1) It was the hipster packaging that got me. The only thing that would have impressed me more is if it were once a Trader Joe's grocery bag.
2) I ran out of coffee beans.
3) That "limited supply" called out to my inner impulsive shopper. Oh yes, the $7.99 price tag was such a good deal considering you would probably pay at least 50% more per pound at a hipster coffee shop or even more at hipster coffee roaster.
The beans hail from Sulawesi, an Indonesian island. Apparently Sulawesi beans are known for their sweetness, body, and spice notes. That description really doesn't mean much to me, because frankly I have a hard time distinguishing spice from fruit flavors apparently. If I got it right, it's because I took a complete guess. Four years that cost a whopping stack of Benjamins plus almost three years of psych nursing taught me to fake it till you make it. That should instill great confidence into this year's college-going millennials. And as far as my knowledge of coffee, I'll learn. :)
I picked this up months ago, during my mango mania shopping spree, and it sat in my kitchen for a while. Then I sampled it in store, tasted what I perceive as "acidity," and thought to myself, oh no not my type of bean. Which meant I used most of the bag for cold brew (1 part ground coffee to 4 parts water, steeped ~12hrs overnight in the fridge). Actually, the medium roast seemed a little too fruity/acidic for me, so I combined it with my go-to TJ's Costa Rican Tarrazu (medium dark roast), and it made THE perfect cold brew with just the right amount of acidity and smoothness. Perfect black. So much so that my usual cold brew with just the Tarrazu beans seems lacking something.
And then I tried it the gold standard way - french press. Four minutes on the clock. Then plunged and poured. Wow. The flavor was quite good black. I did taste a bit of "sweetness" and moderate acidity (more than what I like but tolerable) with a certain depth, which I suppose could be the caramel notes? Out of my element here. It was pretty good while hot, but once it turned lukewarm/cold it tasted like Folgers. No bueno.
Although this is in "limited supply," last I checked, these beans were still available at my Trader Joe's. Turns out there was no need for my impulsive buy. -_-
Finally, if you're a coffee aficionado that made it to the end of this post without cringing, my hats off to you. For everyone else, here's a decently fancy coffee that can make you look like you know what you're drinking.
TL;DR: Trader Joe's Sulawesi Coffee. An Indonesian medium roast variety. Mildly nutty. Pretty smooth. Hipster-ish. 6.5 out of 10.