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, August 30, 2016

Trader Joe's Vanilla Almond Spiced Chai

I've reviewed a lot of chai products these past few years. Chai herechai therechaichai everywhere. Before her untimely departure from this earth last year, my mother even jumped on board the chai bandwagon. Like a good Oprah-ite, she dutifully sought out Ms. Winfrey's offering at the local Starbucks and proudly declared herself a fan of chai tea and chai lattes. My wife claims the Oprah Chai isn't even that good. I'll take her word for it.

Of all the chai selections I've tried, only one has ever fallen drastically short of my expectations. As far as I can tell, it's pretty hard to screw up chai. Although...um...one good way to do that might be to try to turn it into a protein shake.

Granted, I don't really drink protein beverages, so I'm not sure if they all tend to have that nasty, powdery, chalky essence about them. But for me, having that bizarre taste and thick texture present in what I was hoping would be a smooth, sweet, spicy chai beverage was quite an unpleasant surprise. 

Sonia, who's far more of a chai aficionado than I am, genuinely liked this drink. She liked that it "wasn't too sweet" and really enjoyed the flavor, although her one complaint would be that it "lacked a bit of kick" in the spice department. 

I know black tea in general has a decent amount of caffeine, so this beverage packs a significant punch in that way. I had already had my daily dose of caffeine when I tried this, so it made me a tad jittery. I think the label-putter-onner guy was drinking some too, because as you can see in the pic, the sticker on the bottle is slightly crooked.

This is one Sonia and I will agree to disagree on. I found it mostly unpleasant and would file this under "not so great." Sonia would lean more toward "really darn good." So we'll meet somewhere in the middle and say it's "not bad."

Bottom line: 6.5 out of 10.

6 comments:

  1. I have to agree w/your wife... I tried it once and , it was so-so... that was when I decided to NEVER buy anything Oprah.. does she really need/does Starbucks need her endorsement? thought they were doing fine (money-wise).... Will have to give this one a try...

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    1. Sadly it seems that it needs go back to the drawing board. But TJ's now has a new vegan mochi; coffee mochi with a saucy mocha center

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  2. The Oprah Chia is so good. I love clove everything (except cigarettes) and it's the cloviest. I agree with you about vanilla almond spiced Chia. It's flavor was ok (though not enough cloves) but the texture was unpleasant.

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  3. Lotsa sugar in there - I'll pass this time. Thanks for the review!

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  4. If one isn't oppose to dairy, a Chai latte with milk will give you at least 8g protein. I too enjoy a very spicy chai - my favorites are the ones that lightly burn in your throat. Usually a high amount of ginger will accomplish this.I love Blue Lotus chai.

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  5. I'm with Sonia here, I really liked this! There aren't many options for tasty ready to drink vegan protein shakes, and certainly not for $3. I gave it a good shake and drank it ice cold, it's thick but I wouldn't say chalky. for those of us who can't have whey protein (which is used in near any protein smoothie) it's a great option
    Ttrockwood

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