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Thursday, November 18, 2021

Trader Joe's Maple Espresso Black Tea Blend

It's getting to be that time of year when chugging ice cold beverages all the time simply isn't practical. I'll still pound those 8 oz of Red Bull first thing in the morning, but if I go outside for any significant amount of time during these colder months, I'll start to crave something hot.

I'm not really a coffee guy, so tea is the obvious alternative. Wait a minute. Isn't espresso a type of coffee? 30 seconds of research indicates it's actually a brewing method. Don't get me wrong, I have had espressos before, but I would have just described them as "coffees that are fancier than regular coffees with also maybe some froth." Shows how much I know.

As soon as you open up the box, you can smell something mapley. It's a nice rich fragrance. On its own, it doesn't really taste as good as it smells, however. The maple flavor is barely there and the tea packs far less punch than Earl Grey or English Breakfast or any of the other black tea blends I'm familiar with. Doubling up on the tea bags helped intensify the flavor.

The mellowness of the flavor does allow it to be mixed with milk and sweetener for a decent latte type beverage. It's much tastier that way, and the beautiful wifey agrees. I liked adding milk and maple syrup to my makeshift latte for a little extra mapliciousness, while Sonia experimented with numerous additives including half and half, almond milk as well as syrup, sugar, and stevia, but finally settled on honey as her sweetener of choice.


Despite containing the ingredient "espresso coffee" I don't think it tastes much like espresso or any other kind of coffee either, with or without fixins. Nevertheless, $2.69 for 20 cups of warm, mapley caffeination isn't a bad value. Sonia would definitely purchase again.

Four stars from Sonia. Three from me.

Bottom line: 7 out of 10.

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