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RawSpiceBar Subscription Box Review + Coupon – January 2016

Lindsey Morse
ByLindsey MorseFeb 11, 2016 | 17 comments


RawSpiceBar Spice of the Month Club
4.1 overall rating
45 Ratings | 26 Reviews

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


My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)


The Subscription Box: RawSpiceBar

The Cost: $6 per month

COUPON: Use coupon code SPICEFLAVOR to save 50% off your first box!

The Products: 3-4 freshly ground spice blends from one country or region, enough to create 3 dishes serving 6-10 people.

Ships to: US (with free shipping) and Canada (for an additional fee).

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 Egypt!

This month’s featured spices are: Egyptian Spices, Sumac Berries, and Hazelnut Dukkah.


Egyptian Spices- .4 oz.


This spice blend is a mix of coriander, cumin, cinnamon, and paprika.


Sumac Berries- .3 oz


Sumac has a bright, lemony flavor that’s used in Egyptian (and Middle Eastern) cooking to bring a citrusy, tart dimension to dishes.


Hazelnut Dukkah- .4 oz.


RawSpiceBar’s Hazelnut Dukkah is a mix of ground hazelnuts, sesame seeds, coriander, cumin, fennel, thyme, sea salt, and black peppercorns.

An Egyptian Dinner

This month, RawSpiceBar included the following recipes: Roasted Egyptian Spiced Bronzini, Sumac, Carrot & Almond Salad, and Toasted Flatbread & Hazelnut Dukkah.


I planned to make all three of the recipes, but I had some issues sourcing bronzino to use for the main dish. I checked several of my local supermarkets, but none of them had bronzino in stock. Finally, on the fourth try, I found bronzino at a nearby Whole Foods, but, when I got it home and unpacked, I was disappointed to find that it wasn’t very fresh. (Such a bummer!) Accepting that the bronzino dish wasn’t meant to be, I decided to look for a replacement recipe for the Egyptian Spices. On the RawSpiceBar website, I found one for Lentil Soup with Egyptian Spices, so I decided to make that instead. I planned to start my meal with the Sumac, Carrot & Almond Salad, and then serve the soup with the Toasted Flatbread & Hazelnut Dukkah.

Sumac, Carrot & Almond Salad


I began prepping for my Egyptian meal by readying the components for the salad. First, I peeled, cut, and roasted some carrots. (I used rainbow carrots for a nice pop of color!)


While the carrots roasted in the oven, I assembled the remaining ingredients. I mixed together toasted almonds, kalamata olives, olive oil, honey, RawSpiceBar’s sumac, minced garlic, lemon juice and salt and pepper.

When the carrots were roasted and cooled, I transferred them to a plate, topped them with arugula, and poured over the dressing.


This dish was so pretty! I wasn’t sure how all of the components for this dish would come together (honey plus garlic plus olives?), but the flavor was great!

Toasted Flatbread & Hazelnut Dukkah


I grew up with a Lebanese stepfather who always made sure we had a supply of Za'atar Bread in the kitchen. This recipe looked very similar, and I couldn’t wait to try it! According to the recipe, you simply toast the flatbread and then top it with olive oil and the Hazelnut Dukkah spices. I made a slight change and topped the bread with the oil and spices before toasting, as I thought a little heat would help bring out the fragrance of the spice blend.


The bread smelled great in the oven, and it turned out to be really delicious. The mix of hazelnut dukkah spices was really incredible- nutty, mild, and a little sweet.

Lentil Soup with Egyptian Spices


To make the soup, I began by sautéing garlic, onion, celery, and carrots in a Dutch oven.


When the veggies softened, I added lentils and the Egyptian Spices, followed by two quarts of chicken stock.


I let the soup simmer until the lentils were soft, and then seasoned the soup to taste.

I plated it in bowls and topped it with some parsley, homemade flatbread croutons, and a side of Hazelnut Dukkah Flatbread.


This soup was pretty good. I enjoyed the addition of Egyptian Spices, and it made for a nice, hearty winter meal.

Verdict: Overall, I enjoyed this month’s shipment from RawSpiceBar. As always, the spices were great. I liked the dishes, too, but the soup didn’t really blow me away. (It was good, but I don’t think I’d make it again even if I had more Egyptian spices.) Happily, I didn’t notice any glaring problems with the recipes this month, which is definitely an improvement!

What do you think about RawSpiceBar’s Egyptian Box? Did you make the fish dish this month? If so, I’d love to hear how it turned out!

Starting at $10.00
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Choose from a 3, 6, or 12-month subscription of global spice blends to be delivered directly to your favorite cook's door. Each month, we pair our fresh, handcrafted spice blends with a mouthwatering recipe to inspire even the most experienced home cook and bring out their best in the kitchen.
Lindsey Morse
Lindsey Morse

Lindsey is a professional baker, cold brew coffee addict, and rosé aficionado who loves writing about food and wine. When she’s not sharing her love of subscription boxes with the world, you’ll find her in the podcasting studio, perfecting her cake decorating techniques, or cursing her way through the New York Times daily crossword puzzle. 

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I just looked up this review to check the comments… I signed up Feb 2nd and have yet to receive a Feb box! I’ve had multiple communications with ‘Uly’ and supposedly they are resending my box. I have serious doubts.
I can’t imagine this company will stay in business if this keeps up!

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I looooove this box! The lachs and roasted veggies from December was fabulous ( though I put the gingerbread spices in pumpkin smoothies), Egyptian was awesome despite the fact that I wrongly assumed the couscous would steam en pappillote–because the recipe didn’t specify pre cooking… Just finished making the February sechuan, which was delicious though not nearly as hot as anticipated… I am so hooked!

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As a follow-up to my comment on 2/11/16: RSB said they would ship “replacements” for the items that were never shipped on the 6-month subscription to begin with, and they would extend the subscription for a month since December spices were no longer available. Additionally, I was told they would send me a spice box/package for my troubles. RSB told me that all items were being shipped on 2/12/16 (the date for shipping February’s box) and should arrive that same week. Ten days later, and nothing has been received–not by me, not by the subscription giftee. I don’t know what is happening with this company and their shipping and fulfillment, but there is definitely a problem and I’m done with trying to work with RSB on it. I requested a full refund for two subscriptions that I paid for and was advised I would be refunded and that it can take up to 10 days for the refund to show on my credit card. Fingers crossed, because I am not looking forward to spending more time to dispute the charges with my credit card company.

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I also ordered a 6-month subscription for a friend; order placed December 15, 2015. She received nothing in January, and as of 2/16/16, she has received NOTHING for February.

I sent them an e-mail using their contact page on the website last Friday, 2/12/16, which states I would receive a reply in 24 hours. NO REPLY AS OF 2/16/16.

This is very frustrating and unprofessional on their part. When a company promises to reply and then doesn’t I don’t want to deal with it anymore.

The next step will be to dispute the charge on my credit card for a refund.

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I’m really sad..it seems I won’t be getting my Egyptian Spices and now I worry if I will even be getting my spices for February. I was so looking forward to January’s. I think what upsets me the most with this company was that they kept leading me on and then finally today I get this email

Thank you so much for your kind note. It does seem that we have about 200 orders or so that went missing in January and we are looking to figure out who’s orders went missing and why as soon as we can. We are going to refund all of these orders for this month and are so sorry for the inconvenience.”

I just wanted my spices and now I’m so disappointed. They still owe me free boxes because, I referred several friends so I’m not going to cancel I’m just trying to give them the benefit of the doubt. Even though I feel like screaming because, I also had billing issues with them as well.

Anyways, I’m happy for those of you who did get your boxes you should count yourself blessed.

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My son bought me a year subscription to Raw Spice. This was my first month and I loved it. I especially liked the carrots and the flatbread. I also made a lentil soup, but modified the recipe and added beef. My family really liked it. I tend to make many of the same meals every month or two. I think the thing I will like about this subscription is that it will encourage me to try some new dishes and spices that I would be unlikely to try on my own.

As for shipping issues-I didn’t have any trouble. Raw Spice sent my son an email when they mailed the first shipment and he just forwarded that to me, so I was expecting the packet in the mail. For those who had difficulty, I hope your issues are resolved quickly.

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I think the Raw Spice Bar recipe for the lentil soup is modified from this recipe – http://www.mattersofthebelly.com/egyptian-lentil-soup/. The phrasing in the directions is exactly the same in parts plus Raw Spice Bar uses Fahrenheit in their other recipes but Celsius in this recipe. I do think it would be better for them to credit people when they adapt their recipes.

I also thought it was weird that their picture doesn’t match the recipe, most of the recipes I’ve seen that for blending a lentil soup use red or yellow lentils but their picture is of unblended green or brown lentils. That’s what made me search for the original recipe. Makes it look like they aren’t testing the recipes they’re “adapting”.

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Erica P.

Wow, we would have LOVED this month’s box! I still am considering trying Raw Spice Bar out at some point, but with all the reports of shipping issues I’ve held off. Currently we’re trying out Kitchen Table Passport which is similar in sending world spices & recipes.

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I made the fish! Well, sort of. I figured out that their recipe was “inspired” by an Alton Brown recipe for Red Snapper en Papillote, so I used his recipe as a fact check for RSB’s (sometimes their ingredients don’t match up with the instructions). My local supermarket had neither branzino nor whole red snapper, so per the fish guy’s recommendation I substituted whole black seabass. The recipe was pretty good, actually! It wasn’t my favourite recipe that I’ve had from RSB (the Ethiopian stew wins top honours in my book) but it was very tasty and the fish wound up cooked absolutely perfectly.

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I just love this sub. I always look forward to each month – have liked them all! I did like my curry recipe better than theirs one month but overall the spices and recipes have been a hit with me and my family.

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I ordered a 6-month subscription for my brother as a Xmas gift in early-mid December after reading reviews. I thought he and his wife would really enjoy it. I didn’t order by the deadline for the first shipment to arrive that same month–their website says they operate and ship on a “magazine schedule,” whatever that means. No problem. First shipment (December) was to arrive in early January, and then the January shipment would arrive thereafter, etc. I spoke to my brother over the weekend to find out how he was liking the spices only to discover that he hasn’t received anything. At all. The shipping address is correct, and he has a locked mailbox, so theft is not a likely issue (theft of spices? Two months in a row? By the Usps carrier?? Doubt it.). I contacted raw spice bar and received an apologetic reply; their “records” show he should have received two orders by now. They do not have or provide tracking information for shipping. I think their shipping records must be incorrect, as clearly this order was never fulfilled. The December spices are no longer available and they agreed to extend the subscription by an additional month and to send out the spices (again? For the first time?). I had good CS response (although no tracking for shipments or even shipping date is annoying), but I will have to wait to see if these spices ever get delivered to the recipient. Embarrassing and disappointing Xmas non-gift to give to someone.

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Jamie M

I ordered my annual sub last year, June 8. The very first spice pack I received was for July. Your brother’s first spice pack would have been January, not December. When they said, “he should have received two orders by now”, they must have been referring to January and February. My shipment typically arrives at the end of the month (after the 20th). One of my shipments was late, and I didn’t receive it until the next month; however, I received it within the first week of the next month, not 11 days into it. It was the fault of USPS in my case. My letter carrier is awful; sometimes my packages will say “out for delivery” for 10 days… meaning he just left my package sitting on his truck for 10 days before he finally decided to put it on my doorstep. He’s also delivered my packages to neighbors as far away as 6 doors down. Thankfully, my neighbors are honest, and bring them to me.

Anyway, I’m not trying to exonerate RSB here. Just trying to offer alternative explanations. Best case scenario, your January (first month) package is running super late, and your February package hasn’t been shipped out yet. And hopefully you don’t have a lazy letter carrier like mine; and hopefully RSB is being straight with you.

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Thank goodness you posted this! I have similar problems with my mail carrier. He (and his girlfriend who sometimes comes with him) are truly the worst. I’m so glad I’m not the only one! I don’t want to be that crazy person that posts on Facebook a few times a week about how bad my USPS carrier is, but. he. is. THAT. bad.

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Jamie M

This was my favorite month yet. I always use the recipes as loose suggestions, because sometimes the measurements are just wacky, or the instructions are not at all well thought out. We used the Hazelnut Dukkah on top of a hummus, the Sumac Berries for salad dressing, and the Egyptian Spices for chicken. The chicken was prepared and cooked the same way we always make our Chicken Makhani, we just subbed in the Egyptian Spices in place of the Indian spices we normally use. The chicken was baked on a bed of carrots. So delicious!

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YOUR dishes always look and sound so amazing! You make me want to try things I never would on my own.

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I see that subscribers have had some shipping issues and there have been some problems with the recipes but I took the plunge anyway and signed up for a year. I figure it’s very easy to drop that much in stores for spices that I may or may not use. This way I’m definitely going to try a few new dishes a month, try things I never had and will hopefully find a some new loves along the way. I’m an adventurous cook anyway but the reviews look like there’s lots of fun stuff to be tried with this subscription.

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This was a pretty good month for me. We did the lentil soup also (with vegetable broth of course). Except wow, the amount of oil in the salad recipe was like 720 calories’ worth. Also we didn’t put croutons in the soup because it seemed kind of silly when we were also having the flatbreads.

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