Thursday, April 25, 2013


Here's a preview of the next two reviews. More Trader Joe's coffee!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Trader Joe's Costa Rican Tarrazu

I've been drinking the Trader Joe's Costa Rican Tarrazu for a few weeks now, took the photos a long time ago, and even started a draft of this post. It's been a busy time recently, so I haven't had a chance to finalize the review. Let's rewind a bit.

Being originally from NJ, just outside of NYC, we pretty much had access to just about every national food chain, supermarket, store, etc. that you can imagine. So I've been to Trader Joe's many times in the past, but since moving to quaint little Gainesville, FL, access to bigger brand name stores is a bit more limited. Fear not! Trader Joe's opened up a new store right here in Gainesville this past December. My wife had been there a few times, but my first trip was earlier in the month when I realized that I was running low on coffee (AHHHHHHH!) and wanted to venture to some new beans!

The Trader Joe's Costa Rican Tarrazu is an utterly fantastic coffee! For me it's the perfect balance of bite, smoothness, and coffee pleasure. I was debating several different kinds until the coffee guy suggested this one. At only $6.99/13 oz. container it's a great value too! In my last post, I knocked the Fairway Market Indonesia Sumatra a bit for being a little too dark. This is what was contributing to me indecision, luckily the coffee guy was there to help push me over the edge, otherwise I might not have picked up this one! 

Check out these beautifully roasted medium dark beans! You can taste the complex flavor just from the scent of the beans! It did take me a day to balance the water/bean ratio. The first pot I made was leaning to the dark, approaching Starbucks mud, than the "well balance and silky smooth finish" promised on the container. Once I figured out that ratio I would completely agree with that description.  

Check out the snazzy resealable paper cylinder that their coffee comes in! And a neat little 'history' of the beans on the back of the package.

This was a tough rating to give; by far it's the best cup of coffee I've made out of anything I've posted on this blog. Something is telling me to hold back giving it a 5/5. Maybe because I'm still waiting for some coffee somewhere to completely blow me out of the water? Taking into consideration the very reasonable price of this, as an everyday coffee it is hands down a 5/5, but I am still going to leave room for that near-angelic cup in the future.

Bottom Line Rating:4.5/5

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Fairway Market Indonesia Sumatra

The Fairway Market Indonesia Sumatra is the third Fairway Market coffee I'm reviewing here, previously I reviewed the Fairway to Heaven Blend and the Fairway Supreme Blend. The Indonesia Sumatra is quite a contrast from the other two, in particular when comparing it to the FSB.  It's a dark roast coffee that hits you in the gut, in a good way, just by taking a whiff of the beans. Take a look at the color of the beans!

Here's the Fairway Supreme Blend so you can compare.

I only had a very small sample, three days worth of drinking, of the Indonesia Sumatra, that's why there is a small amount of beans. I almost ground up the last scoop of beans before I realized I had not taken a picture! Three days is a good amount of time to get an overall feel for a coffee. It leaves a little bit of time to experiment with the water-to-bean ratio.

As mentioned it's a dark roast. I'm generally not too much of a fan of dark roasts, so while I would consider this a good coffee it's not something that I would go to for an everyday cup. It very well might appeal to people who like a strong cup of coffee, but not me. What did make it drinkable was a firm coffee aroma, flavor, and after taste, but without a harsh bitterness that can sometimes be present in dark roasts. I normally brew just under the 6 cup mark on my Cuisinart DCC-2000, but the FMIS would probably get me the same jolt in about 4 cups.

Would I have it again? Probably not. It was a good quality coffee, but not my cup of tea coffee. ;)

Bottom Line Rating: 3.5 out of 5 ***

*** 1/2 point deducted because I'm not a fan of dark roasts. It's probably a solid 4 out of 5 for other people.