Sunday, June 30, 2013

Trader Joe's Bali Blue Moon

Yet another Trader Joe's coffee review! I'm continuing to make the rounds enjoying more and more of the TJ coffee. They have a very good selection of medium and medium dark roast coffees that keep me coming back. In traditional TJ style, I know that some items may go permanently out-of-stock. This will be a sad day in particular for the TJ Ethiopian Peaberry.

Up here is the Bali Blue Moon coffee. I've been hesitant to get their medium roast coffee, because generally I've enjoyed their medium dark a bit more. I've also been nervous to try a dark roast, but that day will come soon. Bali Blue Moon is a great coffee! To get a little closer to the medium dark roast and give a little more depth to the flavor it does require a bit more beans to get a good water/bean balance.

I apologize for the less-than-stellar photos on this one. I realized the night before my final brew that I hadn't taken any pictures. I try to do my photos outside with natural light and a little fill flash, as needed, but these photos were taken inside with full bounce flash. The beans seem to look a little darker on my screen than in real life. 

This is indeed a very good coffee. A good full on coffee flavor without bitterness. Solid in the medium roast category, but not so mellow that it becomes depressing to drink. It is by far leaps and bounds above Trader Joe's Joe. It also reminded be a little bit of another great coffee, Moon Doggie Peruvian Villa Rica. Maybe that was the result of 'moon' in the name?

This is a great coffee, but like I said earlier, I'm more of a fan of TJ medium dark roast, so I'm not sure that I would come back to this coffee. Although I would highly recommend it to others to try!

Bottom Line Rating: 4 out of 5

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Trader Joe's Organic Bolivian Blend

After my last Trader Joe's review, TJ Joe, I was both excited and nervous about trying another TJ coffee. Excited because there had to be something to redeem from the disaster TJ Joe was and nervous, because I may strike out again! Thank goodness I didn't!

I'm generally not too picky about Fair Trade coffee, but if I have the opportunity to try some and it helps benefit the farmers, great! The same pretty much goes for organic. We do consume a fair amount of organic food in our household, mainly because of my wife's interest in it; I'm much less picky. This Trader Joe's Bolivian Blend is both Fair Trade and Organic!

They classify it as a Medium Dark Roast, but I would consider it closer to the Medium Roast than say their Costa Rican Tarrazu. As sometimes happens, it took two or three days to get a good balance between the water/bean ratio. I'm not sure I tasted the caramel claimed on the packaged, to me it just showed itself as a more medium roast coffee with a slightly mild flavor.

I almost didn't get photos of these beans, because I kept forgetting to take out the camera and get some shots. In fact these are the only remaining beans! Took the shots just in time!

The TJ Organic Bolivian Blend makes a good cup of coffee. I don't think I would repeat buying it, not because it was bad, but I enjoy trying new coffee. For someone who enjoys a Medium to a Medium Dark Roast coffee this is probably a perfect fit! For me, it's just a good coffee along the journey!

Bottom Line Rating: 3/5

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Trader Joe's Joe

Trader Joe's has become my new favorite source for coffee. The first two I purchased were stellar!
Unfortunately I can't say the same for Trader Joe's Joe. The front says "an exceptionally smooth cup of coffee." If by smooth they mean minimal flavor and boring after taste then they got the description correct. I kept playing around with the bean/water ratio to see if I could get it to taste any better, not much luck. You definitely need a significant amount of beans to get this coffee to be passable. Even with the extra beans, it only becomes a 'drinkable' coffee, not something I would classify as 'enjoyable.' It's only a $1 less than some other beans they sell; don't get fooled by the bargain, it's not worth it.

The beans look and smell good, but the flavor is much too mellow for my taste. I'm not a fan of dark roast coffees either, but this is just too simple. Even if you were serving coffee to a large group and wanted to save some money I would not recommend this at all.

Trader Joe's Joe somehow recovered to get a 2 out of 5 rating, maybe because of my other successes with other TJ coffee. Save your money, time, and taste buds, pick any other TJ coffee than this. If you're wondering, I'm saying the 1 out of 5 for something that is just BAD. Not that I'm looking forward to that.

Bottom Line Rating:2/5