Food + Drink + Places + Travels

Summer obsession: New Mexico Piñon Coffee, iced.

New Mexico Piñon Coffee

On a recent trip to New Mexico, I was introduced to something called piñon coffee, specifically that from the New Mexico Piñon Coffee Company in Albuquerque. It’s Arabica coffee blended with piñon nuts, and it’s really delicious.

For whatever reason, I never really thought about where pine/piñon/pignoli/pinoli nuts come from. Like…it never occurred to me that the reason they’re called “pine nuts” is that they’re the nut of the pine tree. They grow under the scales of pine cones! Amazing. I just thought they come from cellophane bags in the grocery store, I guess. Who knew? (Answer: Everyone but me.)

So, this coffee. When you open the can, the smell is overwhelming. It almost smells like a chocolate bar, and in the best way. When it’s brewing, it smells SO GOOD. Coffee-smell heaven. The first time I had a cup it was hot, and with a little soy creamer and just the tiniest bit of sugar, it tasted exactly how I always want coffee to taste: Rich and full without being overwhelmingly strong, smooth and without any bitterness.

The next day, I tried it iced. It hadn’t been cold brewed or double brewed or anything, it was just the leftover pot of hot coffee that had been sitting in the fridge overnight. I’m not kidding when I say this was the BEST iced coffee I’ve ever had. Yes, EVER. And I drink a whole lot of iced coffee.

A couple of weeks ago, we tried brewing a pot in the Bodum Bean cold press (WTF, it’s discontinued? I love that thing), but it wasn’t as good. I have no idea why, but it came out really weak and lame. So my advice with the piñon coffee is to just brew a full pot like you normally would for hot coffee, have a cup or two, then let the rest cool down and stick in the fridge. Nothing fancy.

For reasons I can’t explain, a 16oz can of New Mexico Piñon Coffee Company costs $11 on the roaster’s website, $15 on Amazon, and $6 at Trader Joe’s. The same brand, same packaging, same amount. I don’t understand it, but there you go. As usual, Trader Joe’s solves everything.

(And yes, I do drink iced coffee out of a mason jar. There’s such an irrational backlash against drinking out of mason jars these days, as though it’s a stupid, played-out thing to do. They’re glass, they’re cheap, they look nice, they’re easy to clean, and they have screw-tops. What’s the problem there? Good grief!)

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  • Reply Anemilyb July 30, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    THANK YOU FOR DEFENDING MASON JARS. Also thanks for the coffee recommendation. I’ll check it out!

  • Reply Jennie July 30, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Ever since you recommended the Bodum cold press (also can’t believe it’s discontinued!), I take your coffee recommendations very seriously. I will definitely be heading over to Trader Joes to give this a try. Also, it’s pretty hilarious that something like a drinking vessel could go out of fashion. Good grief, indeed!

  • Reply Amanda July 30, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    I also drink my coffee out of a mason jar! I am made fun of relentlessly at work and asked if I’m trying to be some sort of hipster? Ah no, it’s just cheap, easy to throw in my bag, and super easy to clean for us dishwasher-less folks. It’s not rocket science!

    • Anna @ D16 July 30, 2015 at 10:37 pm

      “Hipster” is a word that linguistically lazy people use to describe anything or anyone they don’t like or don’t understand…or do like and do understand. In other words, it’s meaningless. 😉

  • Reply Vanessa July 30, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    I, too, drink my iced coffee out of mason jars because, among other reasons, they hold approximately 40% more iced coffee than my other glasses — and I need my caffeine forreal. I’m curious to try this coffee. Thanks for the recommendation.

  • Reply Kay July 30, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Agreed. This is seriously good coffee. I haven’t tried it iced yet, so that needs to be taken care of as soon as possible.

  • Reply Madison July 30, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    ha! Is there really a backlash against mason jars? How odd! I’m from the rural South so I’ve spent most of my life drinking out of jam jars (or clean pickle jars, or sauerkraut jars). They were ALWAYS the cup of choice for kids because the glass is usually thicker (harder to break) and you don’t ruin a set when your five year old drops one (or your 23 year old, who am I kidding?)

    • Anna @ D16 July 30, 2015 at 3:32 pm

      Me too, Madison, and I grew up in the Northeast. I even remember jelly jars coming with “collectable” cartoon characters printed on them because the assumption was you’d be washing out the jar and using it to drink out of!

    • Ryan July 30, 2015 at 4:21 pm

      I still have a few of the winnie-the-pooh jam jars that I keep in the cupboard for my sisters kids to use. We don’t have any plastic cups in the house and the jam jars seem less likely to break than our other glasses. Plus they’re small enough for small hands. I mock my spouse when he makes cocktails in mason jars but only because we have so many cocktail glasses. We do use the wide mouth pint ball jars for breakfast shakes and dinner leftovers. The 2 cup size is a perfect serving size for a meal and glass for reheating and interchangeable lids.

      Now i have to make a trip to trader joes to find that coffee. I took a peek at some of the amazon reviews too and everyone seems to love it.

  • Reply Arin July 30, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    I previously tried making cold brew with this pinon coffee and was also disappointed. I am going to try your “leftover” iced coffee method with the remaining coffee and look forward to drinking the best iced coffee ever.

    • Anna @ D16 July 30, 2015 at 3:34 pm

      It’s weird, right? I have no idea why it doesn’t work for cold brew, because the grind size seems like it would be perfect.

  • Reply Mellisa July 30, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    Pinon pine nuts are so amazing! We gather them while on camping trips and gorge ourselves on their piney goodness. I’ll have to check out this coffee. I’m excited!

    As a suggestion for folks who are looking for a way to cold brew coffee, I used a toddy while I was a barista (and still use one today). You can find them by Googling toddy cold brew if you’re interested.

  • Reply Shelley July 30, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    Great pic! The patterns in a coffee and cream swirl have always mesmerized me. Yet another good reason to use a Mason jar.

  • Reply Allison July 30, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    Whoa, that sounds amazing! I’ve never heard of that coffee. And, love pine nuts and coffee, so…
    I readily admit I did not know the origin of pine nuts until I was about 35. I’m glad I’m not the only one. Live and learn! 😉

  • Reply Daniel @ Manhattan Nest July 30, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    i want it. gimme it.

  • Reply Judi July 30, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    Stop posting! How will I ever get any work done? Oddly enough, I just came from Trader Joe’s, where (do you have a psychic link with the store in Burlington, VT?) they were sampling their cold brew concentrate with vanilla almond milk (yum, yum!). Had I known about this blend, I would have bought a can. Next time.

    In my further attempt to avoid work, I Googled and found there is a raging debate on whether or not one can cold-brew NMPC. I was guessing it wouldn’t work because the oils in the pine nuts wouldn’t lend themselves as readily to cold extraction as the coffee beans but apparently (at least according to many, many people who know far more about this stuff than I) I am just WRONG. I look forward to future experiments.

    On a more serious note…like I said in another comment, all these posts are such a delight. Thank you! I hope you’re having as much fun creating them as we are reading them. (You’re even inspiring me to maybe, just maybe, dust off Brooklyn Expat. It’s been a while.)

    • Wiki July 31, 2015 at 7:38 am

      Haha, same here! Difficult to focus on work with all these lovely new posts. And the ‘other stuff you might be into’ section keeps me (re)discovering older posts as well.
      I’d love to try this coffee, but unfortunately we don’t have Trader Joe’s in the Netherlands, and I don’t think it’s available anywhere else here (yet?).

  • Reply mommy July 30, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    This coffee sounds so good! I must go down to Trader Joe’s. Can you believe I’ve never been there?

  • Reply Stephanie July 30, 2015 at 8:43 pm

    This is probably a dumb question, but what ratio of coffee to water do you use? I find that the amount needs to change for every coffee I try, and I’m curious to try this one!

    • Anna @ D16 July 30, 2015 at 8:47 pm

      Um…I have to admit that I kind of just wing it regardless of the type of coffee I’m using. If I’m brewing a full 12-cup pot, I use about 15 level, single scoops of coffee. Maybe I’ll throw in a 16th if I feel like it. If I’m brewing, say, 4 cups (enough for 2 single servings), I’ll use 5 scoops.

      I know, I don’t deserve to be talking about coffee like I know anything! 😉

    • Stephanie July 30, 2015 at 8:49 pm

      I’ve always winged it myself too, but lately everything tastes so acidy, so I figured I’d recalibrate 🙂 thanks for the guidelines! Im excited to try this, I’ve been cold brewing in a French press lately and I feel like it wastes so much coffee!

    • Anna @ D16 July 30, 2015 at 8:55 pm

      I know exactly what you mean about it wasting so much coffee. I guess it would make sense if I were diluting it with water after like you’re supposed to, but who does that? I just add my creamer and ice. It’s also a pain to clean up. I really DO like the taste of cold brew when it’s the right kind of coffee, but I guess this stuff just needs the heat.

  • Reply zandra zuraw July 30, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    Oh my gosh….. I so love you! I’ve been ordering this coffee online for YEARS, after our first trip to Santa Fe. We were staying at a cheap (but amazing) motel (that really seems nothing like a motel) and they served it. It was the BEST coffee I had ever had and asked them what it was. That was it. I was hooked. Now my friends make fun of my because I have to get my coffee flown in from New Mexico. But truly, people, if you haven’t had it, it will change your morning. And you, Anna, are so cool for sharing!

    • Anna @ D16 July 31, 2015 at 11:27 am

      It’s amazing, Zandra, isn’t it?! I totally understand. 🙂

  • Reply Niina July 31, 2015 at 7:25 am

    I just sent a link to this post to my brother. We need to try this!

  • Reply Debi July 31, 2015 at 7:56 am

    That’s an awesome picture! And now I want coffee!

  • Reply Noor July 31, 2015 at 8:49 am

    I have started buying coffee from craft coffee, they ship a new kind every time so I have been able to try to much. I cold brew mine, I need a better system because it takes me forever, but it taste damn good.

  • Reply Laura C July 31, 2015 at 9:17 am

    I didn’t know there was a backlash against drinking out of Mason jars. That may explain why I recently found 12 perfectly good ones in my local dump’s goody pile. A trip through the dishwasher on the extra-hot cycle and I have 12 new drinking glasses.

    • Anna @ D16 July 31, 2015 at 10:40 am

      It might only be contained to the comments section on Apartment Therapy. 😉

  • Reply Cheryl July 31, 2015 at 9:44 am

    I am really excited about trying this. I live for nutty coffees.

  • Reply Emily August 1, 2015 at 12:13 am

    That looks amazing! Can I ask what kind of milk/creamer you use? (You’re vegan, right?) I’ve recently entered the dairy-free world and am finding it hard to get used to the whole not-real-milk thing in my coffee! Whatever you have in that mason jar with that coffee is something I want to try. 🙂 Oh, and P.S. — I drink my coffee out of mason jars, too. Mason jar lovers, unite!

    • Anna @ D16 August 1, 2015 at 1:58 am

      Emily, I don’t like to call myself vegan because I still wear leather shoes and wool, but yes, I have a vegan diet. 🙂 I’m not super picky about what kind of whitener I put in my coffee, but I generally do prefer soy products over the other options. If I have a choice, I like unflavored soy creamer. The Trader Joe’s brand is really good, as is Wildwood. Even Silk is ok. I’m fine with regular soy milk, too, but it doesn’t have the same richness as the creamer. I don’t like almond milk in hot coffee. I like it in iced, but only if it’s really good quality (preferably homemade). Otherwise it’s too watery. But yeah…for me, soy stuff works best in coffee. I like the nuttiness. If you haven’t tried soy creamer, give it a shot. It’s a good transition away from the taste of milk, even if you eventually want to use something other than soy.

    • Emily August 2, 2015 at 8:56 am

      Awesome, thanks for the tips! I have a run to Trader Joe’s to make soon, so will give theirs a go. And vegan diet — that’s what I meant, but totes didn’t word it correctly. 🙂 Still learning this whole “you can eat a certain diet without labeling yourself as a something-or-other.”

  • Reply Jill August 4, 2015 at 8:11 pm

    I love this coffee. Also available at some Costcos.

    • Anna @ D16 August 4, 2015 at 8:18 pm

      Thanks for that tip, Jill!!

  • Reply Katie August 4, 2015 at 11:33 pm

    OMGOMGOMGOMG. Just bought this at Trader Joes today because my Fiance saw your Insta post. I AM SOOOO EXCITED. I am a coffee fanatic, especially iced & cold brew. Cannot wait to try tomorrow morning! I will be drinking it out my XL coffee mug aka mason jar.

    • Anna @ D16 August 4, 2015 at 11:34 pm

      😀 😀 😀

      Let me know how you like it, Katie!!

    • Katie August 5, 2015 at 9:58 pm

      LOVED it. Going to figure out how to turn this into a mixed drink using Rumchata, or Liquor 43. Thanks for the inspo!

    • Anna @ D16 August 5, 2015 at 9:59 pm

      Oh god, Katie, if you do that…PLEASE report back with your findings!!! (BTW, your furniture is super awesome!)

  • Reply Makayla August 5, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    My grandmother (from Alabama) had two kinds of cups when I was a child. Pressed tin cups that you could feel the cold of the drink come through almost instantly and mason jars. And so because my mission to become my grandparents is real, I also drink out of jars and can’t find any tin cups that are as good as my childhood.

  • Reply Vanessa August 8, 2015 at 9:08 am

    Anna what coffeemaker do you use? I’m in need of some recommendations. Currently I am using a French press but sometimes a girl needs more coffee then two cups.

  • Reply Vanessa August 8, 2015 at 9:11 am

    Just had to scroll a few blogs down to find it! Going to order one soon.

  • Reply Jesse Lu August 11, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    Glad you dig the piñon brew. There are lots of things to dig about New Mexico.

  • Reply Jordan October 1, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    This sounds amazing. And I am so happy it’s carried at Trader Joe’s! I’m going to look for it next time I’m at the store.

  • Reply Erin L February 15, 2017 at 7:50 am

    I just tried piñon coffee, and now I’m a convert.

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