Another long overdue post! Coffee reviews happen slowly around here, mostly because I'm still acquiring the verbiage for providing meaningful/helpful reviews. But to me it all boils down to taste and "getting the job done." The job meaning CAFFEINATION. YES PLEASE!
In case you forgot, Trader Joe's has a limited pre-ground coffee selection. For the coffee connoisseur, that's a beautiful thing because you can DIY grind the other varieties in store or at home for optimal freshness (homegirl got a coffee grinder for Christmas! Holla!). It would seem like that would be a problem in today's world of choice, BUT I would say between this coffee and the other one I've already tried (with decaf not being an option because ain't nobody got time for that), the limited choice is not a bad thing because they are both QUALITY choices. For an intermittently indecisive person like myself, that is a gift from God.
Anyway, back to this coffee. It is darn good, and I'd say it's the TJ's coffee of choice at work right now. I initially bought this thinking this would be like a mocha - but let's just be clear this is COFFEE with a HINT of cocoa, NOT a mocha. The packaging misleads you into thinking that this coffee is more chocolate-y than it actually is. I'm sure you could make it into a mocha by steaming some milk and adding sweetener and whatnot, but why? It is so good on it's own! This coffee has pretty much all the characteristics I like in coffee - smoothness (maybe from the fudge oil?), slight nuttiness, low acidity, and a subtle hint of cocoa. Brewed well, I can drink it black - which is best because the cocoa flavor is more distinctive without the the milk/cream business.
I wouldn't say that this coffee is lacking in chocolate flavor. The subtlety just won't attract anyone looking for uber-chocolatey goodness. Some purists would say mocha fraps and other fancy drinks are for people who can't drink "real coffee," so if you're wanting something doused in chocolate look elsewhere. It's like the difference between "Americanized sushi" (doused in spicy mayo sauce, soy sauce, etc) vs. "real sushi" (quality of the fish matters more than the extra stuff). But at any rate, this coffee is still hands down way better than any Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks. Surburbia, y'all gotta get on this. $5.99 for a 12 oz can. Not bad at all.
TL;DR: Trader Joe's Coffee á Cocoa. That sophisticated chocolate touch though. 8 out of 10.