Friday, June 29, 2007
CC: Caribou Coffee
What's a Coffee Commentary?
Subject: Caribou Coffee
Location visited: various
Free WiFi ? :
Rating: 1+ [see key]
Just having returned from a long series of plane trips, I felt it appropriate to write a small blip on Caribou Coffee, the coffee chain alternative (in most airports) to Starbucks.
Since there are no real locations in my home Philadelphia area, I have had most of my experience with Caribou Coffee abroad, quite often in airports (though in passing I thought the Caribou Cafe on Walnut St could be their eastern coffee branch, I found it dubbed but a decent French restaurant, as elaborated on by local food bloggers Messy and Picky).
After numerous visits to Caribou Coffee, I've had but a small number of decent cups of coffee and zero cups of drinkable (never mind decent) shots of espresso.
Am I surprised? Not really. The only real advantage that Caribou could ever pull over their chain competitors would be better coffee, but I can only say that I've had a few non-bitter cups from their founts. The classic problem of serving consistent, well-pulled espresso haunts Caribou every bit as much as it does any other national chain (yet on a positive note, I do give Caribou props for not lowering themselves to automatic espresso machines like Starbucks).
So if you have to choose between Caribou and Starbucks or Seattle's Best, obviously go with Caribou. But most often, I'd say wait until you can find a better cup elsewhere.