Being a dark roast, the beans are quite oily and have a delicious odor that dances across your senses, yes even with just sniffing the beans! The beans are quite dark and TJ lists it as an organic and fair trade coffee. Which is a nice bonus in my book.
Packaging is the usual Trader Joe's with fancy graphics and some details about the coffee on the back. I kind of like the stiff cardboard packaging instead of the foil/paper bags. When I build up a few in the pantry it's a little easier to stack these.
I was rather surprised at how sensitive the beans were to a more/less water ratio. Just slightly more water seemed to brew an extremely watered down cup. In contrast slightly less water significantly boosted the punch of the coffee. The upside is that punch was a loving punch of flavor! I really enjoyed this coffee with it's strong and hearty taste and finish. The difficulty in finding a good ratio of beans and water is the reason why the rating was knocked down a bit. If I didn't take the time to find a good blend I probably would have rated this coffee very poorly. Plus I'm still waiting for that elusive 5/5 coffee!
This really was a great coffee that I would love to revisit. My hope is that Trader Joe's doesn't push it off the shelf too quickly, which tends to happen with some of their products. Luckily for me it's not labeled as 'limited edition,' so there's a slightly better chance of it lasting at least a few months.
Bottom Line Rating:4/5