Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A Tale of Two 'Bous

"It was the best of coffee, it was the worst of coffee..."
On the left, Ethiopian roast cold press coffee from the Minnetonka Caribou coffee. On the right, Mahogany roast cold press coffee from the Champlin Caribou Coffee.
One is tea like, the other is coffee. Can you spot the difference?
In the Opus complexity in Minnetonka, we are fortunate, or unfortunate enough to have two Caribou Coffee shops across the street from each other. One, the Old "Bou, is Drive Thru-less. The new 'Bou across the street sports a snappy Drive Thru for those who wish to speak into an electronic box. They then exchange money with a pleasant Drive Thru attendant wearing a Burger King like communications head gear.
Today we enjoyed the beautiful sunny weather and a nice walk to Caribou Coffee. A 2:30 ritual on pleasant days. We were quite disappointed in our last visit to the Old 'Bou. They brew only two types of a substance similar to coffee. One is decaf, the other is Perennial Blend.
As far as Decaf goes, whats the point? It is better if you go to the local food mart and pick up a jar of Sanka. You will save money and enjoy a better product.
Caribou's Perennial Blend is equivalent to taking the dish of potpourri from a gift shop, add 1/8 teaspoon of coffee grounds and steep with hot water. Not a good cup of coffee to say the most.
We opted for the New 'Bou. Our thinking was since the Old 'Bou serves nothing more than potpourri, the New 'Bou must serve dark roast. We were correct in the assumption that the New' Bou does not serve potpourri. They had something almost worse; an Ethiopian Blend.
This Ethiopian blend doesn't even make Caribou's color roast chart. It is pegged far to the left; flavorless, light amber in color, and worse of all, you can see through it. I'm thinking we're duped into tea.
Why would they not have dark roast at either of these two Caribou Coffee shops in Minnetonka? Are they catering to the Young Urban Professionals (Yuppies) who are only capable of ordering their daily vanilla caramel hazelnut turtle mocha lattes with water like coffee? Do they know or understand that coffee is robust, it is dark where you can not see through it? Are their taste buds incapable of enjoying anything stronger than water and two tea bags?
Next time we walk to one of the two 'Bous, I'm bringing my own coffee to enjoy. Real coffee, not the tea they serve.
A quick stop to Champlin's Caribou Coffee on the way home; they have it right with three brews. Dark Roast, Light Roast, and Decaf. As it should be' real coffee. Champlin knows how to threat their customers.


  1. We had a similar place open up near my work and I tried the Cold Press "coffee" they were so excited about. Tasted like tea with a mild coffee-ish flavor to me. Sorry, but if I want tea, I'll get tea. If I want coffee, it needs to be strong! Isn't that the point??

  2. I'm with you...don't think I'd like that weak looking stuff at all.

  3. Amen, Brother! The people deserve real coffee! Power to the people! Down with the evil empire coffee establishments!

  4. I can't comment on their regular brewed coffees, so I can't empathize; however, I can when it comes to getting what you pay for, specifically when your drink of choice costs $3.60--like mine (med. skim cappuccino with half a shot of Irish cream).

    I well prefer Caribou Coffee over Dunn Brothers (2nd), any other coffee house (3rd) and then Starbucks (ick).