Hello. My name's Nathan, and I love Trader Joe's. My wife Sonia does too. She's a great shopper, has excellent taste and knows good value when she comes across it. As many of you know, Trader Joe's is unsurpassed in the world of good-value grocery stores, so we spend a lot of our time and money there. Although the store fairly consistently delivers great taste with its own unique line of food products, there are definitely some big-hits, and unfortunately, there are some misses...

After doing a couple of internet searches for reviews of TJ's food items, Sonia discerned an apparent dearth of good, quality reviews for the store's offerings. So, at her suggestion, we decided to embark on a journey of systematically reviewing every Trader Joe's product, resulting in the blog you are about to read...

A couple of months into our Trader Joe's rating adventure, an old college friend, Russ, who unbeknownst to me had been following our TJ's blog, decided that I had been slacking in my blogging duties (which, of course, I was) so he decided to contribute his own original TJ's reviews to the blog, thus enhancing it, making it more complete and adding to it a flavor of his own. He and his wife Sandy are also avid TJ's fans and, as you will soon discover, he is an excellent writer and is nearly as clever, witty and humble as I am.

Seriously though, Russ: You go, boy!

So here it is: "What's Good at Trader Joe's?"

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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Trader Joe's Organic Green Tea & Lemonade

"Herbaceous."

There's many words I've stumbled across in my day. Up until now, this hasn't been one of them. I wonder why. I mean, it's a pretty great word. It's straight to the point, and you know exactly what it means once you hear it: vibrant, full of herbs and not much else. If you're botanically inclined, you can add in stuff like "lacking woody stems." That can be a good thing, especially for tea, which we'll get to in a moment. Also, it's kinda fun to say. Try it out for yourselves, nice and slow...See? First time I said it, I immediately thought of Buddy the Elf saying "Fransisco." So, straight to the point yet fun to say, and kinda fun to read, too. Perhaps I haven't paid enough attention in my seventh grade biology classes, or somehow skimmed over the word if it's appeared on the menu at a coffee shop or tea house. At the very least, I would've thought that one of the stoners in "Dazed and Confused" would have said it, like the guy who went on to CSI: Miami, because, well, let's face it, it sounds like something a stoner would say. I'd also thing that either Dr. Dre or Snoop Dogg would be clever enough to rhyme something with it, which I'm definitely not. The furthest I get is "Yer face" then...nothing.

Anyways, the first time I've encountered the word "herbaceous" was on the side panel of Trader Joe's Organic Green Tea & Lemonade. Herbaceous. Even without doing too much further research on the word, I knew that was a pretty apt way to describe green tea. Green tea is one of those things that I *try* to like. Really, I do. It's supposed to be healthy (or "healthier", at least) and may or may not have super heart-beatin' and cancer-whuppin' powers. I'm behind that. It's just...the taste. To me, green tea tastes like rain water that's comingled with lawn clippings for too long. That's perhaps a bit harsh, but you know what it feels like on the side of your lower gums after swallowing a straight shot of green tea? Ugh. That's a bit harsh to me, too and it's what I dislike the most about green tea in general.

Trader Joe's Organic Green Tea & Lemonade is decent, though. I'm a big fan of their Arnold Palmer, and while I can't think of a golfer to name this drink after, I'll admit this has a lighter, crisper taste overall. There's also enough lemonade in there to almost cover up the parts of green tea taste that I don't like as much, without being too sugary or citrusy or anything like that. It works, except for when I neglect to shake it up before drinking. That's when all the green tea parts float into my cup and down my throat, which even then, doesn't bother me as much as green tea usually does. Perhaps it's just a little milder than what I'm used to. Still, this isn't a drink that I can just gulp and gulp down, so I'm not overly wild about it like I am about some of their other juices. Yet I've bought it the last two times I've gone shopping at TJ's, and have been able to more or less enjoy it over the course of nearly the whole week. My wife's pretty impressed by that, as she's used to seeing the empties in the recycle bin after only a day or so.

Sandy's been semi-busy enjoying the TJ Tropical Carrot Juice over the past week or so to give this tea much of a try. We still haven't figured out what a tropical carrot is, but man, that's good stuff. She also may be slightly avoiding the green tea/lemonade because of the some of the unknown stuff with teas and pregnancies. We both know it's probably fine for mama and baby, but figure not to chance it, and plus that way I get my drink, and she gets hers without me guzzling all of it, so it's win/win/possible win. That works well enough for us. As for this particular drink...eh...I'm kinda split on it. I neither love nor hate it, yet have bought it a couple times. Maybe that has to do with the price. At $2.69, it's one of the cheaper half-gallons of juicy beverage, and I know that'll last me a week while being satisfied enough. Sounds like something a smidge or two above average to me.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Organic Green Tea & Lemonade: 6.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons

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