The pros: Trader Joe's Coffee Flour has some good potential as it's eco friendly and would be discarded. If you add 1 Tbsp to whatever you are making, it contains 6 grams of fiber. Very cool resealable bag that seems to utilize a Velcro like seal.
The cons: Limited production of this item and even more limited number of suggested uses of this product. They included a few recipes, but not many. This is a half pound bag. There will have to be a lot of consumer experimentation and I'm not sure most are willing to devote that much time to incorporating this one product.
The verdict: For $3.99 you are getting 8 ounces of flour that you probably wouldn't run into in most grocery stores. Trader Joe's Coffee Flour is a bit of a mystery as to how to use it to its fullest potential. Unfortunately, Trader Joe's made it clear that this might not be sticking around. This fits in perfectly with their most recent theme of coffee everything.
But as the package suggests, it doesn't taste much like coffee despite the name. In fact, Epicurious explains this product best as a "nutritional boost" and a seemingly decent one too. Just be aware this product isn't meant to be a full swap with regular flour; instead use it in conjunction with other flours. How does it taste? Don't expect to use this in place of coffee in any recipe. I tried the recipe on back and added some coffee flour as suggested. The taste was definitely altered. There was a slight coffee note, but it reminded me more of a molasses type of taste.
There were some other flavors present that are at best difficult to describe other than calling this earthy flavored with some added bitterness. Fortunately, brownies have enough added sugar and chocolate that counteracts and balances these flavors. The flavor was different on the brownies when they were hot and when they were cool.
The flavor of the coffee flour was much more pronounced when I ate it hot. At room temperature the next day, the flavors were present but more subtle. Until there are some solid recipes available, I wouldn't buy this again. Finding recipes to use this with is currently pretty limited. I don't think most consumers want to do the research and development themselves.
So if you have a bag of this I'd recommend adding no more than 1 Tbsp to a recipe you currently use (that already contains flour) and see if the flavor works (to minimize waste and flavor regret). It will absolutely make anything you bake darker in color.
Nutritionally, this is a solid item, but it's success is tied to the recipes presently available. It's success will also hinge on the end consumer being willing to experiment (and no don't substitute this product in equal proportions for regular flour). I'll hold off on buying this again if I do see it again.
The bag of Trader Joe's Coffee Flour:
The nutritional information:
How Trader Joe's describes this product:
Some recipe suggestions:
Making the suggested batch of brownies:
The finished brownie which tasted quite different with the coffee flour:
Would I buy this again? Trader Joe's Coffee Flour seems to have been a limited product run, so I'm not sure if I'll even be able to buy it again. For me, it was easier to figure out uses for Trader Joe's Umami Paste than this product. Baking is scientific and requires some level of precision. While this may make for a fun game of "Chopped" in your own kitchen, just understand that this product does not function as flour and should not be substituted at a 1:1 ratio. There is potential here, but some recipe R&D needs to be put in place before this really goes mainstream.
I have found some recipes, but haven't tried them out. They are from a company other than Trader Joe's, it's called Coffee Flour. It's a start for anyone else wondering what the heck to do with their bag.
For more reading about this ingredient, here is a list of articles that you might find helpful in learning more about this ingredient:
Want to see more items I've reviewed from Trader Joe's? Click on Thoughts & Reviews of Trader Joe’s for a searchable list.
Do you have a use you would like to share? Would love to hear how other people used this product. Feel free to tell me your thoughts below in the comments section.