Colombia Supremo Whole Bean Coffee – Food Review – Trader Joe’s


Colombia Supremo Whole Bean Coffee Trader Joe's

Cigarette butts and stale ashtray.  That’s the smell that came out of the can.  The message was clear, this is going to be different.

January 6, 2016

The coffee beans have a nice medium brown color. They seem a little oily for the claimed medium roast.  Supremo translates to supreme, implying a “top” coffee.   However when used for coffee beans, supremo actually refers to the size of the beans.  Supremo beans are simply larger than the average coffee beans.  Without resorting to micrometers and such, the beans in the can appeared average size.

The first cup confirmed that this would be a different tasting coffee.  The stale ashtray smell turned into a stale ashtray taste.  Yuck!  This may be the first coffee that makes it into the landfill before brewing.  The taste is also a long-lasting taste.  The experience lingers much longer than necessary.   This coffee may actually displace the ALDI coffee for last place in my list.  But onward and upward first with more testing/tasting.

Even with a more diligent monitoring of brew time, day 2 produced similar bad tasting results as the first cup.  There was still that lingering taste of stale ashtray.

Day 3 produced the same results, a bad cup of coffee.  The saving grace was finding the coffee to be a good excuse for sleeping late in the morning.   By getting out of bed later, one could always say, “Oops!  Too late for a cup of coffee.”

The rest of the can was used up at the expense of my liver.  A daily shot of Irish cream in the coffee almost saved the coffee.  Almost, because the stale ashtray taste even overwhelmed the Irish cream.  The final days used a combination of Irish cream and a big hit of whipped cream floating on the top of the coffee to see this experiment to an end.

Surprisingly, or maybe not so surprisingly, the term ashy or ashtray taste is used (by pros) to describe coffee.  The reference says this is not especially a bad thing.  I would differ with that conclusion.  This was a bad thing.

The ashtray taste is usually associated with dark roasts, especially those which have been over roasted.  However these beans appear to be a medium roast or medium-dark roast at best.  So how did all that bad taste get in the can?  Perhaps it jumped in the can when the factory burned down.   Let’s hope so.

Other reviewers have found this coffee to be pretty decent.  Perhaps the can I had, came from a bad batch?  Or maybe the other reviewers were smokers?  Regardless, I won’t be giving this one a second chance.

 Price $6.99 – 14 ounce can
Colombia Supremo Whole Bean Coffee Trader Joe's

Colombia Supremo
Whole Bean Coffee
Trader Joe’s



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14 Responses to “Colombia Supremo Whole Bean Coffee – Food Review – Trader Joe’s”

  1. Trader Joe's Colombia Supremo Coffee | Says:

    […] When I think of the naming of this product “Supremo” sounds like it should be something special.  Unfortunately, this coffee ranks as at best as average.  I didn’t spit it out or dump the package, but I didn’t enjoy this either.  There was nothing that stood out here.  Now I said, that nothing stood out previously on Trader Joe’s Tarrazu, but I much preferred that to this.  My husband made an interesting comment to me.  He told me it gave me coffee smoker breath.  I laughed and thought he was probably right.  Ironically, a fellow blogger had similar but much harsher thoughts on this product. […]

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Zivien Says:

    I found this site because I was wondering if I was the only one that hates Columbia Supremo coffee. Glad to see that I am not alone in this judgment.
    I like Trader Joe’s Kenya XX and I even like their Italian Roast. But the Columbia Supremo is just oddly fragrant, and not in a good way. I think I may leave this coffee at work and let someone else “enjoy” it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • steveo Says:

      I’ve tried many coffees at Trader Joe’s. Most of them are good. This one was not. I hope your coworkers enjoy the coffee. 🙂


  3. BunKaryudo Says:

    Interesting… I don’t think that’s a coffee I’ll be rushing out to buy, then. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. dunelight Says:

    Thanks for the heads up. There are no Trader Joe’s where we live. When we first moved north we found a local coffee roaster, who, when he was a young man just starting his business, had traveled to the plantations to learn everything he could and to select his own beans. He’d been plugging away at his local business for years and then the coffee house mania exploded and grew up around him. He was a wealth of information about the finer points of growing, harvesting, roasting, coffee. He even brought in some of that chi chi bean that had passed through a cat. After 23 years we moved from the area and he has retired and passed the now rather large business on to his children and grand children. We still drive an hour cross country, back to buy a month’s supply. We make our own blend from his beans.

    God, that sounds..snooty.

    Floyd is the real deal if you feel the need to explore the work of a guy ahead of the curve.

    Liked by 2 people

    • steveo Says:

      It sounds like it’s well worth the drive to keep up that tradition and relationship. People and places like that are difficult to find. Let’s hope the kids can do as good a job.


  5. M.R. Emberson Says:

    No “ashtray taste” for me either, thank you very much — not even if toucans are on the package! Very entertaining review! I loved the one-liners like “The experience lingers much longer than necessary” and “Or maybe the other reviewers were smokers?”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. janjoy52 Says:

    You are very funny! The ashtray taste gave you a good excuse to sleep in! Now THAT is funny!”-)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. graydaysandcoffee Says:

    apparently, to Trader Joe, “smooth and rich” = “ashtray.” I wonder what a more robust roast would equal to him…*shudder*

    Liked by 1 person

    • steveo Says:

      Kona conflagration? Actually this is the only coffee I’ve had from anyone with this very strange taste. Trader Joe’s darker roasts are generally better than most darker roast coffees. But it was fun writing about this one.

      Liked by 1 person

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