Trader Joe’s Vanilla Chai-Spiced Coffee

I don’t normally do product reviews on this blog — but run, don’t walk, and pick up a can of this amazing, amazing stuff.

This year I became a big fan of the drink known as a “dirty chai”: that is, a cup of hot chai latte (sweetened, spiced black tea with frothed, steamed milk) that is spiked with a shot of espresso. I’ve always loved a good chai, and Coralie is never averse to whipping up a delicious cup when I drop in to visit. Add in the espresso and you get a great mingling of flavors and a nice punch of caffeine, perfect for my crazed study and writing sessions at my favorite Durham study spot, Francesca’s Dessert Caffe. There’s only one thing that I dislike: most coffee shops make chai using a tea concentrate (much faster than the traditional steeping/boiling method) that is heavily sweetened to soda-like levels… No good for me! So I only allow myself a dirty chai once a week or less.

When I saw this canister at Trader Joe’s last week I hesitated before dropping it into my basket. I used to have quite the affinity for flavored coffees, and know that some of them taste like a chemical bath with some freeze dried coffee on the side. But a quick look at the ingredient list full of legitimate flavors and I thought, why not? And I’m so glad I did.

This gives you all the goodness of a dirty chai with the ability to control the amount of milk and sugar you put in. I drink it with a splash of lightly sweetened almond milk, which is just enough sweetness for my sugar-averse palate. Both my roommate and I are tearing through this can, making flimsy excuses to brew a cup of coffee at all hours. I have actually stopped going to coffee shops this week so I can work at home and drink a cup of this stuff — I’m addicted, and considering stockpiling this in case there is a zombie apocalypse (or the stuff is discontinued, as TJ’s often does without warning).

Here it is with a freshly brewed cup (+ almond milk), and my newly framed Tintin artwork in the background. The page featured is from a book I picked up when I was in Brazil visiting Coralie several years ago (back when we started the blog!), so I thought it was appropriate to put in a little Portuguese with this Brazilian coffee. Extra credit to those who can identify which book the panel is from!

UPDATE: Apparently this is now discontinued (see comments)
UPDATE: Do you miss Trader Joe’s Vanilla Spiced Chai Coffee? — information here about requesting the return of the chai coffee
UPDATE: Flavored coffee taste test: Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spice vs. Vanilla Chai-Spiced — TJs brings out another seasonal, spiced coffee blend. How does it stack up?

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19 thoughts on “Trader Joe’s Vanilla Chai-Spiced Coffee

  1. This coffee does sound pretty amazing, I will give it a try. I feel the same way about Trader Joe’s New Mexico Piñon Coffee, made with real pine nuts and not as sweet as your regular hazelnut flavored coffee.

    • It is amazing. They served it iced with soy creamer and it’s fantastic.Since I don’t have a TJoe’s near by, I try to stock up on this stuff when I go. Their soyn creamer is also one of the best.

  2. yum I saw this last nite for the first time. I hesitated buying it and decided against it due to the price, but I may reconsider now…

  3. I am hooked on this. 2 Tablespoons with Hot water , let it drip gets me 2 cups of pretty strong coffee. I am a tough cookie. No creamer for me.

  4. I just moved to Cali 3 months ago and found this treasure my first visit to TJ’s. apparently it’s a seasonal item, as I went to restock last week and it’s no longer available. I hope it will be back next year

    • Natalie – so sad that it is a seasonal item… I hope it’s not one of those short-term items (where they carry it for a few months then never again). After reading your comment I’m actually considering running over to my TJs to see if it’s on the shelf (then stocking up!). Thank you for posting!

      • if you find it, please let me know which TJs has it–I might have to road trip if it’s not too, too far

      • ah, do they have TJ’s there? I had no idea. I checked Amazon and also eBay and can’t get it on either of those sites

      • Yup, there’s TJs down here… Will let you know if I see it in the store — bummer that it’s not online … you’re a true fan 🙂

  5. TJ’s has discontinued this coffee, and it’s my favorite coffee now!!! They say it COULD come back if enough people call or email TJ’s about it. Please let TJ’s know that we want this back!

  6. Pingback: Do you miss Trader Joe’s Vanilla Spiced Chai Coffee? | Don the Apron!

  7. Pingback: Flavored coffee taste test: Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spice vs. Vanilla Chai-Spiced | Don the Apron!

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