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Friday, February 19, 2021

Trader Joe's Cold Brew Coffee & Cream Liqueur

I guess the whole upper and downer all in a single beverage isn't a new concept. I love Red Bull and I'm fine with vodka when coupled with appropriate mixers, but blending the two together? Stimulants and depressants both at the same time make me spazzy.

Some might say I'm spazzy to begin with. That's fine. I won't argue the point. 

Stuff like Kahlua, coffee liqueur, or this cold brew beverage? Same thing. There's real coffee with real caffeine as well as alcohol. But you know, it tastes so gosh dang good, I have some every chance I get, which realistically isn't all that often.

I guess the real question is: when is the appropriate time to enjoy such a beverage? I, personally, can't have it before bed as a nightcap, because it'll keep me up into the next morning. I suppose some could get away with the whole Irish coffee thing and have it in the morning, especially if you work from home and don't need to drive anywhere, but I know I don't function very efficiently that way, depending, of course, on what I'm working on and how into it I am.

I suppose the best time for me to consume such a beverage would be right after dinner, still hours before bed, but after the day's tasks are completed. It's a narrow window, indeed. And it still might keep me up a little later than usual. Even more likely: I'll be in a spazztastic mood that'll annoy Sonia and anyone else around, making all involved wish I'd simply stuck to an upper or a downer and not both simultaneously.

Of course, I exaggerate the effects of such beverages. I don't think there's enough caffeine or alcohol in this drink to really do any harm to me or anyone else. I just needed a lead-in for the review, and stream-of-consciousness seemed as good an angle as any.

The product? It's sure tasty enough. The coffee element isn't overdone. It doesn't taste like a pot of black java. It's more like a premixed frappuccino or what-have-you. I guess cold brew coffees tend to be a little smoother and less bitter than other selections. It's super creamy, slightly thick, and almost velvety, texture-wise. It's only moderately sweet, well-balanced flavor-wise. It's perfect in a cocktail glass with a few ice cubes to keep it cold and thin it out as they melt.

Sonia was quite smitten with this liqueur. She's generally way more into coffee products than I am. She almost always sips her drinks super slowly, while I'm more of a chugger—and that goes for everything from water to juice to fine cream liqueurs—although I must say she downed this selection uncharacteristically quickly. She liked it significantly more than Kahlua, stating that it's much less harsh and more palatable.

For less than $10, it's worth a try for coffee connoisseurs and boozehounds alike. The quality is on par with any other cream liqueur, a la Bailey's or RumChata, with a distinct cold brew coffee taste. The wifey and I will both give it a thumbs up.

Four stars from me. Perfect five from Sonia.

Bottom line: 9 out of 10.


  1. Unfortunately, I live in a state/county that does not allow beer/wine/liquor sales at TJ's (or at any supermarket). However, I can go across the state line and purchase. Is it worth the trip?

    1. I don't know if I'd travel more than an hour or so for any particular beverage, even one as tasty as this, but if you're heading that way anyway...

    2. A relatively local TJ's ran out of it and I'm hurtin'. The stuff is dynamite tasting. my current favorite.


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