Which pumpkin spice latte is better? Starbucks or Caribou??


Danielle Giguere

Hard decision between the two most popular coffee places in Minnesota, Starbucks or Caribou.

For most people, coffee is essential every single day. Maybe because it makes us feel more energized or awake for the day. Some days you might just want to go enjoy a nice festive, seasonal coffee made from one of your local coffee shops instead of the same old coffee from the coffee maker at home.

When I’m craving that warm, hot coffee on chilly, fall days, I can never really decide which coffee shop I should give in to. When I am out and about, I feel like Starbucks is the way to go since it’s close to most stores around St. Cloud, but when I am at home and want to quickly go grab a cup of my favorite seasonal coffee, Caribou’s location is more convenient. I am obsessed with the pumpkin spiced flavor during the fall season. If you see me holding a coffee this time of year, assume it’s a pumpkin spiced latte. I am going to review both Starbucks and Caribou coffee shops to see what’s really worth the bang for your buck on the pumpkin spiced lattes.


Caribou overall review:

Caribou Coffee (Danielle Giguere)

One of the downsides to Caribou is that most of them are located in Minnesota. There are about 17 other states that are lucky enough to have a Caribou, but the numbers of stores are very low. Right away when I pulled up to the drive-through, the line was very short. I waited behind about two cars. Therefore, I was able to get my coffee faster making customer service seem more efficient. After tasting the Caribou version of the pumpkin spiced latte, I noticed it had more of a bitter taste, and it wasn’t as sweet as I would like it to be. Also, the pumpkin taste wasn’t as strong. I feel like if they added another shot of pumpkin maybe it would taste a little better for my likings. Although, a good side to the drink was that Caribou charged $4.29 for the pumpkin spiced latte. Not as expensive as Starbucks.


Starbuck’s overall review:

Starbucks Coffee (Danielle Giguere)

I find the prices they charge for coffees at Starbucks are more expensive than Caribou, especially when you add extra ingredients. I also noticed that Starbucks seems to be the most popular worldwide due to the high number of stores there are. The line at Starbucks was way longer than the line at Caribou. It was about a 15-minute wait just to get one small coffee. I can conclude that the customer service at Starbucks was a little slower and less convenient due to the longer wait. After tasting the Starbucks version of the pumpkin spiced latte though, I thought it was amazing. It was served to me at the perfect temperature, not too hot, not too cold. I love the amount of sweetener they put in the drink. It was absolutely perfect for me. It surprised me that the price of the drink was $5.05 at Starbucks. 

After trying each drink, I feel that the Starbucks version of the pumpkin spiced latte tasted better overall. Although, you would be saving more on your coffee at Caribou, especially if you went almost every day to get a coffee. I usually grab a coffee every once in a while, so it doesn’t eat up my paycheck too quickly.

If I had to pick between Starbucks and Caribou for my favorite coffee shop, I would go with Starbucks. I was curious to see what a few other Sartell students preferred out of the two:

Gus Gunderson, a senior at Sartell High School (Danielle Giguere)

Do you prefer Starbucks or Caribou? Starbucks

Why? Because Starbucks has more drinks to choose from.

What is your favorite drink from Starbucks? The caramel frappuccino



Sartell High School senior, Allie Engle (Danielle Giguere)

Do you prefer Starbucks or Caribou? Starbucks

Why? Because I have more luck trying new things there and always end up liking them!

What is your favorite drink from Starbucks? A vanilla chai tea latte or strawberry acai refresher with lemonade.



Alivia Jacobs, a Junior at Sartell High School (Danielle Giguere)

Do you prefer Starbucks or Caribou? Starbucks

Why? They have more options

What is your favorite drink from Starbucks? A strawberry acai refresher with lemonade
and no berries.


Sartell High School Junior, Lexi Goad (Danielle Giguere)

Do you prefer Starbucks or Caribou? Probably Starbucks

Why? Because they have more of a fruity drink variety, but I go to Caribou more often because it’s closer and more convenient

What is your favorite drink from Starbucks and Caribou?  Starbucks: strawberry acai lemonade with one pump of Rasberry. Caribou: sparkling green tea lemonade


I realized after I was completed with asking around on which Sartell students liked Starbucks or Caribou better, I came to the conclusion that most Sartell students would rather drink Starbucks over Caribou. Most students agreed that Starbucks had more drinks to choose from, but some students thought that Caribou was closer so it was a little bit more convenient.