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RawSpiceBar Subscription Box Review + Coupon – June 2016

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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 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 all of our RawSpiceBar reviews and visit the Food Subscription Box Directory for more food boxes!

Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!


Each month, RawSpiceBar sends spices from one region or geographical area. This is the “Kansas Spice Box,” and the featured spices are Kansas Dry Rub, Hickory Smoked Salt, and Charnushka Sesame.

(Note: Despite being called the “Kansas Spice Box,” I’m pretty certain this box is inspired by the BBQ made famous in Kansas City, Missouri.)


Kansas Dry Rub – 0.4 oz.


This spice blend is a mix of yellow mustard seeds, black peppercorns, cayenne pepper, sweet paprika, sage, garlic, onion, and spices.


Hickory Smoked Salt – 0.3 oz.


RawSpiceBar’s Hickory Salt is smoked over premium hickory wood to infuse the salt with rich, smoky flavor.

As I unpacked this month’s spices, they seemed a little familiar. Looking back, it seems last July’s box was very similar. That shipment was inspired by Memphis BBQ, and it included a dry rib rub and applewood smoked salt (that was also used in potato salad).


Charnushka Sesame – 0.3 oz.


Charnushka (also known as black cumin) has a nutty, smoky flavor that pairs well with the chocolaty flavor of black sesame seeds.

BBQ Recipes

This month, RawSpiceBar included the following recipes: Kansas City Style Pork, Hickory Smoked Potato Salad, and Watermelon & Charnushka Sesame Salad.

The watermelon I picked up for this meal was a little underripe for my liking, so I ended up skipping that recipe and only making the BBQ ribs and Potato Salad.


Ribs take a pretty long time to cook, so I got started on them first. I began by rubbing the meat with a combination of salt, brown sugar, and RawSpiceBar’s Sweet Kansas Rub.


I them let the ribs sit in the fridge for an hour.

When they were finished sitting and ready to go in the oven, I slathered the ribs with BBQ sauce. The recipe card mentioned that you could use any bottled Kansas City-style sauce or you could make your own using their online recipe. I couldn’t find their online recipe, so I picked up a bottle from Whole Foods.

I cooked them for about 2.5 hours at 250 degrees, and I reapplied BBQ sauce about every 30 minutes.


Here they are fresh out of the oven!


The ribs were delicious and the cooking instructions were perfect. The meat fell right off the bone.

My only complaint is that the ribs tasted like BBQ sauce (and not the spice rub). I wouldn’t normally consider that a problem, but since this is a spice box, I want to taste the spices!


To accompany the ribs, I made Hickory Smoked Potato Salad.


Unlike traditional potato salad that’s mayo-based and creamy, this potato salad was made with vinegar, vegetable broth, and a little mustard. I followed the instructions provided, but it’s possible I made some kind of error. Oddly, the finished potato salad had a gelatinous quality that I found really unappealing. (Frustratingly, I couldn’t compare it to the photo in the recipe to see if was supposed to be like that because the photo was of a creamy potato salad— clearly a different recipe.) We ended up throwing it away.

Verdict: I’ve subscribed to RawSpiceBar’s subscription since the very start, and, for me, this is one of their least successful shipments. I did not enjoy the potato salad (and the picture of the potato salad sent to accompany the dish was clearly from a different recipe), the main flavor in the rib recipe was from BBQ sauce (not the spice rub sent), and this box felt a little like a repeat of last July’s Memphis box. Worst of all, I’m not sure that RawSpiceBar understands that Kansas City BBQ is from Missouri, not Kansas! Such a mistake seems indicative of the lack of care RawSpiceBar sometimes seems to have for their recipes. As always, the spices in this box were fresh and interesting, but if I could go back in time I would use them in different recipes.

What do you think about RawSpiceBar’s Kansas Spice Box? Did anyone try the Watermelon Salad? How was it?

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. This company ripped me off for food photography after sending out a free sample of 3 spices. I never made any agreement to provide content to them, which is all laid out plainly in the emails. Food bloggers work w/ brands via paid blog posts/social media posts and/or affiliate programs, and those are the only things I brought up to Raw Spice Bar in correspondence. No agreement was ever made as at that point I hadn’t even seen their product. When I tried one of the spices in my own recipe, shared to my Instagram/Twitter accounts, Raw Spice Bar took those photos, cropped out my watermarks, and reposted to their own page as if I had given it to them to use. I would never provide my work for free without an existing arrangement for fair compensation (in full disclosure, this is no less than $150 for a one-time post.) Instead of paying bloggers as most other brands do for social media campaigns, they download anything tagged to their name on IG/FB/Twitter and repost on their own sites as advertisements, without permission of the content owners. I’m now attempting to collect my fees. Raw Spice Bar has blocked me on both Twitter and IG, as well as any of my followers who have amplified my tweets in support. Intellectual property laws are on my side here. It was their responsibility as a business to know these things – but what is more shameful is the way Rebecca, the owner, ignored my initial messages to resolve this issue amicably.

    Just a word of caution that you’re dealing with a company who operates unethically.

  2. Buyer beware. No July box received, minimal and delayed contact from business after asking for help. Asked when box was shipped they told me nearly 2 weeks ago. I asked for refund as I did not receive box. They said they’d refund my money. That hasn’t happened either. I stopped service-would not purchase from them.

    • Same happened to me. Contacted them two weeks ago about the July box and they told me to wait until the end of the following week because July was shipped “later than anticipated.” Unfortunately, I’ve also already paid for August, and it also hasn’t shown yet….

      Cancelling now that I’ve spent $10 and haven’t received anything. If they won’t refund I’d dispute the charges with my card.

  3. I agree with this whole review. But I would also love to add that the watermelon salad was really good! I definitely made it differently than the recipe, but I personally really loved it!

  4. It looks like they left out oil from the potato salad recipe. 1/4 cup of vinegar seems like a lot. It should have been 1/4 cup olive oil and 2-3 tablespoons of vinegar. A well emulsified dressing probably would have prevented the potato starch from combining with all the liquid which created that gelatinous goo everywhere.

    • I thought 1/4 cup of vinegar was too much, too. And then I tried it. And, yes, it is WAY too much!

  5. I have used the smoked salt that I received last year in dessert recipes! I hate potato salad (I have an aversion to mayo) but the salt has been perfect on chocolate pots de creme and sprinkled on this year’s pecan pie. I really recommend using it that way if you are not into the potato salad.

  6. I have a spice store nearby but was interested in gifting this to a friend. I’ve been watching the reviews (by an experienced cook!) and there is always some kind of problem she runs into–every month. You don’t mind if they are a new company but the kinks should be worked out by now and the monthly shipments well managed. With the complaints and cancellations I read about in the reviews/comments I don’t think I will bother unless some big improvements are implemented.

  7. I got this box a while back and loved it despite their constant typos and errors. I rarely follow recipes anyway. The thing that kept nagging at me though was, if they were that careless in their company branded collateral, how fastidious could they really be about sanitation and food safety?

    Super bummer because this is right up my alley and the price point would make it create to gift to other food-centric people but I just can’t, I worked in the culinary world long enough to know that if you don’t have your S*** together in the front of the house, there’s no way you have it together in the back.

    • **Great to gift. Figures I would have a typo…

    • You made a really good point. Now I feel kinda squeamish. I have had their sub for about a year now since I purchased an annual sub, but I think I will cancel now with this year being up soon. I can easily implement the fun, international meal once per month thing, with a little internet searching and creativity, all on my own.

  8. This subscription isn’t for me as I can’t handle spicy hot items. I did go to their website because I was hoping that they sold the spices they include in the subscription boxes. My Dad really likes hickory smoke salt and we can no longer find at the grocery stores. I couldn’t find that they sell spices.
    Bummer, I was hoping to surprise my Dad.

    • I find specialty salts at TJ Maxx and Marshalls all the time. I recommend trying there!

  9. I got my mom a subscription a year ago and we’ve been loving the recipes. It’s always fun to try new things! Unfortunately, I think we threw out this month’s spices by accident. At least it doesn’t look like we missed a great month.

  10. We left the BBQ sauce off of the ribs and just cooked them with the spice rub – they were totally delicious! I know that saucy ribs are traditional for Kansas City, but what’s the point of a spice rub from a subscription if you can’t taste the spices? I also added a couple of tablespoons of mayo to the potato salad, and used a different kind of potatoes, and didn’t have the same problems you did. I’m guessing the broth was what gave the salad it’s gelatinous quality, and that the kind of potatoes I used absorbed it a bit more? Not sure, though.

    The watermelon salad was a little weird. I had to make it in advance, and the goat cheese basically melted into the water from the watermelon. The flavors were interesting – I would never put watermelon and goat cheese together, but it was okay! I couldn’t taste the sesame much, though.

    I want to love RSB so much, and almost every month they do bewildering things. I wish they would hire somebody with incredible organizational skills to help them get their s*** together. Ah, well!

  11. I always make potato salad with mustard and vinegar (no broth), similar to this, and they never come out with that texture. I think it’s simply too much liquid?

  12. I received this package even though I canceled a few months ago (they did not charge me). I do not even know what I will do with it. Especially now that I am seeing the potato salad. (Probably I would just make a regular potato salad recipe but dump the spice mix in?) I am pretty sure RSB just uses photos (and recipes) from the internet without permission and doesn’t try them first to see if they will work.

    I am from Independence, MO, but I usually just tell people “the Kansas City area.” I swear my father-in-law still thinks I am from Kansas.

    • I received this month’s package and I too had cancelled a few months ago! Odd. They seem so disorganized.

  13. Just sent this as a gift to my aunt. I’ll have to tell her to watch for recipe flaws. Thankfully, she’s an experienced cook and can adapt.

    That potato salad recipe is weird – maybe they left out an ingredient?

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