It’s my day off today. I woke up, did 10,000 push ups, made a protein shake and thought, “hey, you know what? Let’s give Caribou Coffee another try! I could really go for a good iced coffee and breakfast sandwich right now!”Excited and optimistic, I backed out of my driveway in my Honda Civic, threw on some new LANY, and headed for town to my local Caribou.
As I pull into the Caribou parking lot, it’s 10:07 AM and there is no line whatsoever. If you’re not familiar with the North Branch area, that is a rarity. I happily jumped first in line at the drive-thru and begin scouring the menu for what is surely going to be a wonderful breakfast and start to my morning.I am greeted by a very kind woman. We engage in casual Minnesota talk, she asks me if I’m a “Perks member.” I say no and proceed to place my order: a Cold Press with a half shot of vanilla and a turkey sausage, egg, and cheddar breakfast sandwich on a biscuit. I pull ahead and can barely contain my excitement.
As I arrive to the next window, I pay for my coffee and sandwich. Both are handed to me with delicacy and care. I place both items where they need to be, put the new LANY record back on, do a little dance, send my girlfriend a snap, put the Civic in drive and begin the drive back home.Then, I take the first sip…
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The first thing my palate is introduced to is an overwhelming amount of vanilla. The next is a horrible sour taste that I will never be able to un-taste. As I somehow manage to get it down my gullet, I set the coffee down and re-coop.
With my next move, I pull the straw up near the top, as I am thinking that maybe all of the vanilla just settled at the bottom and that’s what caused the horrendous first sip. I go back in for the second sip… I am once again treated to that terrible sour taste. Next up, is a finish of burnt firewood and bark.
What the hell is going on???I finally reach a red light on my journey and begin to stir the coffee like my life depends on it. I take a deep breath. It is time for the third sip… I need to try again… third time is the charm, right?
FUCKING WRONG!!! OVERWHELMING VANILLA. EGREGIOUS SOURNESS. BURNT FIREWOOD. CHARRED BARK. WHAT’S UP LITTLE BEACH!!!
I set the “coffee” back down. I am upset, I am disappointed and I am defeated. In what was once a day filled with endless opportunity is now a day of regret.
As I pull into my driveway with my spirits shattered, I enter the house. I set the coffee down on the island, along with the uneaten breakfast sandwich that is a mere object to me at this point in time. I reach into the cupboard and pull out a brand new container of espresso dark roast from Costco and fire up the trusty Hamilton Beach.
My next move, is a move of a lifetime. I grab the Caribou “coffee,” remove the lid, and dump that liquid poison down the kitchen sink with a look of deadness and disappointment in my eyes.
Five minutes later, the fresh pot of Costco espresso is ready. I fill a cup with ice, pour the quality coffee over the top, and take a sip. And in that moment I realized…
Caribou Coffee, we need to break up. It’s not me, it’s you.
For the next couple weeks, I’ll get my coffee at the State Fair.