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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Monday, September 29, 2014

Trader Joe's Original Coconut Creamer

It's been several months now, since Sandy's sudden evolutionary epiphany, that we've bought any cow milk for ourselves. Our dairyfree beverage of choice has been almond milk, though I'll admit, about the only one of us who really drinks it is our toddler, who drinks cupful by insistent cupful every day. Sandy will have some from time to time, especially if it's some flavored variety, but aside from the occasional inclusion in a smoothie, since I've given up cereal on my Paleo quest, I rarely if ever have any. Coffee creamer, though, has been the exception - well, not for me, I've gotten used to enjoying my coffee in the manner consistent with the infamous Airplane line - but we've just been buying regular half-and-half all along, and haven't thought much about it.

Until now. Here it is, an answer to dairyfree coffee creamin' dreamin': Trader Joe's Original Coconut Creamer. Unlike some other coconut milk creations TJ offers*, this seems, to my (limited) knowledge to also pass the Paleo test. No dairy. No soy. No gluten. Just some water, coconut, sugar *ahem* "dried cane syrup", and some chemical stuff which I don't know what they really do but I suppose it's important and hopefully not caveman-adverse.

And it works too. There is a definite yet slight coconut taste to it that does come through, so you have to plan a little bit for that, especially if you're planning to enjoy a flavored coffee. Sandy and I made a pretty vibrant "symphony" coffee (light and dark) over the weekend, and while I personally felt that the creamer dulled the flavor a little, the coconut still made a decent flavor accompaniment. Perhaps that "flavor dulling" is more due to it being the first coffee with creamer I've had in weeks, not sure. Generally, it seems like it'd work fine with regular roasts, but if your coffee has a taste that wouldn't mingle with coconut, then I'd say definitely avoid. The creamer won't get your coffee quite as tannish-brown as the regular moo juice will, but it gets the job done pretty well.  Sandy, who enjoys her sugar and creamer with coffee and not the other way around, had absolutely no complaints.

For a $1.49 for the pint, I'd imagine this being a regular pick up going forward. While I've now gotten to the point where I'm much more partial to black coffee than I'd ever thought I'd be, TJ's coco-creamer is still a nice little product option for anyone looking to avoid some dairy for whatever reason, or even just for a nice change of pace from the same ol' same ol'. I'll dabble from time to time. Double fours.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Original Coconut Creamer: 8 out of 10 Golden Spoons

* Stupid maltodextrin AKA processed corn sugar junk.


  1. Excellent! - I had requested they get a coconut coffee creamer. I use the So Delicious brand (usually $1.98) and it is virtually identical. It's really the only alternative to half-and-half for me.

  2. the additives are to keep it shelf stable (i.e. not sour or separate) and whiter (because Americans like their white foods WHITE)

    Thanks for the review! I appreciate the pictures of the carton to see that it is vegan and kosher too :)

  3. This looks amazing! We still don't have this at my store yet (only just found out it existed a day ago). It's great for vegans/lactose-intolerants to finally have a soy-free creamer option from TJ's!

  4. I love this stuff, I hope my Williamsburg location will get it back in stock, it disappeared within 2 weeks and has not been in stock since !

  5. I must add, I was disappointed it wasn't like a creamy creamer, it didn't make my coffee any lighter then skim milk would. As @violarulz said we like to see our whites WHITE. It was mainly watery~ a delicious water at that.

  6. Does it go bad? About a month after it being in the fridge, the creamer is a little chunky and tastes funny.

  7. Majorly disappointed with the choice to add titanium dioxide. Who cares if it looks white? If people cared as much about how things affected their bodies and less about what it looked like going in (you know how it's going to look coming out) we'd be in a much better place.

  8. @Mary Ellen Riley ~ Since it's been 9 months since you asked your question it's probable you won't see this answer. In case anyone else is wondering though, yes it does go bad. The side of carton has a suggestion of using within 14 days of opening. Hope that helps!