Trader Joe’s Columbian Coffee K Cups produce a cup of medium roast coffee that tastes acceptable but unremarkable. However, there are a few features about these pods that I don’t like and I really don’t imagine that I will be buying this product again.
Let’s take a closer look at what this coffee brings to the party so you can decide if it is right for you.
Features of Trader Joe’s Columbian Coffee Pods
There are several aspects about this product worth covering:
- Fair Trade Certified
Organic and Fair Trade Certified
This coffee is certified Organic by the USDA and Fair Trade Certified by Fair Trade International. I do not get too excited about the Organic certification but the Fair Trade label is important to me.
From the Fair Trade International website:
“When you choose Fairtrade coffee, farmers can build a better quality of life for their families and communities. Your purchase also supports them to invest in growing better quality beans and confronting challenges like the effects of climate change. It’s win-win.”
Sounds like the right thing to be doing.
This coffee is sold in a box with 12 individual K-pods at a cost of about $5.29. This works out to a “cost per cup” of around $0.44.
According to Coffee Detective, the average price to make a good cup of coffee from a pound of ground coffee in a regular percolator comes out to about $0.27 per cup. The same article also gives an average price for high quality coffee in K-pods of $0.67 per cup.
So, the cost of a cup of Trader Joe’s Medium Roast is right in between bulk coffee brewed in a percolator and premium coffee in K-pods.
What I Do Not Like About Trader Joe’s K Cups Coffee
The three main reasons that I am not a fan of this coffee are:
- Brew Quality
While the Trader Joe’s coffee is not outrageously expensive, at $0.44 per cup it does cost about 46% more than my standard coffee, Kirkland Medium Roast.
The Trader Joe’s coffee is not 46% better than Kirkland’s. If anything it is a little worse…more on that below.
When you open the Trader Joe’s box you will find the K Pods are stored in a resealable plastic bag.
Opening and closing the plastic bag is a clumsy and aggravating task for me.
I assume the reason that the pods are stored in the bag is to keep the coffee fresh. The pods themselves have an open/mesh configuration on the sides which readily allows air to enter the pods.
Brew quality is where my major complaints arise. My two complaints are:
- Surface Sheen
- Coffee Fines
I don’t know if you can tell from the picture below but I get a “surface sheen”, sort of like a small oil slick, when I brew this coffee. I have no idea what causes this sheen but it has been present in every cup of Trader Joe’s coffee that I have brewed.
I also do not finish drinking a full cup of this coffee because the pod design allows a LOT of coffee fines to pass through. The result is that I get a layer of “coffee silt” at the bottom of my cup that I have no interest in drinking.
I do not mind paying a little extra for a small pack of K Pod coffee. However, the combination of an elevated price with awkward packaging and poor brew quality makes this a coffee that I will not be buying again.