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The Best Ground and Whole Bean Coffees at Trader Joe’s, Ranked

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If there’s one thing that most people consider an essential part of their morning routine, it’s drinking a cup of coffee. Whether you prefer iced, hot, with cream and sugar, or without, most of us don’t feel fully ready to face the day until we’ve had our cup of joe.

Sometimes, I visit a coffee shop as a treat, but most days, I use my coffee machine at home. Almost all my coffee comes straight from the aisles of Trader Joe’s. The grocery chain has a handful of ground and whole bean coffee options, each with its own unique flavor profile.

Today, I’ll take you through Trader Joe’s coffee aisle and rank each blend from worst to best. You’re bound to find a brew on this list that suits your taste buds and will make getting up in the morning a bit more exciting.

17. Autumn Maple Coffee

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My least favorite coffee from Trader Joe’s is their Autumn Maple flavor. As a lover of all things cozy and autumnal, I was surprised to find that this wasn’t up my alley at all. I don’t really taste the fall flavors in this brew. Instead of sweet maple, it has a sour, bitter taste.

Don’t get me wrong, plenty of Trader Joe’s fans love this coffee, but I’m just not a huge fan. I only bought it once, so there’s a chance I had a bad batch. Either way, this brew is made with 100% Arabica beans and real Vermont maple syrup, so the ingredients are high quality (even if it doesn’t exactly taste like it). At least it’s got that going for it!

16. French Roast Coffee

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French roast is known for being dark and robust with an intense coffee flavor. But Trader Joe’s French Roast Coffee takes it a bit too far on the intense front, in my opinion. This coffee is so roasty and toasty that it tastes a bit burnt and bitter to me.

I’ve had their French Roast coffee pod cups before, which have a slightly less burnt taste, but overall, this is a coffee I don’t need to try again.

15. Chocolate Hazelnut Ground Coffee

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There’s a huge difference between the previous coffees I described and this one. The main difference is that this coffee, and all the ones hereafter, are actually pretty darn good.

The reason I can’t rank this flavor higher is simply because I’m not a huge fan of hazelnut flavoring, but it works quite well in this coffee. It’s made with 100% Arabica beans, which produce a mellow, creamy brew.

This gentle base is perfect for the stronger flavors added later on, which are rich chocolate and toasted hazelnut. The hazelnut brings a cozy, warm feeling with every sip, and the chocolate brings just the right amount of sweetness.

14. Decaf Joe Medium Roast Ground Coffee

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This Trader Joe’s coffee is a decaffeinated version of their house blend medium roast. I prefer regular coffee to decaf on a normal day, but if I’ve already had my usual amount of caffeine for the day and I’m still craving the flavor of coffee, I reach for my bag of Decaf Joe Medium Roast Ground Coffee.

This has a medium-roasted, middle-of-the-road flavor but slightly less actual coffee flavor than normal and a little more sweetness. It’s not quite as rich or robust as a typical cup of coffee, but it’s great if you’re looking for a cup of joe sans caffeine.

13. Gingerbread Coffee

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Gingerbread is one of Trader Joe’s seasonal coffees, and it really does taste like Christmastime in a mug. Besides being made with Arabica coffee beans that are roasted medium-dark, there’s a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, and nutmeg in this brew.

All those spices bring a warming, festive feel to the coffee, and when mixed with just a little bit of sugar and some milk, you’ll be surprised at how similar this blend tastes to a real gingerbread cookie.

12. Guatemala La Morena Peaberry Small Lot Coffee

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As you can tell from the name, this coffee contains beans that hail from Guatemala. What makes this coffee particularly special, though, is the fact that it’s made with Peaberry beans.

According to Trader Joe’s, about 5% of coffee crops yield a smaller, concentrated bean than usual, which are called Peaberry beans. Using these beans in coffee will ensure that your cup of joe has unique flavor notes going on – dark chocolate, blackberry, and brown sugar, in particular.

These rich, distinctive flavors bring a unique sweetness to the coffee, especially when some cream and sugar are added.

11. Joe Medium Roast Ground Coffee

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I think of Joe Medium Roast Ground Coffee as Trader Joe’s middle-of-the-road, standard cup of coffee. It’s perfectly basic in all the ways you’d want it to be. It’s made with medium-roast Arabica beans. It’s not particularly light or dark, with just the right amount of robust coffee flavor without being overpowering.

This coffee has a smooth, velvety finish, and while it’s perfectly fine black, I like to doctor it up with some flavored creamer. Since it has such a classic, neutral base, any flavors or additions like cinnamon or chocolate syrup will pair well with it.

10. Fair Trade Organic Sumatra Coffee

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This Trader Joe’s coffee is a win-win. It has great taste and supports small farmers through fair prices, so you can start your day knowing you’re supporting a great cause.

Ethics aside, the flavor of this coffee is a good reason to pick it up. It’s made with 100% Arabica coffee beans that are roasted medium-dark. It has a bold, earthy taste with notes of molasses and dried fruit. Just like the coffee I described before this one, it’s a great basic, no-frills coffee.

9. Italian Roast Ground Espresso

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Let’s face it: the price of a small latte at most coffee chains these days can be upwards of $5, and that money seriously adds up. When I want a coffee that tastes a little special but don’t want to spend money, I pull out my bag of Italian Roast Ground Espresso, which does the trick every time.

The Arabica beans here have been ground super-fine, so all the rich, toasty flavors from the medium-dark beans are ultra-concentrated in each cup of coffee. The espresso itself has a full-bodied, intense, yet balanced flavor. Of course, this can be consumed as an espresso shot, but I like to add some steamed milk and sugar to get it closer to a latte feel.

8. Organic Joe Medium Roast Ground Coffee

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This coffee is identical to number 11, but it’s made with organic coffee beans. It has that same middle-of-the-road flavor and velvety finish, so it goes with pretty much any milk or mix-in you’d like to add.

7. Organic Fair Trade Wake Up Blend Coffee

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As you’ll see again later on in my list, Trader Joe’s Organic Fair Trade Wake Up Blend Coffee is one of my absolute favorite coffees.

It’s made with 100% Arabica coffee beans, which are given a medium roast. This roast gives the beans some acidity and sweetness for a perfectly balanced, simple cup of joe.

Now, when I say this coffee is simple, I don’t mean it’s boring. Even though it doesn’t have any outlandish flavors, it has all the classic notes you’d expect your coffee to hit, with a rich, deep flavor profile overall.

6. Organic Fair Trade Breakfast Blend Medium Roast Coffee

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As you can probably tell by now, Trader Joe’s has mastered the art of medium-roast coffee. The vast majority of their coffee beans have a medium roast, and they seem to all turn out pretty darn tasty.

Their Organic Fair Trade Breakfast Blend Medium Roast Coffee has a bold, strong coffee flavor without overdoing it on acidity or bitterness. It has a velvety, smooth texture and is easy to sip, even without cream or sugar.

5. Organic Fair Trade Wake Up Blend Ground Coffee

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If the name of this coffee sounds familiar, that’s because it’s the same coffee we talked about in number 7, but this bag is pre-ground, giving it the edge in the convenience department.

This medium roast coffee is made with 100% Arabica beans, which are perfectly balanced in terms of acidity and sweetness. It’s classic, rich, and has everything you’d ever need or want from a cup of coffee.

4. Colombia Supremo Coffee

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This coffee uses supremo beans, which come from Colombia’s Popayan region. These beans are given a medium roast to bring out the sweet caramel and cocoa flavors, which makes for a slightly sweet coffee that’s right up my alley.

The acidity in this coffee is just right, and it has a richness that isn’t easy to find in a store-bought coffee. I have no critiques on the flavor here, but I wish it was also available ground for convenience.

3. Joe Light Roast Ground Coffee

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I usually opt for a medium roast coffee, but Trader Joe’s Joe Light Roast Ground Coffee is the exception. These are made with 100% Arabica beans that are lightly roasted before being ground, which gives the coffee a mellow, sweet flavor. There’s even some fruitiness in there, which I never thought I’d enjoy in a coffee, but it’s subtle enough.

Even though this is a light roast, the coffee flavor is still prominent, and all the nuanced, bright flavors can be tasted with each sip. The coffee also has a crisp acidity to it, which only brings out those toasty sweet notes more.

2. Shade Grown Espresso Blend

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The Shade Grown Ground Espresso Blend is definitely one of the best Trader Joe’s coffees money can buy. It has a similar flavor profile to their Italian Roast Ground Espresso, but this one is even richer and toastier than the former. The beans are roasted dark, so the coffee flavor is bold here, which is exactly how I think espresso should taste.

The texture of this espresso is something to behold – it’s incredibly smooth and velvety and only becomes more so when you add creamer.

1. Wintry Blend Ground Coffee

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Remember when I said the Gingerbread Coffee has a distinctly Christmassy taste? Well, their Winrty Blend is somehow even cuddlier and cozier than that. It’s made with medium-dark roast Arabica beans, but the real magic happens with the blend of spices added to the mix.

There are green and red peppercorns, fresh cloves, and cinnamon accompanying the beans, bringing just enough warm spiciness to the drink to make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. The mix of spices and toasty coffee has a nostalgic and comforting flavor, and I look forward to the return of this seasonal blend every year. To me, this is the best Trader Joe’s coffee, hands down.

About the Author

Samantha Jenkins is a food writer and digital marketing manager with a passion for storytelling, perusing grocery store aisles, reading menus, and eating really good food.

In her free time, she enjoys baking, performing in musicals, and cohosting the East Coast Haunts podcast.

December 6, 2023