June 19, 2012

Review: Caribou Coffee Daybreak Morning Blend Vue Packs

Review Single Serve Coffeecaribou_vue_packIMGP4680.JPG

We decided to kick-off our Vue Pack reviews with Caribou Coffee's Daybreak Morning Blend Vue Packs as they just recently became an addition to the Vue Pack line-up a few weeks ago. Caribou Coffee are based out of Minneapolis and are one of our favorite Keurig partners. We've enjoyed their various blends/flavors for years on K-Cup brewers, so let's have a look at what they can achieve on the Vue brewer, shall we?

So, before we get started, we'd like to outline a few key points for our future Keurig Vue Pack reviews just so you're aware of how we're using the Vue V700 brewer...

  • We will probably be using the "strong" setting during our reviews but not for the main review itself & will indicate how this affects the different categories (aroma, acidity, flavor, mouth feel, etc). We doubt body will change much, if at all, between the regular & strong settings.
  • Unless otherwise noted, we will always be using the default recommended cup size as indicated on the side of the Vue Pack's box/packaging. (Most times, this will be 8oz for coffees/teas/cocoas and 6oz for iced beverages)

Brewing these Vue Packs (heh... seems weird not to say "K-Cups") resulted in lively citrus notes topped with faint aromas of molasses, chocolate and pepper lurking in the background. Billed as a light roast, flavor revealed more bright citrusy notes at first with faint notes of lemon which quickly faded into cereal notes which had hints of chocolate throughout. Seemed like a weird combo of flavors, but ultimately in the end, it worked well together and certainly kept our taste buds popping.

Body was medium brown in color with shades of red & orange when held in front of a light source. Considering all the citrusy activity going on in the cup, acidity was rather well-balanced and kept things from becoming too sour while still yielding a satisfying pop of liveliness throughout the cup. Mouth feel was equally smooth and showed no signs whatsoever of being watered down. We didn't detect any oily notes either while finish & aftertaste were dry without any noticeable lingering flavors.


We did try using the "strong" setting but it just made the acidity overbearingly sour at 8oz and ruined the overall experience in our opinion. This Vue Pack seems best enjoyed on its regular setting, so unless you're willing to experiment, stay away from this feature. Aromas were somewhat more pronounced but we had a hard time determining if the flavor was any stronger since the acidity kept washing things out.


  • Aroma - 10 - As described on the packaging, things were bright & citrusy with lively citrus notes topped with a smattering of scents ranging from molasses & chocolate to mild pepper notes in the background.
  • Acidity - 9 - Very well balanced amidst the citrusy chaos going on around our palate. When used on the regular setting, it kept things from becoming too sour while still keeping things bustling throughout the rest of the cup.
  • Body - 8 - Medium brown with shades of red & orange when held to a light source.
  • Flavor - 9 - Quite a lot going on here... tons of citrusy notes were present with lemon being the first one we detected, quickly followed by cereal notes that yielded chocolate tones throughout the back end of the cup. We've got to subtract 1 point due to the overly sour taste we got when using the "strong" setting.
  • Mouth Feel - 9 - Smooth without any signs of being watered-down. Finish & aftertaste were dry without any noticeable lingering flavors. We didn't detect any oily notes either.
  • Coffee Drinker - Suited best for those who like slightly sour citrusy coffees which will be sure to grab their attention in the morning. We really liked this as a morning wake-me-up coffee but Caribou even suggest it could be used in the afternoon as well. We think either way that it'll be sure to please light roast fans regardless. Medium extra bold & dark roast fans best stay away.

Overall Rating: 95 - Excellent

We were quite pleased with this new Vue Pack and think that Caribou Coffee have found a nice balance overall for a truly enjoyable cup of morning coffee. This is quite likely just as good as getting the real thing in one of their shops. We also like the fact that this coffee is Rainforest Alliance Certified with a minimum of 75% certified content. Anything that helps the farmers & workers who toil away at cultivating the coffee beans for our use & ensures sound environmental practices = awesome & well deserved in our books.

We can't wait for the remainder of Caribou Coffee's K-Cup line-up to make the transition to Vue Pack format & although it's been ages since we've tried the K-Cup version of Daybreak Morning Blend, from what we can recall, this Vue Pack is pretty spot-on similar and every bit as good (if not better). As we've noted before, despite the high pricing and the lack of true froth, we actually like the Vue V700 brewer and think with the addition of the strong button, it can produce some really exceptional coffees.

As for this particular Vue Pack? We'll definitely be adding it as a permanent flavor in our growing coffee stash & recommend you give it a try. It's a much welcome new addition to the Vue Pack line-up & gives us hope at what's to come within the next several months.

Caribou Coffee Daybreak Morning Blend Vue Packs is one of the many Keurig Vue Packs available for the Keurig Vue V700 Single Cup Brewing System, and you can also read our full review here. The Keurig Vue Packs are not compatible with older Keurig K-Cup systems. The Keurig Vue V700 isn't presently sold in Canada, Canadians can order these Vue Packs from Keurig.com if they're willing to pay a $10 FedEx brokerage fee.

A special thanks to SH for providing this Single Serve Coffee staff review. We would also like to note we purchased a box of these Vue Packs on our own for the purpose of this review.

Read how we review and rate single-serve coffee and other single-serve coffee beverages here.

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Posted by Jay Brewer at June 19, 2012 7:43 AM
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