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  #1  
Old 03-16-2012, 07:40 PM
papergirl papergirl is online now
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Can Trader Joe's Coffee REALLY be this much better?

I love coffee, and I buy a LOT of it, always in search of The One. I usually drink a different kind each day, and probably have...oh, 10 different varieties on hand right now (a few more than usual). After a very long period of experimentation (I'm a bit slow on the uptake), I've finally discovered I like a dark roast, and I almost always like Guatamalen, and otherwise, I don't know until I try it.
I've recently discovered Trader Joe's and have bought a bunch each time I go there. Last trip, my favorite was (I think) Guatamalen Something, also described as Elephant Bean. Very nice. Naturally, they didn't have it this time. So I got, among several different varieties, TJ's Ultra Dark Roast Dark Sumatra and Organic Cafe Pajaro Extra Dark Roast from Nicaragua.
I haven't tried any of the others yet because I'm obsessed with these two so far. I went through an entire canister of the Sumatran in a week, opened the Nicaraguan today and foresee the same thing happening with it. They're just....so....GOOD. They both claim to have a "chocolately" finish or overtone or whatever. Maybe that's what I'm after--I have a hard time defining why I like them so much.
So, the real question is, can it be that TJ's really has extremely good coffee? Or do I just need to keep searching the world for new varieties that appeal to me? Or do I just need a better description of what I'm looking for so I don't miss the mark? I often shop at the local specialty/healthfood/bulk/hippie stores, so it's not like I've been drinking instant all this time.
What's your opinion, other coffee hounds?
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  #2  
Old 03-16-2012, 08:57 PM
Blank Slate Blank Slate is offline
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I'm often impressed with the high-quality at a low-price products at TJs. I love the coffee too. Here is an interesting article about the company and what sets them apart:

http://money.cnn.com/2010/08/20/news...tune/index.htm
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  #3  
Old 03-16-2012, 09:31 PM
Typo Negative Typo Negative is offline
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I love Trader Joes and shop there often, but I find their coffee on the weak side

Last edited by Typo Negative; 03-16-2012 at 09:31 PM..
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Old 03-16-2012, 09:41 PM
emmaliminal emmaliminal is offline
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I think TJ's really has extremely good coffee for that price point, and IMHO unless you're willing to pay rather a lot more, or willing to roast your own (doable under some conditions), AND willing to continue to experiment carefully, TJ's is a perfectly good way to go. It kind of depends on how much you enjoy experimenting. My husband and I go through phases of wanting to experiment and then wanting to just drink some fucking coffee without having to think about it.

ETA: spooje, I think you'll find that if all other variables are truly equal, most especially the amount of grounds you use and the grind, TJ's is no weaker or stronger than other arabica coffees.

Last edited by emmaliminal; 03-16-2012 at 09:44 PM.. Reason: talkin' smack
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Old 03-16-2012, 09:58 PM
papergirl papergirl is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spooje View Post
I love Trader Joes and shop there often, but I find their coffee on the weak side
I'm curious about what coffee you use now, so I can go buy some! I think I make my coffee strong; not sure that I've been able to differentiate between strong and weak except in the amount of coffee I actually put into the press. Maybe that's what you mean, though?
I can definitely tell a dark roast from a light roast, though--it took me a long time to finally figure out that I don't like a light/medium roast. The darker the better, as far as I can tell!
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  #6  
Old 03-16-2012, 10:51 PM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is online now
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'Forever', I bought -- and buy -- TJ's French Roast. It's been my 'go-to' coffee for years. Then I discovered 'Volcano' -- their darkest roast. That became my primary coffee. But I always had the French Roast available. Unfortunately, anything I like gets discontinued. Volcano is no more.

I've always liked the coffee I've had in New Orleans. It was almost invariably Community Coffee. So for the past few years I've been ordering four 32-ounce bags of Dark Roast at a time. It's reasonable ($12.99 for two pounds), and I like it better than TJ's French Roast.
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Old 03-16-2012, 10:57 PM
Eva Luna Eva Luna is offline
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It sounds like you and I have similar taste in coffees. I like the TJ's stuff, but IMHO the dark roast Sumatra and Guatemalan (and Rwandan, when they have it) at Costco are just as good, and I think they each run about $13.99 for a 3 lb. bag.
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Old 03-16-2012, 10:59 PM
Drain Bead Drain Bead is offline
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I love the Bay Blend coffee that comes in a blue canister.

Also try their winter blend when it's in season, even though it doesn't come in whole bean anymore. *sob*
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Old 03-16-2012, 11:00 PM
postcards postcards is offline
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I too, love a dark roast, and used to swear by TJ's French Roast, until I tried the French Roast at BJ's, a warehouse club. As good or better, and I get 40oz of beans for the same 14.99 I was paying TJ's for 28oz.
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Old 03-17-2012, 12:15 PM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is online now
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Costco has some good coffee. When I get it there, I go for the French Roast. I often get the 'San Francisco organic' one too. But for me, the darker, the better.

The thing about Community Coffee, aside from that I like it, is that it's so convenient. I seldom go to Costco. Too much trouble. I do go to Trader Joe's frequently, but I like Community Coffee's Dark Roast better than TJ's French Roast, so I haven't bought any TJFR in months. With Community Coffee, I often buy enough at one time that I don't have to pay shipping. And they often have 10% off (and occasionally higher) promotions or a bit of lagniappe. (A recent giftie was a six-ounce CC coffee cup and saucer that they normally sell for $8. I passed because I have plenty of cups and saucers already, and I'd just bought eight pounds of coffee.) It's just more convenient for me to order it online and have it delivered to my door, than it is to make a trip to a store.
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  #11  
Old 03-17-2012, 01:46 PM
VOW VOW is offline
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I just went to the Trader Joe's website, and it has to be one of the most frustrating, aggravating sites I've been to in a LONG time.

You cannot get a product listing! You get cutsie stories and how-tos and specialty diet considerations, but for actual PRODUCTS, pffft.

What a kick in the head!


~VOW
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  #12  
Old 03-17-2012, 02:47 PM
postcards postcards is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VOW View Post
You cannot get a product listing! You get cutsie stories and how-tos and specialty diet considerations, but for actual PRODUCTS, pffft.

What a kick in the head!


~VOW
That may be because many of their products are only available in particular regions. And they're constantly 'test marketing' items, so anything in particular may not be on the shelves for very long. And their product guide seems to only list new, current products, rather than all of them.

Also, they don't sell wine and spirits everywhere (they only just started selling beer in New York again last year).
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