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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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Trader Joe's Organic Fair Trade Espresso Dark Chocolate Baton

Two of these happy little bars ensnared Sonia at the checkout counter on her last TJ's run. She enthusiastically devoured hers before she even got it home. She suggested that I try mine immediately. She even mentioned it on our last podcast episode and gave me an ultimatum to eat my bar by the following day.

But my bar sat on the counter for the better part of a week. That's not a testament to my willpower, believe me. That's a testament to the fact that dark chocolate and espresso doesn't really excite me that much. I finally tried one of the detachable sections and thought, "Yeah I can totally see how Sonia is into this." The remainder of the bar lay dormant on the counter for the next few days. I offered it to Sonia and she politely declined and said she might eat it later. That probably IS a testament to her willpower in that, apparently, she has some.

I ate about a section per day for the next three or four days. I don't remember how many sections the bar had exactly...somewhere between four and six I'm pretty sure. But I found that for me, it hit the spot most when I was getting into my post-lunch afternoon coma and needed a little shot of caffeine and sugar. If you're into chocolate-covered espresso beans, you'll surely enjoy this firm, crispy candy bar. There's plenty of dark chocolate flavor and there are tiny, crunchy espresso bean bits all through it. Sonia gives it four and a half stars and I'm torn between three and three and a half. I'll go with the higher score since the product is only 99 cents and I'm sure most of our readers will appreciate it much more than I did.

Bottom line: 8 out of 10.


  1. Do the coffee batons hav drugs in them? I had 2 and was energized all day. Serious question.

  2. I've had some very strong coffee and always make a dark brew and drink 3 cups in kne session but never felt wired like this. blissful euphoria energy it was like something illegal. Could it be a laced batch? I'm not even kidding man even the hangover was pretty intense