Archive for the ‘coffee’ Category

Trader Joe’s – Bourbon Barrel Aged Coffee – Whole Bean – Food Review

12/23/2017

trader joe, coffee, whole bean, review, price, aged bourbon barrelDecember 23, 2017

Rolling barrels down the road is one of those things kids do. Rolling barrels down the road with coffee beans in them is not something kids do. That’s just because kids don’t have any coffee beans. Rolling coffee beans in a barrel seems to be the basic mechanism how this coffee was created. Coffee beans are gently rolled around in old empty barrels used for aging bourbon. Well, at least that’s what the package claims.

The coffee itself is fairly good. This is the first Mexico-grown coffee I’ve had, and it’s promising. Now, the flavor added to the coffee from rolling around in an old bourbon barrel is up for personal interpretation. It’s not a particularly bad flavor and it’s not a particularly good flavor. It’s an earthy flavor that’s noticeable, but not obtrusive. Perhaps a real shot of bourbon in the coffee would make it complete?

To follow up on the spiked coffee theme, I made due with what was on hand, adding some O’Donnells Caramel Cream to the coffee.  Ummm, so good!  The little extra flavor from the barrels, the coffee and the “cream” came together in a very smooth cup of holiday joy.  Price, $9.99, 10 ounce can.

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Trader Joe’s – Zambia AA Small Lot Coffee – Whole Bean – Food Review

12/23/2017

trader joe, coffee, whole bean, review, price, zambia, AADecember 23, 2017

Here’s another lighter roast coffee from Trader Joe’s.  A nice aroma permeates the air when the bag is first opened.  The beans have a medium brown color indicative of a medium roast.  While brewing in the coffee press, the coffee looks flat.  There are few oils and carbon dioxide bubbles on top of the brew.

This is a smoother cup of coffee than the other TJ lighter roasts reviewed here.  However there’s still some roughness around the finish.  This is a fairly good tasting coffee and drinkable black. Although, considering this is the holidays, I’ve been adding a little Irish cream lately, which as always makes coffee better.  While a better and less bitter lighter roast from Trader Joe’s, this wouldn’t be my choice as an everyday drinker.  If you’re a Starbucks drinker, a couple of weeks with this would be a good pallet cleanse.

One reason to not buy this coffee is the bag.  The bag has one of those small resealable narrow slits on the wide side of the bag near the top making it difficult to reach in to get the beans.  Think of the mouth of a stingray.  Price, $8.99, 12 ounce bag.

Barissmo Organic Honduras Whole Bean Coffee – Food Review – ALDI

11/29/2017

ALDI, whole bean coffee, review, price, Honduras, organic, fair trade, reviewALDI, whole bean coffee, review, price, Honduras, organic, fair trade, review11/29/2017
The coffee is not bad, bearable and actually fairly good.  There’s some bitterness in the cup, but not enough to stop drinking.  The bitterness subsides as the coffee cools.  The coffee has a decent body for a medium roast.  On the scale of coffee goodness, this one falls above a McDonald’s or Denny’s coffee and below most Trader Joe’s offerings. The coffee is entirely drinkable black, which is how I review all coffees.

I picked this up because Trader Joe’s Honduran coffee is one of the better coffees I’ve reviewed.  This isn’t as good, but still fairly good, especially for the price.  Coffee plants just might have a thing for Honduras.

If you’re on a budget or just happen to be close to an ALDI when you find your cupboard bare of coffee, this one just might be good for you.  The coffee is labelled fair trade and organic, so it may be good for the farmers and environment also.   Price $4.79

Stringbean Ethiopian True Blue Whole Bean Coffee – Food Review

11/29/2017

whole bean coffee, review, price, Ethiopian, True Blue, review, Sting Brean Coffee Company11/29/2017

So far the lighter roasts at Trader Joe have been in general, disappointing.  The beans tend to have some oil on them, which indicates the roast is bordering on the next shade of dark.  But worse than that, the coffees tend to be bitter.  Bitterness is something that’s not supposed to happen with a lighter roast.  So, in a late night supermarket run, and in a moment of weakness towards my checking account balance, I picked up a local roaster’s light-medium roast coffee at an on-sale but still significant price.  The beans were also Ethiopian according to the bag. This was another point of curiosity for me, as I’ve been somewhat disappointed with the African coffee beans at TJ.  So I was able to try another source for African beans.  And don’t forget Ethiopia is the home of the very first coffee beans discovered by man.  Women discovered coffee beans about 362 years earlier, but I’m not going to get into that.

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Trader Joe’s Panama Boquete Coffee – Whole Bean – Food Review

11/05/2017

trader joe's, panama boquete whole bean coffee, review, price,November 5, 2017

The first bad sign was the tear-off tab failing while trying to open the bag.  I had to resort to a Kelly clamp to fix that.  The second bad sign was the aroma of slightly burnt coffee beans coming from the bag.  It should be difficult to burn a light-medium roast.  The third bad sign was the aroma of almost tea coming from the cup.  Or maybe it was bouillon?  The fourth bad sign was the weak bitter coffee coming from the cup.

Well I’ve had worse and despite the four bad signs, the coffee is still drinkable.  For those who prefer less body in a coffee, this one’s for you. This coffee reminds me of the recently reviewed Nicaraguan Coffee.  Trader Joe does a really good job with their medium-dark roasts, so far the lighter roasts have generally been not as good.

And Boquete?  Boquete is a small city in Panama in the western coffee growing region.

Price  $8.99 (12 oz bag)

Trader Joe’s – Organic Nicaraguan Coffee – Whole Bean – Food Review

10/16/2017

TJ, trader joe, Nicaraguan Whole Bean Coffee , price, reviewOctober 16, 2017

This coffee is somewhat: weak, bitter and bad tasting.  The negatives go away some on cooling to a slightly sour taste.  While not especially good for a Trader Joe coffee, this is still likely better than some coffees at other supermarkets for the same price.  While taste is a personal preference, and some people may like this coffee more than other coffees, there are better coffees at Trader Joe’s for the same price or less.

The coffee is labeled as organic.  The coffee is packaged in a tall, thin bag which makes it somewhat difficult to get the coffee out, especially near the bottom of the bag.

And if you look at the label this is a “honey processed” coffee.  I guess some things don’t change no matter where people live.  “Oh honey!  Can you go process some coffee for me.  And, take out the trash.”

Price $8.99 (12 ounce bag)

For another take on this coffee, try Become Betty here.

Trader Joe’s – Low Acid French Roast Coffee – Whole Bean – Food Review

08/03/2017

coffee, trader joe's, french roast, low acid, review, whole beanAugust 3, 2017

This might have been the first Trader Joe coffee that made it to the trash bin before the can was empty.  Right now I’m salvaging the coffee by grinding it 50/50 with my everyday Tarrazu coffee.

In the grinder there’s a beautiful aroma when the beans are freshly ground.  If only that could transfer to the brewed coffee.  Once brewed and in the cup, the beans turned into a very bitter cup of coffee.  If bitter is what you’re looking for in a cup of coffee, this one’s for you.  That experience isn’t for me.  A shot of Irish cream or half-and-half subdued the bitterness to tolerable levels.  But even then, there was still something about the coffee that wasn’t fully enjoyable.

As for the low acid claim on the label, without using a pH meter, we’ll just have to trust Trader Joe.  I did not feel any burn at the back of the throat or have any acid reflux problems afterwards.  Your reaction may be different.

The coffee beans are smaller than most. From the color and the small amount of oil on the beans, these are on the light side of a dark roast.  There is no country or region of origin stated for the beans. The beans are labeled 100% Arabica, as are around 80% of coffee beans overall.  Price $7.99 (13 ounce can)

Trader Joe’s – Ecuador Vilcabamba – Coffee – Whole Bean – Food Review

07/14/2017

trader joe's, review, coffee, ecuador, vilcabamba, light-medium roastJuly 14, 2017

Musical beans?  That’s what they are.  Whether scooping these out from the bag, or dropping them into the measuring glass, or even in the grinder, these beans had a clear almost bell-like ring to them.  That’s very interesting and something either not noticed or not experienced in the past with any coffee beans.  And in the cup, that smooth mellow music continues.

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Trader Joe’s – Lys Kaffe – Coffee – Whole Bean – Food Review

05/20/2017

trader joe, review, price, whole bean coffee, lys kaffe, light coffeeMay 20, 2017
The beans are light brown with no oil.  Lys means light in Norwegian and Kaffe means coffee. All  the pieces fit together to support the claim on the package of “light roast”. The advantage of a light roast is that the  more delicate flavors in the coffee are brought to the front. They are not hidden behind stronger flavors brought out by a dark roast.

Made in a press, the coffee is on the thin and watery side. After all it’s a light roast by design. Once the mouth adjusts to the fact that this is supposed to be a light roast, there’s a nice flavor to the coffee. When cooled some there’s a bit of sourness.  There’s little to no acid and no bad tastes, making this a very smooth coffee. It’s a different experience and an enjoyable one at that. The coffee reminds me of the Jacobs Kronung coffee reviewed a long time ago.

While the taste is different, for comparison purposes, the “strength” of the coffee is somewhere above a strong tea.  For people who don’t like coffee, this may be a gentle way to give coffee a try.  For an everyday dark roast drinker, this is a way to take a break and clear the taste buds – think of  it as sort of a colon cleanse for the mouth?  Price $7.99 (12 ounce can).

For another reviewer’s thoughts on this coffee, see Become Betty here.

Starbucks – Medium Breakfast Blend Coffee – Whole Bean – Food Review

12/31/2016

starbucks, breakfast blend, medium roast, whole bean, coffeeDecember 31, 2016
This was a gift.  Really this was a re-gift, which was probably a re-gift again from someone who picked up the bag and didn’t notice it was whole beans.  Whatever the tortuous path, it eventually ended with me as I have a coffee grinder.  I’m not proud.

The coffee has a mild but nice aroma in the bag.  The brown colored beans and oil are consistent with the indicated medium roast.  Brewed, the coffee has a fairly strong earthy flavor with a noticeable lingering bitterness.  There’s some acid feel and tartness, especially as the coffee cools, eventually settling (and unsettling) in the stomach.

This is a milder version of a typical Starbucks coffee. For those who like Starbucks, this should be a familiar taste.  It’s drinkable black.  Personally, I’d drink this with some half and half as I normally do the few times I’m in a Starbucks.  Price  ?? – it was a gift


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