Trader Joe’s Organic Fair Trade Café Pajaro Blend

I will admit that I am not very knowledgeable about coffee. I don’t know what a cafe au lait is. I sorta know what a café au lait is because that has been one of Sandy’s usual pickups out at the coffee shops. But a caffè americano? But a latte Espresso versus cappuccino? I can’t help but to disagree with you. I even get confused about the size of Starbucks’ cups. I could easily be called the worst barista anywhere in the world. I enjoyed a lot of gas station brews for a long time. As long as there were a variety of International Creamers in small colors, it was great.* So, yeah, I know I’m not exactly a threat to take over the title of Mr. Coffee, but I know what like. I like strong coffee, dark and rich. That’s what I’ll be drinking as I get ready for the day at work. This is a complete opposite to the free stuff at work that tastes like brown water that has been somehow spoiled. There’s a chance I won’t get a felony conviction or curse some crazy insurance company with the wrong stuff in my cup.

I enjoy Trader Joe’s coffee selection as a beginner. The New Orleans Style with Chicory, and the Italian Roast are my top picks. However, even the cheapest Cup of Joe stuff can be good in a pinch. This past time around, it was time for something new, so let’s get on with the Trader Joe’s Café Pajaro.

Pajaro, which simply means “bird”, is a Spanish word. This is bird coffee. It’s supposed make people feel tropical. Eh, maybe. The coffee bean blend is from Nicaragua, Peru, and southern Mexico. It’s definitely exotic. They are dark-roasted, but not burned (unlike a lot of other coffee beans out there). The coffee smells inviting and is dark when it’s brewed. To get the perfect cup, I use a little half-and-half. Too much sugar can mask the natural flavor, which is subtly sweetened with chocolate notes. The good news is that the chocolate flavor is still there, but not as much as some of the coffee/cocoa crap at TJ’s around the holidays. Although it isn’t as strong as I would like, especially when compared with TJ’s chicory espresso, it isn’t weak or watery. It won’t be the best-tasting coffee you’ll ever have , but the Café Pajaro makes for a good cup better than any at-work option, and for $7.49 a canister, a decent value. It’s organic and fair-trade is a bonus.

Sandy has been abstaining from coffee for the last couple of months. Sandy has only had a few sips here and there. She grimaced and said “blecch” when she did get a taste. You know what they say about pregnancy-induced taste aversions. They can destroy everything you once valued (like that time we went out to Mexican food). What can you do if the baby doesn’t like coffee? That means that I am responsible for judging the baby’s taste in coffee. Hrmmm. Hmmm.

Bottom line: Trader Joe’s Organic Fair Trade Café Pajaro: 6.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons
*I once made the mistake of telling that to a talented barista buddy of mine. He quickly turned away and cringed. Since then, we have never spoken about coffee again.