Comparison Shopping: Fair Trade Coffee

fair trade coffees

I buy my coffee at Trader Joe’s. For a while I bought the Mexican Double Dark, and more recently I was buying a delicious Italian roast. It bothered me to not be buying Fair Trade coffee, so when I finally saw one on the shelf I bought it immediately. It was the Morning Blend, pictured on the left, and was the only Fair Trade option at my TJ’s (3rd and La Brea). It tasted like bad diner coffee, which I fully believe has its place (bad diners, natch) but can’t drink at home. So I headed to the Trader Joe’s on Santa Monica, at the 8-Track Kid’s recommendation. I’ve shopped there before but usually skip it since it’s further from my home. I found a wonderland of Fair Trade coffees, including the middle one above, a medium roast from Bolivia that was a huge improvement (and made my husband call me Sundance). When it was dwindling I returned, and hit the jackpot: Cafe Pajaro, a dark roast that is perfectly divine in my French press.

So, West Hollywood TJ’s for fair trade coffee. I paid $5.99 for 13 ounces but I think the prices are not set.

8 thoughts on “Comparison Shopping: Fair Trade Coffee”

  1. Not that I give much thought to the fair trade thingy, I look at cost and taste. I get a pretty decent fair trade nicaraguan dark roast whole bean from Fresh and Easy. 3.99 for 12 oz. Add in their weekly $5 coupon and you can’t go wrong.

  2. Fair trade means that the workers who pick the beans are paid a living wage. Since $5.99 is actually LESS than I’ve paid for non-fair trade coffees at TJ’s, it was just a matter of finding one that tasted good.

    Good tip on Fresh & Easy — alas, the closest store to me is not at all close, so it is not possible for me to shop there. I do plan to check it out next time I am in the neighborhood, though!

  3. French presses do not filter out impurities, bitterness, and more important, OILS. French pressed coffee is CHOCK FULL of oil, which some people actually like the taste of…but drinking that on a regular basis will actually affect your cholesterol. In a negative way. Use a paper filtering method, such as a Chemex pot, and not only save electricity but your heart too.

  4. Interesting bit of info bbxx. Oils/fats usually have some flavor elements which is why I think french press is gaining popularity. I wonder how many pots one would have to drink before fat content becomes a consideration?

  5. The Sherman Oaks store sells an Organic Five Country Espresso Blend that is absolutely superb.

  6. Interesting discussion. Truth: drink the coffee black. It’s crammed full of antioxidants that way. And another truth: believe it or not, there’s no demonstrable cause/effect relationship between cholesterol and heart disease. You’d be far better served skipping the scone than getting a paper filter.

  7. Good to know – I’ve been spending far too much on fair trade at Whole Paycheck, because I didn’t realize TJ’s had a dark roast FT.

    And seconding the comment that if one’s worried about cholesterol, skip the scone. Processed foods high in simple carbs have a far greater negative impact on bodily cholesterol than dietary cholesterol does.

  8. I responded to bbxx yesterday but for some reason it refused to show up. Basically, what I said is that cholesterol is far from being the whole picture of heart health. If you’re worried about your health, you should be exercising, eating vegetables in abundance and whole grains and good fats in moderation, and not worrying about a cup of coffee. I also claimed that the French press is one of the best ways to enjoy all the good properties of coffee, and linked to a post at Bread Coffee Chocolate Yoga that backs me up and details how to make a perfect pot, but I think the link may be what lost my comment so I shan’t repeat that.

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