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Trader Joe’s Best Products: Hot Beverages

Trader Joe’s Best Products: Hot Beverages

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Feeling chilly? These are the best drinks to warm you up

What's Good at Trader Joe's?

Similar to Nestle's popular Abuelita, Trader José's Spicy Hot Cocoa is hot chocolate with cinnamon and a bit of Latin love.

These Trader Joe’s drinks are trendy and cool — and meant to be served at a high temperature. They're perfect for beating those mid-winter blues. Also, check out this list of some of our favorite coffees and teas.

#5 Trader Joe's Gingerbread Coffee
Ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg make this coffee a great way to start a cold winter morning. It's like a gingerbread man took a little dip in your java.

Final rating: 7 out of 10

#4 Trader Joe's Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
Although it's primarily a baking ingredient, it also makes a decent base for deep, dark hot cocoa. Add a good amount of sugar if you're averse to a bit of bitterness.

Final rating: 7.5 out of 10

#3 Trader Joe's Salted Caramel Chai Tea Latte
Nathan and Sonia swear by this stuff and recommend you make it with milk. But whether you mix it with water, half and half, or black tea, as some of our readers have suggested, this is one unique chai. Tastes like a cuppa melted caramels.

Final rating: 8 out of 10

#2 Trader José's Spicy Hot Cocoa
Trader Joe's Mexican-American cousin José brings us this treat from south of the border. Similar to Nestle's popular Abuelita, it's hot chocolate with cinnamon and a bit of Latin love.

Final rating: 8 out of 10

#1 Trader Joe's Vanilla and Cinnamon Black Tea
Besides some of the coolest packaging we've seen from Trader Joe's, this "Lemur Tea" has the perfect combination of black tea, vanilla, and cinnamon, and it earned an almost perfect score from Russ and Sandy.

Final rating: 9.5 out of 10

What’s Good at Trader Joe’s? is devoted to finding the best and worst products at this popular supermarket. Find more Trader Joe’s reviews here.

Favorite Overall: Everything But The Bagel Seasoning Blend

For three years, Mandarin Orange Chicken has held first place as everyone's favorite overall TJ's pick. But this year, a savory blend of seasonings took the spotlight. But let's face it, when it's got everything to offer (sesame, sea salt, garlic and onion) for just $1.99 a shaker, what's not to love? This awesome mix is great on everything from proteins, to veggies, popcorn and, yes, even bagels.

  • Cauliflower Gnocchi
  • Mandarin Orange Chicken
  • Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
  • Unexpected Cheddar

Amazing Trader Joe's Dinners Under $4

These recipes are an even better deal than Two Buck Chuck.

All you need for totally satisfying stuffed peppers? Lean ground turkey, the chain's classic marinara, some shredded pepper jack, and jasmine rice.

Cost per serving: $3.88

You can't hit up a Trader Joe's without stopping by the freezer aisle, which carries tons of convenient&mdashand delicious&mdashstaples like frozen breaded fish. These tacos, made spicy with TJ's Salsa Verde, work great with either cod or tilapia.

Cost per serving: $2.74

TJ's beloved mandarin orange chicken is one of its most popular products year over year. Why? The spot-on sweet-and-sour sauce, which rivals the best takeout. We turned the Chinese favorite into rice bowls using TJ's frozen rice (perhaps one of the greatest shortcuts of all time), sesame seeds, and scallions.

Cost per serving: $2.93

One of the best staples to score at TJ's? Pasta. A bag of penne sets you back only $.99. Make it special by tossing noodles with TJ's Genovese Pesto (not as good as homemade, but totally decent for store-bought), cooked chicken strips, and roasted red peppers (another steal at less than two bucks a jar).

Cost per serving: $2.99

Dinner hack for the laziest of lazy nights: Heat up TJ's addictive butternut squash soup and top it with bacon and chives. (You fancy, huh?) Bonus points for stirring in a spoonful of bacon fat for depth.

Cost per serving: $2.48

Let's face it: Some nights all you can muster is throwing together some boxed mac & cheese. Trader Joe's makes a super-tasty frozen kind, which you can make so much better by tossing in spinach and the store's totally flavorful Italian sausage.

3. 3-Ingredient Trader Joe&rsquos Dinner: Tomato Soup with Stuffed Gnocchi and Spinach

What makes this so fantastic? Well, not only is it insanely delicious, but all you&rsquoll need are three simple, ready-to-eat ingredients!

Trader Joe&rsquos tomato soup is creamy and perfectly balanced between acidic and mellow.

You&rsquoll add their tomato and mozzarella stuffed gnocchi, along with a generous helping of spinach to the pot, and 10 minutes later, you&rsquoll have a hearty tomato soup.

Italian Bomba Hot Pepper Sauce

Packed with salty, tangy, fermented Calabrian peppers, TJ’s Italian Bomba Hot Pepper Sauce adds the perfect kick of heat to zing up pizza, pasta, scrambled eggs, grilled cheese sandwiches, or everyday leftovers of all kinds. I buy five or six jars at a time just to guard against the possibility that it might someday be discontinued.

—Janet Towle, community strategist

Cold-Pressed Watermelon Juice

TJ’s cold-pressed watermelon juice is super refreshing and has the perfect amount of sweetness. This juice is made simply with watermelon and lemon juice, and it tastes like you stuck a straw in the fruit itself. 

This watermelon juice is a great source of potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C, making it a sweet treat you can feel great about drinking on a hot summer’s day. One of our staff also loves using it in festive cocktails!

Trader Joe’s Drinks

You can’t have summer without something to sip on.

Sparkling Watermelon Juice

Call us basic, but we love a good pink drink to beat the summer heat! With zero added sugar, this refreshing, Millennial-friendly sipper is cute enough for any itsy-bitsy, teenie-weenie, yellow polka-dot bikini. Enjoy on its own or use it for a boozy watermelon vodka cocktail . (Try their Sparkling Strawberry Juice too.)

Cold Brew Coconut Cream Lattes

If you’re like us and take your coffee sweet and with lots and lots of milk, be sure to grab some of these new canned coconut milk lattes. Dairy-free and vegan, they’re available in both a deceptively fall caramel spice flavor and original. Caffeine zing commence.

Lemon Peal

This malt beverage with lemon juice is the perfect drink to toss in the cooler on the weekend. It’s not too sweet, not too tart, and boasts a perfect level of fizziness. But we wonder, would Beyoncé, the lemonade queen herself, approve of the concoction?

Organic Jalapeño Limeade

A nonalcoholic summer sipper, this limeade’s jalapeño jolt isn’t too spicy, but it makes for a refreshingly different flavor that goes down easy…whether or not you spike it with something a bit more potent. (We’re talking about tequila.)

The 56 Best Trader Joe's Products Ever

As you know, Trader Joe's is a magical place filled with aisles and aisles of healthy staples, indulgent treats, and creative cult favorite products. But even though there are endless delicious, budget-friendly finds to get excited about, it's almost overwhelming how many incredible options lie within their hallowed grocery store halls. And TJ's knows it.

To help everyone keep track of their most beloved products, the crème de la crème, if you will, Trader Joe's asked their customers and crew to choose 50 can't-live-without-them picks in honor of the store's 50-year anniversary. (Believe it or not, there was, in fact, a time before we were blessed with Trader Joe's cauliflower rice and trail mix packets.) And even though they only narrowed it down to "about 50" (technically, 56) in the August edition of their Fearless Flyer publication, it's a start.

Sure, everyone's already got their own personal favorite Trader Joe's must-haves (cookie butter and plantain chips, anyone?) But in case you're looking to mix up your cart (or you forgot about one of your old faves), these are some of the best products from every section that you're totally justified in adding to your list.

The Best Hot Cocoa Products from Trader Joe’s

Snowman-Shaped Hot Cocoa Bomb

This adorable hot chocolate bomb is perfect for kids and adults of all ages. The white chocolate snowman melts in a glass of hot milk to reveal a stomach full of mini marshmallows and milk chocolate drops. You can find a snowman-shaped hot cocoa bomb for $1.99, but supplies are limited (Or, buy a similar snowman bomb online, Etsy, $4.)

Hot Chocolate Sticks

A box of these hot chocolate sticks would make an excellent stocking stuffer. To enjoy, grab one of these dark chocolate sticks and stir it into a glass of hot milk. You’ll be rewarded with a decadent mug of cocoa. You can find a 7.04-ounce box, which contains eight sticks, for just $3.29 (Or, buy a pack of milk & dark chocolate stir sticks online, Williams Sonoma, $14).

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Peppermint and chocolate are the ultimate holiday flavor combination. This 8-ounce tin of chocolate shavings and peppermint would be great as hot chocolate, or you could get creative and add a dollop to your morning coffee for a DIY take on peppermint mocha. You can find a tin of this hot cocoa mix for $4.99 (Or, buy an even bigger tin online, Williams Sonoma, $20).  

Sipping Chocolate

This European-inspired hot chocolate is for all the chocoholics in your life. It’s rich, decadent and meant to be enjoyed slowly. A little bit of this chocolate goes a long way, and you can find a 9-ounce tin for $4.49 (Or, buy an even bigger tin online, Terrain, $20).

20. End your day with a deliciously cheap bottle of Trader Joe&rsquos Wine.

It wouldn&rsquot be a Trader Joe&rsquos lineup unless we shared the tasty & inexpensive &ldquoTwo Buck Chuck&rdquo they&rsquore so well known for! While not every location will have wine due to state liquor licenses, it&rsquos a total steal (starting at just $2.99 a bottle) if you&rsquore lucky enough to have it! Plus, so many of them taste absolutely amazing!

Grab a wine that you&rsquore not crazy about? Here&rsquos what one reader suggested:

&ldquoBad wine makes the best sangria. Add some fruit, brandy, and housewives of NJ. Awesome night in.&rdquo &ndash Daniela