Google Tag

Search This Blog

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Trader Joe's 100% Kauai Coffee Beans

If it's alright with you folks, I'll review the coffee that is produced by percolating hot water through these coffee beans, rather than the coffee beans themselves, as I have never eaten the beans au naturale, and I imagine you don't intend to either.

Well, at first glance, you can be pretty certain this stuff's from Hawaii. I'm sure they wanted to dress each can in its own button-down Hawaiian luau style shirt, but decided that would unnecessarily raise the cost of the product. So instead, they just covered the label with stereotypical Hawaiian flowers, palm trees in the background against a lovely orange Hawaiian sunset. Legend has it this beautiful cove is where some of the writers of "Lost" hid after the final episode aired to avoid the wrath of disgruntled fans, furious about that cop-out ending to the series.

Kauai is indeed the northernmost of the Hawaiian Islands, and they apparently grow the best coffee beans there...on the "leeward" side of the island. To save you from Googling "leeward definition," like I had to, I'll go ahead and let you know that "leeward" is a nautical term meaning "the direction in which the wind is blowing."

The can boasts that these medium-roasted beans are "aromatic, earthy, and sweet," and that's exactly what they are - or rather, what the coffee derived from these beans is. I'm not used to coffee being so bold, and yet so sweet. There's usually an unpleasant bitterness that I need to cover up with cream and sugar in any "bold" coffee. Not so with this magical island blend. I imagine the beans were grown and harvested by the Menehune's themselves - that's part of what gives the coffee such unusual properties...oh, no's the volcanic soil, according to the can. But of course, Trader Joe's can't claim publicly that they're exploiting the Menehune's. So it's probably both. Both volcanic soil and magic from the Menehune's. The Menehune's were on that episode of "Full House" where Danny Tanner took the whole fam to Hawaii; that's how I know about them. Man, that show ended way better than "Lost" did. I'm really bitter about "Lost." That whole debacle really tainted my feelings about Hawaii.

But, thankfully, this coffee is among the things that are restoring my opinion of our great 50th state. Remembering that episode of "Full House" didn't hurt either.

Anyway, the coffee is good. 4 from me. 4 from Sonia. Bottom line: 8 out of 10.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Trader Joe's Organic Lowfat Yogurt Wildberry Probiotic Smoothie

If you're a fan of Dannon's "Frusion," you'll probably like Trader Joe's Yogurt Smoothies. They taste great, they're very smooth, made with real fruit and yogurt. Unlike Dannon's, these are organic and contain probiotics.

All yogurt has "yogurt cultures," which, I understand, help your digestive system. Their little yogurt civilization travels from its container into your gastrointestinal areas, where they set up shop helping you digest other foods and regulating the flow of foods into the intestines...or something like that.

Probiotics go one step further. They are helpful, microscopic little dudes that usually get added to the already helpful yogurt cultures, and they all work together to achieve gastrointestinal regularity. If the normal yogurt cultures are the army and navy, these little probiotic fellows are the marines. I don't think any microorganisms are sophisticated enough to have an air force yet.

Anyway, I'm not a biologist or a doctor, so please disregard the two previous paragraphs completely. Unless you're a doctor and you would like to correct my silly probiotic analogy, in which case, you may do so in the form of a comment below. I never took many biology or medical classes in school because I was far too squeamish. I would have fainted at the first discussion of blood-borne pathogens or communicable diseases. The hypochondriac in me would have immediately began drawing similarities between said diseases and the symptoms of my last cold, and it would have made me quite miserable and paranoid.

On the downside, Trader Joe's Organic Lowfat Yogurt Wildberry Probiotic Smoothies are not ultra-filling like the cream yogurts and the bottles are incredibly small. I could easily polish off all four drinks in one sitting. They are one or two gulps-worth a piece. Somehow my wife can draw out the consumption of these things for 20 minutes or so, but that's really not saying much. I once saw her - and I am not exaggerating at all - take two entire days to drink a single can of diet soda. She carried it with her sometimes, she'd put it in the fridge, then take it back out...then she'd have it on her desk. I must've asked her if she was done with the can like half a dozen times, and she would say "no." Apparently, she enjoys flat soda as much or more than fresh soda. But anyway, my point is that if you're a really, really slow drinker, you can nurse these probiotic smoothies for a few minutes max. They're very small and not very filling, and they're not dirt-cheap, either. We payed something like $3.79 for the 4-pack.

We also tried the strawberry version. It's good, too, but Sonia and I agree that Wildberry is ever so slightly better, though.

In review, TJ's yogurt smoothies are delicious and good-for-you, but there's not enough in the bottle. Sonia gives them a 4.5. I would have been tempted to give them a 5 if the serving size were bigger. 4 from me. Bottom line: 8.5 out of 10.

You Might Like: