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, January 19, 2016

SHOT O' JOE: Trader Joe's Pour-Over Coffee Brewer


I'm wiling to be shortsighted and/or wrong here, but I have a hard time seeing the practicality of the new Trader Joe's Pour-Over Coffee Brewer. Not that I'm entirely sure how it works...seems to be some sort of disposable filtered plunger-less French press-esque contraption. But, for a single serving, look, it's silly. "Backpacking!" you may say. I had that thought as well...but then thought of all the excess material to pack in/pack out, along with the cost (somewhere between $1.50 and $2 each), you'd be better off with a French press mug if you're a serious hiker, or something like Starbucks Via for the occasional hiker. Maybe if you're car camping for the night...maybe. I wouldn't pull this out at the office, and I have at least four coffee makers at home that I can think of...this seems silly.



Although, it's decent coffee. Just straight up black, doctor however you wish (if at all). It's better than Starbucks Via/any other instant coffee that comes to mind...since this is actual brewed coffee. And I don't mind Via, not because it's great, but because anything tastes better in the Great Outdoors (as opposed to the Typical Corporate Cubicle, the Reliable PreOwned Hyundai, or the Kitchen In Desperate Need of Remodeling). Nothing fancy, not all that much character to it that's absolutely distinctive. Just plain ol' coffee, better than gas station coffee (though in the same price ballpark) and much better than Wendy's (worst coffee I've ever had!), but more of a fuss to make between pouring in hot water, etc. It'll get you warm and caffeinated on some fairly reasonable terms, which as good as it gets sometimes with ultra-mobile coffee.

Solid but unspectacular. But there may be something to this particular set-up that I'm whiffing on, so if I am, please fill me in!

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Pour-Over Coffee Brewer: 6 out of 10 Golden Spoons


24 comments:

  1. No thanks. I'd be very likely to scald myself somehow with this setup.

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    1. There is a certain increased likelihood of that...:/

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  2. Seems to be more of a gimmick than anything. Not outrageous for a good cup of coffee compared to coffee shops these days, though. My #1 go-to is still an Aeropress for quality (and its portable--like this, all you need to do is add water, plus have 1 round filter paper).

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    1. Haven't stepped yet to an Aeropress, but I've had coffee from one - pretty good! Still very partial to French press :)

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    2. I used to be until I got an Aeropress. :) I've had a few French presses gathering dust for the past couple of years now.

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    3. I ran out of paper disks and have successfully used a paper towel.

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    4. You can get permanent metal discs for the Aeropress!

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    5. I can see where this could be a great alternative on a trip. The taste is great, it's easy, won't burn you & I can't wait to stock up on a few for my next trip!

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    6. Try our coffee, @Hikersbrew. We offer coffee shop coffee in 1.5oz packets. Don't sacrifice convenience for taste!

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  3. I need to try an aeropress. Anyone else try one here?

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    1. I've been using Aeropress for home and travel for over a year. Produces a very nice brew without acidity or bitterness. Travel is convenient because the disposal of the grounds is so easy and makes no mess. Used it camping too -- a barista cup of coffee.

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  4. I saw this and am mystified... How do you avoid burning yourself zipping the top seal once full of hot water? Doesn't the bag get too hot to pick up and pour out the hot coffee?
    Not sure that the general public is coordinated enough for this!
    A simple melitta pourover is my go to for traveling, otherwise i agree starbucks via is the best of what's out there (I don't love it but definitely beats hotel room coffee and gas station stuff)
    Ttrockwood

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    1. I didn't dare try it myself...my wife did it all, lol.

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    2. Cindy-I've had an Aeropress for over year and it truly does make the best coffee-not bItter, not acidic but full bodied and rich. That said you need to make sure you use a good blend. I got my Aeropress on Amazon for under $30. Good luck and happy caffeinating.

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    3. Another purchase option is Bed Bath & Beyond with a 20% off coupon :) I also like the Melitta pour-over, my old standard (have 2-3 cones laying around, along with paper filters and 2 metal mesh ones). But the Aeropress does make rich, smooth coffee--and is unparalleled for iced coffee and coffee cocktails. (It makes a concentrate--add more hot water for regular coffee, etc.)

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  5. It is ideal to use it for pouring over ice cream or over desserts.

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  6. I'm trying this out to give me another option when traveling internationally. The countries where I travel seem to have boiling water available. Via is okay but not good. Aeropress is delicious when traveling. If I could avoid carrying around a pound of ground coffee, I would. I'm hoping this hits it.

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  7. i tried it today. not bad! interesting idea. probably good for camping. and i can imagine it will be nice when traveling for a hotel that does not have good coffee (:

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  8. i tried it today. not bad! interesting idea. probably good for camping. and i can imagine it will be nice when traveling for a hotel that does not have good coffee (:

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  9. Can you not reuse it? If you can reuse it I'd say it's very ideal for camping.

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    1. It's basically this brand in Denmark that is repackaged and reads on the web site, "The Coffeebrewer can be reused a number of times, as long as the outside paper is not getting wet. After using it, you can empty out the coffee grounds, rinse the filter and refill with new coffee grounds. It is recommendable to let the bag dry out before reuse."

      https://growerscup.coffee/

      Here's a review video showing how it works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idd1e8MCBNg

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  10. I picked up a few bags last week and I'm really excited to try it. For less than $2, it's cheaper than even a cup of gas station coffee. And I think it will be great for camping and travel (especially overseas. . the coffee in some places I travel leaves a lot to be desired and it can actually be hard to find. I don't want to lug a french press with me when I travel, so this seems like a good solution).

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  11. This is great to use for making cold brew coffee. Just fill it up with cold water, let it sit overnight, and, ta-daa, cold brew coffee! I bought one last night on a whim, and am drinking it right now. The flavor is mild, but, and it could just be me, the caffeine seems to quite a bit stronger. The amount of coffee really only fills a large mug, so, next time, I'm going to treat it like a concentrate.

    Jim

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