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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Friday, October 28, 2016

Trader Joe's Autumn Apple Rooibos Tea

"You're gonna like the way this tea tastes. I guarantee it."

Pardon me. I've been saying stuff like that all week, because I have that voice. You know the one. Low. Gravelly. Deep. It's late October, just got the first real cold spell of the year, it's cold/sore throat time. I've been feeling fine, aside from sounding like the dude on Men's Warehouse commercials. I'd love to hear him take some hits off a helium balloon sometime, by the way.

So chilly...insides need some warmin' and calmin'...it's tea time. But too early yet for lemur tea.

Fortunately, there's SPRINGBOK tea!

Trader Joe's Autumn Apple Rooibos Tea proudly has a well trained springbok balancing an apple on it's snout on the box. Why? Well, because rooibos is from South Africa...so are springboks...if it's a TJ's seasonal tea, there needs to be a cute, lovable animal on it. Connection. Boom. Springbok tea.

Never mind that it's actually spring in South Africa right now...I digress.

It's good tea. Not great, but good. Rooibos, in my admittedly limited experience, is kinda a complex flavor for different flavors to arise out of. It's kinda the same here - unless a decent amount of sugar gets dumped in, the apple gets a little lost. I mean, it's there, but really needs to be coaxed out. There is a sweet and fruity taste to the tea, but I wouldn't default directly to apple.

I will say the longer the tea steeps, the better it tastes. The directions on the box say six minutes. Go longer. Keep that tea bag in there while you drink it - the last few swallows are the best and most vibrant without being overkill.

Sandy likes the tea a smidge or two more than I. I think it's because she usually adds sugar or honey to hers, while I prefer mine sans additive. To her, the autumn apple tea tastes like a good cross between hot apple cider ("that can be too apple-y and sweet') and tea - not too much one or the other. She's also generally more into tea than I am, which may help. It's a good solid four for her, while a three-ish, suits me just fine.*

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Autumn Apple Rooibos Tea: 7 out of 10 Golden Spoons 

*Hahaha, get it? "Suits!" Hahahh....maybe I'm more delirious than I thought


  1. I think maybe a bit of cinnamon and spice can make this tea like pie

  2. I was not into this at all - I feel like it tastes a little chemically or something? I throw in a fox tea bag with it, and it's good...