Caribou Coffee Review

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Caribou

  • Product
  • Specification
  • Photos

Choose from a range of thoughtfully designed programs that appeal to a variety of tastes. Membership includes:

  • Two 1 lb. bags of coffee or two 24 Pack K-cups each ...

$28.98

Coffee Choices

Pre-Selected

Coffee Types

Whole Bean, Ground, Light Roast, Medium Roast, Dark Roast, Espresso, Decaf, Single Origin

Coffee Delivery Frequency

Every 4 Weeks

Coffee Package Size

Two – 16oz Bags, 24 Pods

Caribou Obsidian Dark Roast Caribou French Roast Caribou Eclipse Coffee Caribou Bag Label Caribou Initial Box Open Caribou Box Exterior

20 years ago Caribou Coffee started at a small shop in the Warehouse District of Minneapolis. It was around this time they crafted many of their main coffee products. With a variety of offerings expanding beyond simple coffee, Caribou Coffee is able to get their hands on special coffee. Since they’re not too small they can afford special coffees, and since they’re not too big, this special coffee won’t run out trying to keep up with demand. Along with their special kind of products, they’re also dedicated to saving the rainforest, teaming up with the rainforest alliance.

Caribou Coffee is a technologically advanced coffee company with 20 years under their belt in sourcing many special kinds of coffee from farmers in the Rainforest Alliance.



PROS:
  • Great Product Selection
  • Customizable Coffee Club
  • Professional Web Site
  • Great Content On Blogs
CONS:
  • Shipping isn’t free
  • Mildly vague about the process of roasting
  • No gift memberships


Coffee Selection: (Rating: 9/10)

The Good

Caribou Coffee does have a vast selection of coffees to choose from and ranges from light to dark roasts.

They have many different kinds of light, medium, and dark coffees that come from places like Ethiopia, Costa Rica, and Colombia. One of the more prominent features of this company is its ability to source coffee that smaller companies can’t afford and bigger companies can’t keep in stock because of the limited supply. This makes Caribou Coffee quite unique compared to the other coffee brands.

They offer iced coffee, teas, breakfast foods, hot chocolate, and smoothies just to name a few. Overall, the product selection is quite impressive.

Caribou lets you choose the type of grind to customize your brew experience. You can choose between whole bean, percolator, gold filter, french press, espresso, paper filter, or multiple grinds.

The Bad

While they do have a great selection, Caribou only offers Caribou brand coffees. Other monthly clubs source coffees from all over and use different roasters. You won’t find that type of variety with Caribou.

Coffee Bean Freshness: (Rating: 7/10)

The Good

Caribou Coffee sources its beans from a variety of places in South America, Africa, and other countries. The beans are roasted in a variety of shades ranging from light to dark to bring out its own unique flavor.

Caribou Sealed Coffee Bags

Caribou Sealed Coffee Bags

Each coffee arrives in a paper bag, but inside the paper bag is a vacuum-sealed bag that protects the grounds from light.

The Bad

They do not roast and ship immediately. In fact, they don’t specify at all when their coffees are roasted and how quickly they will ship. That being said, the coffee was not stale by any means.

Coffee Quality and Taste: (Rating: 5/10)

The Good

See my full experience with Caribou Coffee in my blog.

Caribou Obsidian Dark Roast

Caribou Obsidian Dark Roast

I ordered a sample box of three dark roast coffees. The flavor was great and robust, but the texture and finish turned me off.

Caribou Bag Label

Caribou Bag Label

Each bag had a very brief tasting note (two words). The coffees did taste exactly how the bag said they would.

The Bad
Caribou French Roast

Caribou French Roast

Unfortunately, the coffees were not as impressive as I hoped they would be. Two out of the three bags had a chalky, powdery finish. Almost like a residue that stuck to the inside of your mouth.

I’m not sure where the residue came from, but it was off-putting.

Memberships/Pricing: (Rating: 7/10)

The Good

This coffee club has a lot going for it considering it has an option to customize.

You can pick your favorite type of coffee, how much of it you want, and how often you want it delivered. That’s about as good as it gets, leaving all the power in the buyer's hands.
The actual coffee club delivers a ½ lb. or 1 lb. bags of coffee or a 24 pack of K-cups per month.

There is a free gift that accompanies the first shipment, and each member gets both a 15% discount on shipping and special club promotions.

The buyer can pick from lighter, darker, decaf, explorer, or K-Cup club options. They have 3,6,12, and open-ended programs available.

Price depends on the coffee you select. A 1 lb. starts at $12.99 per bag, while ½ lb. starts at $7.49.

You can have your coffee delivered every one to four weeks.

If you don’t design your own club, you can join one of the Roastmaster’s Choice Clubs. Here you choose between the Explorer’s Club, Lighter Roast Club, Darker Roast Club, Decaf Lover’s Club, and K-Cup Club.

The K-Cup Club features packs of 24-count coffee starting at $15.99 per month, while the other roast clubs come with two 1-pound bags starting at $29.98 per month.

The Bad

Once you pick your coffee for your membership, it works like automatic delivery. You have to actually call customer service to request a change for your subscription; you cannot make alterations online. This is a big inconvenience since most coffee clubs let you make changes to your account online.

More so, you are only allowed to pick the coffees and then there is no variety after that. While they have a good deal of selections to start, after a few months the variety won’t be as extensive as other clubs.

Additional Club Perks: (Rating: 10/10)

The Good

Each new member receives a free gift in the mail with the initial sign up along with exclusive club promotions.

Caribou Coffee also lets you purchase coffee equipment, such as a coffee scoop, gift baskets and sets, apparel, drinkware, and fanatic items.

The Bad

There are plenty of additional club perks, so there’s no drawbacks to Caribou Coffee.

Shipping/Packaging: (Rating: 6/10)

The Good

Each member is allowed to cancel their shipments at any time, and they also enjoy a 15% discount on shipping as well.

Caribou Box Exterior

Caribou Box Exterior

The Bad

Most coffee of the month clubs offer free shipping, while Caribou does not.

Gift Memberships: (Rating: 9/10)

The Good

Caribou Coffee has an extensive gift section on their website.

One of the cooler offerings is the Essential Office Package, which comes with coffee, tea, and a variety of pastries and foods for families, businesses, or organizations.

For a more personal touch, there is a gift set that comes with coffee and goodies more suited for one person's needs.

Along with these packages are sampler sets of decaf, light, and dark roasts just to name a few.

They also have gift cards available, but these aren’t specifically for the club.

The Bad

While they have a lot of gift options, you cannot actually make a gift membership. Instead, you would just ship it to a different address.

Website: (Rating: 8/10)

The Good

Thankfully Caribou Coffee maintains a blog with tons of information on coffee roasts, farming locations, and roasting tips.

The blog has been in existence for years with contributions from many roast masters offering their own unique point of view on certain topics.

Another fantastic feature of the site is the section with the nutritional information. Everything from allergens to calories, this part of the site has it all for interested customers.

The Bad

They don’t have a lot of information specific to the Caribou Club itself. Instead, it is about the coffees and the company itself. On the club’s page, they have three questions and answers about the club, all very vague. The FAQs has a few more, but it requires a customer to actually go hunting for club-specific information.

Customer Service: (Rating: 6/10)

The Good
Caribou Coffee has phone lines open from 8:00 – 4:00 CT every week day, along with a sprawling FAQ’s section on the website.
The Bad

As far as open chats and other methods of gaining information are concerned, it’s non-existent.

Also, when we reached out to Caribou via their contact form and social media, they never replied. This is disappointing, considering they are a big company and should have more than adequate customer service.


Pricing

Roastmaster’s Choice Club: Choose from Explorer’s, Lighter Roast, Darker Roast, and Decaf Lover’s. Includes two 1lb bags of coffee, a free gift, and 15% discount on shipping. Starts at $28.98 per month.

K-Cup Club: Choose from 24-count boxes of K-cups, receive a free gift, and 15% discount on shipping. Starts at $15.99 per month.

Design Your Own Club: Choose what roasts and flavors of coffee you want, then specify your grind and shipping frequency. Starts at $7.49 for ½ pound bags and $12.99 for 1 pound bags. Receive 15% discount on shipping costs.

Caribou Coffee – Design Your Own Club
Deal

Caribou Coffee – Design Your Own Club

Pick your own coffee and have it delivered on your schedule. Your choices, your club. Membership includes:

$7.49

Caribou Coffee – RoastMaster's Choice
Deal

Caribou Coffee – RoastMaster's Choice

Choose from a range of thoughtfully designed programs that appeal to a variety of tastes. Membership includes:

$28.98




Specification

Pricing

Monthly Price Range: $15.99 - $31.98

Pkg. Size: 16 ounces

How soon after roasting do beans ship: Not Specified

Shipping Frequency

Monthly

Weekly

Every 2 Weeks

Club Duration

On-going Until Cancel

3 Months

6 Months

12 Months

Coffee Types

Single-Origin

Whole Bean

Ground

Light Roast

Medium Roast

Dark Roast

Decaf

Espresso

Membership Options

Gift Memberships

Random or Selective Coffee Choices: Selective

Ability to Pause/Skip Shipments

Customer Service

Phone

Email

Online Tutorials

FAQ's


Who is This Coffee Club Best Suited For?

This coffee club is for those that like to be conscious of how products are made. With the Rainforest Alliance, Caribou Coffee is making coffee differently from most other coffee clubs, and a certain kind of customer is going to really appreciate that.


What We Like About Caribou Coffee

Rainforest Alliance Coffees: All the coffee is 100% Rainforest Alliance Certified which is a movement aiming to use sustainable farming methods to save the environment while also looking out for the farmers well-being. Water is saved, waste is recycled, and animal habitats are taken care of in the process—all while making fresh coffee beans.

Lots of Club Options: We like that you can choose from pre-designed clubs or design your own to accommodate your tastes and coffee preferences. When you design your own, you can even select ½ pound bags.

Choose Your Grind: One thing Caribou offers that other clubs don’t is a custom grind. They don’t just have you pick from whole bean or ground coffee. You can go as far as picking the type of brewing method, including espresso, percolator, paper filter, french press, and even gold filters. This is a lot more important than most people realize, because the grind and type of machine you use can determine how your coffee turns out. So, being able to select how you will brew is exceptional.


What We Don't Like About Caribou Coffee

No Free Shipping: One thing that stuck out was that the coffee club didn’t offer free shipping to its’ customers.

No Info on Coffees: It would be nice to have information about the actual process Caribou Coffee takes in roasting the beans and how quickly they get shipped out after roasting.

No Actual Gift Membership: While Caribou has an impressive list of gifts, none of them are actual gift memberships. Even the gift cards aren’t for the club itself.

Non-Responsive Customer Service: When we reached out to Caribou via email, contact form, and social media, they never replied. This was extremely disappointing, especially for a larger company.


Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for organic coffee that doesn’t impact the environment, you’ll love what Caribou has to offer. They even use recyclable materials for their packaging and promote sustainability. While their club has a few flaws, if you’re a fan of Caribou coffee and their products, you will easily look past those issues and enjoy your monthly subscription.

7.4 Total Score
A tech-advanced coffee company with 20 years experience.

Brought to you by the brand Caribou, you can enjoy three, six or 12 months of gourmet coffee delivered straight to your door.

Coffee Selection
9
Coffee Bean Freshness
7
Coffee Quality and Taste
5
Memberships/Pricing
7
Additional Club Perks
10
Shipping/Packaging
6
Gift Memberships
9
Website
8
Customer Service
6
PROS
  • Great Product Selection
  • Customizable Coffee Club
  • Professional Web Site
  • Great Content On Blogs
CONS
  • Shipping isn’t free
  • Mildly vague about the process of roasting
  • No gift memberships


Shailynn is a word slinger, chef, Pinterest addict and adult coloring book collector. As our Operations Manager and Senior Researcher/Editor, you will find Shailynn busy finding new companies and topics to research, but also handling the crazy day-to-day on the backend – and by crazy…we mean all of us. She attended the International Culinary Institute, where she studied pastry arts and she worked as an executive pastry chef before hanging up her chef’s hat and decided to work from home as a writer. She is a fanatic for a great cup of coffee or wonderful glass of wine! Shailynn is a mother of three and married to a handsome firefighter.

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