You Get Bold Flavors With Trader Joe’s Coffee with Garlic Rub!

I bought a can of  Trader Joe’s Coffee Rub with Garlic and gave it a try on when I grilled up some chicken and pork tenderloin.

My quick review is, “Trader Joe’s Coffee Rub is a flavorful seasoning that works well with chicken, beef and pork. The rub contains several ingredients that can scorch at high heat so this is best used for smoking or medium heat grilling.”

I suggest stocking up and buying a few cans the next time Trader Joe’s has these in stock.

Trader Joes BBQ Rub with Coffee and Garlic

Calories and Nutrition

You get 3.5 ounces of seasoning in each jar.  One serving is 1.5 tablespoons and there are about 6 servings per can.

The nutritional facts for a single serving are:

  • Calories: 45
  • Fat: 0g (0% DV)
  • Cholesterol: 0mg (0% DV)
  • Sodium: 890mg (39% DV)
  • Carbohydrates: 10g (4% DV)
  • Protein: 0g

Coffee BBQ Rub Nutrition

Ingredient List

The seasoning has the following ingredients:

  • Coffee
  • Brown sugar
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Smoked paprika
  • Red bell pepper
  • Clemengold rind

The can is labeled as a product of South Africa.

The seasoning appears to be gluten free but that is not indicated on the label.

Usage Tips

You use the rub by applying it to a piece of meat and allowing it to marinate the meat for an hour before cooking. I like to use a liberal coating and typical apply one tablespoon per pound of meat.

This is one of those rare flavor profiles that does work with beef, pork and chicken and can also be used to make roasted vegetables more interesting.

Professional Steak Usage Tip

Trader Joe’s says that this rub is great to put on steaks before grilling but I disagree.

The flavor profiles of this rub do work great with steak but the ingredients are not amenable to high heat grilling as the coffee, sugar and garlic can scorch and become bitter.

My suggestion is to season your steaks with salt only before grilling.  While the steaks are grilling, pulse a tablespoon of this rub in a coffee grinder to turn it into a powder.  Once the steaks have finished grilling sprinkle the powdered rub over the steak as a “finishing rub”.

Taste Test

The rub tastes just as expected from the ingredient list.  You get a hit of coffee flavor followed by brown sugar and then the salt kicks in.  After the salt flavor passes the savory ingredients kick in.

There is a natural smokiness in the seasoning that comes from the coffee beans.  This built in smoke profile would make this rub great for use in electric smokers and pellet grills where the smoke profile is usually muted.

This rub is not as sweet as Trader Joe’s BBQ 101 seasoning and not as spicy as Traeger’s Chili Garlic Rub that you can get at Costco.  The flavor of the rub is a nice middle ground which makes it highly versatile.

I love the color and texture that you get with the coffee based rubs.

The flavor profile is bold enough to stand up to beef and complex enough to make plain, boring chicken breasts interesting.

Grilled Chicken Seasoned with Trader Joe's Coffee BBQ Rub


The label indicates that this seasoning should be stored in a “Cool Dry Location”.

Keeping the seasoning cool will prolong the freshness of the ingredients.  Keeping it dry will help prevent the brown sugar from clumping.

The seasoning should last at least a year in your pantry but if you haven’t used it all within a year I would suggest pitching it and buying a fresher can.


I bought the 3.5 ounce can of coffee rub at Trader Joe’s for $2.29. At first glance this seems like a nice deal but further examination indicates this is a little over priced.

The Trader Joe’s price for this rub comes out to $0.65 per ounce.

By comparison, you can buy a container of Traeger’s Chili garlic rub at Costco for $0.50 per ounce.  This is an important benchmark as almost all Traeger products are severely over-priced. To be fair, if you bought the Traeger rub at Home Depot it would cost over $1 per ounce so I will call the Trader Joe product expensive but not outrageously so.


Good morning and welcome to the site dedicated to helping you find great products at Costco and other stores! My name is David Somerville and these are hands on reviews of products that I have bought and used or am seriously considering purchasing. I do most of my shopping at the Costco in Baton Rouge, Louisiana but will check out any other Costco warehouses I find while travelling. Please get in touch with any questions and let me know of any great products that deserved to be featured in this blog!

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