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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Trader Joe's 100% Arabica Cold Brew Coffee

That cold brew coffee is so hot right now.

I won't deliver my usual spiel about how I'm not a regular coffee drinker. I'll let Sonia take the helm for this review. By that I mean this post will be mostly me interviewing my wife and transcribing her thoughts, since she's the resident java expert in our household.

Sonia has had cold brew coffee from Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, and Wawa, among others. As far as brands on our local grocery store shelves, she's sampled Stumptown, Stok, and Califia. She thinks this one is among the best, flavor-wise, but in terms of overall value, she'd put this at the very top of her list, with this one quart bottle running $4.99 at our local Trader Joe's.

The flavor is "smooth," as the packaging would suggest, but it's not particularly "bold" in Sonia's opinion. "The flavor is full-bodied, but it's not overly strong. It says 'bold,' but the taste is actually pretty subtle," says Sonia. "A lot of brands taste a little too earthy for me—they leave an almost cigar-like aftertaste—but this one is nicely balanced, with low to moderate acidity." She's fine with this brew straight out of the bottle by itself, but often she'll add a small amount of almond-based creamer that includes some sugar. 

This cold brew uses 100% arabica coffee beans from Colombia, home of Juan Valdez and, apparently, some other folks connected to Trader Joe who know how to make decent coffee.

Personally, I've always measured the success of a coffee by how much sugar and cream I have to add to make it palatable. I could stomach this offering with no additives whatsoever, but it's still not my very favorite. This is an instance where a hint of some kind of flavor would have worked for me. I'm well aware that most coffee purists would disagree. Sonia was fine with it this way, although she admits she'd try a mocha, hazelnut, or vanilla variety if they offered it.

We both prefer cold beverages in warmer weather, and we've still got a bit of that here in South Jersey, although we'll both welcome fall with open arms whenever it decides to show up. With highs still in the 80s around here, cold brew coffee serves us well. Sonia gives this product four and a half stars. I'd probably only go with three, but I'll let Sonia's opinion temper my low score and I'll go a little higher with three and a half.

Bottom line: 8 out of 10.

1 comment:

  1. I tried this at the tasting station and it’s definitely a smooth low acid flavorful cold brew, i just prefer a more bold flavor. The refrigerated glass bottle organic cold brew is the only cold brew product i like from TJs- and i just relooked at it to see what’s different and it has added espresso! Haha, there ya go.


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