Trader Joe's Barista Espresso - Page 2

Discuss flavors, brew temperatures, blending, and cupping notes.
mgwolf
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#11: Post by mgwolf »

Not a can, it was a sealed bag with an airlock on it, 1 lb.

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MNate
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#12: Post by MNate »

Tried it this morning.

Much darker than I'd hoped as it's labeled "Light - Medium" but has some oil sheen to it (an hour or so after I opened it is when the oil came, is that common?). We don't tend to like beans this dark. When we dialed back it's bitterness though (a lever profile with lower temp) it turned out to be quite drinkable. Still slightly harsh like I want to add a little sugar but definitely drinkable. I'll keep working it this week.





DamianWarS
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#13: Post by DamianWarS »

roastaroma wrote:Though normally I don't use Trader Joe's coffees for espresso, these are not normal times -- and I was pleasantly surprised to find that one of their blends produces (for me) more than acceptable results. That is, if one ever has a hankering for a reverse-engineered Lavazza at a good price. TJ's Barista Espresso is a blend of whole Arabica beans from Central & South America & Cherry-A Robusta beans from India, which comes in a 13-oz. nitrogen flushed bag for $5.99.

While I'm no expert at tasting notes, one can expect hints of chocolate, nuts, caramel, and citrus, and yes, the beguiling burnt rubber that transports you back to Piazza San Marco or wherever you last had Italian espresso in situ. One detail on the bag might be misleading: I would not call it "light to medium roast" as it's closer to Full City, with traces of oil on the beans. Darker than Stumptown Hairbender, which I consider true medium. For $6 it's a deal. This blend is now in my regular rotation, esp. for cappuccinos -- a good change of pace from my usual 100% Arabica.
commercial coffee roast levels drive me nuts and seem to be the opposite of specialty. Specialty has a focus of coffee roasted from anything from 1st to 2nd crack where anything over 2nd crack is too dark. using this scale the lightest roast is right at 1st crack and the darkest roast is right before 2nd crack. so when roast level is trying to be communicated you know what light, medium or dark means (and that TJ roast would be a dark roast). With commercial, it seems it's measured by 2nd crack. anything before 2nd crack like a full city can be called a light roast, medium is a 2nd crack+ roast, and dark is the oily, glossy black beans something Specialty would only do to season a roaster.

Pressino

#14: Post by Pressino »

I would call the TJ's Barista blend I bought somewhere at the cusp between Full City+ and Vienna. To me it tastes as good as what I found in Northcentral Italy. Definitely not third wave stuff, so it might not appeal as espresso to those who prefer 3rd wave. It should appeal to those who like traditional Italian espresso,and it certainly is tasty in capps and lattes. If it remains consistent and TJ's keeps it in stock, it's really a bargain for the price. Frommy TJ's experience over the years, the second "if" will be the main concern.

kinda-niche

#15: Post by kinda-niche »

Looks like they have stopped selling this particular product, but I recently saw 2 really interesting cans (unsure if nitrogen flushed) that have a shade-grown Ethiopian and a five country espresso blend. Anyone tried these? To be fair, though, these are not exactly a bargain like the Barista Espresso blend.

On the related note, I agree with the assessment of the roast profiles being very differently defined from third wave specialty coffees. I purchased their Joe's "medium roast" while I was desperately waiting on delivery of 2 specialty bags last week, and it turned out to be so dark, burnt, and oily that after pulling 2 shots, I ended up with an upset stomach. (I decided to return it to the store and, for the first time ever, availed their generous return policy with a strong guilty conscience... :( )

Nate42

#16: Post by Nate42 »

My wife happened to be going to Trader Joe's today, and I asked her to pick up some, not realizing this was an old thread and they don't have it any more. Whoops. Anyway can confirm as of today our store didn't have it. Anyone know of anything else that's roughly equivalent - ie a low priced Italian style blend with Robusta that isn't terrible?

nameisjoey

#17: Post by nameisjoey » replying to Nate42 »

Nicoletti Coffee would probably be my recommendation. They're quite cheap.

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Balthazar_B

#18: Post by Balthazar_B »

Nate42 wrote:My wife happened to be going to Trader Joe's today, and I asked her to pick up some, not realizing this was an old thread and they don't have it any more. Whoops. Anyway can confirm as of today our store didn't have it. Anyone know of anything else that's roughly equivalent - ie a low priced Italian style blend with Robusta that isn't terrible?
Back when TJ's discontinued it, I got the very last package of Barista my local store had. While it's not the bargain Barista was (nothing comes close), you might enjoy Saka's Espresso blend, which you can pick up from Cantina Coffee (out of stock as of this morning, but contact Matt for when he expects more):

https://cantinacoffee.com/products/saka ... 8222408842

$25 for a kilo is very reasonable for a coffee of its quality, IMHO. In the same ballpark as Barista, and roasted somewhat darker, but better quality beans and a superior flavor profile.
- John

LMWDP # 577

Nate42

#19: Post by Nate42 »

Thanks for the tips guys.