A Trip to Trader Joe’s for Tea

jarchie – via Flickr CC Attribution License

On the way home from work tonight, I decided to stop at the new Trader Joe’s store in town. I had never been to one of their grocery stores before so, I was looking forward to a new adventure. I was also hoping to find some cool new tea to try.

After wandering around the store for a good 20 minutes taking in all that Trader Joe’s had to offer, I finally made it over to the tea section.

Looking over the selection of teas, which was pretty sparse, I had a sinking feeling that I was not going to find anything exciting to purchase tonight. Bummer.

I saw that they do carry Yogi tea, but I can purchase that anywhere in town.

Although, they do have several of their own store-brand teas.

After a few moments of deliberation, I decided to try their Vanilla & Cinnamon Black Tea. I suspected that it would be similar to Celestial Seasonings Nutcracker Sweet, which has been an annual holiday favorite. I guess I would soon find out.

Trader Joe’s and Celestial Seasonings (Vanilla and Cinnamon Tea)

When I got home, I immediately tore off the plastic wrapping from the unpretentious light-blue box, lifted the pressed-cardboard lid and opened the wax paper seal. At that moment my nose encountered a very familiar scent: the tantalizing fragrance of warm vanilla and spice.

Once I actually got to drinking Trader Joe’s holiday tea, I knew for certain that this tea was very much like Nutcracker Sweet, but maybe just a tad weaker.

So much for trying something new…

Maybe I’ll try another one of Trader Joe’s teas in the future, but for now I think I’ll take a few moments and enjoy a warm cup of vanilla and cinnamon black tea.

Vendor Provided Sample: No

Affiliate Links: No

Additional Photo Credits: A Girl With Tea

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.

Have you ever tried any of Trader Joe’s teas?

8 comments on “A Trip to Trader Joe’s for Tea

  1. Josh December 30, 2010 6:27 PM

    Thanks. I saw you were talking about watching a Trek movie in a post. I have actually been going back through the original 6 for the first time in a while. Your blog is inspiring me to go out and try some more loose leaf teas. I only really indulge in that once or twice a week and I only have one kind right now, the excellent Rooibos Chai Matevana from Teavana. My biggest reason for not drinking more loose tea is that I honestly hate cleaning out my tea ball. I realize that’s extraordinarily lazy, but I think i need to get some disposable filter bags. Do you have any other good ideas?

    • a girl with tea December 31, 2010 10:04 PM

      Funny you should mention watching the original Star Trek movies, I recently watched Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country on Netflix. Although, my favorite is Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn.

      Anyway, on to loose leaf tea matters. Paper filters are definitely an option. I started off using T-Sacs (Size 1), which I would recommend for single cups of tea. Although, I have to admit that the smaller bags are a bit tricky to use. You’ve got to hold the bag in your hand just right as you try to pour the tea leaves in with the other. But, if you go any larger, your risk having your tea taste like paper.

      I discovered this when trying Adagio’s paper filters bags they only come in one size—huge—which just doesn’t work for single servings.

      If you’re interested in the T-Sacs, I recommend buying them via the English Tea Store or Amazon.com because the cost is cheaper than I’ve seen anywhere else.

      Of course, you’ve got some other options:

      You can purchase multiple tea ball infusers and only clean them out when you feel like it. Although, I’ve moved away from tea balls rather quickly myself, because some teas need a lot of room to unfurl, like Teavana’s Copper Knot Hongcha.

      The other option is to get a teapot, or two, or even three and have several mesh infuser cups on hand. That way you can switch them in and out depending on your level of cleaning desire.

      I am pretty lazy myself, and have found this last option works the best for me. I actually have three teapots now and sometimes one will sit for a day or two without getting cleaned (that’s when the baking soda comes in handy).

      If you’re looking for an inexpensive, simple, durable and highly functional teapot, I love my PersonaliTEA teapot from Adagio.

      I hope that helps you to enjoy more loose tea!

  2. Josh December 23, 2010 5:54 PM

    I’m relatively certain that TJ’s Vanilla & Cinnamon Tea is just Celestial Seasonings Nutcracker Sweet in a different box. The ingredients are identical and the interior packing and tea bags themselves are exactly the same (no strings and two bags attached by perforation).

    • a girl with tea December 26, 2010 2:30 PM

      Thanks for your comment! I think you’ve got a very interesting point and made a totally logical conclusion. For me personally, however, the Trader Joe’s brand had less kick to it, but then again, this could be purely perceptual. I tend to go by instinct, more so than logic, which isn’t always the best strategy.

    • Josh December 30, 2010 12:07 AM

      Maybe Celestial Seasonings isn’t selling “the good stuff” to Trader Joe’s as they probably don’t make as much $$ off what they sell in their stores. This has gotten me interested in finding the brand name counterparts to Trader Joe’s products. So far I’ve also found that their Granola Bars are exactly the same as Nature Valley’s.

      Your instinct vs. my logic would make me the Spock to your Kirk.

    • a girl with tea December 30, 2010 1:51 AM

      Love the reference to Spock and Kirk! Oh, and I just love reading your comments, they always get me thinking 🙂

  3. Alex Zorach December 9, 2010 5:03 PM

    It’s funny, I love Trader Joe’s, but I don’t like their teas. I don’t remember them well enough to write a review after the fact, but one tea, their pomegranate white tea, has received a low, but favorably-written review on RateTea.net.

    And as much as I enjoy shopping at Trader Joe’s, I think they’re guilty of greenwashing, as I describe in RateTea.net’s article on Trader Joe’s.

    • a girl with tea December 9, 2010 7:57 PM

      Thanks for your comment! I didn’t see any Pomegranate White Tea while I was at Trader Joe’s last night. Perhaps they will stock after the holidays.

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