If I counted correctly the last time I was at the store, Trader Joe's carries eight kinds of orange juice in the refrigerated section, plus the frozen concentrate. The varieties are kind of bewildering: you have to pick from fresh-squeezed/not from concentrate/from concentrate; organic or not; no pulp/regular pulp/extra pulp; and with/without added calcium. I don't seriously propose to try and report on every one of those variants. Heck, I wasn't even planning to do any of them, until Nina got sick and requested OJ as part of a care package I was going to deliver to her.
But having tried a couple, I wanted to go for their top-of-the-line with the fresh-squeezed. Then when that was kind of disappointing, I wondered if anything else was worth trying. This one caught my eye. I'm not usually one to care about organic versus non-organic, at least as far as things like juice are concerned. But I held out a glimmer of hope that maybe it would be better than the others.
And it is! Or at least it's clearly better--in the sense of being both sweeter and more genuinely orangey--than the ones I had tried prior to the fresh-squeezed. It's close to what I remember of the fresh-squeezed, but it's been a week since I had that, and my sensory memory isn't refined enough to do a reliable comparison of similar items spaced that far in time.
However, it also costs quite a bit more than any except the fresh-squeezed: 64 ounces is $3.99, compared to $3.29 for the most comparable non-organic variety TJ's sells. On the other hand, it's a lot less than the $5.49 you'd have to shell out for the same amount of their fresh-squeezed. So maybe it's a reasonable compromise. Or if you're willing to go cheap, $1.99 will get you 64 ounces of the stuff they have reconstituted from concentrate for you. Your call.
Was it better because it's organic? I doubt it. I think it's more likely that it's just batch-to-batch variation. I suspect that I got unlucky with the fresh-squeezed sample, and lucky with this one.
Will I buy it again?
I well might. It's very tasty, extremely convenient (compared to mixing up the frozen concentrate), and no more expensive per ounce than the mediocre frozen concentrates that I've been using all my life.
I rarely buy orange juice these days. But if I were going to buy orange juice, I would buy this.