Trader Joe’s PUMPKIN CHEESE CAKE (Fall / Seasonal Item)


(Fall Seasonal Item)

We really enjoyed this Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Cheesecake. Especially after our upstairs neighbor gussied it up with some whipped cream when she invited us to her Halloween dinner (hence the black spider napkin holder) and served the TJ’s pumpkin cheesecake for dessert. What I liked about this cheesecake was it they did not over do it in the “pumpkin spices” department, it’s pretty subtle and tasted first and foremost like cheesecake with just a little something extra, with pumpkin. Its very yummy. $7.99 for a rather large cake (30 oz). This could make an especially nice dessert for Thanksgiving, or anytime you can get this during the Fall/Winter season when it may be available. Frozen, defrost in fridge overnight or 4 hours and leave at room temp for about an hour or so. I would buy this again.

Trader Joe’s: “We couldn’t fit an entire pumpkin into the box but we did fill it with rich pumpkin flavor…blended into the tangy sweet goodness of cheesecake….perfect for holiday dessert….”

TRADER JOE’S MEXICO “La Laja” Small Lot COFFEE


This stuff is my new favorite Trader Joe’s coffee! I saw it in the NEW PRODUCTS area. I tried it and found this to be a really excellent coffee It’s Mexican small lot, shade grown, 100% Arabica originating from the mountains of Huatusco, Mexico which seems to be between Vera Cruz and Puebla.

I found this to be a wonderful high quality coffee, and I thought it made an outstanding cup of brewed coffee. Now the package says this is a “medium roast” – however I would disagree and say it’s darker than a medium roast. I’ve found Trader Joe’s descriptions (light, medium, dark) really vary wildly from coffee to coffee and are inconsistent. To my eyes, this is a bit darker than “medium”. I would say its on the edge of being a (light) dark roast. Maybe about a “French Roast”? The beans are darkish and even slightly shiny. If you want a “medium” roast TJ’s Azmari Bunni is actually a medium roast or even a shade lighter. So let’s say this lovely Mexican coffee is roasted a little bit into the edge of a dark roast which actually seems perfect for these beans. The brewing method I used was making it in my Moka pot but this coffee will work for any kind of brewing method you prefer (drip, pour-over or even an espresso machine). This is a whole bean coffee of course so ideally of course you will grind up your beans at home just before brewing. In a pinch use the grinder at Trader Joe’s. When freshly ground you get an incredible aroma from these beans. It made a rich dark flavorful cup of Joe that I just loved. I find this coffee is delicious and excellent. I would buy it again gladly. In fact I may stock up a bit as these small lot coffees from Trader Joe’s can go bye-bye easily. TJ’s sells this for $9.99 for a 12 oz bag (whole bean. For this quality I’d say that’s not outrageous and a pretty fair price. PS I also experimented mixing this 50/50 with TJ’s BUUNI coffee, which is a medium roast, and together that was also quite excellent as a blend of a medium and darker roast, Middle American, South America and African coffees!

UPDATE (Dec 1 2022) : Sure enough a few weeks after writing this post, I can’t find any more bags of this coffee in either of my two nearby TJ’s (NYC) ! I really hope more comes in… Please leave a COMMENT if you see it in your local TJ’s (with location)

Trader Joe’s SELECT HARVEST CURATED COFFEE


NEW PRODUCT

This is a very good “curated” blend of two single origin coffees from Central America, specifically from El Salvador and Nicaragua. It’s a 50/50 mix of both, each roasted differently, one to a Medium roast and one as a Light roast, to bring out the ideal flavors of each. I found this coffee to be very tasty, smooth and delicious. Its $9.99 for a 12 oz bag of whole beans. I think if Starbucks or your local coffee high end shop was selling this kind of “curated blend” they would charge almost double that.

I would buy this again.

TIP: The best way to buy coffee is like this, as WHOLE BEANS. Why? Coffee has a ton of volatile oils which are best ground right before you want to use it. You get the maximum flavor if you grind up some beans just before you brew it. Now, if you don’t have a grinder at home, use the grinder at Trader Joe’s. When you get home, put the bag of ground coffee into a freezer bag, seal it and keep it in the freezer. You can put a few days worth of ground coffee in an empty air tight jar to keep it fresh.

Trader Joe’s “Hold The Cone” MINI ICE CREAM CONES


Hold The Cone! Mini Ice Cream Cones

These seem to be pretty popular so I checked them out. My take was they are super cute for one thing if you serve them to someone. Taste wise, they’re pretty good. The chocolate coating was good, the ice cream good (but not as good as TJ’s “premium” coffee bean ice cream). The cones had a slightly stale texture especially at the bottom. So while OK, frankly these wouldn’t make me want to give up a scoop of TJ’s excellent “super premium” Coffee Bean Ice Cream instead of these if given a choice. So while really cute to serve to someone, personally I would prefer a scoop of the better ice cream. The MINI CONES come in a package of 8 for $3.79. If I had a choice of picking this product over a quart of ice cream which is almost the same price don’t think I would get these. I’d get the bigger ice cream, better taste and value, over the “cute factor”.

Trader Joe’s COLOMBIA SUPREMO COFFEE


RAVE

Columbian coffee is historically one of the most famous producers in the world.

Trader Joe’s carries so many coffees. If you want one of the best all-around coffee’s that Trader Joe’s carries, I would say this is the one to buy. Trader Joe’s COLOMBIA SUPREMO coffee just hits all the right notes of everything most people love, plus is one of the most reasonable coffee buys there to boot. This coffee is very well balanced, robust with a mild acidity and just the most lovely aroma when you grind it up. Not too mention those two colorful, beautiful TOUCANS on the label on the can! TJ’s Colombian Supremo comes as whole beans in a medium roast, and is perfectly roasted for almost all types of brewing methods: filter pour over, moka pot, drip, french press, V60, espresso makers. The huge 28 oz (which used to be 32!) container may seem a bit pricey at $14.99 however when you price it out, that comes to around $8 a pound, which is quite reasonable for a decent quality coffee like this. Since the can is so huge what I do to keep the beans as fresh as possible, is pour the beans into a few zip lock bags, get as much air out as possible and freeze them. Then I take them out of the freezer as I need them. Of course, grinding the beans just before brewing is ideal for maximum flavor and aroma and I recommend that if possible. Trader Joe’s 100% Arabica COLOMBIA SUPREMO Medium Roast Whole Bean Coffee, $14.99 for 28 oz.

Trader Joe’s “Azmari BUUNNI Coffee” Afro-Latin blend


This blend combines Ethiopian delicacy with Latin verve…Notes of chocolate, nougat, cherry”

A blend of African & Latin American coffees
The striking, terrific graphic design of this bag of Buunii AZMARI coffee really caught my eye when I saw it recently in Trader Joe’s NEW PRODUCTS section. Bold bright colors and stylized images that say “farm” to me. Best is that the coffee inside the bag is as good as the outside. This Azamri BUNNII blend is an excellent coffee in a whole bean medium roast. In this case, an actual light-medium roast as some people complain Trader Joe’s medium roasts are a shade darker. The coffee is from a smallish coffee outfit called BUUNNI COFFEE which I am glad to learn is being sold under it’s own brand at Trader Joe’s locations in the North East. The packaging for Trader Joe’s looks different from their other packaging so likely it was specially made for TJ’s and the graphic design really works. It certainly caught my eye. Opening the convenient air-tight zip closure on the bag (yet more good design) I got a lovely coffee smell and when I ground the coffee, the aroma was truly wonderful. It did kind of have as they say “notes of chocolate, nougat, cherry…”. This coffee has a perfect mix of the best of “African” and “South American” coffee styles, for good reason, as that is exactly what this blend is composed of: two Ethiopian single origin coffees mixed with a coffee from Honduras. It has that “winy” sharp African coffee note which that is then balanced by the Latin American smoother notes of the single origin Honduran coffee. An excellent blend, roasted perfectly to bring out the best of this coffee. Trader Joe’s is selling it for $9.99 a bag (12 oz). I would buy this again, gladly and hope you give it a try; I don’t think anyone wouldn’t like this. This is an impressive “high end” coffee for a good price, well worth checking out if you see it and are a real coffee lover!

update: i went back to buy more and couldn’t find it; I am thinking (hoping) just out of stock… we’ll see – update2 – its back in stock (jun 2022)

https://www.thespruceeats.com/ethiopian-coffee-culture-765829

Seen at Trader Joe’s: Coffee Plants for sale !


I was pretty surprised to see this yesterday at Trader Joe’s in the plants section. I’ve never even seen an indoor coffee plant before. I think it was $7.99. As a bit of a coffee geek, I was slightly tempted to buy it (but didn’t… yet) Just in case you do, here’s some Plant Care tips for coffee I found online below. I wouldn’t expect you are going to get a harvest from this but still kinda interesting….

https://www.bobvila.com/articles/coffee-plant-care/

ILLY Forte Extra Bold Roast Ground Coffee


I was surprised the first time I saw the famous red ILLY logo staring at me from the coffees shelf at Trader Joe’s. Really? Trader Joe’s is now selling ILLY coffee?!? Yes it is and let’s hope it stays that way. ILLY is one of the most famous coffee brands worldwide and in Italy for 80 years on. Their red logo is instantly recognizable around the globe. The ILLY coffee company has a long history. They produce terrific coffee. I think one only finds this premium brand at some special stores and not at the supermarket. So yes I was happily surprised to find I can buy it and TJ’s now and for a decent price too ($9.99 for 8.8 oz). This is a very good coffee, a blend of 9 different Arabica origin beans in a medium dark roast in a medium fine grind. It should be good for most any coffee maker, in an espresso machine, for a Moka pot (which is what I have switched to), doing drip or pour over coffee and great if you like strong dark roasts. I use this for a Cafe Con Leche (with milk) done in a Moka pot and its perfect for that.

Here’s what ILLY says about this FORTE BLEND which was developed about 80 years ago.

https://www.illy.com/en-us/eshop/coffee/drip-coffee/ground-drip-forte-coffee-extra-bold-roast/8834ST

It’s vacuum sealed in this terrific looking metal container which even has a rubber gasket to keep air out once you open break the vacuum. Keep it in the fridge after opening and use within about two weeks when it’s at its freshest.

TJ’s Old Fashioned CINNAMON GRAHAM CRACKERS


As a kid, I always loved graham crackers and these kind of remind me of the grahams we used to eat (which I am guessing were Nabisco’s). Except for one thing. TJ’s are Trader Joe’s version of these classic graham crackers are WAY BETTER! These TJ’s grahams are thicker, heartier, and have a bigger cinnamon flavor. I think of these as “gourmet graham crackers for adults” – though the kids will like them too.

When we both tasted these after dinner for the first time, the two of us immediately gave a big thumbs up at how good these are. They were delicious with milk, tea and coffee, they went great with some ice cream, and of course were great just on their own. I will be buying these again for sure in future. Trader Joe’s Old Fashioned Cinnamon Graham Crackers are $3.99 for a 1 lb box.

I like making a kind of parfait with these and the GREEK YOGURT with Honey. They match well together.

Bakers: If you make graham cracker crusts with these I bet they would be fabulous.

Trader Joe’s FRENCH APPLE TART


My wife picked up one of these tarts the other day at Trader Joe’s, and I’ve got to say I was pretty impressed just looking at it. This looks like something that camew from an upscale bakery and I would imagine might cost about $15 or more. At TJ’s it’s $7.99. Wow. But does it taste as good as it looks? OMG, yes. It’s delicious! It tastes as good as it looks like it was made in an upscale bakery. There are a ton of sliced apples that stil look like apples, not some mushy canned apple pie filling loaded with cornstarch that came from a can that even some store bought apple pies have in them. The apples in this tart still have a bit of texture, and it’s not overly sweet, nor overly thickened. The taste is just the way it looks like it is, apples. You can see the quality of the baking. We found this tart to be absolutely delicious especially when we served it, paired up with a spoon of French Vanilla ice cream, a match made in heaven. The crust is perfect too.

If you served this to guests, I’m sure you will get a ton of compliments and questions about where you bought it. Or even “did you make this?”

This is seriously good!

TRADER JOE’S FRENCH APPLE TART – $7.90 for a 1 lb, 4 oz tart

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