There’s a Caribou in Moos Tower

This week I visited the Caribou Coffee shop in Moos tower, as mentioned in my quite funny title. I hope you all see what I did there. This week the question “Caribou or Starbucks?” was hard not to consider, since I visited Starbucks last week. Reading through my post you’ll find my opinion, and hopefully get a sense of what you might decide. However, I do recommend to check out both of these locations for yourself as well.

Caribou’s Chalkboard

This was by far my favorite thing about Caribou. When I think of Caribou I can’t help but imagine a chalkboard just like the one pictured above, with a chosen question for their customers to respond to. As you can see in the picture, Caribou leaves an open ended question about what people are grateful for. Some answers are seen clearly in the picture but I jotted down the various responses to help everyone get a greater sense of the various responses. Here were some of the things customers were grateful for; “Dogs,” “Cats,” “My mom’s liver donor,” “Grading curves,” “Sunshine,” “Being alive,” “Family,” “Sleep,” “Cool, fall weather,” “Morning coffee,” and “Being able to chose whether or not to write on this chalk board.” Clearly the list of things people are grateful for has a wide range. Some are silly responses, others are more serious and genuine. This chalkboard seems to bring a variety of people into a Caribou Coffee community. Caribou invites people to speak what is on their mind, and that is one aspect of Caribou culture that is really hard to top.

Caribou’s display of food

In comparison to Starbucks, Caribou has a much smaller variety of food options. This is quite easy to see if you look back at my last weeks post from Starbucks. I personally don’t go to coffee shops to eat, but rather I go to, well, drink coffee! I won’t be surprised if a coffee shop doesn’t have food, but I would be surprised if it didn’t have coffee. I think my point of what I’m trying to say is pretty clear. However, if you are one that enjoys pairing your drink with a snack, or dessert then Starbucks on Washington has more options than Caribou in Moos Tower.

The environments of each differ greatly as well. Caribou’s location is inside of another building, whereas Starbucks was it’s own building. Caribou was much more open, and had a lot more seating. However, their seating seemed to be from the building, rather than the actual company. By that, I mean the seating options aren’t the normal wooded tables, and seating that you would see in an actual Caribou Coffee store. The lighting is also much different from both an actual Caribou Coffee shop, and Starbucks. This lighting again is simply the buildings lighting source, not your typical more relaxed lighting sources of a normal Caribou. This location overall seems to be more of a put together area that Moos Tower put together, and Caribou didn’t have a choice. If you’re looking for more of your typical coffee shop environment, the Caribou in Moos Tower will not meet your standards.

My Lemon Poppy Seed dessert from Caribou

My experience at Caribou was quite a mixture of things. I decided to purchase a “Hot Apple Blast.” Also known as delicious hot apple cider, topped with whipped cream,generously drizzled with gooey caramel, then sprinkled with cinnamon and love. If you can’t tell, I do enjoy this beverage, and have purchased it plenty of times in the past. I also decided to treat myself with a lemon poppy seed dessert which I also have bought plenty of times before. The kind barista behind the counter not only took my order, but my name as well. I love when coffee shops do this, it adds to the personal aspect of the shops’ environment. Unfortunately, they had run out of an apple ingredient needed to make my Hot Apple Blast, so they offered to make me another drink in whatever size I chose. This was life telling me I should consume some caffeine after a long week, so I went for a Caramel Cooler. The first sips were delicious, and the whipped cream and caramel wouldn’t stop begging me to indulge in it. I took off the cap, and dove in. To my surprise, the whipped cream was not at all as delicious as it looked. It tasted funny, and it’s taste was bad enough that I decided not to eat it. Instead I mixed it in with my drink, which turned out to be a big mistake. I ended up only drinking half of my drink because I still tasted that funny taste from the whipped cream. On the other hand, my lemon bread was delicious as always, although it was slightly less moist as I normally encounter when eating it.

Food wise, I was not all that satisfied with at this Caribou location although it could just be an off day. Environment wise, aside from the lovely chalkboard, it wasn’t your typical coffee shop environment. Some people would like this environment, but I personally did not. I know that this location did have a large influence on its environment so I won’t forget to keep that in mind. My advise, check them both out for yourself. However personally, if I am on Washington Ave. and am looking to visit a coffee shop, I would chose Starbucks. Hopefully sometime this semester I can visit an off campus Caribou location. In my experience at other Caribou stores, I thoroughly enjoyed the environment. I am very excited for what I have planned for next week’s post, so stay tuned!