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?"

Search This Blog

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Trader Joe's Chocolate Kona Coffee Truffles

Alright now, everybody, don't worry. Just because I'm the guy who last posted about not one but two really healthy snacks doesn't mean I'm giving up on the really good TJ's bounty that always lurks around. I'm just the guy who's going to try and enjoy all that, in (semi) blessed moderation while mostly eating really healthy. Down almost ten pounds since the start of the year and it's just about time to punch a new hole in the belt. I can hear Sandy now; dear, belts are $20 and holes are free, I'm not buying a new one. Somehow, me talking moderation about sweet, sugary good stuff makes me think of Cookie Monster coming to the earth shattering conclusion that cookies are really only meant to be "sometimes foods." For further proof, check out this old post about chocolate covered potato chips AND cheesecake. Glutton.

Anyways, Trader Joe's Chocolate Kona Coffee Truffles seemed to offer a good opportunity to put my newfound resolve to a test. Little wrapped, delectable chocolate candies? In theory, I could eat these by the handful all night and wake up to Wilfred Brimley, a box from Liberty Mutual, and diabeetus in the mornin'. Emphasis on "in theory." My tastebuds live for this kinda stuff.

I'll admit these truffles are pretty good. I mean, they don't necessarily make my tastebuds get up and make whatever kind of dance/love these guys are making, but still, yumz abound. There's just layer upon layer of chocolate - milk, dark, and white - all melded together into an incredibly rich, decadent bite-sized chunk of pure delight. To fully enjoy, you gotta resist the urge to chomp right thru and instead just let it melt in your mouth (takes a minute or two, tops) and just let it wash all over. I swear I could taste each chocolate separately, but only in flavory flashes. This way you can also experience the tiny granules of Kona coffee in there - I'll admit they're too small and get lost in the sea of cocoacity (yes, new word) to really taste if they're "true Kona," "cheap Kona," or "Folgers." The coffee taste is also pretty easily missed if just chewed and swallowed, as was Sandy's main complaint. It's just a little too subtle, but man, otherwise, these are knockouts.

Also, the fact that they're so rich that honestly I'm good with just one or two of them is a major plus. I'd like to think that I can use these as a small reward for eating my fruits and veggies, etc, after a long day is a good idea. Not sure how much caffeine the coffee has, though, and I'm fairly caffeine sensitive. I had two the other night and got wrapped in a good book for a rare relaxing evening so I ended up staying up late. Not sure if that's more Trader Joe's or Alice Sebold's fault.

Sandy wishes they were more coffee-y. I kinda agree, but I'm glad TJ's erred on the side of subtlety here. Plus, man, that melty chocolate taste....We're talking about knocking on the very door of greatness here. For a $3.99 little baggie of treasures, it'd be hard to do much better.   

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Chocolate Kona Coffee Truffles: 8.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons


  1. My husband has a violent obsession with these truffles.

  2. According to customer service, these phenomenally good truffles were discontinued (unbelievably) as of December 2015.