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RawSpiceBar Subscription Box Review – June 2015

This post may contain referral/affiliate links. Read the full disclosure.


RawSpiceBar is a monthly subscription that sends freshly ground, small batch custom spice blends (and recipes that utilize them).


The spices are shipped via USPS in a sturdy kraft mailer. (Last month, my spices arrived in an envelope instead. I’m glad to see the sturdier packaging is back!)

This box was sent to us for review purposes. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)


The Subscription: RawSpiceBar

The Cost: $6 per month with free shipping

The Products: 3-4 freshly ground spice blends from one geography or region, enough to create 3 dishes serving 8-12 people.

Ships to: US and Canada.

Check out our other RawSpiceBar Reviews or visit the Food Subscription Box Directory for more food boxes!


Each month, RawSpiceBar sends spices from one region or geographical area. This shipment features spice blends from Jamaica.


This month’s menu is: Jamaican Jerk Fish Tacos, Corn & Mango Salsa, and Chili Banana Fritters.


Jamaican Jerk- .4 oz

According to the information on the spice packet, the name jerk “refers to the preparation of meat or seafood with a dry or wet rub.” Jerk has African origins, and is a blend of thyme, nutmeg, allspice, onion, garlic, brown sugar, cayenne, black pepper, habanero pepper, and cinnamon.


Mango Salsa Spices- .3 oz

This sweet and spicy mix was created to flavor Jamaican-style mango salsa. It contains paprika flakes, allspice, and ginger.


Jamaican Sweet Spices- .4 oz

This blend was created to enhance sweet, light desserts. RawSpiceBar recommends using it to jazz up banana fritters, a Jamaican specialty. This blend combines white and black sesame seeds, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Recipe #1- Paprika Ginger Mango Corn Salsa


To make RawSpiceBar’s Jamaican feast, I began by preparing the corn salsa. I combined grilled corn kernels, freshly sliced mango, cilantro, salt, olive oil, lime juice, and RawSpiceBar’s Paprika Ginger Spices. I mixed all of the ingredients together and then refrigerated the salsa while I worked on the jerk fish.


I’ve been making a lot of mango salsa lately, and this might be the best one I’ve made so far. The blend of paprika and ginger complemented the salsa perfectly!

Recipe #2- Jamaican Jerk Fish Tacos


To make the Jamaican Jerk Fish Tacos, I first created a marinade by pureeing spring onions, ginger, garlic, thyme, lime juice, rum, vinegar, and RawSpiceBar’s Jamaican Jerk Spices. (I also added some chives because my tiny garden is currently overflowing with them.) I poured the marinade over tilapia fillets and let the flavors infuse for 2 hours.


I then baked the fish at 350 until it was cooked through. To make the tacos, I heated flour tortillas in a skillet and piled them with jerk fish, mango salsa, pickled red onions, and chopped parsley.


These tacos were a huge hit! The jerk seasoning was pretty spicy, but it blended extremely well with the fresh mango corn salsa. I would love to make these again soon, but since the recipe is almost completely reliant on the RawSpiceBar spice blends, I know I won’t be able to recreate it. I reached out to RawSpiceBar customer service a few months ago and was told that they plan to add an online store to their site where subscribers can stock up on blends they like. I hope they’re able to do this soon because there’s usually at least one blend per month that I would happily reorder.

Recipe #3- Jamaican Banana Fritters


I love banana fritters, so I was very excited to make these. I began by mixing the batter.


When it was time for dessert, I scooped batter into a skillet filled about 1 centimeter full of hot oil, and pan-fried the fritters until they were evenly browned.


I allowed them to cool slightly and then served them with a scoop of ice cream and a drizzle of honey.


This was a deliciously indulgent dessert! I loved the spice blend RawSpiceBar sent and the subtle heat it provided. My fritters turned out to be just a tad gummy, so I think if I make them again I’ll add a little extra flour. Other than that, though, I thought this was a great way to end the meal.

Verdict: This shipment from RawSpiceBar was a big hit with my family. We loved the tacos and mango salsa, and the fritters were a fun way to end the meal. We’re all adventurous eaters, so it’s become a monthly ritual for us to gather for dinner and make the recommended recipes together. I love how each month’s spices are inspired by a new location, and I enjoy trying recipes from all over the world. I think RawSpiceBar uses high quality spices and blends them very well. RawSpiceBar is one of my favorite monthly deliveries, and I think it’s a great, inexpensive subscription for adventurous cooks looking to try something new!

What did you think of this month’s RawSpiceBar? Did you use the spices to make the recommended recipes, or did you make different Jamaican inspired dishes?

Written by Lindsey Morse

Lindsey Morse

Lindsey is a professional baker by day and a subscription box junkie by night. She first subscribed to Birchbox in 2013 and her addiction grew when she signed up for Graze, PopSugar, and Knoshy. Her favorite part about being a subscription box addict is discovering new products- especially gourmet goodies, beauty products, and kitchen tools!

All views in this review are the opinion of the author. My Subscription Addiction will never accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain affiliate/referral links. Read the complete My Subscription Addiction disclosure.


  1. I never received my January shipment but got charged. I tried to contact customer service but, I never got a reply and there is no number to speak to a person. They also don’t have tracking on their subscription which makes it harder if there is a problem. I also never got a confirmation that they are even getting my emails. I have no idea what to do at this point and can’t even cancel it. If anyone has an idea how to handle this please let me know.

    • Same thing happened to me. No January spices and they have already charged me for February. I am,waiting for a response from them now.

  2. Thanks for the great review! As others have said, it really helps me in making these recipes for myself.

    We just made the June recipes for a party this weekend, and all three of the dishes were a huge hit. My only issue was that the fish recipe called for a pound of fish for 8-12 people, and I thought that was crazy… luckily I had read this review that it was really spicy, so I just doubled all the ingredients except for the spices, and we had *just* enough fish for everyone. And it was STILL spicy!

    I would absolutely buy this set of spices again, so I hope they start selling these mixes on their website soon.

    I agree with some of the other constructive comments below – I’m a fan, but I would love:
    -to buy their spices online
    -for them to send an alternative recipe on the back of each card (vegetarian, etc) or make their alternative recipes more easy to find (I couldn’t remember my login info last time I went looking, my bad)
    -If they halved the spices – so two packages of each serving 4-6 people… with spice blends I hate to try to halve them myself, and not get the blends right.

    Overall I’m really happy with the sub. I signed my DH up when they had a buy six months, get one month free deal, and I think we’ll likely re-up. We havent loved every blend, but it makes us step out of our comfort zone, which is fun!

  3. I LOVE this subscription and your reviews for it are my favorite on MSA!

  4. I love that you cook the dishes for your review! It’s really helpful since sometimes I’m not sure if I’m adventurous enough to try a recipe, but then seeing how it actually turns out makes me more excited to go for it. So thank you!

    It sounds like some people have been having some issues with their subs… That sucks. 🙁 I just want to share my experience, though, since I haven’t had any problems. I subscribed after reading about last month’s Peru spices. I emailed the customer service people and asked if they still had Peru spices and if I could start my sub with that. Someone replied right away to say yes, all I had to do was subscribe and email them my order number so they could add a note to my account. I did, and within a week or so, I had the Peru spices in my mailbox! And then a few days ago I received the Jamaica ones, too. So everything went perfectly with my ordering and shipping process. I hope everything smooths out for those who are having trouble, though, because this sub seems really cool and I hope it succeeds! I love having such an affordable foodie option!

  5. I love this subscription! I may or may not make all the recipes each month, but I usually make something. And it’s always fun and interesting. I’m glad to hear they will be offering the spices for sale. I loved the Japanese spices and would order more. It’s smart business to sell the spices. As for those talking about shipping issues, I live in VA and have never had a problem receiving the spices. I usually get them a couple days after the email announcing this month’s spices, which works for me. I have no complaints. I have gotten everything I expected from this subscription.

  6. I agree about loving the idea but being disappointed by the shipping and customer sevice. It took 4 emails and 2 weeks for them to finally send the May package that we paid for but we’re never sent and we still haven’t received it and we’re more than halfway through June. It takes what should be an easy fun surprise and makes it a time consuming project just to get it. Hoping May will be an isolated incident.

  7. I’m loving this sub – just signed up right after Japan was featured. I do wish I could of received the Japan spices – I emailed them about wanted those spices but never heard anything. Last month’s chicken and sweet potatoes were wonderful!

  8. Looks absolutely fantastic! I really love your reviews. I was on the fence about making this because it is hot down south but after looking at the food I think I am going to dive in next weekend.

  9. These reviews always make me want to sign up for this even though I am allergic to peppers and wouldn’t be able to use like 80% of the blends they send.

  10. This was my first month of RawSpiceBar and it was a huge hit. I prepared the marinade with the Jamaican Jerk seasoning as directed but instead of fish I went with a vegetarian option and marinated fake Quorn chicken tenders and black beans, and served over rice with the mango salsa and avocado on top. It was delicious! And SPICY. Luckily my boyfriend and I like hot food. The banana fritters were so good, and I liked that they were quick and easy to prepare. I agree about needing a bit more flour; I added extra because I thought the mixture looked too runny. I also had to cook mine longer than directed to achieve an even, dark brown color. I hope they add the option to purchase individual spice blends soon because I would love to make this meal again.

  11. This was my last month of my subscription, and I’m on the fence if I’ll renew it or not. I disliked the Japan shipment, loved the Peru, and was meh on the Jamaica.

    High quality
    Try new blends

    Can’t currently purchase refills
    Recipes don’t scale (serve 8-10)
    Every month includes a dessert option, which doesn’t interest me. It leaves me scrambling to figure out what to do with the spices. And despite their claims, their Pinterest page does not provide any good swaps, just inspiration. Which isn’t all bad, but just like others want vegan recipes, I’d like savory only recipes.

  12. I’ve had these sitting on my table for a few days. Guess since the weekend’s coming up, I need to make a grocery shopping list. First to find an appropriate vegetarian recipe for the main dish.

    At least the banana fritters seem like they would be difficult to mess up, unlike the dessert from last month!

  13. This is one of my favorite subs, even though I often end up swapping at least one of the mixes. The ones I use are AMAZING and for $6/month this is a dirt cheap way to try new things!

    We plan to put the jerk seasoning on chicken this weekend. I also got the right chili’s to try and reproduce last months roasted potato seasoning.

  14. I have been getting RawSpiceBar for the past three months and despite how much I love the spices I will not be renewing. Their shipping times have been incredibly unreliable. The Japanese box I didn’t even get until the next one came out. I bought my mom a subscription for Mother’s Day and she is having an even harder time getting her spices. I will say their customer service is good when they eventually reply but having to contact them every single month about shipping is incredibly frustrating.

    • The shipping issue you are mentioning must totally depend on where you live. I live very close to where this sub ships from and I receive it the day after they ship it which is early in the month every time. I have never noticed a delay in the last 4 months I have had this.

      I think I received my June shipment more than a week ago. (RawSpiceBar is the fastest shipping I have ever received from any sub ever.)

      I was a bit sad to not see the beautiful paper this month though. (I actually reused the paper in the Japan shipment to wrap a very small gift (a necklace in a box) and everyone ooh’d and aah’d about how beautiful the (recycled) paper was, ha!

      • Where do they ship from? In May neither my mom nor I recieved our spices until I emailed. Last month I recieved mine but my mom who lives 10 minutes away never got hers. Now this month mom got hers yesterday and mine are not here yet. I wish they offered some tracking info but I understand the cost who not be beneficial on their end as they are only shipping small envelopes. Nonetheless the shipping has become increasingly frustrating over the months. As much as I love the spices I can’t resubscribe with it being such a hassle.

        • They ship from southern CA, Santa Ana specifically I believe. (That is the next suburb over from me.)

          Even though I get this super fast, likely due to my location, I would think yours would come shortly after. I believe they ship first class regular mail? That shouldn’t take more than a couple days unless you are in AK/HI…

          Where do you and your mom live?

          • Connecticut, so the other side of the country but some months (like last month) I got them super quick and others they never show.

        • I live in Puerto Rico and I always receive my package around the 17th day of the month. Hope you can solve the shipping issue. I totally love this sub.

        • The same thing is happening to me. I love to cook and it looked like a really good fit for me. It is suppose to be fun not stressful. I am still waiting for a reply. I just wish I read the comments before i tried it out.

  15. I really like that you make the items instead of just showing the spices

  16. I get this sub and love the concept but the past few months – Japan, Peru, Jamaica… I don’t like the food from any of those countries (except veggie sushi).

    I wish they’d offer a vegan/vegetarian recipe option – I won’t be renewing a sub to get yet more meat rubs and am honestly sick of this sub being so meat-centric – yes, most people eat meat, but would it kill them to do a veggie-centered month?

    • We’re low carb and are enjoying making our own recipes with these blends as we can’t use the ones provided for the most part. We don’t hold that the recipes are carby against them as we enjoy trying our own hand at things and use theirs for inspiration. I can easily see substituting a cauliflower steak, tofu, tempeh, or seitan for the meat dishes – just add oil/water/vinegar and make the rub a marinade, or keep it dry for roasting items. They also provide other recipes on their blog with the spice blends, you should check that out as I’ve seen quite a few veg ones there.

      • I’ve been a non-meat eater over 20 years so while I’m used to doing this, it doesn’t overlay with every cuisine well. I just don’t get why the can’t print both sides of the recipe card with 1 omnivore recipe for the spice blend and the other as vegetarian or vegan (I’m vegan but I’d understand fully if it was vegetarian for the alternative)

  17. I actually signed up for this subscription after reading your last review, which was great! Still waiting for my June (and May, which I requested b/c it looked so good) packet. Thanks!

    • Did you ever get it? I am going through the same problem.

  18. Whenever I read your reviews I’m tempted to sign up for the subscription! But I’m not sure if I would really love the sub, or if I just really love your reviews….

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