Friday, June 29, 2007

CC: Caribou Coffee

What's a Coffee Commentary?

Caribou Coffee
Location visited:

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.


Anonymous said...

BAD Company Management makes BAD Coffee. . .look for this shop to go bankrupt soon as their stock reaches pennies (currently at $1.78, can't even buy a full gallon of gas with that). Investors pulling out, Board members leaving, what a pathetic mess! Roz Mallet should be fired immediately and just shoot the Bou and put it out of its misery.

Anonymous said...

I just started going to Caribou again this weeks (after brewing their coffee at home for months)and it was hit or miss. I had a great cup Wednesday (Reindeer Blend), yesterday's dark roast was watery, and today it had no flavor! I also think that their drink sizes have changed. I swear that my large looked just like the medium I used to order! I need to get to the bottom of that.

Anonymous said...

I went to Caribou yesterday at 11:15am. I asked for a dark roast. They told me they were out or dark and asked if I would like a lite roast. I asked if the dark roast was brewing, to which they responded they were done brewing dark roast for the day. All the choices they offer of not only coffee but tea and other food items and that is the response to a request for a dark roast. I will not go back there.

Adagio Cafe said...

I was a manager for Caribou in the late 90's when it was locally owned by the Puckets. It was a great place to work and see future possibilties. When it went corporate I bailed out. Now it's not even an American company. Every dollar you spend at Caribou now puts more dollars into the middle east. I now own a little coffee shop myself and I'm already beginning to see my business suffer from our ailing economy but I never see the half a dozen Caribous that are all around my business short on customers. Even as I write this I just had a woman walk into my shop with her Caribou cup in rude. I think America is going to get exactly what it deserves, our companies, land and banks being owned by other countries. At least I know as an American I tried to offer a local shop, provoding local goods from other local businesses. Good luck America, you're gonna need it.