Google Tag

Search This Blog

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Trader Joe's Cold Brew Coffee and Boba Coconut Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert

Apparently there's two different types of boba balls out there. Who knew?

The source of this knowledge is my lovely bride, who I trust completely and will try to represent well here. She states there's the type that's usually in bubble teas, of which we very occasionally partake. They're soft and squishy with no chew required and kinda fun, if not a little oddly gelatinous, but firm. So there's the first type, which I knew of.

There's another type, apparently, more common for top-your-own frozen yogurt kinda places, that are more like Fruit Gushers maybe? Like you bite into them and a little jelly plops design. That sounds...challenging to me, to say the least. But if you like 'em, go for 'em!

So which are in the newish Trader Joe's Cold Brew Coffee and Boba Coconut Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert?

Thankfully, to me, the ones present here are more alike the first described, from what I can tell. You bite into them and there's no ooze that slips on out. But that's not to say the bite isn't still a bit odd. I've had things like gummi worms and Swedish Fish in ice cream/ice cream-like desserts before, and usually those bits of candy are frozen hard and tacky and honesntly not nearly as enjoyable as I'd wish. These tapioca tidbits are different. Instead, there's a bit of a firm chew to them - still relatively soft by gummy candy standard, but not all jelly like either. It's...odd but definitely a bit satisfying after becoming accustomed to the feel. i can dig it. 

The rest of the coconut-based not-ice-cream scoopable dessert is okay. The coffee flavor seems a bit mild and tame. My wife says she prefers the more laidback taste, but then again she typically like creamier, more sugary coffees than I do. i prefer black coffee, and so i guess based on that I'd want a bolder coffee taste here. Not to say what's here is unpleasant - it's not - but it's a bit meek. Maybe the sweeter, milkier take is a bit of a homage to milky bubble teas, so I can see why that choice was made. 

Everything else is pretty much on point. There's good consistency to the dessert - not too thick and dense, not too light and melty - and anytime a vegan, non dairy treat that can plausibly pass for ice cream is available, we'll give it a go. It's good stuff, not great, but definitely worth a try. The pint was something like $5 (been a few weeks, sorry) which isn't that far off from most desserts of this type. Sandy will give it a solid four, noting that's nothing perfect ever, while I'm not as optimistic in the score as she as as it pertains to this dessert, but just maybe we'll find the perfect one this summer. C'mon TJ's!

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Cold Brew Coffee and Boba Coconut Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert: 7 out of 10 Golden Spoons


Monday, March 29, 2021

Trader Joe's Raw & Unfiltered Hawaiian Macadamia Nut Blossom & Multi-Floral Honey

Since 2004, I've been driving a gray '98 Subaru Legacy. It's now a 23-year-old car. It has about 180,000 miles on it. 

Other than our RV, that Subaru was the only vehicle I had ever purchased. There's absolutely nothing wrong with it. And that's the problem. It hasn't given us any good reasons to trade it in or scrap it. Save for a few dents and scratches, it still looks decent for the most part. The upholstery is in excellent condition for its age. We haven't ever had to put more than a couple hundred dollars into it for maintenance and upkeep over the years. I'm just not one to try to "keep up with the Joneses" and neither is Sonia.

So finally, over the course of this last winter, the 'Old Gray Mare' gave us some starting problems when temps stayed below zero for a full week at a time, and we eagerly seized the excuse to purchase a new car this spring. We still have the Legacy, but now we also own a 2021 Subaru Ascent. Dang, cars have come a long way in the past quarter century. It's very similar to the old car, but everything's just a little bit fancier, upgraded, improved.

Likewise, until now, I've never had a reason to switch honeys. It might be a silly analogy, but if the Legacy is that plastic bear-shaped bottle of honey that we usually have on hand, then the Ascent is this glass jar of Trader Joe's Raw & Unfiltered Hawaiian Macadamia Nut Blossom & Multi-Floral Honey. Everything's just a little bit better—from the presentation to the texture to the taste.

There's a richness here that I don't think I've experienced with other honeys. In addition to the expected sweetness, there are floral notes and even hints of nuttiness. I'd say it's my imagination, but I swear I can almost tell that it's the flavor of macadamia nuts. 

There's a silky luxuriousness to the texture that's quite alluring and unexpected. It's a subtle difference from other types of honey, but it's definitely there. So far, Sonia and I have tried it on toast with butter and have used it to sweeten granola, tea, and yogurt smoothies. It works perfectly in every case.

One ingredient in the product: honey—but it's everything different about the way they harvest this honey that makes it so unique. This is truly the champagne of honeys. Or the Subaru Ascent of honeys. Take your pick.

The write-up about this honey in the Fearless Flyer is a must-read. It cites the exact districts of Hawaii the bees come from and heralds the rare business opportunity this product represents for Trader Joe's and the family-owned apiary that gathers the honey.

$4.99 may seem kind of steep for a small jar of honey, but raw and unfiltered honey is always expensive. This is honestly on the low end of the spectrum, cost-wise. We'd buy again.

Bottom line: 9 out of 10.

You Might Like: