dear caribou coffee,
in case i couldn’t admire you more, i received an email from you the other day pronouncing your “clean label” drinks, which i promptly opened. since going corn syrup-free in 2010, it’s been a mission to ferret out the places and items i can eat and drink. while i have been failing spectacularly lately, i now know that you are one place i can get a tasty beverage and know that i’ll at least be HFCS free, if not all corn free*.
*[the new clean label line declares no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, or sweeteners. i see a very prominent no high fructose corn syrup, and while i am sitting here pleased as punch so far, i’d like to know if this includes regular corn syrup as well, but i’m guessing a clean label means no corn-related foodstuffs.]
it takes a long time to come clean. according to a recent startribune article, this has been years in the making. in 2006, you started with rainforest alliance coffee beans, moved to milk, chocolate chips, vanilla, caramel (GOOD TO KNOW – but is there regular corn syrup in it?), PUMPKIN (!!!!), and now here we sit with a menu of 5 drinks that are 100% clean label, 2 of which are my go-to drinks – the crafted press and mocha -, with the promise of the entire drink menu going clean by the end of the year.
so while i was cursing the system of corn-heavy foods in 2010, you were already on your way to nixing artificial junk. while i wrote to companies about the perils of including corn syrup in their ingredients, you were moving to chocolate chips versus chocolate syrup. while i blogged about big ag monopolies, you were working on becoming 100% rainforest certified.
and i love your why: “we believe that real ingredients taste better. And we invite you to taste the difference for yourself.”
that’s really what this all comes down to: a better taste. have you tasted ice cream made with cream, eggs, and vanilla versus the junk you buy in a gallon bucket? it JUST TASTES BETTER.
so while i would like to see an actual ingredients list on those flavor syrups (it’s not that i don’t trust you; it’s just that i’ve seen GMO-free corn syrup, and that’s rather disingenuous), i know that i’ll choose the ‘bou over the bucks or dunn, and not just for taste (although that’s a big part of it).
and while i still have a beef with you because you don’t offer your pumpkin drinks through thanksgiving, i am very encouraged by the clean labels, and just when i thought i couldn’t love you more for letting me get a hot crafted press, you go and do something crazy like this**.
**the next big thing that would make me swoon would be a massive recyclable/reusable cup effort. i’d buy stock.