The pros: Trader Joe's Zambia AA Small Lot Coffee are large beans and a memorable flavor.
The cons: If you like coffee than doesn't have much body, then you'll want to pass on this one. One my of readers, Scott, followed up about this product being called "small lot." See his findings in the comments section.
Trader Joe's offers more single origin coffees than anything else I've ever experienced. However, recently I was starting to feel like all these new small lot coffees were starting to taste the same. However, upon tasting this I came to the conclusion that perhaps this assessment was too soon.
There have been a bunch of coffees that I've tried that have all blended together. However, there are some that are distinct enough that I would be able to say yes, that's _____ coffee and I could name the coffee by brand or variety. This is one of those distinct coffees that you will be able to discern right away.
The beans are pretty dry looking with no oil that seems to appear. They are AA beans which means they are a pretty good size. When ground, they were medium in color but there was a decent amount that looked like saw dust as well. What stood out of the most was the body of this coffee. This is a coffee that you drink and the flavor lingers. But it lingers in a good way. Even with milk, the flavor of the coffee remained on my palate. There is some acidity here, but is very pleasant.
This is priced at $8.99 for a twelve ounce package. This is worth a try and stands out from a very crowded medium roast section. I do wish (and agree with one of my readers Judie) that they sold a bunch of coffees in two ounce packages so you know if you are going to love a coffee or not. I know they do this for the holiday coffees, but those are all flavored. It would be nice buy a "flight of coffee" in the way you can buy a flight of chocolate during the holidays. With so many small lot coffees, it would give better exposure and help people hone in on what they like in a coffee. But hey, it's only a suggestion. However, coffee is a very personal choice, so if you prefer your coffee to be finished with each sip, then pass on this. If you like the lingering flavor, this was pretty good.
Here is the visual run down of what you get if you buy this product:
The bag of Trader Joe's Zambia AA Small Lot Coffee:
How Trader Joe's describes this product:
How to prepare:
Out of the package you get:
After being brewed:
Would I buy this again? Yes, I would buy Trader Joe's Zambia AA Small Lot Coffee again. It was very distinct and the more I had of this, the more I enjoyed it.
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!
The pictured cup o' brew looks good to me! I like a dark coffee, but without the smokey overtones of a French or Italian roast.
You sound a lot like me. I like my coffee not too dark or intense. Some coffee I might never review because I couldn't give it a fair shot. Thanks as always for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!
It's great to read your reviews. I always look forward to them.
Scott Riley says
I lived near Kasama, Zambia for two years and there are no small estate coffee farms. Only large ones owned by the multinational company, Olam. I have contacted Trader Joe’s and they said they can’t provide information on what “small estates” they get there coffee from. Can you help me track down which “small estates” they get there coffee from? Thanks so much! I just want to make sure the consumer isn’t being lied to!
Edit 10/26- Trader Joe’s finally replied back with the following information:
Thank you for sharing your concerns. While we are unable to disclose our supplier due to our private label agreements, we have confirmed that this product is from the region specified. The beans are sourced from the Kateshi Estate, the Isanya and Ngoli Estates, which are in and near the Kasama region. We hope this is helpful.
I was then able to google those estates and found that it did come from OLAM
Thanks for looking into this as well!
Hey Scott! Thanks for sharing your insight on this. I'll see if I can research this further. I'll see if I can get an answer, but I do know that Trader Joe's is pretty tight lipped about their sources. Thanks again for stopping by and sharing!
Hey Scott! Just wanted to follow up with you. Here is what they told me when I asked:
Thank you for contacting us! Our Trader Joe's Zambia AA Small Lot Coffee comes from three small estates located in Kasama. A region in Zambia's northern province, where many acres of the estates are dedicated to coffee cultivation.
Thank you again,
That's as far as I was able to get.