Last Updated on March 15, 2021
EDITOR’S NOTE: Joshua also contributed to this post.
Aldi’s cousin Trader Joe’s has quite a few options in the tea department. While the store rotates in some seasonal teas with spiced apple, pumpkin, or candy cane flavors, it also carries a selection of teas that are available year round. Here, we take a look at a few of the staples on TJ’s tea shelf.
Trader Joe’s English Breakfast Bagged Tea
This cost $2.29 at the time of publication for a 3.84-oz. box containing 48 tea bags individually packaged in paper wrappers. It consists of 100% black tea. In our experience, it tastes pretty much like any other English breakfast tea we’ve had, including Twinings.
Trader Joe’s Organic Earl Grey Tea
This cost $2.49 at the time of publication for a 1.41-oz. box containing 20 tea bags individually packaged in plastic wrappers. Ingredients are organic black tea and organic bergamot oil. Earl Grey, popularized in some places by a certain science fiction character, is a twist on a traditional black tea that has its own distinct flavor. We think Trader Joe’s Earl Grey tastes like most Earl Grey we’ve had elsewhere.
Trader Joe’s Decaffeinated Irish Breakfast Tea
This cost $2.49 at the time of publication for 3.2-oz. box containing 40 stringless tea bags packed as a group into one single plastic package. After opening the package, you may want to store this tea in a separate air-tight container or a resealable sandwich bag to keep it fresh. The only ingredient is decaffeinated black tea. It has a slightly different taste than English breakfast tea, and TJ’s Irish breakfast gives us exactly what we’ve had from other Irish breakfast teas that other brands make.
Trader Joe’s Moroccan Mint Green Tea
This cost $2.49 at the time of publication for a 1.27-oz. box of 20 tea bags packaged in individual plastic wrappers. Ingredients are organic spearmint, organic green tea, and organic lemongrass. It’s certified organic by Quality Assurance International.
This is a refreshing mint tea with notes of lemon and green tea and can be served hot or cold. If you want tea that is only mint, without green tea or lemongrass, Aldi sells a peppermint tea year round.
Trader Joe’s Spiced Chai
This cost $2.49 at the time of publication for a 2.2-oz. box of 20 tea bags all packaged in a single resealable paper bag. Ingredients are black tea, spices (cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom, Chinese star anise, black pepper, nutmeg), roasted chicory, natural flavor, and vanilla bean.
This tea is described as “a rich, robust blend of Assam black tea & exotic spices.” It tastes exactly as chai should taste, with a complex blend of flavors and spices. It’s especially good with a splash of milk, half and half, or (if you want to be really decadent) heavy whipping cream.
We’re pretty sure this tea is available year round at Trader Joe’s. On the other hand, TJ’s cousin Aldi sells chai only during the winter holidays.
Trader Joe’s Red Refresh Herbal Tea
This cost $2.49 at the time of publication for a 1.7-oz. box containing 20 tea bags all packaged in a single resealable paper bag. Ingredients are hibiscus, rosehips, lemongrass, peppermint, orange peel, lemon verbena, natural flavors, and wild cherry bark.
This tea is described as “a zesty blend” that is good served hot or cold. This herbal tea has elements of fruit and mint, is slightly tangy, and has a deep red color. It’s a nice choice if you like fruit-flavored teas.
Trader Joe’s Organic Pomegranate White Tea
This cost $2.49 at the time of publication for a 1-oz. box of 20 tea bags individually packaged in plastic wrappers. Ingredients are organic white tea, organic hibiscus flowers, organic lemongrass, natural flavors, organic pomegranate extract, organic natural orange flavor, and organic natural lemon with other natural flavors. This tea is a product of Canada and is certified organic by Quality Assurance International.
The pomegranate gives this tea a slight tart taste, and it’s a good option if you enjoy fruity tea. I don’t think this tea has as much flavor as some other teas, though, and it’s probably my least favorite of all the TJ’s teas I’ve tried so far.
Below is an additional Trader Joe’s tea we’ve tried in the time since this post was first published.
Trader Joe’s Original Irish Breakfast Black Tea
This is your classic black tea with caffeine, and the only ingredient is black tea. It cost $2.99 at the time of writing for an 8-ounce box containing 80 tea bags, or $2.49 for a 5.2-ounce box containing 40 tea bags. If you drink a lot of tea, it’s a no-brainer to buy the larger box with twice the number of tea bags for only 50 cents more. The large box I bought contained two plastic packages with 40 unwrapped tea bags in each package.
The box states Trader Joe’s uses “the finest flush Assam teas” from the Assam valley, which is “the largest tea growing area in the world, nestled in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains.” The box also states: “The best teas in Assam are harvested during what is called the second flush period, when the teas have the best flavor and are bright and full-bodied.”
To brew, bring cold water to a rolling boil. Pour water over one bag and steep for 3-5 minutes. Remove the tea bag and add sweetener and/or milk if desired. To make iced tea, bring cold water to a rolling boil. Pour 4 cups over 3-5 tea bags and steep for 3-5 minutes. Remove tea bags and pour over ice-filled glasses. Add sweetener if desired.
Trader Joe’s has a pretty diverse array of tea options (certainly more than its distant cousin, Aldi), and they all taste indistinguishable, to us, from their name-brand counterparts in other stores, be it Twinings or Bigelow. If you like tea and you want a ready selection, TJ’s may be your cup.