The Ultimate Question: Starbucks vs. Caribou

Since moving to Minneapolis, Caribou has become my go-to spot for work meetings, afternoon get togethers with friends, and a quick pick-me-up when it’s one of those afternoons…you know the ones I’m talking about…can’t focus, can’t stay still, need a seriously delicious drink as a prerequisite for doing anything productive. The reason for my frequent Caribou visits? This is their stomping grounds. Minneapolis is to Caribou as Seattle is to Starbucks.

I will admit that I was shocked at first to find three Caribous within walking distance of my apartment and not a single Starbucks (just when I though there was one on every corner in every American city!), but time has changed my expectations and, thus, I am brought to the ultimate question: which is better?!

Given my love of tea, it’s my go-to drink at any coffee shop location. For tea, I will have to rule in favor of Starbucks. They have a lot more options (including multiple green varieties) and keep a consistent menu so I know what to expect. Caribou, on the other hand, has a pretty limited menu when it comes to tea, only offers one green tea option, and seems to shift their choices around (anyone else remember when they used to have Mutan White?). In fact, there’s really only one tea on the current Caribou menu that I would order:


Citron Green tea at Caribou

Still, there are occasions – believe it or not – that I don’t want tea. Typically this happens on a warm day when I’m craving some cool and delicious refreshment. For this type of yen, Caribou definitely takes the cake. Their coolers are absolutely DELICIOUS. Even better, they have lite options that have less sugar and fat than the regular drinks (they standard options can pack in nearly 400 calories and 40 grams of sugar!).

Caramel Cooler at Caribou

Caramel Cooler at Caribou

In spite of these considerations, I think it goes without saying that what really matters for any coffee shop visit is simply a nice pal to visit it with:


One thought on “The Ultimate Question: Starbucks vs. Caribou

  1. Pingback: Italy: Part 1 | Treasure Your Being

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