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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Trader Joe's Cocoa Almond Cashew Beverage

Here it is, just about 2018, and we still haven't solved one of mankind's most benign yet vexing issues...

No, it isn't parallel parking or the fact that the letter o and number 0 are practically right on top of each other on a keyboard. I cannot tell you how many times per review I still have to fix that while writing...and I' used a keyboard all my life. The guy who invented the QWERTY display didn't entirely think that one through.

Nope, talking about reheating properly in a microwave, namely so the vessel containing its edible treasure doesn't become so hot that it can barely be touched, without the contents still remaining cool or lukewarm at best. I've never got it licked.

Still haven't with Trader Joe's Cocoa Almond Cashew Beverage. It can served either warm or chilled, and seeing as though it was at its normative shelf-stable temp when I cracked it open, and it's now in the single digits here, you best believe I was going to try my bestest to warm it up.

Mug got as hot as a dancing bobcat with its butt on fire. TJ's cocoa-nut drink shrugged and went up maybe a few ticks. Gosh darn it.

Once I could lift my mug without fear of losing my fingerprints, I'll admit my first impression was that I was going to be underwhlemed. Sure, the cocoa smelled good...but something seeemed somewhat amiss. Couldn't put my finger on it. But the taste seemed to follw suite, naturally. Upfront, the drink is fairly cocoa-y, with a little earthiness from the almonds and cashews. And it's creamy, too, not gritty or chalky or anything like other nut milks I've had. But on the back end is its shortcoming, I think. Whereas most other chocolate drinks would perhaps go for one last sugary push to notch another level of decadence, or would at leastr attmept to hold the cocoa-line, this one just kinda quits.

As in, still vaguely like chocolate, but not as much as from the outset. And certainly not as much as it could go for. In a way, it kinda tastes like somewhat disappointing cereal milk - just enough of a tease to give ya hope, just to let ya down.

I don't mean this as a total knock. Certainly, for $2.29, it's worth a shot, especially if you have dairy issues, or for whatever reason like my wife try to avoid cow milk. But to me at least, there's a richness being sacrificed that's not worth it unless you have a compelling reason to. Make sense? I sure hope so...because my microwave sure doesn't to me, and unlike my nuker, I don't want to burn ya or leave ya out in the cold.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Cocoa Almond Cashew Beverage: 6 out of 10 Golden Spoons


  1. Get a different mug. Your's obviously does not belong in the microwave. Try glass.

  2. Recently found the solution to your microwave issue, as I was having the same one. The mug is the problem. Either badly fired/poor quality ceramic, or it has spots with no glaze (usually on the bottom) and/or chips on it.
    My biggest offender was plates, I ended up buying some paper ones for reheating as I can't afford a whole new set right now.

  3. I swear by my small saucepan on the stove. It takes about three minutes to take a liquid from fridge cold to really hot, just swirl once in a while. No weird hot/cold issues from microwave or overflowing or weird burnt flavor.
    That said the cocoa is more milk than a straight up chocolate, but it's also lower in sugar than most nondairy chocolate milks.
    I'll stick with making my hot chocolate from the unsweetened vanilla almond milk plus a scoop of the european sipping chocolate.

  4. I've heard that the guy who designed the qwerty layout did so based on a desire to make typists slow down so that the keys of manual typewriters didn't get stuck/jammed as often. So, qwerty is an intentionally counterintuitive design. (My dad, on learning this, researched an alternate key layout designed to maximize typing efficiency and repositioned his keyboard keys accordingly. Having to essentially re-learn to type after this significantly scaled back his intended productivity. Engineers...)

  5. I think that this would be great with some whipped cream, or a splash of half and half (coconut half and half maybe??) - its a little thin but the taste is pretty good - reminded me of the liquid from making box pudding before it set!


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