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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Trader Joe's Kona Coffee Cookie Mocha Swirl Ice Cream

Somehow, some day, this whole TJ's coffee deal will blow over.

I'm weary of it. So are you, I bet. it's okay, we're in this together...I mean, nobody wants to end up like poor old Nathan anyways. If you haven't seen, you must. I haven't seen him so wired since the one time he shotgunned six Red Bulls before busting out the out the most energetic, rousing rendition of "It's The End of the World As We Know It." Ah, college days.

But as (hopefully) close to the end of the coffee era as we are, we can't let it pass without trying Trader Joe's Kona Coffee Cookie Mocha Swirl Ice Cream. C'mon, that sounds awesome, gotta try it. the only question is, will this join one of all time TJ's ice cream greats, or be a massive disappointment?

As is the usual, the truth is somewhere in between, but decidedly much towards the optimal end of the spectrum. Twist off the lid and there it is - tannish brown coffee ice cream base, with dark swirls of mocha fudge. The cookie portion isn't all that visually apparent, but is more than abundant in nearly every spoonful in a soft, crumbly way that's somehow deeply embedded into the cream. The kona mocha ice cream hits almost every important taste touchpoint - rich, creamy, with good strong coffee depth more than tempered by sugary goodness, and that mocha fudge - oh my - great touch.

But...I'm on the fence. Somewhat. As much as I enjoy the ice cream, I can't help but think of maybe two little tweaks, and if it'd make it better or not. First: maybe, just maybe, either a vanilla or sweet cream base would be better instead of coffee ice cream. As is, it's tough to tell if the kona tastiness is derived mainly from the ice cream or the cookies mixed in. I kinda want the cookies to stand out a bit more. That brings me to the second point: the cookie texture. As a shortbread cookie, it's not much surprise about their softness and crumbliness, but something firmer, with a little more snap, perhaps. Just a little more rigid, you know?

Eh well. Really darn good ice cream as is, shouldn't quibble too much. Sandy was happy enough with it to forego her customary Halo Top for a night or two. She added that she'd really like to see this sold by the the pint and not just quart - as a non-kid friendly bucket, this will last us a while. That's enough to knock it down to a four for her? Me? That four sounds just about right. Hopefully this is giving the whole coffee craze its just desserts.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Kona Coffee Mocha Swirl Ice Cream: 8 out of 10 Golden Spoons

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Trader Joe's Coffee Glazed Almonds

Like their nutty cashew cousins, these almonds are covered in coffee...and sugar. They're more candied than coffee'd, but that's just fine by me. There's enough ground roasted espresso coffee matter present to taste distinctly like coffee, yet they're palatable to someone who's not really into the flavor of black coffee. The taste is more like a nutty cuppa with four or five sugar packets dumped in.

And of course, they still taste like almonds. If you hate almonds, you're not gonna like these. If you love almonds, it's not a given, but there's a darn good chance these will make it on your grocery list more than once. Even someone with a sweet tooth like me can appreciate that the sweetness is balanced out by the rich, earthy coffee essence. Sometimes traditional candied nuts can be...well, a bit too candied. The flavor of these nuts is significantly more balanced.

And since you don't get "sweeted-out" immediately, the addiction-factor rises. The natural goodness of almonds combined with the caffeination of espresso can make these crunchy morsels a potent afternoon pick-me-up snack, so long as you have the willpower to stop after a handful or two. Eating and drinking too much coffee can result in...um...numerous physiological and psychological ailments, as we've all witnessed recently.

Sonia raved about these almonds. She used to snack on almonds all the time, and her beverage of choice was always...coffee! So these are right up her alley. She enjoys the convenience of having the two flavors combined and appreciates the subtle balance of sweetness and savoriness. At $3.69 for the bag, they're significantly cheaper than the cashews and a decent price for a bag of plain almonds of comparable size.

Four and a half stars from her. Three and a half from me.

Bottom line: 8 out of 10.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Trader Joe's Coffeepalooza


BREAKING NEWS.

Normally, we take the weekends off here at What's Good at Trader Joe's....but not today. We can't. Not when we have breaking news like this....no, it's not Dog Food for People or oddly sourced cookie butter treats that somehow never came to Trader Joe's shelves. This time it's real.

You know all those coffee products at TJ's recently? Kinda fun, right? I mean, as long as you can stomach the idea of a coffee-flavored sausage, I guess (strangely, it works). Apparently, this is just the first wave. The beginning. The dawn of new  at Trader Joe's. It's going to be the Espresso Era. The Mocha Epoch-a. The Americano Age. The Period of Percolation aka the Dawn of the Drip. 

Namely, everything (and we do mean everything) at Trader Joe's is going to be coffee-fied. And there's nothing we can do about it.

How did we find out? With the aid of an internal informant, we have knowledge of a memo from Big Joe. In it, it's detailed that, much like how Big Joe corners the market on cheap California wine to sell as two-buck Chuck, he decided to branch out to a new venue: Arabica beans.


And they're going to be in everything. Literally. Everything. Soon, you will not be able to go Trader Joe's and not buy a product not laced with roasted, caffeinated, high energy Arabica beans. Not just in your coffee. Not just as a gimmicky flavor trend for a few months. In literally everything...forever.

This will bring coffee to a place it's never been before. Just imagine your favorite Trader Joe's products....but all coffeefied. Man, coffeefied is a fun word....COFFEEFIED. Woo! Sorry, had to get that out. But we're talking...Coffee Cookie Butter. Crunchy Coffee Cookie Butter. Coffee cheddar cheese...oh wait, that exists already. Coffee chips. More coffee chocolate bars...

But no, even more! Coffee where coffee has never been! We're talking...Orange Arabica Chicken! Coffee Crusted Brussel Sprouts! Coffee tortillas! Asian Stir Fry - where the beans are coffee beans! Kona crusted salmon jerky! Coffuu toffee...I mean coffee tofu, I think..you know what I mean! Mocha mac and cheese! Coffee garlic barbecue rub - oh wait, that exists already. Coffee coffee coffee everything....even coffee two buck Chuck! That'll be probably popular amongst today's kids.

Coming soon for summer....it'll be mango coffee twists on everything. In the fall, pumpkin spice latte everything! C'mon now, who wouldn't that as a marinated pork product? In the winter, holiday spice!  Sprinkled in here and there and everywhere will be all different coffees and roasts and sources...but all coffee, all the time.

We're getting all jittery here in anticpation, Narthan and I....in preparation for this I've ingested nothing without coffee for about the past 48 hours so pleas excuse any typocs cuz right now i can barely keep my fingaers stedy ima doing what i can Please do not judge. this is what i get for for dmpign coffee ont op of my spaghetti and going all at it Elf style at dinner tonight. it's okay my kids loved it too. Dont judge they do not sleep evar anyways. We will all cope.

But yes...coffee everything, coming to a TJ's near you soon. You cannot escape nor will you be able to survive the withdrawal.

To get you even more primed here's a video from Nathan and Sonia, giving you a glimpse into all our futures: