha Crunch because the crunchy texture was addictive for me. The boyfriend also like all three bars, but had a preference for the Hojicha & Bitter Orange bar. He liked the subtle back-of-the-throat smokiness.

If you’re interested in trying something new that’s outside of your chocolate flavor comfort zone, or you just want to keep the ball rolling on trying new flavor combinations, I recommend signing up for First Nibs.

I also want to mention that part of my inspiration for making videos is due to Estelle Tracy, who was also nervous about making video reviews, but was brave to go forward with them anyway! Inspiration also comes from Victoria Cooksey, who always appears confident and knowledgeable in her videos. Check out both of these ladies and show some love and support for them in their chocolate journeys!

Victoria Cooksey

Estelle Tracy

Raaka Chocolate: Made in Brooklyn, NY

These are my personal thoughts and experiences. I did not receive pay or any compensation for reviewing any products. Website links to articles, companies and other sources of information directly related to the topic written within the posts were included during the time of writing and the writer will not be held responsible for future changes on such website links. All images are original and the property of Time To Eat Chocolate unless specifically stated otherwise.