Caribou coffee… is it me, or has their coffee changed for the worse?

by Neil
(Eden Prairie, MN)


I’ve been a huge fan of Caribou coffee for so long. I’d always go out of my way to find one of their locations. Not always easy. They’re not everywhere like Starbucks.

Lucky me, I live just outside Eden Prairie, Minnesota. We have a few! And I’ve always been super proud that Caribou coffee got its start here in our state.

But these days I find myself less likely to go out of my way to find a Caribou Coffee location. I’m happy to try some place else.

Took me a while to put my finger on it, but I just don’t think the coffee is as good as it used to be. I know a couple of times I got coffee at a drive thru and it tasted a little bitter.

I’m not saying their coffee is bad. It’s just that I remember it being super-good… and now I think it’s just Ok. Not great but OK.

Has anyone else had the same experience? has Caribou Coffee gone bad?



Neil, hi

Unfortunately, I’m a LONG way from the nearest Caribou Coffee shop! So I can’t give you my first-hand experience.

That said, I can say that over the years we’ve had a lot of people write in and express the same concerns about other coffee shop chains.

It’s a common story. A coffee shop or brand that was once truly amazing has somehow lost its way and is now either just OK… or worse.

Maybe some of it is subjective. As coffee lovers we fall in love with coffee from a particular place. A “new discovery”.

Perhaps we get overly enthusiastic about the taste. And when the first flush of love fades, we realize the coffee isn’t so amazing after all!

But I think stuff happens in real life too. When a coffee business is launched, the founders are super-pumped and focus a great deal on quality. It’s their passion, and they make sure the coffee is the best it can be.

Then the business grows, maybe changes hands, maybe has an IPO. And suddenly the place is no longer about passion. It’s about profits.

And the new management cuts a few corners. They source cheaper beans. And so on.

I think this happens all the time.

So yes, although I’ve never tried Caribou Coffee myself, it wouldn’t surprise me to discover that the quality has slipped from how it was back in the early days of the brand.

I hope this helps answer your question.

Best wishes,


Comments for Caribou coffee… is it me, or has their coffee changed for the worse?

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I is not good anymore
by: George

I agree...use to taste better.. taste flat

Something is wrong
by: Anonymous

I have not had the opportunity to visit a local store but I am speaking from my experience with the keurig pod Caribou coffee that I have been buying for years but for some reason this time the coffee tastes burnt. I wasn’t trusting my own taste buds so I googled it and this forum popped up.

Caribou's Coffee HAS Changed for the Worse
by: Anonymous

You're totally right. I worked at Caribou for several years in the early aughts. (Also, to show that I am a fair critic, I also worked at a Starbucks during that time). In fact, I worked at the company's busiest store for several years in its nascent days!

Caribou's coffee is not what it used to be. They used to have a variety of light roasts--6-7 different roasts. All had balanced, nuanced, discernable tastes and wonderful aromas. The beans themselves were oily and a beautiful brown. The Kenya AA roast was absolute perfection.

This was all in contrast to Starbucks, whose brand is flat and bitter dark roasts that are scorched so bad that the beans themselves crumble in the hand.

Nowadays, the only light roast they brew is Daybreak. 15 years ago, Daybreak was lovely. Now it is shit. It's flat. It's bitter. It's watery. I am so disappointed and sad that they've sold out the core of any good coffee drink: good beans.

Tastes gross
by: Anonymous

OMG! I have been in love with Carobou since 2004. Caribou got me thru Nursing school. However, in the middle of our Pandemic the taste has turned rancid. I get nauseated just smelling the espresso thru the drive thru window. I moved over to Starbucks who have always tasted delicious

by: Anonymous

You got that right! Ordered a cappuccino today and it tasted just like a latte.

McDonald’s coffee is more reliable
by: Molly

I drink cappuccino, hot. Nothing fancy. I’d say there’s a 50-50 chance it’s going to be made right or taste good. McDonald’s is more reliable. Kind of a sad statement about Caribou.

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