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Friday, July 7, 2017

Trader Joe's Cold Brew Latte Dessert Bars

Nothing but frozen coffee on a stick. No more, no less. Great if you love coffee—not so much if you're craving something a little more indulgent.

Sure, there's sugar and cream. It's not like they used plain black coffee. But if you were expecting something along the lines of a Fudgsicle with a coffee twist, you're in for some disappointment here.

Just like real coffee is mostly water, so too is this popsicle. And it tastes that way. 

I'm no coffee connoisseur, but if I had to wager what type of coffee is employed here, I'd say it's a lighter roast. It's not even a particularly bold or rich flavor. 

The refreshment factor is potentially pretty high, but again, the indulgence factor is surprisingly low. 40 calories per bar says it all.

Kosher, convenient, and inexpensive ($1.99 for five), this product is great for coffee-lovers who want to get their daily caffeine in a cool new way—and possibly to beat the heat at the same time. 

There's nothing chalky, mocha-y, or nutty here, like another recently-reviewed latte product. If I had to wager which item would be more popular with the coffee-craving crowd, my money would be on these java-sicles.

Predictably, Sonia, who loves coffee, enjoyed these bars more than I did. She does wish they were a little sweeter and perhaps a tad creamier, but she can appreciate them for exactly what they are: simple coffee-flavored refreshment. Three and a half stars from her. 

I'm not a coffee guy at all, but I have to have respect for this product just for its simplicity, refreshment-factor, and potential appeal to true coffee folks. Three stars from me.

Bottom line: 6.5 out of 10.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Trader Joe's Organic Cold Brew Mocha Nut Latte

July. Hot hot hot. Or, if in Pennsylvania like me, it's beginning to get humid too. Real humid. Granted, it's not the sweltering unrelenting steam of late July-to-mid-September that feels like a homicidal dishwasher going full tilt with the door cracked open quite yet, but it's coming. You desert people with your dry heat - you're lucky. I've been in 115 degree heat that's been dry and more comfortable than mid-80's and 10000% humidity.

Still need coffee. We've been over this. I don't need to sell you on the idea that cold brew coffee is a great idea for summer months.

So if TJ's comes out with one, I'm gonna try it. So here's Trader Joe's Organic Cold Brew Mocha Nut Latte. Seems to be a break from my normal black brew - not the worst thing in the world, can use some flavor every once in a while, so here's a swig....

....uhhh, what the H-E-double bendi straw is THAT? This isn't coffee. it's not even close. "Brown chalky liquid somewhat resembling coffee" may be a more apt description.

First of all, I didn't see this before sipping, there's liquefied dates in here. As a predominant ingredient, as in, like, right after water. Ugh. Don't get me wrong, I like dates. I've had coffee and dates for breakfast. I like dates with my coffee. I like coffee with my dates. I like going on dates to get coffee. I like drinking coffee to get along with my date, err, I mean, wife. All that being said, I do not need dates in my coffee, especially when it adds this weird chunky pulpy complexion....

...which is only added to by both almond and cashew milk. I have no problem with either individually or mixed together, and prefer over regular cow juice, to be honest, but by themselves they push beverage texture to about its max for me. Inclusion of said dates pushes it over.

There's so much earthy groundlike flavor going on that it's almost easy to overlook the actual coffee aspect. it's there, but not nearly strong enough for my liking. Disclaimer: Usually I drink unadulterated black, so take it for what its worth. There's some vanilla and cinnamon, I guess, and obviously a nutty flavor, but mocha? Not to me. Just weird nutty creamy datey coffeesque stew. Yum. Not.

Not a fan, as you've guessed by now. Sandy enjoys more than I do, but also notes that the chalkchunkpulp issue is a major putoff, enough that despite liking the flavor she stated she will not purchase again. Somehow this warrants a three in her book. Me? Nowhere close to that, and it's not the heat getting to me. It's just not that good, at all. Blah.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Organic Cold Brew Mocha Nut Latte: 4 out of 10 Golden Spoons

Monday, July 3, 2017

Trader Joe's Organic Lemon Ginger Herbal Flavored Water

Ah, tomorrow's the Fourth of July. And there's nothing quite as Murican as lemon-ginger-infused water to celebrate Independence Day. Let's take a look.

Imagine you just consumed a plate of lemon ginger chicken. Now imagine you rinsed off the plate and collected the water from it. Imagine further that you had a temporary lapse in judgement or some kind of heat stroke and decided it would be a good idea if you drank said rinse water. 

Ahh, refreshing right? Depending on the temperature of the water...perhaps. But still a pretty weird taste. Yeah. I'm not feeling it. And I like lemon and ginger just fine. And in case you're wondering, no, this product doesn't taste like chicken. I just couldn't think of any other legitimate reason you might have lemon and ginger on a plate.

The ghost of lemon and ginger present here is just potent enough to ruin the super-neutral taste of plain water, and yet it's not strong nor sweet enough to be any kind of delicious chuggable beverage.

And another thing: the write-up on the packaging claims this product is "Hydration with flare." "Hydration with flare"? Did I somehow miss that this water is flammable? Does the water have a high enough alcohol content to serve it flambé? Or did they mean "flair"? Or is this use of the word "flare" somehow acceptable here? Was the water flavored with road flares?

So if you ask me, just go ahead and skip this hippy dippy nonsense and go drink a tooth-rotting, high fructose corn syrup-laden Coca-Cola tomorrow while you watch those fireworks. One won't kill you. Coke is deliciously American, and this stuff just isn't. Fair comparison? No. Apples and oranges? Sure. I'm fresh out of more appropriate comparisons. This heat's getting to me.

Sonia thinks she'd just rather drink plain old water for refreshment—or maybe even sparkling mineral water. I agree. One star a piece.

Bottom line: 2 out of 10.

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