It’s pumpkinpalooza season at Trader Joe’s here in September when they release all their pumpkiny goodness. Not to be outdone by Starbucks, Trader Joe’s released their annual Pumpkin Spice Coffee again this year. One of the most anticipated of the pumpkin products to come out every year.
I’m a big fan of coffee (and tea). I just like a hot mug of coffee in the morning. No sugar, and a decent amount of cream usually. I’m not a big fan of flavored coffees but will try them from time to time, especially when the flavored coffee season rolls around like now.
For years I was a boring old drip coffee drinker and a few years ago went to a fancy Nespresso system but got tired of wasting all those pods and then discovered pour over coffee using the Chemex system and I never looked back. I just throw the paper filters and coffee grounds in my compost pile in my garden so I don’t feel like I am wasting anything and the coffee is excellent and easy to make and you don’t get that coffee pot flavor of coffee that has been sitting around in a coffee pot for too long.
I typically like medium to medium/dark roasts so this coffee fits the bill for me. On the can, Trader Joe’s states that these beans come from somewhere in Brazil called Cerrado. Apparently, this is a very large coffee growing region without a lot of distinction, just a solid cup of joe roasted to a medium roast level.
Even if 100% Brazil Cerrado had a distinctive flavor profile, it would be blown away by the spices introduced to give it the Pumpkin Spice flavors.
The second ingredient after the Coffee Beans is Orange Peel and you can see it when you look closely at the ground coffee. It’s those lighter specs mixed in with the coffee grounds.
Including the orange peel, there is cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, vanilla beans and something called “Natural Pumpkin Spice Flavor”.
I had to look this up and so I google that term and wouldn’t you know, there are companies out there that sell an extract that contains the key ingredients for “pumpkin spice flavors” which is basically all the other ingredients, minus the coffee.
When I opened the vacuum sealed can, the spice aromas crawled out of the can and wafted into the kitchen. It smelled quite nice and I knew that Fall was in the air finally after this long hot summer. I could especially smell the orange peel.
I followed the instructions to a T and made a double sized cup (12oz) with the recommended amounts of coffee and water through the Chemex.
After I let the coffee cool off a bit, I decided to taste it without cream to get the full amount of flavor.
You might not be able to see in my ceramic coffee cup but it finished up solidly in the medium roast category.
When I tasted it, it reminded me of another hot drink I used to drink a lot, Bigelow’s Constant Comment tea which is nothing but black tea and orange spices. The orange peel dominates the coffee flavor. If I tried hard enough to taste the other flavors, I could sort them out but pumpkin spice flavors should all complement each other.
I tried putting some cream into my coffee to mellow out the orange flavors and it worked a bit but still not enough. It isn’t a bad cup of coffee at all, but not what I was expecting for a flavored coffee.
It’s $8.99 a pound for 14 ounces (I guess shrinkflation got the best of this product too). Which isn’t too bad as coffee goes, especially a flavored coffee.
My final thoughts on the Pumpkin Spice Coffee
I would give this a decent score, not great. I think there are better pumpkin spice coffee blends out there on the market but the price is right and it wasn’t a bad cup of coffee. Maybe a darker roast and less orange peel might kick it into greatness. Like I said, I am not a flavored coffee lover but in my humble opinion, Trader Joe’s seemed to miss the mark of the Pumpkin Spice Flavorings a bit.
I am only going to rate these 7 Bells!
After my initial taste, I tried to kick it up a notch and put in a shot of Pumpkin Spice Liqueur and I’ll never make that mistake again. That liqueur is the nastiest stuff on the planet. Full review up next.
- ARABICA GROUND COFFEE BEANS
- ORANGE PEEL
- NATURAL PUMPKIN SPICE FLAVOR
- VANILLA BEANS