Over the course of a few weeks I had seen a new seasoning on the shelf at Trader Joe's and bypassed it a few times. It wasn't until I heard an employee telling a customer about it that I decided to pick it up (the employee stated to try it on chicken first before beef or pork). I mean, after all, it's only $1.99 for a pretty generous amount of seasoning. Since I am a seasoning junkie, I opted to pick up a container of the Trader Joe's BBQ Rub and Seasoning with Coffee & Garlic.
Whenever I think of barbecue I think of sauce - not a rub. I've always had wet style barbecue at home (whether homemade BBQ sauce or out of the bottle). I've had dry rub ribs at restaurants and they're good but they're in a different category than "wet" BBQ. By that I mean they're polar opposites in consistency, flavor, etc.
In true Trader Joe's fashion the container has a little blurb about the product: "Trader Joe's BBQ Rub and Seasoning is a delicious blend of coffee, garlic and paprika with brown sugar and sea salt for balance. For the best flavor generously coat steak or any cut of meat or poultry an hour or longer before cooking."
I opted to season up chicken to be on the "safe side" of things. I added a generous amount of seasoning to the chicken, ensuring it was all coated evenly - covered the chicken and popped it into the refrigerator for a little over an hour. By the time I took the chicken out of the refrigerator, you could see how well the rub soaked into the chicken breast. After that, it was onto the grill!
After cooking, the chicken had a smokiness to it. I can't say any of the seasonings in the rub stood out more than the other. For those who may be weary of the coffee in it, no, you cannot taste it at all. It had that classic dry rub BBQ smokiness to it. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't my favorite. I'm one of those folks who flavors every step of their dish to ensure a perfect balance of flavoring. This was smokey ... but it wasn't flavorful enough for me. I wanted that zip - that pizazz. So I ended up topping my chicken with additions like a tiny bit of barbecue sauce, sriracha and even guacamole (which was served alongside a salad).