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, May 3, 2016

Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Covered Peaberry Coffee Beans

The whole chocolate-covered espresso bean/coffee bean thing is growing on me. Bite-sized blasts of earthy cocoa, sugar, and caffeine were never my go-to pick-me-up, but even non-coffee drinkers like me have to admit, there's a lot of good stuff going on here.

I've had quite a few different brands and varieties of this sort of snack, but this is probably the best one I've tried so far. Sonia agrees, and she's far more into coffee and its derivative products than I am. There's a delightful depth to the taste of these beans that blends seamlessly with the bittersweet chocolate. Everything from the crunch of the beans to the texture of the coating is on-point and amazing. 

When I walk into a coffee shop, I always smell the enticing aromas of roasting beans and steaming milk, but when I purchase that rare cup of coffee or espresso, I'm almost always let down. Even with the best blends, I always feel like the taste of coffee can't compete with its fantastic fragrance. Not here. These beans taste like that coffee shop smells: sweet, rich, robust, and downright delicious.

The biggest drawback to these peaberry beans is the inevitable urge to eat way more than you should in one sitting—not just for the calorie count, but also because you'll be buzzing and bouncing well into the night. If you want to play a really mean trick on someone, give them a tub of these treats right before bedtime and watch them try to eat just one.

Sonia will go with four and a half stars for these comestible coffee beans. I'm still not the biggest coffee bean backer or dark chocolate devotee in the world, but I can't go with less than four here.

Bottom line: 8.5 out of 10.


  1. Maybe use as a swap for chocolate chip cookies. Call them "coffee chocolate chip" cookies. The bitterness of coffee should help tone down the sweetness

  2. I love these- i just have a few right after lunch (ok, so those few are mixed with the new fabulous dark choco covered cocoa nibs).
    These are definitely better than other non TJs choco coffee beans i have tried, i think the bean inside is actually smaller so there's a better bean to chocolate ratio

    1. Excellent observation about the bean to chocolate ratio. I think you're right about that.