We tested the Caribou Coffee DECAF K-Cup in Uncle Bob’s Test Kitchen, using an older but still clean and functional Keurig single-cup K-Cup brewing machine. The machine was almost new, because it had barely been used, but it is an older model. Nonetheless, everyone enjoyed the taste tests.
In our search for satisfactory decaf K-Cups, Caribou is one of the premium brands in the mainstream category. That means it is widely available, with good supply. It is not a specialty coffee. So how did the Caribou DECAF stand up in our taste tests?
“Pretty Good”, was the average response. No big raves from the test crowd, but no one panned it either. We served the Caribou decaf with fresh lemon pound cake, a pastry well known as a great compliment to a Sumatran (Indonesian) coffee.While almost everyone agreed the cake tasted good, no one was especially impressed with the coffee-pound cake pairing. That surprised us, because usually if you taste test an Indonesian coffee with lemon pound cake, you notice the way they really go well together.
Basically, it was an unoffensive, decaf brew Not too dark for the lighter coffee lovers, but they did consider it a dark brew. For the folks who liked dark roasts, it was not a stand-out decaf k-cup. Reviews included “not very strong“, to “I expected more flavor from Caribou“, and “for how dark it looks and smells, there’s not much taste“.
Overall, this decaf k-cup ranked towards the top of the list, but it was not the best decaf k-cup. Should we buy it again? Should we stock in in the company kitchen? Nobody wanted us to switch to only the Caribou for decaf, but no one objected to having it as a decaf option on the shelf.
Uncle Bob summed it up this way “Well, it looks like you can’t go wrong with the Caribou Coffee decaf k-cup, but you also shouldn’t be afraid to keep trying new decaf k-cups in case you discover one you like better than the Caribou“. We agree.