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[caption id=”attachment_979” align=”alignleft” width=”240” caption=”Trader Joe’s”]Trader Joe's[/caption]

I first got hooked on drinking coffee back in the Spring of 1994 while attending a Microbiology class at Pace University. Our class started way too early for me and our professor (can’t remember her name right now) was this tiny old lady who barely raised her voice over the decibel level that dogs can hear. The class and subject were very interesting and by the end of the semester I felt very confident about my laboratory skills (and developed a phobia about anything that was not coated with some type of anti bacterial product).  But it was extremely hard to stay awake listening to that monotonous voice that early… so coffee became my best friend and probably indirectly responsible for the good grade I received for that class!

Once that semester was over I dropped my coffee consumption to zero and went back to obtaining caffeine from other sources, mostly from soft drinks. I didn’t really missed it at all and it wasn’t until I got to my last year and had to take Physical Chemistry that I became an avid drinker. Obviously, as a college student I’d drink whatever brand of coffee was being served at the cafeteria, but as time progressed and I became a bit more in control of my own expenses, I started “experimenting”. By the time I got married I had established a good relationship with `Café Pilon Espresso <>`__. For a while it was the only coffee I bought for my house. I would every now and then buy a cup of StarBucks coffee, but Pilon was the one that day in, day out satisfied my caffeine need. I really enjoy a strong coffee, so I became fairly addicted to it. Now, don’t get turned off by the Espresso in its name, as this coffee is super smooth with a rich and flavorful taste that is sure to perk you up.

At work we usually drink Counter Culture, a brand I had never heard of until I moved here from Northern New Jersey. It was weird to me that most engineers would prefer that over the bag of StarBucks coffee sitting right next to it, but after having drunk Counter Culture for over 3 years now, I believe my StarBucks fetish is over.

With the recent economic recession I had to look for cheaper alternatives to Pilon for my house. Unfortunately not all of the alternatives I tried passed my criteria for a good coffee: strong, darkly roasted, not bitter and not acidic. That’s when my wife suggested we tried Trader Joe’s dark roast coffee, a couple of bucks cheaper and very promising with a great aroma. It didn’t take me very long to determine it to be the definite replacement for Pilon: the very first cup was enough to convert me to a Trader Joe’s coffee drinker!

After hearing some of my co-workers bragging about Peet’s Coffee and Tea, I waited until my coffee supply started to run low to have an excuse and ran down to the nearest Harris Teeter to snag a bag of their Sumatra coffee. At US$7.99 (discounted with a VIC card) I thought more than twice before paying the cashier, but my curiosity (and the delicious aroma coming from the bag) got the best of me in the end. It probably won’t be until Tuesday that I will try Peet’s Coffee as I still have a bit of Trader Joe’s left in the house… and at US$7.99++ a pop, chances are I will still be drinking Trader Joe’s for the foreseeable future. I do however hope that I won’t be disappointed at Peet’s Coffee… Maybe it could become one of those bottles of wine that you only crack open for special occasions and that you drink on tall, wide mugs and not on crystal glasses.


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