The pros: Trader Joe's East Timor Small Lot Coffee is a new and limited edition medium roast coffee that drinks a lot more like a medium dark coffee.
The cons: This coffee is more assertive than most of Trader Joe's medium roasts, so depending on your flavor preference this could be a hit or miss.
The verdict: Coffee is actually one of the more difficult things to write about. Most likely because it evokes such strong opinions and brews. I'll go to Starbucks, but pretty much never get their coffee. More often than not, it is something topped with whipped cream and has almost no discernible coffee.
I'm a bigger fan of Dunkin Donuts. But even then the end cup of coffee can vary greatly between stores. Some places make my cuppa good. Other places the coffee tastes burnt. It's hit or miss with me. I don't like hit or miss coffee.
So for the most part, I have coffee at home. Trader Joe's has been awesome lately with releasing a series of limited edition of small lot coffees. Some light, some medium, a few medium dark. Most of them have been pretty good depending on what you enjoy.
There is quite a bit of regional difference in the small lot coffees. And yes, where the beans come from matters. Santa Alina was different from Vilcabamba coffee. Zambia was different from the Indonesian Flores coffee. And Zimbabwe is different from this bag pictured here. Each had different nuances and subtle qualities.
I haven't seen any dark roasts recently. However, this one has some of the dark roast qualities.
First off, these beans are not AA and are much smaller than what you might typically get. On top of that this has more characteristics of a medium dark roast. I opened the bag and was shocked to see little oily beans staring back at me.
This looks more medium dark and tastes more like medium dark. It is full bodied. It can make a flavorful cup, but I'm not sure I was tasting fig of chocolate like mentioned on the bag. And there is no way a cup of coffee would taste like the sugar confections that come out of Starbucks anyway.
The bag is interesting. It's black, silver with what looks like red coral off to the side of the bag. Perhaps a reference to it's Pacific Island heritage. But the octopus like creature on the front had me a bit confused. I tend to think of certain things when I have coffee, but Calamari just isn't what comes to mind with coffee.
This is priced at $8.99 for a 12 ounce bag which is in line with all the other recent small lot coffees. I've found most of the small lot coffees to be pretty good. My consistent disappointment was that they are limited edition. In other words, when they are gone...they are gone. On the other hand, by the time this bag is gone, there will be another small lot coffee waiting for me to try and buy.
Here is the visual run down of what you get if you buy this product:
The bag of Trader Joe's East Timor Small Lot Coffee:
How to prepare and a little more about this coffee:
Out of the package you get:
Would I buy this again? If Trader Joe's East Timor Small Lot Coffee is still around when I run out of coffee, I'd pick it up again.
Want to see more items I've reviewed from Trader Joe's? Click on Thoughts & Reviews of Trader Joe’s for a searchable list.
Did you try it? Let me know what you think in the comments section!
I like their coffees, and am not picky about flavor. The variety makes mornings interesting! 😃
Hey Judie! Most mornings I don't think I'm too picky about what I'm drinking. As long as I get my morning buzz. And yes, I like variety too. Thanks as always for taking the time to stop by!
It's always a treat for me to go into a Trader Joe's store because it happens so seldom. Their coffee sample almost always encourages a purchase of that offering. Gevalia and Safeway brands have specialty coffees on occasion, and I try those, too. So I guess I don't really have a favorite.
My husband and I shared a Starbucks specialty mocha coffee drink in 2005 in memoriam of a friend who adored them, but have found no reason to repeat that activity. So sweet!
What is your favorite smooth, rich, low acid medium to darker TJS roast from all of the ones you have tried? I haven't only tried a few of their coffee offerings. Lol- although I have lived in Seattle for a # of yrs I absolutely hate most of Starbucks coffees from their espresso to their drip---- bitter, acidic & often burnet tasting w/the exception of their blonde espresso which is quite good. There are so many unique artisan specialty small roasters out here that serve a far better cup but their locations are minimal & are still expensive. I am also trying to make coffee at home more often. Wold love any suggestions.
Hey Dag! You guys have it made on the coffee scene. I'm very jealous. In New York, there aren't too many small independent coffee shops left. Our loss. I like Trader Joe's Tarrazu as a daily drinker. However, some of the small lots have been pretty good to break up the morning routine. But they can be hit or miss. All my coffee reviews are here: https://www.becomebetty.com/category/trader-joes/coffee/
And I'm totally trying the blonde espresso. I did not even realize they offer that. I guess maybe I'll actually start looking at the coffee side of Starbuck's menu from time to time. Thanks so much as always for stopping by!
Thanks for the link to your coffee reviews. And yes……the blonde espresso is amazing. Very smooth, very low acidity & almost a sweet creamy caramel taste. And the caffeine content is still up there. So much better than their regular espresso. Here’s a link to a description of it and their press release.