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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Trader Joe's Coconut Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate

"This was obviously made by someone who hates coffee."

That's an actual recent quote from my mom, and in what actual context, I forget. Doesn't matter, I may be adopting it to describe any coffee that I don't like. I'm beginning to realize that I need to have my coffee just the way I like it, or I get cranky. This must be one of those signs that I'm getting older, I guess. File it alongside: Realizing I can play Pearl Jam too loud while in the car by myself. Recognizing the need for supportive walking shoes. Not recognizing anything on the radio except the classic rock station.

Anyways, here's yet another cold brew concoction from our main man here. This time, it's Trader Joe's Coconut Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate. Well, okay. Flavored coffees aren't really my deal, per se - coffee should taste like coffee, ya whippersnapper - but heck I'd give it a try.

I like the idea of cold brew concentrates, mostly because I don't like the idea of paying three or four bucks from a coffee shop every time I want one. But the trouble always seems to be getting the ratio of concentrate to diluent correct - too much of one or the other throws it way off. Seems to be the same case here. I measured, I tried, I recalled my seventh grade chemistry teacher saying to measure the meniscus...still couldn't get it quite right. So there's a part of the problem I'm willing to own.

But the other issue? It's just not very good coffee.

It's the coconut. In theory, it sounds good, but to me, it doesn't jive. The coconut just kinda clanks around, with almost a tinny or metallic taste to it. Ugh. No likey. It's obtrusive. And it's tough to tell for sure, but the coffee almost seems to rely heavily on coconut for flavor, instead of the natural earthy goodness that actual good coffee delivers. If you need to add flavors to make your coffee drinkable, to me, it's just not that good to begin with.

I realize I may be in the minority here. That's okay, fire at will. Sandy absolutely disagrees with me, noting that she liked making hers with sweetened almond milk and ice. I think I took a sip of one of those, and admittedly it was almost passable. A terrible idea, though, is mixing this with something like a  flavored LaCroix...we tried it, it's supposed to be also tastes awful.  Sandy would buy again happily, while I'd just as happily mumble about it if it were to reappear. Maybe it's made not by someone who hates coffee, just by someone with a very different opinion than me. Bah. My blog, my score. Get off my lawn.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Coconut Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate: 5 out of 10 Golden Spoons


  1. I hate flavored coffees and the reason is, in most cases they use crap coffee as the base and then try to 'doctor' it up with flavor. Don't even like Starbuck's flavored coffees, even though they are more tolerable.

  2. Starting a food review stating with "I need to have my coffee just the way I like it, or I get cranky" and then later on, "Flavored coffees aren't really my deal" is not the best way to go about making your point. You are telling the reader that you already have a bias against the product so your judgement will be clouded by your own disposition. If you want to be a better food critic try to show the reader you are tasting food with an open mind. This review is completely void. Also, I have tried this cold brew concentrate and it is incredible.

    1. Thanks for the advice on writing for my very successful blog that's been running for dang close to seven years now.

    2. OUR very successful blog, buddy :) But yeah, people seem to be a little too full of writing advice lately.

    3. LOL yeah - my bad. Eh, just goes to show they care. Need more coffee before commenting :)

    4. Under the circumstances, the full disclosure of author's bias/preferences is the way to go; it gives the reader some perspective on the comments and rating. Honestly, can you really evaluate foods "with an open mind" when you have certain preferences/biases? For example, there is no way I could review something like goat cheese, and could never present any kind of useful assessment of it. (An extreme example to make the point.)

  3. My stance is that all flavored coffee is just Wrong so i won't be buying this one.
    I actually really don't like the regular unflavored cold brew concentrate from TJs- and i regularly make my own as well as buying from the few coffee shops that make a decent version.
    For a coconut flavor to iced coffee i think adding coconut milk or cream would be the way to go. Especially since "natural flavors" is a big grey area and not well defined

  4. I love the coconut cold brew and so does my husband. Very upset that we can no longer find it. Probably because of some of your #*@# comments.

  5. TJ's says it is a seasonal item and will be back in Spring 2018 - crossing fingers. I just bought the last two Amazon had for $30.00! I like my coffee the way I like my coffee!

  6. PS: I mix it one past Coconut Cold Brew to three/four parts Califa Farms Mocha Cold Brew. I do the same with TJ's French Roast Cold Brew.


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