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, January 11, 2016

Trader Joe's Lemon Ginger Echinacea 100% Juice

I'm starting to notice a pattern. With a few anomalies, I really like drinks with that raw ginger flavor: those exploding bottles of Triple Ginger Brew, most non-alcoholic ginger beers and ginger ales, and stuff like Crabbie's alcoholic ginger beer. Pancakescereals, and other solid foods with raw ginger flavor? Not so much. And although it's distinctly different from other ginger beverages, this drink is no exception to that rule.

It definitely packs a heavy ginger punch, but the lemon and echinacea add an unexpected softness and complexity to the flavor. Just imagine iced echinacea tea sweetened with honey, mixed with lemonade and a potent ginger brew. It's not for everyone. Sonia was turned off by the heavy ginger flavor. It's especially noticeable in the finish. You're left with a sinus-clearing blast of ginger spice—and I don't mean Geri Halliwell. I liked it for that reason, unlike my sweet wife.

I must admit, there is something "medicinal" about the taste, for lack of a better word. It's almost as if they started with Thera-flu as a base, then sweetened it a bit more and threw in some raw ginger. But along those same lines, it felt therapeutic, too—like it might help ward off a winter cold. 

I'm sure this beverage would work well hot, served steaming in a coffee mug. But neither of us tried it that way. I was happy to chug it down on the rocks. Sonia just wanted more lemon flavor, and less of that vibrant ginger. Sonia will go with a 2.5, and I'll go with a solid 4.

Bottom line: 6.5 out of 10.


  1. Maybe this would be a ideal choice for cold medicine. Instead of nasty syrups and use that and warm up. Since it got lemon & ginger and you mentioned that Sonya said it is sinus clearing so it is ideal for colds.

    1. I would gladly use this as a cold medicine!

  2. I love this stuff. To me it tastes more like a lemony drink with ginger and honey, not so much as a 'blast' of ginger. No need to be ill to drink this!

    1. I definitely liked it too. Sonia, not so much though.

    2. My only problem with this is, I tend to drink it too quickly. But I don't feel badly about that when I'm actually sick.

  3. I always drink this hot, it sure soothes a sore throat in the winter!

  4. I would also call it a bit medicinal-tasting, but I love this!
    It's great iced or hot, and whiskey goes well with both options. :D

  5. http://www.rwknudsenfamily.com/products/simply-nutritious/lemon-ginger-echinacea

    Is this the same stuff?