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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Friday, August 23, 2013

Trader Joe's Tropical Sweetened Matcha Green Tea Mix

I've never been a huge fan of matcha, but Sonia loves the stuff. The first time I ever had it was in a Jamba Juice smoothie. It was the first Jamba product I didn't like. Since then, I've had matcha mochi and regular green tea matcha. In each case, not a fan. 

Some types of green tea products do float my proverbial boat, although our cross-state blogging comrades might not be quite as enthused. Sonia's tried everything matcha mentioned above, and then some. She particularly likes the matcha green tea from Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. She's an aficionado. She thinks it's delicious. Well...most of the time.

In this case, there's an abundance of mango and passion fruit flavor. Those seemed like odd flavors to mix with matcha to us, but who are we to question TJ's zany ideas, many of which actually work?

It's a very sweet mixture, and Sonia and I agree that the fruitiness outshines the matcha-ness. But conversely, the matcha is there enough to prevent this from being a fruit-flavored beverage. To both of us, it's just a very strange flavor that doesn't quite work. If it had just been me, we might have chalked it up to my not liking matcha, and had it only been Sonia, we might have attributed it to her being a matcha snob. But considering we both dislike this product quite a bit, we're going to have to declare this a Trader Joe's FAIL.

It's kind of "apples and oranges," but if you're looking for a sweet TJ's tea mix that's actually good, we recommend the Salted Caramel Chai.

Sonia gives this product 2.5 stars. I give it 2.

Bottom line: 4.5 out of 10


  1. Matcha varies widely in quality and goes stale very quickly. Hard to assess whether you like it if you haven't had decent, fresh matcha. If it's been sitting on the shelf for a few months it's probably no good. Also unlikely that a chain coffee store serves good, fresh matcha because it's so expensive.

    This TJ's product tastes nothing like actual matcha, but it's OK on its own terms, I guess.

  2. Good point. I'm not sure if I've ever had fresh matcha!

  3. I love the caramel chia, but it seems TJ doesn't sell it anymore.I couldn't find it in many stores, I only see the spicy chai.

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  5. Wish I read this review before purchasing this 2 years ago. I'm not sure what insane person at TJ thought it was ok to market this product.. because it tastes like death. It's a weird artificial fruity taste that doesn't go at all with the matcha. And it makes me sad.

    1. That's pretty much how we feel, beckay...